Last night it was New Year’s Eve. The last day of 2015 giving way to a new year. We were at a party dancing our feet off to Bollywood tunes. Two days earlier, it snowed. It was light and fluffy and almost wispy. Not much, but still, the first of the season. A day before that we received a news for which we’d been waiting for a long time. The night before we ordered in pizza and watched movies into the dawn.
Each day, a distinct identifiable entity. They will soon blend into each other and 2015 will be lost as a year when everything was just as it was supposed to be and nothing happened. Yet, years later a Facebook memory will crop up on your timeline and remind you the day when you experienced the beautiful rainbow slowly taking over the sky in a giant arc after the severe thunderstorm had passed. A day suddenly highlighted in color like a chosen postcard from the unrecognizable stacks of grey. But I doubt I’d remember how good the coffee had tasted afterwards in the wet cold. And the woman who smoked continuously, ignoring the complaints from others. But you see, they all happened on the same day. And yet time will devour them and I will never get them back.
That is why, my first post in the New Year is kind of a tribute to a few of the small moments during the last year, things that are too trivial to find a space in the elusive long term memory. Today I play the god of small things in this post, or perhaps just the curator.
Dusk. The Ogunquit beach. Sky, the palette of a mad artist – how else do you justify such chaos of colors? The ocean itself is a dark steely slate. Calm, meditative almost. A white sailboard like a dot far away. A small girl washes her sand buckets and puts them neatly away in the toy cart. A minute ago she was filling them up with wet sands to make towers and turrets of her castle. But now the day’s over. I have however just gotten there. I have placed my red chair on the sand and now I plan to read a book while the waves hug my feet. But then I spot a blue shell. It’s nothing like I have ever seen before. Blue with flecks of green, gold and grey. What a gorgeous creature it must have been! But then it crumbles – in my hand – into million pieces. Gone, forever. And nobody knows it was beautiful – except me and perhaps my red chair.
My hands are full. I balance a cup of coffee, the plate of my breakfast, my laptop and my purse between my two hands. I am my perpetually harassed self from running after time I never seem to catch. A meeting in two minutes, I must finish my bagel before that. I mix in cream and sugar to my coffee and reach out pick a plastic stirrer. Wham it goes. My hand hits the cup. Coffee flies everywhere! Now I have no time for another cup. A minute later as I droop from the lack of caffeine in my blood, a colleague places a steaming cup in front of me! I look up and she offers me a smile. A simple act of kindness, yet so special.
The road stretches ahead for as far as I can see. Lined on both sides with deciduous trees so colorful that it feels like the whole place is on fire. I open the sun roof of the car. The blast of crisp cold air hits me smack on my face as I poke my head out. Arijit Singh sings on. The sun shines from the jeweled blue sky through the filigree of leaves. A sugar maple leaf falls on my head. Green fields rise up to meet the mountains. A gravel road turns sharply from the main road holding promises of neverlands. He reads my mind and turns the car. Corn fields! And a bridge built in 1834! Can there be too much liking? Pure joy from just being there?
The unpacking has been going on since the morning. It never ends. Take off the protective covers off the furniture, set the kitchen up, organize the closet, put the boxes away. We have been living off of coffee and the unhealthiest of donuts since morning. We are covered in dirt and resemble two ghosts struck dead by paintballs. But we are determined to finish the bulk off by today, so tomorrow we can rest before resuming work the day after. I dig into another box I don’t remember packing expecting to find another mound of junk I have accumulated. A fountain pen and my old journal come out along with some old scribbling on post-its. I had lost them in some long forgotten past. Life does love to give us little moments of happiness in most unlikely of situations.
Such short moments were aplenty in the year that went by. And I did a sloppy job of preserving them. This year I am resolute to do better. Because life, after all, is lived in moments.