Lucky me

I’ve driven up and down I-91 hundreds of times since the late 1960s when I was at college in New Hampshire and the whole length of the then-new Interstate finally opened up. I was doing it again yesterday, daydreaming along about nothing special, heading south, and I remembered, as I often do on that stretch of road, one of the sweet, sweet moments of my life.

I’m a senior in college, so it has to be the spring of 1969. Late May or early June, before graduation but after I’ve finished up everything important. I’m cruising along solo in my old green two-seater, with the top down. The sun is low, but there is plenty of soft light left in the day. There’s a spot not too far south of Windsor where the southbound roadway runs high along a ridge with a long view over the winding Connecticut River and into New Hampshire. Everything—the water, the fields, the trees, the hills in the distance—is gold or green and fresh and perfect. And here am I, finished in style with studies I’d once thought were beyond me, sailing off with the wind in my hair to see my sweetheart, feeling higher than a kite on nothing but a kind of innocent pride, the beauty of nature, effortless youth, and true, true love.

My, it was fine.

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