(After posting about about the Pope in 1979, here's another fall memory, 27 years later.)
In the fall of 2006, I was stressed out. Work was stressing me out, the demands of a new baby were stressing me out, and my worrying brain was making it worse.
My friend John was getting married in Chicago that September, and Michael and I flew out a few days early to spend some extra time with my family. The trip was a much-needed break from the stress I was feeling.
Unlike our usual trips to Chicago, this one wasn't packed with things to do. One evening, Michael and I were looking for something to do, so we went with my father to my 11-year-old sister's club soccer practice on the fields outside of Taft High School. While she practiced, Michael ran around and kicked a soccer ball with me. He seemed so big back then (and was kicking the ball well), but I must remind myself he wasn't even 3 (Michael will always seem so big to me, no matter what age I'm remembering him at).
The sunset becomes startlingly early in September in Chicago, and soon, dusk was encroaching upon the soccer field. It felt so familiar. After being in Utah for six years -- and working through most sunsets -- there was a powerful familiarity to that evening. I don't want to say I forgot all my stresses, but that night, they were mildly soothed by the pink sky of the soon-to-be-dark evening.
The next night, with nothing to do, I asked my dad if we could tag along to soccer practice again. I needed that fall Chicago sunset again.