Old road cracks open
Tender shoots rise up once more
reaching for blue sky
Just a few years ago, this ramp was a sleek, black lane
handling all the traffic flowing into town. All that changed when the
California Department of Transportation blocked this old ramp off, and
built a new off-ramp.
Every time I drove by the closed off-ramp, I felt refreshed to see green
grass starting to push its way up through the asphalt. Most of the times I
passed this exit I was in a hurry to get somewhere. I had errands to tend
to and appointments to keep. I wished I could drive on this old off-ramp
again, and promised myself that one day I'd stop and take a closer
I've long wondered what Earth would look like if people left it alone for a
few years... would the grass push it's way up through every street and
freeway? Would trees stretch out luxuriously to lift the concrete blocks
of every city sidewalk?
I watched as the grasses grew taller and taller, and broke through more and
more cracks in the road. Even though I was driving by and not stopping, it
felt good to witness the waves of time and nature reclaiming the off-ramp
as a natural area.
One very special day in July, I kept my promise to visit the ramp. The day
was sunny and bright, and I slowed my car so I wouldn't drive right past
it. I pulled up along the old exit and put my car in reverse, slowly
backing down the deserted road. I parked alongside grasses growing almost
as tall as my car and basked in the summer sunshine of this special moment.
I smelled the fragrance of grasses and wild flowers as I stepped out of my
car. I examined the road more closely, and saw the asphalt breaking open
in cracks to let the seeds, rain, and sunshine down to the earth again.