The view across the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, out of the Union Heights Office Tower windows, was changing constantly.
“I can hardly see downtown,” Heather Bollinger said as she looked out from her seat at the conference table.
Heather, Crystal Shelley and I looked out at dark clouds with an underlying skirt of mist roll through the valley as our meeting progressed. And soon, we could see small drops of rain begin to randomly mark the large glass windowpanes in front of us. But alternating streams of sunshine also created highlights and guided our eyes to drink in streams of hope. It was as if we were seated in life’s classroom on a Friday afternoon, during a dynamic display of nature.
We took note of nature’s majesty outside the windows. Then my gaze left the streaks of clouds, mist and sunshine and was drawn to Crystal’s bright smile. It held my eyes and captured my breath, right up to the end of our work together, before I stepped out of the conference room.
After a few steps out of the room, I hesitated, and then retraced my path back into the room where Crystal was tidying up.
“I’m so glad you’ve found your smile again,” I said.
“Thanks!” She beamed back. “I had a little rough patch for a while.”
“It’s so beautiful and I just wanted you to know I’m happy for you!”
I finished, and walked back through the reception area to go to other late afternoon and evening appointments.
By the time I entered my car and began to drive west on Interstate 215, there was no streaming light at all. The sun’s smile had been completely blotted out. There were no small drops of water randomly marking the windshield directly in front of me. I was driving in a torrent; a torrent that slowed traffic to a slow crawl, through what I can only describe as the 215 Ribbon of River.
I motored carefully through the water west and then south through the teeth of the storm. Then, the rain and wind abruptly stopped and the freeway was again a dryer, Ribbon of Concrete. The front of the storm had passed and the view of the Valley of the Great Salt Lake had changed again.
I looked in my rearview mirror and saw dark clouds with an underlying skirt of rain rolling on through the valley behind me. I looked forward, through my windshield, and saw streams of sunshine glistening.
“It’s just like Crystal’s smile,” I whispered in awe.
I continued to drive, drawn toward the brightness of nature’s smile as its beauty held my eyes and captured my breath until the end of my journey. Yes, I had hit a little rough patch, and I was fortunate to have had my day brightened by sunshine and Crystal’s found again, brilliant smile.
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.