Everything was beautiful today. I drove off for work at 12:30pm with the moon roof open, fall breezes brushing my hair, and a scent of football games in the wind.
I drove past the high school and the sun burned a hot spot on my shoulder. I felt tended to by nature.
I headed out of town. The millstack in the distance made white filigree sky etchings. The sky itself was ultramarine and covered the valley snugly; I touched it through my open window.
After my Celica climbed out of the valley, there was the long stretch of highway where homes are interspersed with farms. The horses grazed as usual on the hillside some say was supposed to be a cemetery. The horses look better there than tombstones; brown and golden skins, heads tossing, tails switching imaginary annoyances, muscles rippling shiny and taut--they had all day to eat their grass. Tomorrow seemed very far away.
When I got to town I cruised through all the green lights. I let a truck make a lane change in front of me and I still made the green light. My day to give something to a stranger.
After I parked in the back of the hospital campus I checked out the construction project going on. A Japanese Healing Garden and new buildings for health careers classes. A man on top of a roof halted his work when he saw me walking by far below. He kept watching until I rounded a corner...maybe my flowered dress and hair made golden by the sun gave him a lift, something colorful, maybe I reminded him of someone, maybe he was two breaths away from calling hello...maybe not. Maybe he was straightening his back out. It didn't matter. Today I was cool, warm, far out, awesome.
I thought of the time when I was 15 and climbed into the hayloft to write a story. The creative writing teacher had instructed us to go to our favorite place, then write about the view from it. At the top of the hay barn, the roof did not meet the sides of the barn. So I could lie down on a bale of alfalfa and look out across the potato and alfalfa fields, the sagebrush and juniper, to a very tall Ponderosa pine on top of a ridge. This pine had been damaged by a lightening strike. To recover, the pine forked; just like a dinner fork with only two tines. I used to hide there from my family. And I would write. Sometimes I cried while I wrote, but I always felt better afterwards.
What connected today and that day wedged in my heart was the nostalgia I feel during solitary moments when nature caresses me with sun and breeze and blue and green and golden light--only a beautiful day like this makes me feel everything I dream is possible.
Then...well, there are all the years between, aren't there?
Tonight, I cried again as I wrote just like I did that long ago summer day in the country where I grew up. But you know what the gut-wrenching difference is? Then, I was innocent. Now, I am cynical. All I have left to bridge my precious moments of complete spiritual content, joy, and hope is time and memory. Each new memory logs into time; each hoped-for time comes and then it's a memory, too.
I hate this and I love it. Simultaneously.
I want to segue all of the colored days together so tightly that the black-dark interludes are squeezed out. Forever.