It was a chilly afternoon, the temperature had warmed since the blizzard that plowed through western Virginia, but the snow remained. We had arrived in the mountains an hour or so before sunset. It was just enough time to summit Spy Rock. We were hoping to catch the glimpse of a comet—or maybe it was a planet—visible on the western horizon after the sun fell from view.
A woman accompanied me, my new traveling companion, for a time. She was a beautifully stubborn woman and my new sudden and unexpected crush. I took a stab at building a romance with her; this trip was after my initial failure. I hadn’t entirely given up, but such a desire was put on the back-burner. She trusted me enough to spend a weekend in a cabin in the woods, so I would let the relationship grow as fate would have it. There was already a great friendship, and she was with in this moment, so there was little need to force it.
Spy Rock is quite the site. It is a large collection of boulders sitting on the mountain’s edge. The rocks sit precariously as if they could slide into the valley at any moment. The rocks grant a 360-degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a deep blue or purple landscape in the failing light. It had been a clear day, but, as luck would have it, a blanket of clouds covered the lower western horizon, exactly where the celestial event we came to see would be. Still a fiery band of fading daylight, contrasted with long thin wisps of purple clouds was still a site worthy of the hike. And worthy of the company.
It was a fun, silly evening. In a moment, of exultation at being atop Spy Rock, she forgot which direction was west, which I kindly nodded my head in the direction of the setting sun. Her face contorted in embarrassment and laughter at her obvious mistake.
We were sitting and chatting in view of the setting sun when she took this picture, contrasting my giant feet next to her tiny shoes. Obviously, she was shorter than me. I had nicknamed her Half-Pint because of it. When I had first called her that was probably the time I realized how far I had fallen, because she shot an accusing glance at me and called me “Quart”. Such a small exchange, but that was when everything changed for me.
The picture displays the silliness of the moment and a fond memory, but it also symbolizes the miles we traveled together as our relationship grew and the goofy adventures we had. It is my favorite picture of her and our time together. Moments like these are ephemeral, and soon time and drive sent us on different paths. However, there is always something of her in my life from all we shared: music, a sunset, a mountain hike, or a nightly stroll on a bioluminescent beach. It is amazing how some people, or even moments, alter our entire lives.
© 2018 C.J. Staryk. All Rights Reserved.