After nine hours of cleaning, packing, and stuffing everything I couldn’t bear to part with into a four door sedan, I found myself holding a fondue party kit. My mom had given it to me as a Christmas gift in 2007, the year I had moved to Cedar, and I’d liked it a lot, even if I hadn’t used it frequently.
I was too tired, and frankly too scared to try and fit anything else into my car. Another 2lbs of internal pressure might have caused the trunk to internally combust. Plus the adorable kit was an awkward round hatbox shape and not at all in line with my carefully arranged Tetris pieces. But I wanted to keep the fondue pot. The door of the apartment was locked behind me. The car keys were in the ignition, and I was over an hour behind schedule. I was ready to go. But I didn’t want to let go of this thing that I had loved.
That’s when it hit me. I was leaving Cedar and my life for the last five years. I didn’t want to leave this thing that I had loved. I sat down on the steps of the apartment building, hugged the fondue pot goodbye, and cried Clorox flavored tears.
The tears were bittersweet. I loved Cedar. I fell in love in Cedar. I found, and lost, and found myself again, and again in Cedar City. Cedar changed me, and changed the way I see the world. I am wiser, humbler, fatter, and much more patient than I was before Cedar.
I will miss Cedar. I’m going to miss long hikes in slot canyons, lonely walks along Coal Creek, and long drives up and down mountains. I’ll miss traffic shut downs on Main Street for every of imaginable parade. I’ll miss the friendly faces of my checkers at Smiths, and the overpriced steak houses with ugly taxidermy decor. I’ll miss the regularly changing soup menus, and regularly changing restaurants to try soup at.
I will miss my job. I already sorely miss the good times and great talks I had with my co-workers Josh and Ashley. Michael, the best boss imaginable, taught me passion, perseverance, art, and everything I know about catching flies with honey. I hate that I am going to missing out working on Peter Pan with Playmakers this spring after three years of pushing to produce it. I am going to miss the kids who I have watched grow up before my eyes in our programs. The Festival is made up of an incredible group of artists and people who are making great things happen. It is on the cusp of really monumental work in the regional theatre scene. I loved feeling I had a place in it and the comings and goings of Utah theatre education. No more.
I will miss my friends. Caroline and Emily saw me through every up and down, and there were dozens of other men and women whose lives touched mine as we passed each other on the way. Melissa, Matty, Julie, Melanee, Tiffani, April, Shaka, Bill, Devin, Bethany, and so many more. I was blessed with amazing leaders in each of the four wards I attended. And grew spiritually in ways I never could have guessed at when I arrived expecting to stay for six months. I faced the most difficult trial of my life and was given the strength I needed to survive it through the grace of the angels who walked around with me each day in Cedar City.
I know I will always look back on Cedar as a peculiar and divine time of my life. So I cried as I drove south out of town and didn’t dry my eyes till The Gorge.
Goodbye Cedar, and goodbye my fondue pot. I’ll miss you forever.