Turning a corner, we passed the trees whose branches had constrained the horizon. The vista unfolded before us. Hill layered beyond hill. Trees clothed each ridge in green, but the distance veiled the mountains in blue. The closest hillside glowed green, but the farthest lines of the earth were deep blue like the night sky.
The hills rippled below us, an ocean of rock and trees, limestone and pine and oak. I wanted to sail across that sea, to rise on the wings of the dawn, to drift on the air currents like the hawk that floated below us. We never saw it flap its wings. It only drifted in gentle circles, spiraling like our conversation, which rose and fell from the present to the distant past and into the near future, glided peacefully from the mundane to the profound.