1985 was my summer of the blue sunglasses, which meant of course I wore them down to The Cumberland Mountain State Park for my grandparents week-long 50th wedding anniversary celebration/family reunion. I loved those sunglasses. To me they said sophisticated with a splash of funk, exactly what I was aiming for. I wore them everywhere sunglasses were remotely called for.
Living close to nature for the week worked well for sunglass wearing, given the outside focus. In addition to the trails and the trees, there was a lake and there were canoes, so one day we put together a canoe plan, divvying ourselves up and parceling the young, non-paddlers out amongst us. My 5-year-old cousin, Andy, was in mine.
We paddle around for a while, taking a pause in the middle of the lake where he takes notice of my glasses and asks if he can try them on. Of course he can! I hand them over and watch him carefully hook them over his ears, tilting up his tiny face to keep them on.
He looks at at me with the “how do I look” look. Adorable. Then he starts looking around with his new, blue-sunglassed view of the world. He’s systematic, looking straight ahead, up, over to one side, over to the other, then swivels around for a look behind. There’s only one direction left.
Edging to the side of the canoe, he peers over. In an instant the glasses drop off his innocent face and disappear through the surface of the water, passing through so fast time stops. He turns to me with a wide-eyed look of simultaneous shock and terrible comprehension: the astonishment of gone.
Gone, gone, gone.
YouTube rough reading of Blue sunglasses
Photo — me and Zoe, my 4.5 year-old granddaughter.
The stories in this blog are excerpts from my memoir, The Organization Project. While they are true to me and reflect how I see, I acknowledge there are multiple truths, including my own which change over time, even as the events themselves remain the same. What I make of an event 5 years out may not be what I make of it 10 years out.