Saturday, February 6, 2021


In the fall of 2000, my mom passed away.  I needed a change in life following that, and all the issues that came along with it. 
Everything was at a crossroads. 
The first week of February 2001 I was driving with everything I owned, my two cats, and first wife to Florida.
I was ready for a change.  And I knew Florida was just temporary from day one of the decision.  But it was a breath of fresh air to go.  And to be away for a while. 
And it was a risk.  Didn’t know anyone around.  Had to start fresh.  Which was what I wanted but also a little scary. 
This crossroads was critical, and I didn’t even know how much.  I was 26 by the time I finished unpacking in the middle of February.

I’m not a big fan of the band U2.  I’m not saying I don’t like them.  I just never really got into their music.  A few songs are awesome, for me.  Like “One” and “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” and a few others are awesome.  But never was a guy who ran out to buy their albums.    In the fall of 2000, they released “All That You Can't Leave Behind”.  About a month after my mom passed.  I didn’t think much of the album, or it’s lead single “Beautiful Day”.  I was working at Borders in Farmington CT when it came out, in the music department.  I do remember stocking the CD, and a lot of people buying it. 
And now in February 2001 I’m working in Borders in Tampa.  And it’s still selling.

I never found a radio station I really loved down there.  So, I was always playing tapes and CDs in the car. 


After about a month down there I wasn’t feeling the joy I was hoping for.  I was doing well, and my mind was at peace with a lot of what led me to want to get away.  But I wasn’t inspired.  I wasn’t excited.  I was still stuck at that crossroad in my heart. 

So I’m driving home from work on a early spring afternoon. 
Most days, weather-wise, just blend together after a while.  Even in the short time I had been there so far. It was raining.  Hard. 
I got off the highway and made a turn to a main drag of road and the clouds all blew away.  Sun started shining like crazy. 
I remember vividly ejecting the tape I was playing and dial flipping on the radio, just to hear something different.

And the opening notes of “Beautiful Day” starts playing… 

And I smiled. 
I was a beautiful day.  And all was going to be OK.  And I paid attention to the lyrics for the first time really.  And I felt relief.  I felt a weight lifted and pressure off me. 
And I felt good. 
My foot pushed the as pedal a little harder and I kept smiling.


And today.  Today I find myself at another crossroad.  And I'm not exactly happy about it.  And I don't have to be.  It is what it is.  And I know I'll pull through.  I know I'll be OK.  I have to be.  I can't go back to being that angry young man I was.  I'm stronger now.
Today, exactly 20 years to the day I pulled out of my driveway in Elmwood the day after a blizzard to move to Florida.

 And there it was. 

It’s a beautiful day.  Don’t let it get away.

No comments: