I woke up automatically at 6:30 on Saturday morning, even though I went to bed late on Friday, and I couldn’t fall back asleep. I decided that since I couldn’t catch that sunrise the week before, I would try again. Note to self: check out the window before you get dressed and head outside and find it overcast. I decided to keep driving anyway and see what turned up. For some reason, I really wanted to head west toward the Great Salt Lake and hoped the sun came out. It never really did, although I could see a few glimpses of it in the far distance.
I stopped around Saltair.
I always want Saltair to be as grand as it is in old photos and postcards. I mean, look at this:
How awesome would it be to have something like that perched on the edge of the Great Salt Lake? And in my imagination, it still is. But when you get there, you just see this:
Is there anything more depressing? Except for maybe this sign?
Summer is over, and even the lovely part of fall is gone. Now it’s just November. I always want to stick up for November because it’s my birth month and it’s not so bad. It’s got Thanksgiving and the Day After Thanksgiving (which is my new favorite holiday) and it feels all warm and cozy and orange and pumpkin spicey when you’re indoors. It’s just that sometimes, November feels like this…
cold and dreary and the start of a never-ending winter.
And then I was watching The Wonder Years while I made waffles, and it was all about mothers letting their sons go, and I just got that little ache in my heart that appears whenever I think about how much I would like to be a mother. I know I’m not really supposed to say that. At least, it feels like I’m not supposed to talk about it because it might make other people uncomfortable and say something encouraging. But at almost 33 and still single, it’s something I think about. And some days, it really weighs me down. Saturday was one of those days.
I’ve been on a big L.M. Montgomery kick lately, so I turned to her for comfort. Have you ever read The Blue Castle? It’s not one of her better known novels, but because I was obsessed with her and read everything she has ever written, I have read The Blue Castle. It’s about Valancy, a 29-year-old old maid who finds out she only has one year to live, so she radically changes her life and finds love in the process. When I was 12, I thought 29-year-old Valancy was way too old to be the heroine of a romance novel. And you won’t blame me when you see the cover.
They look majorly old, right? So as a 12-year-old, I just couldn’t relate to Valancy Stirling. Plus, she liked nature books and didn’t really have cute clothes, and she’s described as being a little plain. When you’re young, you want all your heroines to be the superlatives of everything – the most beautiful, the best dressed, the richest, the most loved (which is, incidentally, why I think Twilight became so popular… those vampires are so superlative). Anyway, I re-read the book again when I was about 28, and I sympathized with Valancy much more easily. It seems a little overdramatic now, but when I read this
She was twenty-nine, lonely, undesired, ill-favoured – the only homely girl in a handsome clan, with no past and no future. As far as she could look back, life was drab and colourless, with not one single crimson or purple spot anywhere. As far as she could look forward it seemed certain to be just the same until she was nothing but a solitary, little withered leaf clinging to a wintry bough. The moment when a woman realises that she has nothing to live for – neither love, duty, purpose, nor hope – holds for her the bitterness of death.
on a dreary Saturday morning, I felt sure it was true and that my life held the bitterness of death. And sure, Valancy can run off and find love (who – spoilers! – happens to be a millionaire and her favorite nature writer to boot), but it wasn’t going to happen for me.
I decided to run off somewhere else. I went to the temple instead.
I’d like to say that I left the temple feeling a lot better, but I didn’t. My heart was a still a little weary, but I was comforted and rather than focusing so intently on that one single moment of my life, I thought more about the overall picture. And best of all, I knew that tomorrow would be another day.