The sun was barely cresting the ridge this morning when we saw them. Emma growled low and I told her to hush, because I wanted to hold the moment for a little while.

A huge bull moose was standing proud a hundred feet away, next to a smaller mama just pushing up from the grass.

With twins.

I’d never seen moose twins before. They were playing with each other like Labradors, rolling through the dried-up spring where they’d bedded down last night. Tiny squeaks and grunts accompanied each flop, until the mama nosed them along. Time to go.

I pulled up a couple of mornings ago to one of only three stoplights in this little town, coffee in hand and Springsteen on the radio. I was turning left onto Main Street, with one of my mares in the trailer, and the left-turn signal was red. So I waited.

A horn blared behind me, for probably 7 seconds, sending my horse into a panic. She started screaming and jumping around in the trailer, and I thought something was wrong.

Maybe the trailer door had swung open, or something was on fire.

I rushed out of the truck while the horn was still honking. Nothing was wrong, except the guy with slicked-back yellowing hair in a brand-new black Benz a few inches from the trailer, giving me the finger.

He was alone in the car, window up, mask on. I approached him anyway, and he yelled through the glass that the goddamn light was green.

The light to go through the intersection was green, but the arrow to turn left was red.

I told him as much, and he gave me the finger again with one hand and waved his other hand dismissively through the air.

So I got right up to his window and asked him not to honk.

He gave me the finger again.

I climbed back in my truck, waited for the green arrow, and took a left. Thirty minutes later I was on the back of my horse, in country I’d never seen. Such is this beautiful expanse.

This isn’t really about the virus.

For some people, anyway.

This is the scalpel that scrapes the rust from ancient fears, revealing a blinding reflection that renders some of us incapacitated, resigned to mask our rediscovered awareness of how little in life we really do control with, well, masks.

Which aren’t that big of a deal.

Just wear one.

I’m guessing they probably don’t help much when you’re alone in the car, though.

I watched the moose family drift quiet through the dawn, over the ridge and out of sight.

All of this human noise, creating chop and waves on the surface, while the current of nature moves strong and silent below.