Opening Day

When I was ten years old, my father took me on my first bird-hunting trip. We lived in southern California then, and I remember traveling over miles and miles of concrete to go hunting. The early twilight stillness gave way to flashing headlights and honking horns, but sure enough, as I woke to the smell of my father’s thermos of coffee, the scent of his Old Spice, the ancient smell of leather and mothballs from hunting regalia stored too long, the station wagon had found a windy road and the countryside began to show promise. The houses were sparse now, and the hills rolled along as if they weren’t in a hurry to get anywhere.

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