Just to start out, I should point out that I leave my car outside at home because we have what appears to be a 1.95-car garage. Since the sun comes up on that side of the house, I haven’t had to scrape my car in the morning after light frosts, because the ice has already melted.

Now, to get sappy. 🙂

When I went out to the car this morning, as usual the ice had melted and the water was rapidly steaming off the roof of the car. It’s always interesting to note, but I hadn’t really seen it until this morning. As I started to get into the car, I turned my head and saw sunlight filtering through wisps of steam rising off the car, diffuse threads intertwining and dancing to the increasingly chaotic motion of the molecules, only to disappear from my vision a few inches from the pool of mist and reflective water that created them.

I wanted to capture the image. A photograph — at least as taken by me — wouldn’t convey the dynamic nature of the sight. Video? Maybe, but I couldn’t imagine seeing it in two dimensions and ever feeling the way I did then.

Then it hit me, which is a pretty impressive feat while I’m dragging my way out to the car in the morning. While there were many ways to try to record the image, there was no way besides memory to capture what really made it special: That first rush, the stunning sensation of seeing something new and beautiful, and having your world focus on that instant, yet open up far beyond where you were just before.

It’s good to have those moments. Memory may be ephemeral, but I know from it that seeing Saturn through a small telescope, looking down at squares of farmland from an airplane, watching a plastic bag in American Beauty, seeing my wife walking through the doors of the chapel the day of our wedding…those are the moments that I changed, and got to be a little bit better, even in just a small way.