In the spring of 2004, late April, I was in Bluff, Utah, with my friend, JB. Located in the southeastern corner of the state, it's a tiny town with a population of about 300 people. It sits next to the San Juan River, among what has to be some of the best hiking on the planet: countless red rock canyons to explore and play in, long afternoons to sit quietly under those endless blue skies and just listen, surrounded by a profound sense of history.
On this particular spring day, despite being in what seems like the middle of nowhere, we decided to celebrate my birthday by going to dinner. You might think a town of this size would be bereft of possibilities. Not so. The Cow Canyon Trading Post, a sprawling old adobe home, sits alone at the edge of town. Besides the art gallery it contains, there is a restaurant unlike anything anyone could ever imagine possible in this little corner of Utah.
Offering a small menu of exceptional quality, prepared by a talented and skilled chef, our meal that evening was something beyond delicious. Truly remarkable. But, it was the ambiance that made it so very memorable.
We were seated on a porch in the back, with floor length glass windows on three sides. It had a smooth stone floor, high-backed wooden chairs, and a table with turned legs and fading yellow paint, the kind you might find in an old farmhouse. A simple bouquet of fresh flowers sat on the table next to the adobe wall. From there, we could see her wash on the clothesline blowing back and forth in the breeze, budding greenery just beyond it, and then the canyon walls shining in the evening light. We sat quietly. It was a perfect spring evening.
As the wash on the line gently lifted and fell, lifted and fell, we could hear the exquisite sound of Edith Piaf singing, "Non, Je ne regrette rien." I Regret Nothing.
If I'm going to remember a moment in my life, it's going to be That moment.
Here is Edith Piaf, the Little Bird: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3Kvu6Kgp88
The images are mine. The card is set against a piece of pottery that JB made for me, a different year, a different birthday. I'll tell you about it sometime.