There are some summer evenings that you hope will last forever – you know the ones. The setting sun glows in the warmest tones of orange, yellow, and pink. The lake is calm, smooth, and clear like glass. The clouds, if any, are billowy and white – high in the sky overlooking with their approval. Wafting through the air is the smell of a nearby campfire, perhaps there’s a few marshmallows over it. In this moment, time seems to stand still but somehow also, the sun sets too quickly.
It’s these moments that I want to roll up the scene like a scroll and tuck it in a glass bottle, along with a whiff of campfire smoke. Sealing it with a cork. I would throw it into the lake and hope that in the midst of the darkest storm or a windy fall day somehow the waves would bring it back to me. Unsealing the bottle, I would take a deep breath and remember the moment.
Perhaps I might find it poking through the frozen surface of the lake in the middle of the dreary winter. One of those days where the only colors you see are black, white, and gray. Perhaps it will make me wait until spring, when the world thaws out and we’ve survived another harsh season. There it will be, floating towards me across the cold water, that moments before was still, silent ice.
In the meantime, I know it’s out there. I’ll remember fondly my perfect summer evening. I’ll smell the woodsmoke in my heart and squint at the memory of the sun glistening on the water. I’ll even hear the loons calling even though I know better that they are most likely long gone.
But I’ll remember. And I’ll have peace in my heart knowing that the moment is still out there. Even though it may be stormy or cold, dark or dreary, I know that my moment, my message in a bottle, will come around to me again.