My job in marketing was supposed to be temporary, a stable passageway out of a bad relationship into a new life of independence. But it had been three years and the job had become the thing holding me back. The problem was, I had no idea what I wanted to do. So I did what any confused 27-year-old American in France does: I went to a sheep farm an hour outside of Paris for the weekend.
Category: Flash essay (page 1 of 2)
I was on a train somewhere in west Texas when the rain came. A smattering of droplets grew to a curtain that obscured the café car’s arching glass window as the Sunset Limited slowed to a stop. I looked up from my book in time to see the sky crack open. Where there had been slabs of fissured earth and pale dust, a web of frothy rivulets as dark as cinnamon and as moist as milk bled color into the ground.
Ardèche in summer: bleached stone, green rivers, shadows in flight.
After putting my last bit of strength into one final climb, I picked my way down to the river snaking below the cliffs, tripping over stones and reaching out to crush rosemary needles between my calloused fingers.
Harness and helmet stashed in a shadow, I walked along the pebbled bank until I found a bend with enough privacy to strip down unseen; some urban prudishness kept me from taking off my underwear. I slipped into the cool water, giddy and grateful, wet cotton clinging to my hips.
Above me, the stone ruins of a church warmed to gold as the sun slid into that evening angle that magnifies the pulse in everything. Tiny silver fish darted just below the river’s clear surface. A bird glided past, scanning the shallows for dinner. Bobbing along on bent knees, I tried to blend into the scene before me, knowing I had little to offer the actors but admiration.