Rural Magic

After nearly a month of doing a pseudo-vegan diet to fit into a snug [understatement] bridesmaid dress, I cut loose and set my tastebuds free today.

A nearby vineyard was my target, and I had a sneaking suspicion I’d be making up for lost time.

Before I knew it, I was taking down a foot-long baguette with a meat and cheese plate — vittles which, according to the menu, served two to four people. Today, however, it was made for one:

Me.

I was getting a lot of looks from the other winery visitors. I wasn’t sure if it was because I was hogging a four-person table with my feet brazenly propped up and resting on another chair as patrons circled for an open seat, if it was because they were eyeing the baguette crumbs — seemingly a foot deep — which had snowed down upon my cardigan, or whether it was because I was a ravenous spectacle to behold — a spectacle which, every so often, would periodically be grossed out at how greasy my iPhone screen was becoming. Nobody said a plate full of finger meats and cheese slices alongside little gherkins was a classy, tidy feast, but it certainly was delicious.

I thought for sure I’d return to my hotel with half the baguette. I didn’t. I didn’t leave it there, either — I finished it. All of it. There was so little left that not even the wandering vineyard dog stopped to see what he could clean up for me. He knew I’d already Hoovered it up, so he made his way to the next table where he had better luck.

I’ve been on a country music kick for a few weeks now, and it seemed fitting for my drive through northern Virginia. With the late afternoon sun casting long shadows and tiny insects flitting here and there in the hazy light, I cranked up the tunes, paid no mind to my pollen-induced allergies which had just started to flare up, and enjoyed the balmy warmth on my skin as I drove away.

During last night’s wedding festivities, we noticed as we held our sparklers in the damp night air that a few fireflies came out to wish the bride and groom their best, as well. This afternoon while I drove, I wondered if I’d see them again tonight. I hadn’t seen them since a trip to North Carolina back when I was six years old or so, and their appearance last night was magical, just as the vineyard’s beauty today had been.

Whether the fireflies return this evening or not, I have their memory to hold close for another 30 years, or for however long it is before I see them again. For the beauty I’ve seen over the last few days, for the setting-free of my tastebuds and the breathtaking scenery in this part of the country, I am thankful.

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