Visit Something Beautiful
Even the darkest, most frightening things in life have a light of beauty within them.
In the weeks leading to my dad’s death last year, I began going on my early morning walks even earlier than months prior. I would go for these walks weekly on whatever day my mom had off from work. I would often park in a neighborhood near my favorite beach, walk to the pier, then down the beach, and then back to my car.
My weekly morning walks were my way of taking a break from my home circumstances as a caregiver and “mentally checking out” for an hour or two. However, as my dad’s cancer became more aggressive and spread, I was needed more and more at home by my mom on her days off to help her with my dad.
The first time I left earlier than usual, there was still no crack of dawn to be in sight. Therefore, when I first reached the pier that early in the morning, I remember feeling this primitive sense of fear creep over my body.
The span of the ocean in front of me was so dark, so quiet, that I felt a chill run down my back. The more I stared at the darkness, the more my heart pounded. “This is like the darkness within my mind,” was the only thing I could conjure up. Instantly I stepped away from the pier.
During my walk down the beach, I kept thinking about the multiple stories I had listened to months prior of people who had hit the lowest points of their lives but had found a way to lift themselves up again in the end. I realized that if I wanted to find peace with myself and eventually with what seemed the soon-to-be death of my dad, I would need to confront the darkness.
The following week I went again just as early. I remember standing on the pier, looking at how dark the water was. I could hear the steady waves. The only thing I could see was the far reflection of the moonlight hitting the water and a few, small distant lights from fishing boats. However, the light present before me was nothing compared to the massive darkness that conquered the view. As I stared out, I reminded myself that I needed to breathe.
The third week I went again. This time a little more confident. I remembered to take a deep breath the moment I arrived at the pier. This time, the open darkness of the…