It wasn't Paris. It wasn't even D.C. There was no limestone monolith, no Capitol dome. Instead, there was corporate America, stone and glass, with the name of a major defense contractor emblazoned on the facade.
But in that strange way that a landscape sometimes becomes the emotions we experience in it, this view become a mountain vista, a red-rock canyon panorama. Because as I sat there sipping raspberry iced tea, the neighborhood stirring to life after a long winter, I thought about how the world I inhabited at the time, one that had shrunk to a series of difficult duties, didn't have to be my world anymore. There was a way out.
The realization hit me like a thunderclap. I hadn't even interviewed for the job yet. I had no idea if I'd get it or want it. But something would come through. I would have possibility in my life again.
I walk past this spot most every day now. Sometimes I'm lost in thought, other times I'm worn out after a long day. But every time I pass, I think about the feeling I had that first day. What a gift it was, unbidden and unbound — an hour and a day of pure possibility.