Tom Montag’s Morning Drive Journal

[For an explanation of “Morning Drive Journal,” click here.]

December 23, 1998

Weather and love are always and only local. Oh the storm may blow in from the mountains or down from Canada, but it means something to us only when it’s here. Like love, there’s a lot of weather we don’t notice, that we take for granted. It is fiery passion that explodes in us, the throb of excitement, the sear. That, we think, is love. The tornado is weather, but so is the pale blue day. A slight breeze in the leaves, just a faint rustle of the leaves, so quiet you’d hardly notice. A thousand days of quiet commitment is love, as much as the hard-charging stallion of passion. I recognize both and I have reconciled them within myself – love the passion, love the quiet commitment; love the winter storm blowing, love the quiet day.

It must be a little warmer this morning. Thermometer in the garage says it is about 10 degrees above zero.

The sun at its southernmost point rises behind the house next to the old school; this is from the vantage point of the driver’s seat of the pick-up at the stop sign, corner of Washington and Main, Fairwater, December 23, 1998, 7:35 a.m.

I taste myself in the air today. And though I do not see it, I taste the hawk as well.

The sky is pale blue. There is a faint pink glow of haze again at all the world’s edges, soft, delicate as a girl’s desire, blushing shyly. The blue of her eyes. We just keep rolling into morning, seduced.

Snow banks have drifted into the ditch on the west side of Highway E. Now you cannot deny it is winter. The snow banks look like the blue heart of winter. They look like the cold shoulder of God. They look like the wall upon which all hope is dashed. Yet I have come too far to give up now.

May 13, 1998

Another fine day, after a little rain last night. The mourning dove flies from our driveway. The wind ruffles the surface of the pond. Blue sky. Here we go.

Great piles of stone have been dumped in the canning factory’s field north of town. Perhaps they will put stone along the paths of the tires of their irrigation unit?

The field of peas is already thick green. There is a hint of corn in another field. Blossoms are off the trees in the orchard of the farmstead north of Carter Road. The old horse is out to the far end of his pasture this morning. This is not usual. What is it a portent of?

The fields south of Five Corners are still wet, still untilled. The weeds overtake them.

[Copyright © 1998-2007 Tom Montag. Used by permission.

By Tom Montag

Tom Montag is a poet, writer, and musician. He is the author of Kissing Poetry's Sister, The Big Book of Ben Zen, and other books. Tom blogs at The Middlewesterner.