On the way home, through her lingering anesthetic fog, Carolyn directed me to the pharmacy for her painkillers, and then we were dipping and rising over Carroll County's gentle rolls, the two of us knitting another row in this friendship crafted from circumstances neither of us wanted. Nor thought we'd survive.
At her house, she gave me a wonderfully long hug, and then released me — I had a plumber to meet.
Before turning southward, I drove along a ridgeline where the countryside dropped away on either side. Clusters of 1970s-style houses with strange amalgams of Federal-style flourishes and misbegotten modernity shared the landscape with 19th century farmhouses. And beyond the houses were long vistas of pastures sleeping under a feather dusting of snow.
Suddenly, I felt suffused with well-being. At every dip and rise, well-being seemed to ride with me. I heard it in the joyous Irish melodies spilling from my CD player and, through my windshield, saw it in the quiet countryside, where the earth cautioned the seeds slumbering within it: "Wait!" Just as in a few months, it would announce "Now!" And life would run wild, because it must.
Because even broken hearts still beat. Because new things will come your way if you look. And because no season, no matter how dark, lasts forever.
Patricia Schultheis, a Baltimore resident, is the author of the book "Baltimore's Lexington Market." Her email is email@example.com.