Centennial Park, Nashville, TN
I was already glazed in sweat by the time I turned the key in the ignition and pushed the fan to full-blast, warm idle air exhaling across the radio and passenger seat. The snap of the seat belt branded my thigh in its brief kiss of metal on skin and I jumped. Driving was my escape from the nap interrupted by the to-do list I have yet to get on paper, the lethargy that comes with dehydration in the Tennessee summer, and my white and blue sheep-covered comforter sprinkled--no, pasted--with black cat hair from the pet who woke me at 5:45 on a Sunday morning as he emptied the contents of my medicine cabinet into my bathroom sink. Even the shirt I just pulled from my closet and threw on has cat hair all over it. How does this happen?

I-440 loops south around the city, stretching west before turning into West End Ave. I slowed to let past the man camping in my blind spot and moved to the center lane at the split. My radio was spouting Dave Barnes' latest, "God Gave Me You." I shut it off. No offense, Mr. Barnes, but I don't like your song. I haven't been into love songs since I embarrassed myself e-mailing Shania Twain lyrics to a boy in my 4th grade class. Never again. I turned left into Centennial Park and stopped east of the Parthenon where the trees outline an open field. I sat beneath those trees.

On my back they blended with the sky, as though there were no expanse between them. Just tree then sky. The branches layered over one another, casting shadows and sparking a common green into a thousand different hues. Beautiful. Creation is subject to futility; I wonder how this was supposed to look. I took a dozen photos but none came close to capturing the breeze moving across my face and up through the limbs. I stared straight up and talked to God.

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