Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy Moments

Colorado Sunset
I've been working too hard for too many days in a row since going back to work after my surgery, and tonight a good friend lured me away from work on time to go out to dinner.  We went to a local vegetarian restaurant, Cafe Gratitude, where the food is great.  They also have a question of the day.  Today's question was:  What was the happiest moment in your life?

The question brought me out of work-exhaustion mode, and I started to cast my mind back through the years.  It didn't take too long for a moment to come to mind, though I seldom think of the incident these years.  I don't know it was THE happiest moment, but it certainly ranks up there.

I was seventeen, starting my senior year of high school, convinced that no one was EVER going to want to go out with me or find me attractive.  I'd joined the diving team that year, and had a huge crush on the diving coach, who was just a year older than I.  He paid me no more or less attention than any other girl on the team, but I thought he was the cutest guy EVER.

The team had gone up to northern Minnesota for an overnight swim meet, and the event was followed by a cookout at the home of one of the girls on the other team, whose family owned a place on one of the local lakes.  It was shortly after the first anniversary of Mom's death, and I felt disconnected and alone in the group laughing around the campfire.  So I left, and made my way down to the dock to sit by myself for a bit.

It was a cool night, with a new moon.  The sky was clear and you could see a gazillion stars.  As I sat there, feeling the chill of fall in the air, drinking in the beauty before me, starting to feel a little better, I heard someone else coming down the hill.  At first I was annoyed to find my solitude interrupted, but then I realized it was Bob, the diving coach.  He said hullo, and sat down on the dock near me.  Just a few minutes later, as we were talking, he moved closer.  He sat right behind me, so I could lean back against him, and he began to point out the constellations.  We sat this way for perhaps thirty minutes before someone else came down to the dock and he moved away.

For those thirty minutes, I was the happiest teenager in the whole. wide. world.

Never mind the next day when he went back to his cool, professional self, and I was crushed.  The hurt faded after a short time.  The joy, however, has stayed with me through the years.  That night I learned that sometimes, even if it's just for a short while, dreams can come true.

Even for gawky, too tall, socially inept, shy teenaged girls, who are unaware of how beautiful they really are.

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