To connect the moments,
That brought me to you...
Maybe it's a heart that was once broken
Maybe it's a promise unkept
Maybe it's the hope I lost forever
Maybe it's my fear of what's ahead
Maybe it's a dream I wish I'd woken
But I didn't and now regret
Maybe it's a step I should have taken
Maybe it's a shame I can't forget
Maybe a million things,
A million moments,
That brought me to you...
- Connecting the Dots
They say the lights of the fireflies are powered by memories, the memories of everyone alive and gone. And every night they fly back to this tree, to relive the closed eyes, and hands clasped, the kisses, and the moments long over.
- The Tree of Memories
Sometimes it's good to slow down. Sometimes it's good to stop completely. Even sometimes it's better to take a step back - like I am now as I write this. There's a lot of work to be finished, meetings to prepare for, emails to send, and numbers to crunch, but there's also a soul to rest and a spirit to fill, both of which I have taken for granted despite the fact that they're the parts of us that are eternal. But not anymore. I will remember to value these invisible treasures.
Moment #1: Fireworks
I remember being on a date once. It was her, me, and my slightly overweight wingman. We had climbed the fire escape ladder to the roof of her building and sat on a ledge. I remember her turning to me and saying, "Isn't this great?" "Yeah", I said "It sure is." And I really did think it was great, because when you like someone, as in really really like someone, every simple act or experience becomes a moment, a moment unforgettable.
"Do you know what would really be great?"
"What?" I asked her.
I don't know why I said this, but I did, and I told her, "You'll get your fireworks."
And I'm not making this up, but a few minutes later the dark sky lit up as red and amber sparks rained down from the welding in the building across us - like fireworks. It was amazing. The timing was perfect. Her wish was granted and I was the handsomest man in the world to her.
But that was a long time ago. A lot has changed since.
Moment #2: Primavera
I remember walking through the almost empty Charles de Gaulle airport dragging my suitcase behind me. I had missed my overnight train to Madrid and had to catch the earliest flight in the morning to make it to my meeting. I was too tired to get a hotel for the evening and I didn't think it was practical to get a room for a few hours. I was being practical but only because I had to: I didn't have any money and the little I did have went to the only seat I could get: business class on Air France. That hurt, and that was before they lost my luggage. But I didn't know that then while I sat down on one of the benches. It wasn't long before I was surrounded by sleeping homeless guys. I don't remember being scared. I think I was too tired to get scared. I do remember that they didn't smell very pleasant. You're never too tired to smell stink.
But looking back, that misadventure was perfect. Sure it delayed my plans. Sure I got no sleep. Sure Air France lost my luggage. But I made it to my meeting, and not before seeing a golden-haired angel from a Botticelli painting behind the counter selling toothbrushes. And I had a thought, that maybe if I had made my train, I would have missed this most unassuming piece of divine art.
But that was just that. It was great. But it was just a visit to the museum.
Moment #3: A Sunset Painted Windy Day
I can still remember walking on the soft grass. I can still feel the wind dancing with my hair. I used to visit that place to escape my responsibilities, but today was different. Because as I looked at the setting sun sink into the darkening sky, I felt an impression in my heart tell me, "Do you see how beautiful that is? I painted that for you." And I took it all in, the light and dark blues blending with the grays, and whites, and violets, and vermillion and other kinds of reds, and oranges like the one from the fireworks. They were all there.
We walked down that hill with the painting frescoed into our minds.
Thoughts on that Sunset Painted Windy Day
As I drove home, I still couldn't get over it.
"You painted that for me?"
"I painted that for you. I paint every sky for you."
"Because I love you."
"Because you're mine."
That never used to make sense to me, how having someone was enough reason to make you want to make every moment special for him or her. But then I began to understand, and as I did I could feel every beautiful experience being relived and every regret redeemed because I realized, what I didn’t see then, that every moment, was made especially for me. Every welder’s spark, every delayed plan, every deferred hope, every embarrassment and every failure, every dream, every open door, and every lesson was and is made especially for me.
So tonight this post ends, and my midnight starts, by looking back at the moments that brought me to You.