It was a quiet night. Dark, no one was about. The snow was falling softly but quickly. The street lights were glowing a warm yellow, their light descending and spreading like tall dresses silhouetting darkness. The snow was a surprise but most of my town had hustled home after work. The dreary weather, cold, rainy and blustery had given everyone an extra push home. Now after 10 pm I was finding myself shivering in my car, waiting for “Moondance” by Van Morrison to finish on my car radio. I hadn’t been expecting the snow and my apparel wasn’t exactly ideal for it.
I’ve always loved snow. It’s so romantic. I watched the plow rumble another path down the parking lot of my grocery store. There may have been 8 cars in the parking lot, a far cry from what it typically holds during the day.
Being single means doing things on your own. But it also means being aware that you are single while you do the most simple tasks- alone. There’s something about it. Maybe Hallmark has finally worked its way into our subconscious and made us hyper aware. Who knows.
“Moondance” ended and I pulled my much too light coat around me and took a breath. Out into the wintery white I go. I stepped out and was hit with a gust of wind. It took my breath away. I spun and shut my door, the lock mechanism was frozen, so I had to keep my hand on it as I made sure it sealed. I hurried through the growing inch of snow in my worn out sneakers, suddenly remembering the holes I had in them as the icy snow melted through my sock and bit at my toes. Inside. Inside. Inside. Just get inside.
The grocery store has always been a nice peaceful place at night for me (not Wal*Mart). I prefer to do my shopping unbothered by frantic cart pushers, anxious moms, slow seasoned citizens, and crying kids. I’d much prefer dodging shelf stockers and zero lines in the checkout. I can wander about, meander as I wish and ponder my food decisions. It’s nice.
Despite it being “nice” tonight, the sting of being alone was pressing to the forefront of my thoughts. I knew if I let it linger too long I’d be depressed for the duration of my evening. I was tired. Tired emotionally, spiritually, physically- you know what I mean. You feel worn out to the core. So tired you just want someone to help you. You crave the relaxation of knowing someone was there for you. But alone, there is no peace for that restlessness in the tired soul.
Part of being a Romantic means being romanced by love and sometimes the tragedy of love. You waltz with limitless joy and crushing heartbreak and still believe in true love. It’s the curse of every Hopeless Romantic. That’s what makes us Hopeless, in fact.
Tonight I was feeling melancholy and joyful all at the same time. Each emotion felt like it was fighting it’s own D-Day invasion against the other.
Until, in that nearly quiet grocery store in my little town in the Midwest, Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” came over the radio, reaching every corner of the store.
The moment the strings of that guitar began to vibrate a tune I felt both emotions turn into two oceans and crash against each other, mix and sway together. I was swaying right there in front of the packaged peanuts with a sad, happy, hopeful, smile on my face.
God Bless Ed, writing a song (once more) with enough heart to make you want to cry and enough hope and love to make you want to sing and dance.
I shamelessly sang that song aloud in the store while I selected my yogurt, fruit, nuts, honey and english muffins and made my way to the flower counter on the off chance there were a few left over discounted flowers from the week before.
Apparently I needed the image of someone loving me til my old age, someone taking me into their loving arms and being kissed under the light of a thousand stars. There was something soul-settling hearing this song in the empty store while I shopped for lonely me. It felt like I’d been hugged and kissed on the neck by a friendly ghost.
Funny to think about I suppose. But I fully believe you’ll find yourself in a similar situation one day and you’ll stop and think, “This is it. This is what she meant.”
*I went a little shorter and lighter today. Hope you enjoyed it.
Here is Ed Sheeran’s song “Thinking Out Loud.” Just to you can get the full effect. 😉 Let this run through your veins and let yourself feel the feels.
The Mild Millennial