How To Lose a Moment

One evening on the cusp of autumn, the sky outdoes itself.

It’s a vast sweep of fading, nostalgic blue, as if it knows this season is ending. The few clouds are edged by a dusky pink so soft you could curl up in it. 238,900 miles away, a slender moon glows over it all.

I walk past a community garden. Inside, a man wipes his hands among tomatoes and basil, sunflowers with heads taller than his own. He calls hello to me. Hello! I call back.

The evening has that lazy, agreeable lull of a weekend morning, where seconds stretch themselves out like sunbathers on lawn chairs.

My feet step over blades of grass growing between bricks in the sidewalk, walk past benches facing the bay and the sunlight slipping to the west.

Soon, this grass will go brown and dormant. The benches will be icy, facing a sun that sets mid-afternoon.

I’d like to press pause, put this gaggle of sunflowers, that dusky pink light in my pocket, take them out in February and scatter them across the darkness.

And this wanting drags me away from the faded blue over my head, the grass under my feet. I lose the moment wanting to keep it.

The sky is the color of plum flesh now. I feel wisps of humidity thickening the air. Perhaps to regain the moment, I can replant myself in the felt experience of it. Shift focus from my wanting mind and into my feeling body, the body which can only see, touch, live in the present.

I unlock my door with slightly swollen fingers. I listen to my keys drop in the coconut shell on the mantle, feel the straps of my sandals slide off my left, then right foot. And I wonder if, to paraphrase an old line, living is being alive to the time our feet are standing in.

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