Well, today was a bit of a write-off…. almost.
Headache and doldrums, humidity and heat. We were supposed to have gotten rain earlier in the evening but it’s going on midnight and we didn’t see a drop, and yet the air is still heavy with the feel of a storm coming. It was one of those days when your lungs fill with a weight that just sits inside you, making you feel sluggish and weary, like you’re carrying around a backpack full of bricks and you can’t put it down. It was a ‘do nothing’ day, even for the cats who mostly spent their time sleeping in various locations both inside the house and out around the deck.
After these stifling summer days, once the night comes and brings the cool breezes and soothing sounds of surf and my long wind chimes that hang out in the far garden, one of my favorite end-of-the-day routines to help slow my mind down is to put the light on outside the patio doors and watch the show. We have an impressive variety of moths around our neck of the woods. Most of the time it’s just the usual array of small to average sized pale and plain ordinary types, with an occasional larger, darker or patterned one showing up. So it was a big surprise to see a new kid, a gang actually, on the block last night.
Now, we’re used to hearing these little peepers, or tree frogs as some call them, in the spring as soon as the ground thaws and the snow is gone. They’re loud and raucous and their noisy chirping can be heard emanating from every ditch and pond for miles around. However, at this time of year it’s not as common to find them about and you don’t hear them much unless you’re standing at the edge of the pond. Hence my immense excitement upon seeing five of the little gaffers stuck in various poses on my patio doors last night! It must have been an ideal location to catch a tasty meal of little unsuspecting bugs flitting around in the porch light. Their sticky little toes were perfect suction cups made for climbing smooth surfaces such as wet rocks and slick sodden bark so of course they had no problem with the glass or screen doors.
Right now some of you may be stifling yawns and thinking how trivial such matters are. “Yeah, so some little frogs were on your windows. Big deal.” Okay. I get that it might not seem like a big deal to most people. Maybe it’s not, not really. But the nearest ditch is about fifty feet away and given that these fellows are about the size of my pinky fingernail, that’s the equivalent of several miles to us humans. What’s amazing is that they traveled all that way to get to my house where the light is, I’m assuming, because they figured it’d be a good idea and maybe they’d find better bugs than the ones they were catching at the pond. I’m not exactly sure if that’s the reason why they came all the way to my door, I’m no biologist. All I know is that they were out there and I could get my nose right up to the glass and look at them up close and it was so cool! Who gets a chance to do that? It was amazing! I couldn’t wait to see if they’d show up again tonight!
Tonight, though, ended up being much less amazing. After the crappy day I had, I got up to put the porch light on again tonight and wondered if the little frogs would be back again. At first there was no sign of them. It wasn’t until nearly 11pm that I happened to get up to go to the kitchen and on my way past the patio doors I looked and saw one little frog half way up on the glass. One frog. That’s all. It’s nearly a half hour later and I just checked again and there’s still just that one little guy hanging there on the door. All by himself. So it makes me wonder what happened to the rest of his buddies. Did they decide it was too far to trek again and figured they’d rather stay home? Did they give up halfway here, get tired and turn back? Was he the only one who made it this time while the others got picked off by predators? Why was he alone?
As I pondered his solo status, I got to thinking about how that little frog’s trek compared to my own life. If I consider where I was a year ago (- two months into the beginning of medical leave from work for stress related illness and chronic headaches, crushed under debilitating clinical depression and anxiety, suicidal, self-harming, one step away from being committed -) then I consider where I am now (- ready to start easing slowly back into my workplace, finally on a balanced medication program, progressing through therapy, developing self-maintained coping skills and generally having come miles from where I had been -) I see a bit of an analogy.
Kind of like that little frog, I had a long way to travel, a lot of distance to cross before I could get to a good place, and there was a lot of dark and dangerous areas that I went through along the way, but I made it past them. Sometimes it felt like I was taking huge giant leaps and sometimes it seemed like I’d never make those jumps I was supposed to attempt. Sometimes I could only take little steps because my legs were only long enough to cover a little ground at a time, and that was alright because that’s all that was expected of me. In the end, it didn’t matter how long it took me to get where I was going, all that mattered was that I didn’t give up, I kept going, I kept taking those leaps, jumps and steps until I got to where I am now. I’m in a brighter place, there’s more for me to see, I have more control now, I can see my path clearer and I know where I’m going. Now I’m not as afraid as I was before. Now I can see where I want to jump to next. I know that, when I’m ready, I can take that leap or I can get there with small steps. The choice is up to me. I still have a far road to travel, a long way to go, but I’ve come so far and I can look back and see my progress and be proud of my accomplishments. I know I’ll get where I need to be. I just have to keep hopping.
“Be brave my darling, you have faced dark times before and you’re still here now.” – C.T.L.
PS. Four new poems under the Poetry pages. 😀