A view of the Spokane River from the north bank.
The Maple Street Bridge passes over the neighborhood of Peaceful Valley.
Indian summer overtakes us almost imperceptibly. The sun still shines with summer-like vigor and fills the air with warmth and cheer. But nature feels the changing seasons long before we notice any difference. Standing above the Spokane River, I photograph Peaceful Valley and notice the tiniest change in color beginning to appear. The trees are slightly less green than before, the uppermost leaves tinged a faint yellow.
The world seems momentarily quiet, scorched, and tired. No doubt the earth welcomes the approaching renewal through snow and ice.
Sometimes the worlds of nature and men come crashing together in painful dissonance, perhaps moreso today. When I return to my car from the river, I unlock the driver's side door, and see black shards of broken glass strewn over the seats. For a brief moment I look forward in a blank stupor, as if the information before me has no reason or sense. I take a breath and then look more carefully; the back window of my pickup has been smashed open.
"Okay," I say to myself, "Is anything missing?" My school papers and my journal are still on the passenger seat. Even my eagle feather is still hanging from my rear-view mirror, but then I realize my cell phone and small camera are both missing.
Things change so quickly. Just a few minutes before, I was standing amid the wonders of nature. Now as I drove home, the sound of shattering glass played over and over in my mind, even though in reality, I heard nothing at all. It's such a small thing, really, but my hands are shaking slightly against the steering wheel. "It's done," I finally say to myself, and with a long breath I let it all go.