This afternoon, just at gloaming, we took David's favorite drive. The mountains were covered in a bright blush of orange and red and the clouds were low and thick, as if the flaming, changing leaves had actually caught fire in the sunset. The higher we climbed up Timpanogos, the thicker the clouds became, until the aspens at the top looked like ghosts in the mist, their black knots a thousand evil eyes keeping watch from the edge of the road.
It was eerie. It was breathtaking. It was bewitching and enchanting.
Caleb and Ethan stretched their arms out the windows to touch the cloud and imagined they were hobbits, climbing the mountain closer and closer to Smog's lair, right into the belly of the beast.
Savannah clutched her seatbelt and asked David over and over to be careful.
Olivia sighed about how it looked just like being inside a book.
David, who has driven this road dozens of times, reminisced at every bend in the road, recalling the picnic here, the nap there, the test he studied for while he sat in the sun on that lovely outcropping of granite.
As for me, I tried to memorize it all, to write it in my heart, and engrave it on my bones. That when these leaves have fallen and disintegrated into the dirt, when these giant boulders have been weathered by the wind and water into dust, when this majestic mountain itself has risen and crumbled and been swallowed by the earth, this moment will still remain.
The first time I drove this road with David I could not have predicted this other moment, more than eighteen years later--with my children's dreams and fears and fantasies swirling around in the car with us, mixing with our throbbing memories--and yet they seemed to be one and the same. That first drive inevitably lead to this one, like two points on the same road, a road laid out for us long ago.
I craned to see the bends and climbs and views ahead, but it was all fog and clouds and dragon smoke. I settled back and looked at David, content to sit next to him, as the road continued its slow and beautiful revelation of our mysterious future.