the first time i saw her was in the spring.
it was one of those glorious spring days that start out brisk and slowly unfold into something warm and wonderful. because of that, i chose to enjoy another cup of coffee and leave for work at the last possible second. after all, you can never know if this might be the last beautiful dawn you will ever see.
and even if it's not i can assure you, looking back your fondest memory list will not include being at work on time.
so at the last possible second i reluctantly got into my minivan. i started it, put it in reverse, checked for anything that might be in the way and began backing out of the drive.
i was certain there was nothing behind me and we lived on the edge of nowhere so i have no idea why i looked in the rear view mirror again, but when i did there she was.
she was standing there in the middle of the drive, mere inches from being hit.
i slammed the breaks so hard the shoulder belt pinned me into the seat and i found it hard to turn and see whether or not i'd hit her.
with my heart pounding in fear that i had while my brain silently attempted to calm me with the facts; i did not feel or hear an impact, i turned fully around to see for sure.
she was still standing, directly in the center of the back of the van, but she fast fell into a whisper of white that tangled around the side toward me like smoke and then she was gone.
again my brain attempted to calm me with the facts; it was probably only warm exhaust rising into cool air. and, maybe i had imagined her inside the instant that warm exhaust rose up and hit the cool air.
but i know i saw her clearly enough to think i was going to hit her. to slam on the breaks and scream. i even remembered features. memorable features. she was frail and aged. her hair, though covered with a scarf or hood, was long and white. i could tell by the bits that stuck out at the front. she was wearing a long white dressing gown with a gray overcoat or robe that stopped just below the knees and it had sleeves so long that i could only see a small bit of her fingers poking out from them.
quite detailed exhaust vapors indeed.
every one of my senses told me i'd encountered something amazing. something that didn't belong on my plane of existence. something i would never be able to explain. something no one i told would ever believe.
and for the most part they don't.