It was the whole mix of circumstances, I suppose... the first bearable car ride I'd had in a week, considering my car's air conditioning isn't in top form. (Anyone who loves summer should spend half an hour in my car with me, in rush hour traffic, in the kind of weather we had last week. It'll cure you.) A near-perfect mix of Ryan Adams, Eva Cassidy, and Sigur Ros. A miraculous 10-minute wait at customs, which has taken as long as 1.5 hours in the past. So looking forward to seeing my husband for the first time in a week, without a trace of the resentment I was braced to be feeling, since I had made the drive home & back alone, and worked long hours, while he spent the week reading and writing at his parents' house.
So, after cruising through the border, my trek more than halfway over, I was feeling grateful and calm. And even as we funneled down to one lane of traffic, flanked by orange barrel cones, somebody threw a switch somewhere, and suddenly everything was lovely. I couldn't remember the last time the air felt so cool and delicious. Every surrounding field was thriving with crops, hemmed in by lush woods as thick as brick walls. The sinking sun beamed rays of light through the dust stirred up by construction equipment earlier in the day.
And as fickle summer evening skies sometimes do, for the next hour, the slow sunset was epic in every direction. There's nothing like a little atmospheric upheaval to make summer sunsets some of the most dramatic and color-saturated of the year. I wish I had taken pictures, but I can hardly talk on the phone and drive at the same time, let alone operate a camera without killing anybody.
I suppose life is made up of endless subtle, pleasant moments like that hour was for me, but the gift of it was the simple beauty made so plain. A small portion of that loveliness slipped through my normal, flawed filters, and for a little while I could absorb and revel in it, rather than letting it pass by unnoticed as so many do.