Treasure in the Murky Pond?
I strolled with my dog on a winding sidewalk that lead around a pond. It was warm and windy thanks to the distant hurricane. Suddenly, as I walked by one of the trees, its little branch smacked me on top of my head. I could almost hear it say:
“Stop stressing out! Stop thinking about what’s next. Just enjoy the walk!”
I turned around to look at it and I saw it bobbing up and down in the air as if nodding in agreement with itself.
I noticed how small the leaves on it were, trembling in the breeze, whipping around their stem. The sun colored them the brightest green I have ever seen. I looked up to the crown of the tree and my head spun as the branches swayed in the air.
I remembered how we used to play hide-and-seek when we were kids, counting down by the birch tree in the middle of the park. I would run and hide behind the thick oak trees or climb up to the second set of branches on the pines.
What would I have thought back then if someone told me that less than 30 years from then I would be living more than 4,000 miles away, across the world, recovering from two cancers.
I felt my German Shepherd tug on the leash. I looked back down, pulled to the reality, the mirage of a childhood game disappearing into the air.
I started walking again, passing the white painted gazebo. My thoughts swirled back into the thick stew of worry and anticipation of bad news. It had been a year since my breast cancer surgery and two years since my eye cancer surgery. July was not my lucky month.
It used to be though.
The weather was warm, perfect for swimming, summer camps and riding our bikes till almost nine at night.
We all had the same kind of a bike, just a different color. We used to meet at the red corner bench in the park.
We rode fast on the paths, whizzing by the old ladies perched on the other benches, gossiping the day away. They would shake their canes at us every time we dashed around them.
We laughed and then slammed our bikes on the ground and lay in the grass, its blades in our mouths, talking about what we would be and do when we were grown up.
As I stood there by the pond with my dog, I wondered if my ten year old brain back then could have even grasped what happened to me in the last two years of my life.
I stood there looking at the murky water. It felt like I was looking at my future. What happened to the clear, brilliant lagoon I imagined my future to be as a child? I threw a rock into the pond and all I saw was a cloud of mud obscure the water even more.
When will my pond clear up?
When will the mud go away?
And will it ever?
I sat down in the grass and put my arm around my dog as she settled next to me.
Maybe it is not about the pond, I thought. Maybe it is about how I look at the pond.
Maybe, instead of seeing the muddy water, I should see water that gives life to all the frogs and little fish that live there. They are happy with it, in fact, they need it.
Maybe I just need to accept that this is what my life pond looks like. It is murky but maybe it has to be. Maybe I have to take a chance and go in, not knowing what to expect. I may slip, I may sink into the mud but I may find a hidden treasure. Who knows.