By Shirley M. Last Summer, I bought a new pair of sunglasses. The lenses are bigger than my old ones and were chosen because I decided that I needed better sun protection for my eyes. At the store, I was given the choice of cool grey lenses, that made the glasses look like an accessory straight out of a gangster movie, or yellow-sepia lenses, that made me look like a Jackie Kennedy/Onassis wanna be. I chose the yellow-sepia ones, no contest!
The yellow lenses make my world a little sunnier, but the sepia tint gives those sunny days a nostalgic feeling. It is the color we often see in film scenes when characters remember their happier yesteryear.
As I have mentioned before, in a different article, I consider Autumn to be a nostalgic and melancholy time. It is our last adieu to nature and warm, comfortable days. As daylight shortens, Autumn becomes even more attractive as I realize that our time together is coming to an end. As a lover’s parting gift, Autumn turns the landscape into an explosion of vibrant colors. My glasses make my surroundings even sunnier and warm, at the same time transforming it into instantaneous nostalgic memories. I will be walking in a park and my mind will start wondering until I catch myself thinking that I should capture this sunny and colorful scene as if it were a photograph – a memento of this bittersweet moment (“Oh, what good times we had together!…”). Until I raise my glasses, freeing my vision from the yellow enchantment of my lenses, to view the present as it really is: a greyish day in Fall, where the trees, not yet at their full color peak, still display lighter green leaves.
I feel like a rejected lover – a break up of sorts. Recrimination and guilt (“Why can’t you love me for who I am? I want you to see me as I really am.” “How can you doubt my love? My heart still beats hard every time I remember the way we were – those beautiful, romantic moments of two seconds ago. I might have been wearing my glasses, but I only have eyes for you.” We negotiate a tentative reconciliation.
But maybe we should take some time off from each other. Perhaps absence will indeed make our hearts fonder. I don’t want to part, but we know we can’t stay together anymore. We finally say our goodbyes already regretting our misspoken words and our petty disagreements.
As I walk, once more, through that park remembering how happy we were together, I meet unexpectedly with someone I haven’t seen in a long while. It is a little bit of a shock. I feel awkward as we greet each other, because for me, this one is a love/hate relationship. My sunglasses magic can only work so far in transforming the white snow that falls silently around me.