Today, March 4, 2021, for me at least, is a Halcyon Day.
When I was a lot younger, in grade school in Baltimore, there were days, usually in March, when the air is clean and dry and crystal clear, the breeze is cool, but just so cool as to not cause a shiver, the sun is warm, not hot, and the sky is so blue it literally hurts to look at it. I was usually doing something during those days, in school, running errands, or working, even so I would stop and breath in the air, feel the warmth of the sun on my face, feel the cool breeze on my back, and stare longingly at the sapphire sky and wish that I could just have that moment a bit longer.
I called those days Halcyon Days. They were few and too far between, but when they showed up they were easy to recognize. People seemed a bit kinder, birdsong seemed a bit sweeter, and life always seemed so full of possibilities.
Today started off normally. I woke at 4am and made coffee, then went back to bed. I got up officially at 6am and went through my normal morning routine. I was meeting a friend at Canaveral National Seashore, specifically, Playa Linda Beach. The beach and seashore is a protected area and is maintained in its natural state with only one road to the beach, the only buildings are restrooms, and there’s limited parking. There are boardwalks to get from the parking lots to the beach, but those and the restrooms are the only man only manmade structures from the fence that borders Kennedy Space Center to the sign the designates the end of Playa Linda Beach (a distance of about 4 miles) and the beginning of Back Country, a 10 mile stretch of beach and intercostal wetlands that does not even have roads and access is limited to a maximum of 50 visitors a day.
It was on the beach when I recognized one of those halcyon moments. We were walking with the wind at our backs, the sun in our faces, crystalline air tinged with sea salt filled our lungs. Formations of gulls and brown pelicans cruised the dunes, riding the updraft caused by the ocean pumped wind blowing up along the dunes. Plovers played tag with the waves, royal terns congregated with beaks into the wind as if, by their numbers, they could defy its strength.
The sand was clean and warm, the Atlantic was deep blue with white caps and the susurration of the waves drowned out any negative thoughts.
A perfect moment in a day of perfect moments. A Halcyon Day.
On Amazon Prime there is a movie called Map of Tiny Perfect Things. In it a young man finds that he can live a day over and over again. As he goes through that day knowing it will repeat itself at midnight he decides to make little tweaks in the lives of the people around him. He stops a man from walking in front of a car, prevents a glass from breaking, keeps a girl from getting knocked into a swimming pool, and so on. He knows exactly when each occurrence will happen because he’s seen them all and nothing changes.
He also creates a map of perfect moments during the endlessly renewed day, moments he gets to see and experience again and again and enjoy each time. A man, after completing an act of kindness, sits on a seat just as a bus with an advertisement that has a set of angels wings stops behind the man, producing an image of him as an angel. The moment is brief and you’d have to be in the right place at the right time to see it, but the young man has all the time in the world to see it and other tiny, but brief moments of perfection.
Today, is like that for me. Moments of perfections that likely occur everyday, but today I saw them, felt them, experienced them, and that, in itself is perfect.