Emerald Bay Winter Twilight

Emerald Bay Sunset, California - December 2007

Ten days ago, I found out that a dear friend decided to end his own life. For the whole week, I sat in stunning silence mourning the passing of a close friend. I kept on replaying the events during the past two weeks of his life. The guilt of knowing that I didn’t reach out for my friend during his darkest hours was unbearable.

Last Friday, I decided to get away. After driving over five hundred miles, I found myself standing on the rim of Emerald Bay in the Desolation Wilderness waiting for a sunrise. I stood frozen on a sheet of ice in the winter’s darkness, facing a bitterly cold wind, thinking about my friend …

I remembered Jeff often felt that life had passed him by. I didn’t get to tell my friend: Life passes all of us by. We’re only mortal beings. None of us can freeze time. How we choose to live each moment that we have defines who we are. We either choose to live in contentment with what we have or live in agony thinking about what we could or should have had. My dear friend couldn’t relinquish what he had lost, and he lost the will to regain his life. I wished there was something I could have done for my friend, but in the end, Jeff chose his own path. I need to let my friend go and be at peace with myself.

The wind subsided. The morning sun slowly rose above the tree lines. Its first rays warmed my frozen face. Emerald Bay still lied in the deep cold blue shadows. I missed my friend dearly …

By sunset time, as I sat on the snow waiting for the sky to turn red. I thought about my friend and what I could have done. Often in my pursuit to seek these beautiful moments, I prefer to go solo to find myself just to loose myself in solitude. Those moments solidify my life perspective: regardless of how much sufferings one endures, life is still beautiful. How one chooses to experience life makes a difference in one’s quality of life. Had I invited Jeff to join me on one of these trips, perhaps his perspective towards life might had been different. That was my only regret.

The sky colors gradually shifted from orange to red, filling the bay with beautiful hues. My sister broke the silence, “That’s just so beautiful!” Those words just made my thousand miles trip worth every single second.

I came home with more than just a few beautiful photos of Emerald Bay.