Tuesday - Entry 12:
This morning clipped along as smoothly as a canoe through lake water. The girls arose quickly. They didn't squabble with me or each other. They dressed quickly. We were out the door and early.
Without the usual stress and pandemonium clouding my morning I was able to notice the world around me. The sky was a deep, dark blue that was electrified with highlights within the thin cloud layer. A full moon hung above the western mountains and stood out starkly in the pinking dawn, bright and glowing, catching my eye as I turned down our driveway towards the road.
I stopped for a moment to capture the scene, but my iPhone could not focus, too dark was it still. Later, as I returned home I was again treated to a beautiful sight as I noticed a contrail painted against the sky, spread out like a narrow cloud catching the colors of dawn. From its purple roots in the far north it contrasted against the blue sky in neon pastel orange as it ascended overhead. I could not recall ever finding a contrail so stunning.
I am so used to pulling out my camera phone to make memories for me that I have stopped using my own eyes to etch the memory within my mind. I suppose it is a sort of modern laziness similar to the type our students face when doing math without a calculator. The skills are there, but they are dormant. Perhaps our modern pace of life and urban living also plays a part in dulling our senses, but I have recently tried to reverse this affect by simply taking a moment to pause and observe.
Last Thursday night a storm moved across Salt Lake Valley bringing our first wintery rains of the season. I had to venture out into the oncoming storm because my fourteen year old daughter wanted to attend a dance recital at school. Pulled out of our apartment complex, the rain began to fall and I was startled by something I saw on my left. I wanted to photograph it, but my daughter was anxious to be early and I was doubtful that my iPhone camera was up to the task. Some things are beautiful only when they are in motion. So I parked the car for a moment and satisfied myself with a long look. I promised myself I would write about it later.
I didn't have a chance to record my thoughts that night or any other since then, yet because I used my mind to photograph the scene, I can recall it for you now.
The storm moved its way across our valley from the north and raced into the setting sky which was bright with the burnt oranges and purples of day's end. As the rain fell on my minivan, I noticed that we were at the front edge of the storm, like a wall of rain moving over the land. To my left I could see rain falling over the meadow, silhouetted against the sunset. The rain fell in veils that moved independently of each other, as if the meadow was a stage with translucent curtains being drawn and undrawn. As I turned onto the main road the storm moved over us, blotting out the sunset with a steady wall of gray.
That moment at the edge of the storm was ethereal, even mystical, and it is etched in my mind for life. I am not sure why moments like these have been standing out for me lately. It is not as if I have never seen nature's beauty before, yet something in me has changed because I could never seem to retain them.
I am glad for the change, however. In fact, I welcome it gladly. When my life is usually punctuated by Depression and ADHD, moments of clarity and peace are few and very far between. It is my hope I can develop and even magnify this skill. I need to add savor to my existence that is sadly lacking. Divorce taught me fear and discouragement, painting my worldview in sheets of gray and cynicism. It is well past time for me to enjoy the moments and blessings I currently have. Life is beautiful. All I have to do is take a moment to notice.