It’s Saturday and from far above the city we hear sirens. One, two, three police cars rush toward the building next door. Sage is asleep, and Daegan is outside on a walk.
Five, six, seven police cars come and now one of them has turned sideways in the big intersection near our building, closing our road. I send Daegan a text message: “Be careful, something bad is happening on our street. Find a more indirect route home”
I hear nothing back for a while but am not too worried. While Sage and I are safe high above the city, Daegan is likely also safe. He told me he was going below the city – into the nearby ravine with a portable easel and some art supplies.
Eight, nine, ten police cars arrive and now there are two ambulances as well.
Sage wakes up and is worried. What is happening? Where is our son? He still hasn’t replied yet but it isn’t unusual. Like Sage, his priority isn’t his phone, it’s whatever he’s working on, wherever he is being – the present moment. But it would be nice if we heard back from him.
Finally it comes. “Yikes! Will do!” he says. “I’m currently at a sandbank.”
The next afternoon I take the elevator downstairs to the city level, then climb carefully down the embankment to the ravine below the city and go for a run toward where Daegan sent his text message from yesterday.
It’s peaceful and I can hear birds singing. A hum of traffic comes from the city above. It seems like miles away though as the crow flies it is literally only a few hundred feet.
As my run comes toward its end I follow the road out of the ravine, taking the route I told Daegan not to take just the day before. And there, in front of the building next door to ours I see a few signs of yesterday’s activity:
I scan my key fob at the door and it unlocks, letting me in to my building and after a short elevator ride I am high above the city once again looking out. A hawk flies at our level, looking for a mouse or squirrel to eat in the ravine far below – in a forest it shares with deer, coyotes and beaver. In the city below us a pair of policemen stand in front of an elementary school looking for any signs of what may have happened yesterday. And in the hospital I see just a mile or so to the north are two teenagers recovering from being shot just one day before.