Another View of Forever

You might say this is the sequel to “The View Of Forever” – it is in “Notes to Stephanie: Days Remembered”. I guess it is a sequel, and has some of the same ideas but also uses a theme I use elsewhere in all of my books.

One day not so long ago, I went to Bonds Ranch Road to see the “View of Forever.” It was a very sunny, but cold day, with a little wind from the north. I got there about 2:30 in the afternoon. There were a few streams of high clouds coming out of the southwest—a perfect day to gaze into the distance since the air was so clear.

I sat there thinking about things; and once again, I noticed just how much you can see from up there. In the distance some ten miles away, I could see Loop 820 turn to the southwest towards White Settlement—the sun was reflecting off of the cars and trucks, which could be seen even that far away. The horizons were sometimes fifteen miles away; parts of three counties were within view with their rolling terrain sloping to infinity and beyond. With such vistas, you could imagine yourself as an omnipotent god looking down from afar at the mere mortals going about their journeys.

Somewhat closer to me, you could see the water tower at Lake Worth, which is not so far from your house, sticking up over one of the hills to the south. Downtown could also be seen in that general direction—the skyscrapers pointing to heaven above the streets where we had walked hand in hand more than once.

And closest of all was Lake Country Estates, which was your favorite place to go to when you were looking at real estate. From my vantage point, you could see some of the places we had driven by. You could see the back of the strip center where we once bought some beer and areas of houses, such as the ones along the road on the ridge overlooking the rolling terrain to the north, including Bonds Ranch Road. Just like the view of 820, you could see the sun reflecting off of the cars going north and south on Boat Club Road.

This day was like one that we had spent together there once, and I listened to the pretty, but melancholy, song that was the theme from the movie Gran Torino. On that sunny day nearly three years ago, we had sat on the top of the hill, looking at the View of Forever and saw those same things together: the glint of faraway cars and the shapes of houses all framed by the sky, the clouds, and the bright light of the sun on a cold day. We sat there marveling at the sight and talked about our lives, and what was going on at the time. Together, we were at a place that seemed so far from the things that were weighing on us at that the time—a place surrounded by beauty and the endless sky that arched above us. We had a brief moment of peace and contentment there on a pretty day now long ago.

And then I came back to the present as the song was still playing. I gazed back to Loop 820; the glints of reflected sunlight seemed to flicker to the rhythm of the ghostly piano rifts in the song. Then it was still; nothing was heard; the song had ended. Only the wind was heard; there were no cars going down the road; and for a moment, there were no flashes of light from the distant cars. Time had stopped it seemed, and all was well even though you were not there with me. But that fine moment also ended like all such times do.

That time and place tells us many things about life. Life can be swirling around us; some things are close to us, and some are not. Events come and go at random—their frequency and severity ebbing and flowing ever constantly.

And then briefly, it all stops. Life is frozen around us, and all is quiet for awhile. The calm is all too brief as the cycle once more begins, and the flickers of experience once more appear in the distance. All set within the frame of time’s large window, like what I saw from the “View of Forever” one quiet winter day.

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