This is the view from my office as I leave work these days. Those are not city lights or car lights or building lights. Simply the mostly red and blue lights along the runway. I wish my camera (or the photographer) could better capture atmosphere. And sound (or the lack thereof). There is a quiet peace and calm that descends upon the airport after dark that is indescribable. You must experience it for yourself one day.
Last night as I went to bed I tried to take a photograph of the moon shining through the trees and my bedroom window. I was unsuccessful. I’ve even tried, at times, to portray what I see in words, but I am no more successful. In any case, I’ve long been in love with either of the views from my two bedroom windows. From my bed I can see the lovely Mt. Timpanogos. Along with her glorious displays at sunrise, my favorite is the soft, sure glow of her very best white dress, which she sports throughout the winter, pushing past the dark curtain of the night. As I’ve said before, her constant presence is a balm and comfort to me.
My other favorite is what I was trying to freeze in time and memory last night. The west window behind my bed. A tall tree grows next too it, too close to the house, and therefore close to my heart. It’s lovely during summer when the window is open and a gentle breeze stirs the tree’s leaves just enough to make its presence known, even from behind. And during winter when skeletal branches moved by wind make moonlight dance through my bedroom window, well, that is something to behold as well. The moonbeams reach in along the dark folds of whatever quilt I’m curled up in against the cold as if to warm me also.
Last night the waxing moon shone through still, dark branches of my tree and splayed abstract dark and light across my bed. I turned to look behind me and the familiar play of cool shadow and light gave me warmth and comfort and simple joy.
This was the summer that wasn’t summer, really. My company had a huge project with formidable deadlines and my sweet flexible little 25-hours/week job doubled into nearly 50 hours, OT and Saturdays. And that was just the work part of the craziness.
So, this October when we met our deadline an entire month early, I took a day off. I spent the morning cleaning the bathroom and doing dishes and laundry. Then I picked up my friend Shawna and we headed out to do something I always wanted to do: see the Spiral Jetty. A coworker and friend of ours had just gone a few weeks prior and we discovered it was a good time of year to see it (it’s under water a good deal of the year), so we decided to go. I invited the family, as it was fall break, but they declined. We almost talked ourselves out of it. It was cool and rainy and it’s a bit of a drive so we considered going another day when it was a bit nicer outside. But I was afraid if I didn’t just do it right then I would find an excuse next time and then the next time, so we went for it.
The weather remained a bit gloomy and the rain started pouring down heavily not even half an hour into our trip. We weren’t even sure how long it took to get there–as the driving directions claimed it was nearly four hours, but our friend had insisted it was about two and a half; and it was already after 1pm. But we were committed and we pressed on.
At about North Salt Lake we could see a bit of sun shining through the clouds to the north. By the time we turned west off the freeway, it was sunny and warm outside. The dirt road to the jetty had been well graded and we arrived in just two hours and twenty minutes. We took off our shoes and waded through the salty water all the way around the spiral (even though the water was shallow enough we could have walked straight to the center) and all the way back again. We had the jetty all to ourselves for the good part of an hour before another vehicle came around the road and pulled to a stop on the dirt “parking lot.” (True confession: when the truck pulled up the part of me that watches too many crime dramas imagined that this would be the perfect place to rob, mangle or murder someone without anyone else knowing, maybe ever.) The occupants of the truck turned out to be a lovely older couple from the east who had moved out west a few years prior and it was their first time at the jetty, too. We took their photo for them, and they took ours for us and we parted all very much alive and practically friends.
The drive back was cozy and friendly and it was an entire half day of summer in early October. Just what I needed. It also increased to two the things I had never done but always wanted to that I actually did this year. (Bet your curious now as to what was number one.)