After having navigated an often perilous sea,
one courageous drop of water,
together with about 90,000 of her comrades,
finally makes it to shore and crashes into
a once in a lifetime opportunity to show off.
Sigh. This is my twentieth and final submission for Photography 101. It has been a fun month. One that has reminded me just how much I enjoy taking pictures! Thank you, WordPress! Thank you, Photo101 classmates! And thank you to everyone who has looked and liked and left words of encouragement in the comments!
Nearly two and a half years after Superstorm Sandy pounded the coast of Absecon Island, two lone benches remain standing on what is left of the northern most end of the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
North end. Atlantic City NJ
Part of the base of a converted kerosene oil lamp.
I wear my treasure on a gold chain.
The cross was a gift from my parents. The wedding band was my mother’s.
The ring is inscribed with my parents’ initials and wedding date:
HES to EFM 4-2-55.
My father died in 2008. My mother in 2009.
I miss them every day.
Yesterday was my seven month soberversary. No big deal. The entire day came and went and I didn’t even remember. It just never occurred to me. Not until this morning when I booted up the computer and took note of the date down in the corner.. March 22. My first thought was, “Ah, it is the third day of spring.” Then I remembered. Yesterday marked seven whole months. Seven months and a day since I last had a drink. How’d I miss that?
To be honest, I had been somewhat apprehensive about reaching the seven month mark. I know more than a few folk who have relapsed after seven months and I can easily understand why. Terror and self-disgust have begun to loosen their grip by now. Life has started humming along, albeit with some painful scars, but even those have started to heal over. And the memories of my drinking have somehow softened into pretty watercolors of friends and good times.
Of course, I recognize that’s just alcoholism playing games in my head. There was nothing colorful or pretty about my drinking. I might be remembering sunny afternoons and intimate candlelit nights. But those times are ancient history. For at least the last decade of my drinking, I drank alone in near darkness. Red wine, mostly. That thick mind-numbing syrup that somehow manages to discolor everything it touches with stains of regret.
I can never allow myself to be lulled into believing a fantasy version of the way things were. I must be vigilant about remembering the truth. Only that kind of honesty will keep seven months as fresh as thirty days and me on track. Life still isn’t what I had hoped it might be by now, but I am hopeful. Life is better. So much better. I don’t remember the last time I went outside to play. And although that may sound like a small and insignificant thing; for me, it’s huge.
Yesterday was sunny and unusually warm for early spring and I guess I was so busy playing and enjoying the day, I forgot what day it was. I think I like that. I like that I am no longer caught up in counting every step and every day, but rather just being about the business of living. Living like I have so long imagined other people live. Free to look up from my shoes and feel the sun on my face. Such freedom is a new and wonderful experience for me. Reason enough to celebrate any and every day.
So happy seven months and a day to me! I never considered seven to be a particularly lucky number, but maybe it is time to re-evaluate. Seven is looking pretty good right about now. It is finally spring and the sun is going to shine again today and I recently bought myself a new pair of sneakers with bright orange laces to play in. Yes. I think I want to go outside. More importantly. I think I’ve finally decided once and for all and for good: I am going to be okay.
The peaceful beauty of open space lies just beyond the chaos.