Pittsburgh is gearing up for a heat wave. It’s that special time of year again. The old wooden house feels as if it were a clay oven, and it makes any work inside of it impossible. That leaves me to sit in the crisp night air on the balcony, armed only with a journal, a pen, and just enough light being thrown by a robe light wrapped around a glass patio table.
I had a beautiful moment on Friday. I was on the way to have a biopsy done, but I was dreadfully early. I took advantage of my time and strolled through the city. I walked past Trinity Cathedral and recalled the beauty of the buildings and the majesty of it’s cemetery surrounding it.
That’s when I discovered one of Downtown Pittsburgh’s hidden gems. It was almost as if it were a secret garden, hidden from the boulevard surrounding it. I went up the path and discovered a circle surrounded by foliage. Stone benches surrounded an immense, gorgeous fountain in the direct center. I sat down and wrote.
It reminded me of times when I was in college in the summertime where I’d go to the large fountain in the Cultural District and sit on the stone benches there. I’d write and feed the pigeons. It reminded me of a brisk, grey day where I found a quiet hiding spot near 6th to write while I wrapped my scarf tighter to my face.
I thought of all the beauty in this world that I was missing out on. The same simple beauty that brought such joy into my life.
Long car rides with my husband into the country in the summertime, with the windows all the way down, the wind on my face, the smell of fresh air. We had nothing but good music and good company.
Sitting on warm sand and digging your toes and feet into it while you feel the ocean spray on your face. Taking walks in the moonlight on the boardwalk.
Watching the moon rise. It’s so big and bright on the horizon.
Staying up all night talking until you watch the sun rise.
A cool breeze in stagnant air.
The smell of a thunderstorm. Even better, the smell of autumn.
The serenity of a cemetery after hours.
A good romantic movie.
And just laying in bed with the one you love.
These are the beautiful things,” I wrote, “these are the only things I want to remember when I die.”
But I want to experience these pretty things all throughout my life. A surprise of flowers on my kitchen table. Sitting in a magnolia tree. Taking my time. Smelling the roses. Appreciating my landscape.
There is so much beauty and wonder all around me that I often fail to see. I want to remember these things moreso in my life than in my death.