I'm still working on my adventure list so I can join in with Emily's stories at Keeping Time, but until my list is ready, I thought I'd go ahead and share a story. Something from my life that will grace my list of adventures. Something I never want to forget.
It had snowed all of Christmas Eve, covering the world in glittering white. And it was deep snow. Softly pillowing and muffling the sounds of a busy Christmas Day.
Near sunset, in the car with the heater blasting, Justin kept his surprise to himself. We wove along quiet, white roads, hands laced together over the middle console. I squinted against the brightness of the setting sun, trying to remain patient. Where were we going?
Slowly, he pulled the car alongside the curb of an empty road, and turned off the ignition. We sat. I swiveled my head, trying to understand why we were here: the park. It was sprawling and gorgeous and lively...in the springtime. But now, in winter? All of the ancient sycamores and maples were draped in white and while that effect was stunning, I was stumped. I'd already gotten a thoughtful gift from Justin earlier that morning: my star-sapphire ring; there was nothing more to give.
Still, he came around to my door, hauled me from the warmth of the seat, and escorted me across the powder. We stumbled and slipped, and it wasn't all accidental: I wanted to be caught in his strong arms. He led me across the empty park to the large gazebo, up a dozen cement-and-snow steps, to the middle of the floor. Snow drifted in around the edges of the outdoor room, frozen breezes picking up glittery flakes and swirling them around us.
Off to one side, near a scooted-away picnic table, there was a portable stereo. While I stood, confused, Justin stepped over to the machine, pressed a few buttons, and came back to me. His arms encircled my waist, pulled me towards his chest, and as the music started, we began to dance.
I shook my head at his stealth and romance, and placed my arms around his neck. We were a bundle of coats and scarves, gloves and boots. A puffed-up couple of lovebirds, fluffing our feathers to keep warm. The sun pricked out bits of flying light on individual snowflakes. They landed in our hair, on our red cheeks, and melted on our lips.
Music floated with the snow. My heart skipped two beats each time my face reached for the exposed part of Justin's neck. He was warm and freezing, all at once.
The sun continued to fall as we danced, making the expanse of snow-covered park turn shades of pink and orange. Then purple. Then blue.
The truest colors of Christmas.
And this story needs to remain even more firmly rooted in my memory now, because after the tornado, this old, sprawling park is gone. All of the grand, stately trees and the tall-stepped gazebo...the swells and dips of the rolling land are now bare. The surface is scrubbed clean of any trace of memory.
So I wrote it down. Take THAT, F5.