“It seems smaller,” his mother said.
“It was twenty-five years ago,” Arthur Jr. said. He lifted her carefully from the stagecoach into the dirt street outside the Mutz Hotel.
“I was bigger then, too,” she said ruefully, “With better eyesight.” She turned her face to the east. “But I can still see Baldy Mountain.”
“Does the air feel the same?”
She stood still, feeling the cool breeze. She nodded, then sniffed. “It smells the same, too. Dirt, animals, liquor, and men.” She smiled.
He chuckled. “Those are good smells?”
“In this clear air, yes.” She paused. “It sounds different though. Quieter, somehow. Less hopeful.”
“They’re still working the gold. Working it again, I should say.”
She shook her head. “It isn’t the same, though.” She sighed. “Nothing stays the same, does it? Everything changes.”
He smiled down at her. “Except your good heart.”
She patted his arm. “Let’s go inside.”
Copyright © 2015 Loretta Miles Tollefson