Driving alone in her car late that clear night, all was right with the world, as much as it could possibly be. She enjoyed the quiet—not an all-consuming silence but rather the kind of quiet that fills the room the moment before the end credits roll in after a touching movie. But what’s the difference? A breath of life. 

The road she followed religiously after work had become habitual. She had been reliving the same yesterday for each today and the same today as for each tomorrow. She was forced to take a late shift and clocked out at ten o’clock.

She rolled her window down and was struck by the brisk breeze of the night air. She took a breath. And with that, the moon shone through her clouded mind in a way she had forgotten to be possible. A breath into the life she so desperately, yet unknowingly, needed. If at no moment but now, she was able to leave the past behind. Her eyes followed the tracks in the road and there they were––the stars. A chorus of constellations ornamenting as far as the heavens meet the skyline.

At first, the point the horizon and sky meet may seem infinitely unapproachable, but the longer she looked, the further she realized it just might be within her reach. For the first time she felt finding that boundary was attainable. She took another breath in her moment of solace. She felt the air cut through her fingers like a rip current. Glancing at her rearview mirror, all she could see was her smile on a curious but comforting face––one as if she had known all along but missed seeing. The hum of the wind stopped so she looked down to the road, only to see the glow of her landscape’s lanterns welcoming her back home.

Photo Credit: Natalie Bright