Sometimes, the best photos are the ones imprinted on our minds. They capture more than just the images.
That thought was in my mind as I looked through my collection to select the photos for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge. There’s an image related to water that I wish I had captured on film so I could share.
Some people can’t live without the mountains, I can’t live without water. I love looking at, playing in and being around it. But from time to time, I get so caught up in the everyday that I forget that I need water to wash away the rough edges, to balance and smooth me out. Sometimes, I even forget that I actually live on an island and am therefore surrounded by water.
I remember the day several years ago when I jumped into a cab in a mad rush to get to Penn Station. I was late and pressed the driver to hurry. I could feel the tension in my body when I settled into the back seat.
As the cab zoomed crosstown, I became so overwhelmed by the worry that I wouldn’t make the train that I was oblivious to everything around me. When the car turned onto the West Side Highway, something caused me to look up.
There it was. The Hudson River. I fell silent as I stared at the water, deep blue and sparkling under the mid-day sun. My worry fell away and a calm washed over me. I continued to stare even as we turned off the highway.
There would be another train, I thought.
More thoughts on the significance of water came to me as I sifted through my photos. I used to reject anything that came easily. Life was about struggle. Swimming upstream meant whatever was achieved was worth it. Then I realized how sweeter it is to be in alignment with one’s purpose and go with the flow.
I was looking out the window in the kitchen of my uncle’s house in Canada when the scene changed and I was standing on the beach in Jamaica that I used to go as a child. I was near a sea grape tree, looking towards the ocean. I could taste and smell the sea and raised my hand to shade my eyes from the sun dancing on the waves. Suddenly, I was back in the kitchen but overwhelmed by homesickness. I decided to go home and did the next morning.
I spent a beautiful week with the only grandfather I knew. He died a week to the day I arrived.
Me, a teenager, sneaking off to the river with friends when my mom said not to leave the house and almost getting carried away by the current. I stopped struggling and floated to the surface.
Going to Coney Island Beach one rainy Thanksgiving Day. Passing the changing area and stepping onto the sand to the sound of the waves as they crashed ashore, the birds calling to each other and feeling at peace. I cried that day on the beach, in the rain. For joy.
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Water (dailypost.wordpress.com)