Sometimes, especially lately, I wish I could freeze time. I find myself desperately trying to capture feelings, moments, and pictures, all the while knowing that they aren't mine any more than they are anyone else's. That the perfect rows of corn, the trees resembling overgrown kale, the rolling clouds coming toward me gently like a blanket of mashed potatoes, are boundless and not to be reigned in. The love I have for family and friends is magnified by my living situation, the short amount of visiting time I am allotted each year makes each moment bittersweet with a sense of impending sadness, even when the laughter abounds. And when I am far away, that laughter echos in my memory, prompting solitary giggles and melancholy longing.
So I looked to the right, out my window at the progressively pinking sky, watching the slightly sloped hills of the Midwest flaunt their summer green, a color I never knew I would miss until it's ubiquity was replaced by the beige of desert stone. I replayed the weekend in my head. Cailin's freckles and gestures, shadows of her mother's traits not only in her physicality but in her open heart and endless optimism. Rodney's penetrating eyes sending me back to my childhood when I used to ride on his shoulders. Beth's smile, just as I remembered it, genuine and comforting. Anna's statement about feeling lost which instantly made feel less alone, and her infectious laugh, a perfect reflection of the purity of her spirit. The kismet of Beth's journey leading her to the symbol of a butterfly's transformation and the fact that Chloe's and my tattoo have a parallel meaning. The wide expanse of grass, the lake, Sharon's house for dinner. Cailin, experiencing a situation all too familiar to me, and being able to let her know with great certainty that it will get easier with every passing day. Rodney's quiet happiness and all consuming embrace.
And though I wish I could steal these moments, hide them away in box, to be opened when I need reassurance, I know that living them, being there in the moment to catch every smile and sigh alike, is all I can do. For the leaves will turn and fall, foreshadowing the snowflakes that follow the same gravity. Winter will bring Chloe back to me and though I'm not sure when I will return, I am happy just to be here right now surrounding myself with love and sunshine and endless laughter.