She took the long way home. Drove by the house and down the hill to the overlook, a spot she cherishes and waves ‘hello’ to the lake often. Parking and zipping up her vest, hugging her homemade scarf close she waded through the snow to peak over the fence. The sun was setting and another car pulled up to steal the view. He stepped out, hood up and headphones blocking out the silent 5pm moment. She climbed the wooden structure, tapped the snow off her boots as she reached the top and peered around the trees at the ball melting away. “Nope,” she thought, “there’s a better view somewhere else.” Descending, she passed the hooded man with no eye contact, he was climbing the stairs after looking from the picnic table.
The wind blew and stung her ungloved hands. Shoving them in her pocket she sank through more snow and jumped up on the wooden table. Imagining the summer meals she was stepping on she looked through the trees to view the globe falling lower and lower. “Beautiful,” still not the best place. The boy on the wooden structure was snapping photos and throwing snow balls at the lake below. His mittened hands warm while he formed near perfect spheres.
She again broke through the layer of crunchy snow, walked around the wooden structure and paused looking at her warm car. She continued past it and leaned against the broken fence. Straight ahead was the horizon, a harsh line cutting the sky, dividing the eternities of sky and Lake–to the left a tree framed the sun perfectly. Orange burned violently through the sky. With each passing moment the circle dipped lower and lower below the line until it was gone. One instant it was there bright and the next it had disappeared. The man snapping photos from above missed the view she had seen, and surely she missed his view too. Cold, she hugged herself, not dressed or ready for this much time on the January coast she retreated to her car and warmed herself for a moment before driving away.
Parking, she looked behind her as she got out of the car, she contemplated going back–the sky had turned purple and red, morphing into something completely different. She had seen the ball drop, but perhaps she was missing the real climax. Perhaps she had left too soon. Perhaps the hooded man was capturing something more beautiful. What if the best of the sunset was passing this very moment? Thoughts of regret, anxious feelings filled her heart mourning the idea of what she may have lost. Settling in her warm living room with a mug of hot tea she flipped through the photos she captured. She smiled at how perfectly nature had framed her favorite shot. She appreciated the silent moments she had with the lake, the horizon and the sun. She’s learning to let go of what she might be missing and learning to love what she has.