It’s warm and balmy. Yet they had predicted another chilly cold snap within the next few days. It’s dusk and I stand at the kitchen sink, looking out the window for a brief moment, long enough for the hint of violet in the air to catch me by surprise. To the west, beyond the oak trees the sky is ablaze. Fiery reds and oranges glaze the once-white clouds. The filtered light summons me and I go, barefoot, opening the sliding glass door, to breathe in the comfortable, lilac-colored air. The air, illuminated by the sunset is like a large body of water altering itself to meet the mood of the sky.
I hold a figurative index finger to the balmy evening breeze.
Just one second. I’ll be right back—
I race back inside, pour myself a glass of champagne and go back out to sit on the porch step. I want to make the most of seventy-degrees while I can. I hadn’t been gone more than twenty seconds but the light has already changed–that quickly, that fast. The dog leans affectionately into the side of my leg. Loyally, he gazes in the same direction I do. I imagine he’s more concerned with taunting squirrels than he is impressed with the day’s glorious end.
I peer through the bubbles of my glass, inspecting the straw color against the orange backdrop. My glass of champagne looks out of place here in the backyard—an otherwise celebratory, ceremonial drink.
It’s automatic. Put a glass of champagne in someone’s hand during in December and by default you have to think of all the mandatory things it suggests: the year’s end, the weird and wonderful paths down which life takes us. It’s a requirement: you have to meditate, even if just for a moment on where you’ve been, what you’ve done, what you haven’t.
The light is growing brighter while the sky darkens and the sun slips further toward tomorrow.
If you are reading this, perhaps you know what it’s like. To be sitting there peacefully, conscientious of the flawlessness of a moment. You swell a little with pride, happy with yourself for feeling grateful and humble. Maybe you were on vacation, on a tropical beach when your moment found you. Maybe you were at the Louvre or horseback riding when you felt that calm serenity take you into the place where you felt certain you’d automatically become a better, wiser more empathetic human being for simply having experienced it. For a split second you feel like you’ve got the hang of it—of all of it—and you’re feeling like you’ve accomplished something in your ability to just sit there and be when suddenly you are seized and it’s over, that quickly, that fast.
Isn’t this the way it goes? All of life is such. So much build-up, so much anticipation and poof—when the moment arrives, it’s over in a mere matter of minutes. Like a sunset, maybe. Always changing and shifting just before turning into something else.
I tip my glass and toast to the moments when life pulls the curtains aside just long enough for us to see beyond it. I’m sure I am given these occasions more times than not. I’m sure there are thousands of of them in any of our given twenty-four hours and that for whatever reason I am just not in the mindset of seeing. My goal for the new year is to see them more. To actively seek them. Because when we can recognize that a moment is whole and perfect and flawless, it makes the rest of our lives — however imperfect — feel lighter.
These moments, like a sunset, might be impossible to capture but that doesn’t mean it isn’t something to hold onto and keep.
May your moments be your keepsakes this Christmas. Wishing you all a very, merry Christmas and a bright 2014.
P.S. I would not have written this blog had it not been for Icess Fernandez. Thank you, Icess, for giving me reason to reflect and for encouraging us all to participate in the Holiday Blog Tour.