They’re not frequent, especially with social media perpetuating a constant state of consumption, and of course the daily routine of life and desks and work. But when they come around, it’s like stepping 3 feet outside your body, looking at a photograph of the present. They don’t even need to be happy, although most of them are – moreover, they’re just a reflection of knowing that being here, there or anywhere is simply where you need to be.
That being said: is it possible that, sometimes, the greatest loves of our lives aren’t people? That they can be defined by places, memories, and these collective moments instead?
I feel that way about this place sometimes. I feel it in its space, my growth, and our coinciding change.
More than swimming in alpine lakes, more than shrieking at our ski tracks in Granite Canyon, more than watching the sun set 15 miles deep in the Wind River Range, I’ve come to appreciate the ordinary greatness – a phrase a friend used in a eulogy for his father, and an idea that I haven’t stopped thinking about since. I had a crush on the Tetons, but I fell in love during all the times I had my back to them; like the countless nights we’ve spent on your couch, your birthday dinner when we talked about all the dark places you go when you turn one year older, or the pizza you brought me when I was feeling down. There are also moments we return to seasonally, like the grass at May Park; sweaty from lawn games, politickin’ about life and times. Eating ramen on the deck of the General Store after a weekday storm. Being 23 and walking into Disco Night like we owned the place (we did). The chairs outside Creekside on a summer evening when “everyone” was going to that one party (they were). And of course, all the times I’ve gotten in my car to just drive, with nowhere to go other than to think and listen and know not what it means to be, but to feel.
Consumed with the desire for extraordinary greatness and the next best thing, I often forget about the ordinary. Perhaps all it takes to remember is a return to the notion that said moments are nothing more than occasional magic.