This morning, I awoke before anyone in my neighborhood was up. At least, I say that because all houses within my community were dark. Not a light on anywhere, with exception of the street lights. I let the dogs outside to potty, reminding them they must be quiet. “The neighborhood is asleep,” I said. Sir Shakespeare Hemingway nodded, prancing off to find his special tree. Sandy Bear pranced around to find his spot. Prince Midnight Shadow danced around. Hank, my smallest schnauzer stood by my side. He does not like to be too far away from me, especially in the dark of night. I stopped to look outside. The skyline was extremely dark. I could hardly make it out, recognizing there was a thick blanket of fog outside. I stepped outside, walking around a bit, feeling the moisture of fog kissing my face, misting my hair. I listened hoping to hear my favorite musical sound of fog horns. The world outside was quiet. The dogs rushed to join me. They do not like the darkness of night, or the fog. Silly guys!
Another night of insomnia left me exhausted, so I rushed my special friends inside, telling them goodnight. Since it was still the middle of the night, I chose to go back to bed. My head was pounding with another sinus headache. Turning the television on, I replayed the events of the Sochi Olympics, hoping the sounds would allow me to drift off to sleep. Tossing and turning, I recognized I would probably miss my Weight Watchers meeting. I simply cannot cope when I have a headache and I am not exactly good company to anyone when a headache pounds like a hammer inside my head. When morning broke, I crawled out of bed, brewed coffee and decided to write for a bit. Instead of writing, I stared at the computer screen.
Seven days ago, the City of Charleston was cold. Many residents did not have power. We, within our community, were blessed. Never did we lose our power; however, today, I recognized I was fighting with depression once again. I could not process or organize my thoughts to write, and I was focusing on the darkness of a foggy morning while awaiting to hear the fog horns.
Later, I decided to write once again, rereading about 20 pages I’ve written this week. Looking outside again, I noticed bright sunshine and something I haven’t felt in a while due to the extreme temperatures we’ve had recently in Charleston. I chose to go outside with the dogs. The warmth of the brilliant sun hugged my body and I realized I was allowing depression to captivate me. I was not fighting like I do on most days. Depression runs in my family. My mother fought it all of her life and my grandfather was treated with several medications that our family refused to discuss. I suppose my family considered depression as a silent illness. I laugh now. Most of my friends fight depression. Maybe that is why they are my friends! Who knows.
Today, after a serious discussion with myself I realized that I had to find a way to accept depression, and to be grateful for life. Remembering the brilliant words of my grandmother, I recognized that I was focusing on the negative aspects of life, and not — LIFE. Right on cue, I chose to listen to life, hearing a welcomed sound of a bird chirping in a tree. I haven’t seen many birds lately. Normally I see mourning doves, cardinals and Carolina wrens. Lately, I’ve seen nothing.
Perhaps I haven’t noticed the beauty of nature lately because I’ve permitted myself to become incubated inside my home. On gray days, I’ve looked outside, deciding there was only grayness in life, nothing more. However, this afternoon, I discovered a much-loved and lost sight I haven’t paid much attention to, until today. Walking outside to get the mail, I noticed my tulip tree is blooming and the Carolina Jasmine is budding.
Yes, spring is in the air and I embrace it with passion. I want to wrap my arms around the freshness and beauty of springtime and never allow it to leave me. I cannot wait until the lawn dries out enough so I can rake the leaves, prune the Lantana and watch nature returning again. I haven’t walked on the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge since September 2013. If tomorrow is a reflection of today, I will walk the bridge, finding the freshness of an ocean breeze kissing my face, the warmth of sunshine, and most of all, I will find inspiration again. After all, it is the little things in life than mean the most to me. The scent of aromatic flowers. Roses. Sunshine. Good, loyal friends. A stroll on the beach, and a long walk on the bridge. I can hardly wait to embrace my inspiration tomorrow morning. Life is around me. I must embrace it with open arms!