Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sunset, And Evening Star

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

It's been a really, really long week. Not necessarily a bad week, definitely containing a lot of good, but a week that has had more than its fair share of challenges, and really just a long week that feels like it's stretching on and on and on with no end in sight.

And really, I'm not unhappy. Just tired. (Really, really tired.) And a little bit discouraged. I thought I'd wake up with better answers after sleeping on it last night, but I didn't. I have an issue I have to deal with this weekend, and I'm dreading it.  

(Also, I want coffee.  Because for half an hour this week, I'd just like to be fully awake and perky and not feel like I could crawl up on the floor and snooze.)

It all sort of hit me this afternoon, and I sat in my truck in the parking lot of the pool and contemplated whether I had time to have a good cry and hide the evidence before I had to be at work. (No.) 

I climbed out of the pool after coaching, dried off and dressed, and drove the 1/4 mile around campus to the top of the hill, where I was met with the most beautiful of sunsets, and on a whim I pulled over and got out of the truck, to stand in the cold for twenty minutes and watch the sky try on different shades of orange.

Within minutes, the evening star (Venus?) appeared in the sky, and instantly the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson rose in my heart. "Sunset, and evening star, and one clear call for me..." I've tried to memorize this poem a hundred times, always getting my lines jumbled and mixed, and only ever able to recite it with Yoga-esque concentration. And I'm always caught off guard when my voice catches on the last stanza, even though - to my memory - I've never been able to read it without tearing up.

And so it was tonight; I stood in the brutal, painful cold as my fingers turned numb and my face burned, whispering lines of poetry into the wind, and suddenly I was crying, crying with joy and frustration and thankfulness and discouragement all at once.

The wind dried my tears almost instantly, and by the time I got back in the car, a sprinkling of stars had appeared in the sky, even though the night hadn't yet fully enveloped it.

My phone buzzed, a text from my boss, and I retraced the 1/4 mile to the pool to drop off some paperwork. He looked up in surprise when I walked in.

"I hope you didn't come back just for this," he told me.

"Don't worry," I told him, smiling. "I wasn't far. Just watching the sun set."

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