In March of 2001 I traveled to my beloved beach three or so hours away. It would be cold, wind blowing down on the shore, with waves crashing loudly. I would sit there as long as I could stand, pencil in hand, sketching everything around me. Seaweed washed up in the foam, tiny crabs bubbling in the wet sand, and the wonder: the curious seagull. At the end of my day I would take my sketches back to the place I was staying and paint, on canvas: “the catch of the day.”
By the fall of 2001 I had finished therapy and felt elated to finally be free. No more appointments, no more traffic into town, and no more prescription medications. I was so totally free. I felt the urge to be charitable. Yes, share the joy. Share my joy.
I made a plan to give some money to my uncle, a very sweet person. I had asked what he would do if he had (______) amount of money. He had immediate answers. I handed him the envelope and together we cried knowing that his life would improve too, from my shattered past. Two improved lives moving on. Normally I would not want to share any charity, keeping the information deep inside to remain humble. I reveal this only because of the depth I plunged to within a few moments later.
Leaving his home I traveled to look at a van parked in a yard that I thought to purchase. I was almost there when a beautiful Malamute came charging across my path. An Alaskan breed of dog used for pulling sleds. So incredibly large and gorgeous with a totally free expression on it’s face. It was like he had never tasted freedom. He’d run from a house across the street when someone accidentally opened the front door. No collar, no tags, just that wide open run straight in front of my vehicle. If only I could convey how happy it looked, to be free.
I was in a Grand Prix, low rider, it was awful. I sat on the side of the road and cried, shaking uncontrollably. I could see people but I couldn’t hear them. I did hear the police ask, and then begged me to leave. They were afraid the owner would shoot me; running around with a revolver in his hand. At that point in time I wish he would have. I wasn’t feeling well. I felt responsible for taking the life of the most beautiful creature I had ever seen; eyes were the same color as mine. So I’m crying thinking… I just did a good thing, why did a bad thing happen?
I bought the van two weeks later and it stayed mostly parked for almost five years. Driving became quite scary. I was so busy double and triple checking my surroundings that the muscles in the neck and shoulder would tighten. A friend came along and has been driving ever since.
Now it is time for change. It is time for me to re-think what I’m missing. I miss the ocean, and it just may be the one thing that inspires me to take the plunge and rejoin the driving world. So every day I go out somewhere and tell myself I will drive again on a regular basis. My good friend has helped a lot and will continue until I am ready. The last time wasn’t the “last” time; it was just a long time ago. We anticipate good things to come.