Posts Tagged ‘memories’

Open Eyes

I took a quick road trip to my hometown this weekend. I drove right past the crowds and the news vans and the roadside memorials, choosing not to make this trip about the sensational tragedy that took place last week. Instead, I spent hours reconnecting with my best friend from kindergarten. She’s my “be fri” and I’m her “st ends”, as evidenced by the corny, broken-heart necklaces we both still have from grade school. We talked about work, life, love, and our lack of appreciation for what’s right in front of our faces in this never-ending quest for happiness.

As I departed I looked out at the beautiful desert, reminded of the days when we learned to make prickly pear jelly and dried fruit leather out on the porch. I drove past my elementary school where my first and only screenplay was acted out in front of the whole assembly by the cool, older sixth-graders. As I went by my junior high I wondered if the mural still hung in the library, and my mind wandered to those mornings when I got out of class to help paint it with my first major crush. I giggled again like a schoolgirl as I envisioned him painting his “autograph” on my cutoff jeans; I don’t think I ever washed those.

Why is it that so often it takes a terrible act to force us to take stock of our lives? I’m not claiming to be happy or to have found the meaning of life, I’ve been the textbook definition of alone since birth, I’m overweight, sick of the city, and unsatisfied with a typical 9-5 job. But today I’m surrounded by amazing people, I have experiences of which others only dream, and if I can just remember to see the beauty in each and every day, I might just make the world a better place.

On the drive back across the desert, I passed by an orchard I’ve seen a million times. I pulled over and truly saw it for the first…