So let’s see whether I can write a post without referring to my current emotional state. I’m challenging myself because I need to. Because I’m good at it. At facing a challenge, that is, not necessarily overcoming it. This attempt is for the sake of distraction and empowerment, both of which I’ll gain regardless.
I am sitting in my vehicle in the grocery store parking lot, stealing guaranteed solitude where I can, and I find myself in the perfect geographical orientation, where the sun hits me indirectly through my side of the vehicle and the shadows of leaves that flitter on the console block enough of the heat to keep me content. A few puffy white clouds billow against a blue background, and looking around I’m not sure which of all these sights are responsible for the feelings that flicked the memory off the sticky walls of my brain. All of them, I guess.
I was five years old, visiting cousins in Palo Alto, California, and of all the fun things we did, my second of three favorite memories was the lemon tree in the backyard. Most of the lemons were still a little green, but a few were yellow. I never loved a lemon more in my life than when I met that tree. The third favorite memory of that trip was discovering a small velvet bag containing diamonds. Not real diamonds, of course, but they might as well have been. My cousin’s neglected treasure suddenly became more important to her when she saw my eyes light up as the sparkley jewels poured from the tiny bag into my eager hands. I wasn’t allowed to touch them after she realized how precious they were. Those bits of cut and polished plastic carats. But all was made right when we drove south to a beach under a sky much like the one I see now out my car window. The sand went on forever, and hardly a soul was there. I don’t even remember my family being there. It was one of those intense movie scenes when the protagonist is so focused on the moment that all else disappears. I ran across the miles of scorching sand to the shore and looked out to the great sea in awe and wonder. There is a picture of a very small me in South Africa looking out to sea in the exact manner. I love, love, love the ocean, maybe because of those moments. And here I am now in my car in a grocery store parking lot feeling the expanse all over again because the leaves of a tree flickered little lights from a blue sky onto my pant legs.