The first great love of my life was when I was in college in Eastern Kentucky. About this time every year an image of her and an amazing night flutters into my mind.
On a particularly magical winter night we went walking around campus together. Snow covered the ground. The air was clear and cold and still. She wore a bright red coat. We held gloved hands and walked and talked for hours. I have no recollection of what we talked about, but since I’m usually so quiet the fact that we could talk so much is nothing short of miraculous to me. Even if there were nothing else special about her, that alone would earn her a shrine in my heart.
At one point we made snow angels — something I hadn’t done since I was a kid and haven’t done since. Two angels wing-to-wing in the snow. When we stood to admire our work, I looked at her and saw an angel at my side. Snowflakes clinging to the lashes over her brown eyes. Her cheeks flushed. There might have been a halo. It was a perfect moment.
The following summer she started dating someone else — the guy she later married. We stayed friends for a few years, but gradually lost touch after she moved away and started her family. I used to think it was important to stay friends with women I dated. Since then I’ve learned that it’s not always possible and not always a good idea even if it is possible, but that’s a different story….
Those snow angels were probably trampled the next day and, of course, they naturally melted away soon after we made them. Such things are not meant to last. But my memory of the angels and the night and the girl lingers. And it still warms me on the coldest nights.
*****Tim VanSant is a technician and rogue poet in academician’s clothing. He thinks too much and sometimes he writes what he thinks. He has a face made for radio, a voice made for print, and a blog suitable for lining your NeoPet’s cage.
Image: "snow flake on eyelash" copyright 2012