Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happiness is Sunset Over Lake Tahoe

This year was the 2nd consecutive year I was absent from my traditional Fourth of July plans in my hometown. (And only the third in my entire life.) Last year I maneuvered through the streets of Chicago with my ex boyfriend, photographing some of our last moments as a couple in front of the Sears Tower and the giant Kidney Bean. This year, I decided to forgo making the 6-hour red eye home when flight prices spiked above $600. I packed my car Thursday afternoon and fought traffic for 5 hours en route to Lake Tahoe. Prior to the trip I was hesitant about committing to the weekend with a group I hardly knew outside of the weekend bar scene. The Fourth of July weekend had accrued sacred rights with me, and I wasn't prepared to turn over the highly-anticipated summer holiday to just anyone.

At the end of our first full day, I sauntered down to the water line with a few friends to catch the sunset. I balanced out to the edge where the waves broke against the rocks. I closed my eyes and soaked in the moment: the way the cool evening breeze gently combed through my hair, the receding sun beams bouncing off of my face and the tickle of the breaking waves against the palms of my feet. I opened my eyes and gazed out at the sinking sunshine cascading over the lake through the crest of snow capped mountains, yearning to stay in that moment forever.

There are certain snippets of time in my life where I have to pause to drink in gallons of happiness. Collections of moments dense with beautiful surroundings or with people I love permeate my happy memories. This moment, sitting along the lake with new friends illuminated by the shrinking sun over a summer lake circumscribed by mountains, was certainly one of them.

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