As a former English major who’s spent more time with fictional characters than most normal people, I often have difficulty with reality. So when presented with an assignment during my sophomore year in college to create a “Wordsworthian moment” and find something beautiful in something ordinary, I wasn’t worried at all. I did this on a daily basis to keep my idealistic worldview intact, so I was confident I could breeze through this.
This was my plan: have my friend meet me before classes at a pretty spot on campus to eat homemade muffins, drink coffee, and watch the sunrise. I already had my response written in my head; that’s how confident I was that this would be the quintessential Wordsworthian moment.
Unfortunately, what I didn’t realize is that a healthy dose of reality is often necessary to create such an ideal situation. For example:
- If you forget to make muffins the night before, you will oversleep and have to ask your friend to stop at McDonald’s on her way to campus.
- If you fail to check the weather forecast, chances are it will be gloomy and gray, and you won’t be able to see any sunshine at all, much less the sunrise.
- And, if the sun rises in the east, it’s a good idea to make sure you aren’t facing the opposite direction. #fail
Instead of having the perfectly crafted Wordsworthian moment, my friend and I ended up laughing hysterically while eating our greasy fast food breakfasts on a damp, cloudy morning. And we had a blast. So much so that we recreated it the morning before graduation.
I learned something that day that I’ve never forgotten, even five years later (kudos to you Dr. Thomas).
I learned that ideal conditions aren’t necessary for an ideal moment. Looking back, some of my favorite memories come from times when reality was just plain ugly, but we found ways to create our own joy.
And that’s what this space is all about: taking time to enjoy all of the western sunrises on all of our cloudy days.