‘Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!’ 2 Corinthians 9:15
I have a way of connecting more with overly charged emotional moments than subtle simple moments. This is something I’m only now realizing. I’ve done a bit a research because that’s what I do, and of course, it’s a direct result or symptom of complex-PTSD. I’m not going to get into a scientific discussion, but I can say that the recurring feeling of fear and pain keeps my amygdala alert. The exhausting cycle of fight-or-flight leaving me in a heap of numbness and disconnection. In an attempt to connect with the good in my life, to reflect on gratitude if you will, I am taking note of the simple moments in my life. I’m hoping to share them in a series of posts, little snippets of life as it is right now. I hope you’ll join me.
March 6, 2018
Sitting in my recliner, an event I’ve been avoiding for fear of making my neck worse. Sitting or standing while dangling my head in any way complicating matters drastically. I had just leaned into hibernation mode when Ed popped his head through the doorway. ‘Are you going to lie down,’ I inquire. He smiles and nods, a reflection of what I already know to be true. I smile back in recognition and he closes the door. I continue my game of Zoo Tycoon while listening to Game Grumps on YouTube.
This is what it takes to quiet the nonsense in my head; a game of thorough micromanaging and constant jokes and chatter in my ears. Sadly, I rarely allow myself a moment of distraction like this. I build, I manage, and I revel in the joy of controlling every piece of the puzzle. I’m just beginning to catch my stride when Ed pops back in. It’s been less than an hour I note while gazing at his rosy cheeks and groggy eyes. ‘I couldn’t sleep, wanna come sit with me at the pond while I fish?’
I ponder the question, weighing my options, all the while knowing I need to say ‘yes.’ I want to be outside. I need to be outside. ‘Sure, I’ll meet you down there.’ We make a plan and he heads to the bait shop. He’s on the hunt for live bait – shiner and minnows to be exact. I invite Tristan and he agrees. He’s been making more of an effort to try new things and crush his comfort zones. We wait for Ed’s call and then we load up to head out. It’s a straight shot through the development followed but a quick right onto Michigan. I click the right turn signal on and veer to the right over the curb.
I see Ed’s truck immediately as I cross over the grass and sidewalk, making my way through to park near him. We park and grab our necessities; water, snacks, a blanket, and a camera. We say our hellos, spread out our pink and baby blue Aztec throw, and sit down for a snack. A banana for me and chicken salad for Tristan, such a simple pleasure. The buzzing of the bubbler in Ed’s bait bucket creating a soothing rhythm of calmness. I remark how the sound would drive me nuts inside the house.
Ed puts a minnow on the hook and casts out into the dark water of the pond. He happily hands me the pole as I finish my banana. ‘Wait for the bobber to go under,’ he directs. I look down and realize the pole is left-handed – this is going to be a challenge. I hold the pole and I wait, the bobber wiggles and I giggle. It wiggles again, and the excitement is too much for me, I pull back. Too much slack. I was too eager. He’s teasing me, this fish. ‘Wait for the bobber to go completely under,’ Ed reiterates. I laugh and hand the pole to Tristan.
Ed shows him how to cast and hands him the pole again. Tristan reels back with aggression flinging the pole forward. His minnow flies right and his bobber lands left. He laughs, oblivious he’s lost his bait. I laugh as we inform him that he is now baitless. He giggles, reels it in, and hands the pole to Ed. Ed takes a moment and hands a newly baited pole back to Tristan. He tries again. I sit and watch, taking it all in. There it is, I can feel it. Sitting here watching my boys together in sweet simplicity transports me back. A reminder of a time in Tristan’s childhood. A time of simplicity.
We watch as an adolescent gator traverses the pond, eager to steal someone’s bait. Ed and Tristan, casting, reeling and waiting patiently. A splash, a sense of excitement, and a tug on the pole. Tristan has caught his first bass and he’s a big guy. He awkwardly reels him in as Ed reaches for a pair of pliers. I eagerly reach for my camera. We run over to document the moment and set the big boy free. Accomplishment and pride swirling around like a tornado of positive emotions. Tristan graciously poses for photos and throws the bass back. He’s experienced this moment and swiftly moves from fishing to photography. This is what he does.
He grabs our camera and begins to thoughtfully and carefully traverse the circumference of the pond. He’s eager for a picture of the gator, but the gator refuses to cooperate and swims away. I watch proudly as he takes his time and snaps photos of God’s beauty all around us. He takes aim at the greenery surrounding us, and every so subtly he sneaks in candids. Unsuspecting moments of honest normalcy. ‘Do you see that he takes pictures of me when I’m not looking,’ I ask Ed. He nods and says he sees. ‘He’s been doing it since he was little, it’s adorable.’ Ed agrees as we reminisce about the days of 35mm selfies and portraits of stuffed animals. We laugh.
He casually makes his way around the pond traversing his way back to our blanket. He sits and shares his captured moments with me. He really does have an eye for photography. We are continually amazed by the gifts he has been given if only he could find the courage to embrace one. We sit and soak up the beauty of it all, the sun setting behind us as we chat. Two adorable lovebirds bouncing back and forth on the brick wall across the street. A brown eagle soaring stealthily towards us as he veers left and then right, making his way to the woods behind us. Six ducks fly in three’s, a double-u in the sky quickly transitioning into sets of two separating high in the sky. As the temperature drops, Ed lands a bass or two of his own, and the smile on his face warms my heart – I live for moments like this.
Photo by Nitish Kadam