The wind sighs through the leaves on the tree overhead, as twilight descends upon us. The sky turns to velvet, with a single, diamond-like star, sewn into its fabric. I long to reach out and run my fingers over the textured folds---in varying shades of blue and black. I stand at the corner of the house, and gaze down an overgrown path. Tractor wheels have recently flattened the green, spring grasses into two long lines that disappear in the distance. The trees reach toward each other overhead and draw my eyes toward what I know to be a grove of cedars just beyond the curve and out of sight.
But in my imagination, this road could lead to any number of magical places. In the distance, fireflies dance just beyond the lights of the truck behind me, and I know that if I followed them, I could escape this world and enter a new one just inside the tree line. Overhead, the moon glimmers, and I can hear the call of a whippoorwill and the sound of crickets.
Behind me are the voices of loved ones sharing conversation with each other, and a crackling fire in a barrel-shaped pit. The smell of hamburgers lingers in the air, but beyond that is the wet scent of early evening.
I am comfortable here, loved ones within sight, within hearing range - but my face, my body is turned toward that imaginary place at the end of this lane. I long to go there---not so much physically---but in my mind. I long to write of where that road might lead, and what it would be like to step into a world where fireflies are my friends---where they lead me on a treasure hunt for beauty that can take your breath---to a place where trees and frogs and water speak in voices I can understand, and each welcome me back from a long journey, to a place as familiar as the voices of those family members sitting in the twilight around the fire.
I take a step in that direction, close my eyes, and I am gone...