From time to time I think of regrets. It’s amazing, the memories that come to mind when mortality is threatened. Even with death at my door on a daily basis, I can’t muster the discipline to describe all the things that have meant much to me. Perhaps it’s from knowing they mean nothing to anyone else, and do I really need to see it on a page to recall it? Doesn’t the retelling diminish the accuracy and quality of the memory?
There is a certain light, in midafternoon, that seems to fall over large landscapes like Wyoming. I’ve seen this light elsewhere, but not in the bright yet muted gold that blankets the Rocky Mountain states in a lazy, forgotten way. It’s the light that renders an ugly rock in Salt Lake City absolutely stunning in Moab, Utah. The rock of which I speak was dusty lavender flecked with gold and rust, shimmering in the open sandstone seas of Moab. We dragged it back to the city and it was dull as mud and just as unattractive.
This golden light, accompanied by afternoon breezes tinged with chaparral sage and pine, filtered rough days and washed over less-than-ideal situations. It softened the hard edges of doomed relationships, making them appear tolerable while they were happening. In retrospect, it might’ve been better if things weren’t so romanticized. I see photographs of those days and feel a bittersweet mix of enlightenment and regret.
I love that light, though, and occasionally glimpse it here. The Hubby and I went kite-flying last Sunday. The kite danced an aerial arabesque against massive, billowing clouds in a bright blue sky. I recalled the golden light pulling the landscape into sharp focus on a similar day in the Tetons. This was not the same light, but the feeling of joy in the moment and sadness for the long term was the same. I knew then, as I know now, that this may not end well, though not for the same reasons.
Sometimes it’s best to let things wash over us like a tide, taking with it what it will. Maybe the tide will roll in and take my disease, and regrets, away, leaving golden flecks in the sand of time, for me to cherish another day.