It was early morning when I began my drive home from Tahoe.
The front windows opened to the call of the crisp mountain air and I offered up numbed ears and frostbitten fingertips as sacrifice for one last inhale of the precious scent I equated with the vibrancy of life.
As if in response with mercy to my desperate consumption, the sun glistened through the trees and shone down upon the well worn highway to warm my body one last time before I left my treasured forest palace behind once again.
I had forgotten how different the air was there, overflowing with pine trees, granite slabs, and crystal waters with hints of wildflowers and campfires, so sweet but with a soft brush of the earth to keep you grounded when you gulp it in.
And even though I was there this morning, I’m already having trouble tasting the scent so fondly cherished by my memories.
If only I had recognized its beauty sooner, that in my childhood when journeys to the cabin were certain and often and the scent permeated my being and I never had to wonder,
“Could this be my goodbye?”