Falls Lake at Sunset...."borrowed" from this site
Saturday was gorgeous, in a 'dipped in gold' kind of way. Warm. Sunny. Unexpected. Wonderful.
Pardon me as I rhapsodize.
Wait, I did that on Saturday. Nevermind.......you can read about it a couple of entries below.
Anyhow, in celebration of the wonderfulness of the day, and also because maybe I didn't so much want to spend the remainder of the unexpected golden day drudging my way through cleaning and laundry, I took the kids to a nearby lake for a little fresh air and sunshine. (Yes, they still like to hang with Mom from time to time, even at their advanced ages.)
The lake, as one might expect, was pretty crowded for a January afternoon. People were there with their RC motorboats doing a little racing, there were multiple families having cookouts and picnics (can you imagine....it's freaking JANUARY!), little children swarmed all over the playground, kayakers swarmed all over the shoreline, and there were even a couple of young ladies in bikinis larking about.
In January. In North Carolina. Y'all, we're the South, but we're not THAT far south. Lordy lordy, what a day.
After a bit of a walk and bushel of quiet conversation, Things 1 and 2 and I managed to poke up a little trouble by throwing leaves and dry pine chats on the remains of some since-departed family's charcoal fire. Each puff of new smoke or bit of flame was celebrated, but we couldn't build up anything of note due to the rather dampish nature of the combustibles in the area, being as how it had rained the day before. However, damp does not readily dampen the pyromania of 2 preadolescent boys, so at least a half an hour was spent making small flames and getting covered with soot and smoky smells. It must also be said that their mother (ME, for all y'all playing along at home) was right in the game, being a pyro from way back. Much fun.
At length it was time to cash in the chips of the afternoon and go home. The sun was hovering along the edge of the low hills that roll along the edges of the lake, throwing long shadows out behind us as we walked back to the car. We passed a red pickup parked at the top of the lot, positioned to capture the maximal amount of sunset. On the tailgate sat a guy with a mop of curly light hair and a guitar, gilded and somehow perfect, strumming softly to his audience of none.
And this, my friends, is where we get to what I should have done.....
I should have stopped right then and there and asked him to play a song for me and my boys; a song that would dance us into the evening, something to remember. I should have slowly rocked with the Things as the sun slipped behind the trees, dancing to a stranger's songs as our shadows lengthened to giant's height before disappearing into a blue twilight. I should have thanked that guitar man for a moment of beauty, and offered him five dollars or a handshake and my name. Instead, I walked to the car, glancing only very quickly at him, gilded and somehow perfect, on the tailgate of his truck.
And wished I were brave enough to have captured that moment.
Have y'all ever done that? Let a moment slip? Tell me about them, won't you?