It's only just February, and the oranges are hanging nearly ripe on the trees as I travel down the interstate. I look out the window at them, and my heart sinks. I get nervous; I feel like crying, but I don't know why. I feel I'm traveling a million miles away. I'm going to spend 28 hours apart from my son, but somehow it's like I'm leaving him forever. I see the trees with their fruit and I panic. It's lunacy and I know it. It's the oranges, the fat, growing fruit floating secure in mid-air. They are with the tree where they belong, and I am in the Shadowlands.
What is this madness?
It was January 30, 1997. A cold snap chilled the air. I had yellow skin and felt like I was dying. I was terrified and sad. I looked out the window as we traveled down the interstate. Miles and miles of asphalt and white paint and nothing. Except for the oranges. I remember them well. How capable the trees as their "children" clung to them. I felt mocked and betrayed as my bough was breaking; I believed I could not hold my fruit any longer. Still the oranges floated cheery and round and perfectly suspended in light that faded from the sky and from my life.
All the way home the next day were the orange trees, cradling their progeny in memory of the child I left crumpled in a bell jar. Out of the frying pan and into the fire; I knew the boat I was in. No turning back. The road I traveled was more than a million miles from where I began. Untenanted and razed I drove away from my wee bonny forever.
I see the trees with their fruit and I panic. It's lunacy and I know it. It's the oranges, the fat, growing fruit floating secure in mid-air. They are with the tree where they belong, and I am in the Shadowlands.