Magic Hour is the term for the first and last hour of sunlight in any given day. Everything is washed in golden light and there is an ethereal quality to the atmosphere. The orange and blue transitions to darkness as your eyes move from one side of the sky to the other. It’s a great time to take pictures. It’s also a time where I feel like anything is possible.
I’ve had a really good couple of weeks. I have moments, of course, but overall September has been the best month I’ve had in nearly a year. It feels very much like a sunrise; the cold and dark stillness of grief and loss is giving way to the warmth and brightness of life. I smile. I laugh. I don’t feel like I’m running on reserves anymore. The river is flowing again and it’s a very welcome feeling.
This afternoon, I went to lunch (so to speak) and drove the mile and a half to Taco Bueno. It was about 7:15 PM and right at the tail end of Magic Hour; the sun had disappeared behind the westernmost buildings and I was left with the diffuse glow. I got my food and pulled into a parking space to eat. I was eating my quesadilla when I suddenly wondered how many times Dad sat in the same car, doing the same thing. I know he ate out a lot, and would often eat in his car at the local Sonic. I could imagine him sitting there, eating his food. Radio on, probably, listening to one of the same 5 CDs he always had in his changer the last year of his life. Nobody to talk to. Just sitting there, going through a routine.
I didn’t get sad. I actually took comfort in the simplistic symmetry of the situation. As I contemplated this, a minivan pulled up beside me. A small child hopped out with his mother. He looked over at the car and said, “Wow, what a cool Mustang!” The mother agreed that, yes, it was indeed a cool Mustang, and followed that up by confirming that the boy wanted two burritos and a taco as they walked inside. When I heard the kid exclaim his approval, I turned my head, met his eyes, and smiled. He smiled back. I have to believe that when Dad found himself sitting in his car, eating by himself, that he had the same run-ins. It’s Magic Hour, after all. He was so proud of that car.
I miss him. A whole hell of a lot. I feel that his legacy is able to live on in his boys. Every time I make a bad joke, every time I gun the accelerator in his car, every time Steppenwolf plays on the stereo. Every time I call Tyler and ask how his car’s running without thinking about it. Every time I’m hanging out with my brother, we look at each other, and say, “Well…I don’t know.” and smile knowingly. So many little things. So many big things. He’ll never be completely gone, and that makes me smile.