I started this post in late September of 2007, about a month before I was due to marry Poor Kyle. My sister was six months pregnant with a nephew I had never met—I had no idea how much I’d love him. I didn’t finish the post just then, no doubt because I got distracted with photo shoots and hair trials and dress fittings and Target™ registries…but I always intended to get back to it.
Only I never did. It sat in my drafts for three years, bugging me mildly, but never enough to motivate me into action. Finally, today, I revisited it.
In so doing, I learned a valuable lesson: moments of inspiration do not keep—not for jobs, not for salon appointments, not even for weddings. If you are blessed enough to receive them, don’t tuck them aside to get to later. They do have expiry dates, and they aren’t like that nice milk from Costco™ that sort of lets you get away with an extra two weeks before turning curdly—if you put them off, they’ll put off you.
Another of my favourites (and I am sure many share this sentiment) is plugging in the Christmas tree lights for the first time. Usually I’ve done a goofy job of arranging them on the branches, and there’s often some tweaking required, but oh! the delight of that great twinkly moment.
Moment number four is peeling into the first orange of the season. I dig my fingernail (dirty from picking oranges all afternoon) into the rough skin of the fruit. The juice stings where I pulled on a hangnail, and a spritz of the peel’s oil perfumes my face. I subsist almost entirely on oranges from November to February every year. Every orange is delicious, especially the ones off my Grandpa’s old trees, but nothing quite tickles my glands or tingles my tastebuds like the First Orange of the Season.
…and this is where my post ended.
I tried to fill in the rest, but I find my mind in a void right now. I can’t remember which other moments I intended to write about. Maybe mowing the lawn for the first time of the season? Maybe the first cup of cocoa? Maybe the dust of Carson field after the first softball game of the season? Maybe after a long, dreary winter, the first day it’s nice enough to sleep with the windows open and wake to a morning breeze, no alarm clocks necessary?
I don’t know. I wish I could remember, but I can’t: my mind is in too different a place this September than it was three years ago. In September of 2007, I was not working. I was not going to school. I was not married. I was not Canadian.
So much has changed since then, and now it feels like my brain is on an island. It’s in the middle of this enormous ocean, with no lifeboat and no flares and only coconuts for food, not even fresh fish because it’s crap with a spear. It vaguely remembers when it was back on the mainland—when it wasn’t trapped in this dismal place using palm fronds for toilet paper—and it sort of recalls that life was good then, but it can’t figure out how to get back. There’s no lifeboat, and it’s not much of a swimmer.
I don’t remember how this post was supposed to’ve ended. I can’t put myself back in my old shoes, even though I remember that I used to like them quite a lot.
So instead, I’m leaving it to you to fill in the blanks for me. What are your perennial moments—the rare occasions that bring your life crushing to a halt out of sheer nostalgia? What moments do you live for, even if you forget that you live for them until they’ve already happened?