rounding the bend

by Elouise

rounding the bend
tiny gold leaves lie scattered
on dark damp asphalt

* * *

It’s Monday, Labor Day, two years ago.  I’m out for an early morning walk.   It rained overnight and it’s still dripping and overcast.  But I’m restless for a walk.  Like the weather, my mood is unsettled.

The day before, late in the afternoon, I was so distressed that I sat down and began writing nonstop in my journal.  Here are a few excerpts that capture my mood:

Fear, anxiety, teary, scared of depression, scared about [my] eyes and my appointment this week with the eye doctor.  Distracted, unfocused, feeling I’ve ‘wasted my time today.’  What have I done?  Church, cooked kale, washed dishes, read news articles, searched for and copied good eye exercises, took a nap—longer than I wanted to, did Bible reading, frittered away my day!  The last phrase says it all in terms of my feelings….

Where is my focus?  My mind goes to writing and reading about [depression] and how deeply this has infected . . .my family and my growing up years—a silent reality—unacknowledged and, for years, undiagnosed….

I probably feel a bit sorry for myself right now.  Definitely a bit crabby and out of sorts.  H.A.L.T.  Hungry?  Yes.  Angry?  Yes!  Lonely?  Yes.  Tired?  Yes!   Tired of the same old up and down swings of ‘nearly normal’ even ‘upbeat,’ and not normal, downbeat/downward spiral.  It feels as though I’ve made no progress, am stuck in more of the same old [you-know-what]—and it just keeps getting deeper….

It’s 5:39.  I’m hungry.  I need food.  Now!  No matter how I’m feeling about other things.  God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.  Amen.

The next day, all this and more is on my mind as I walk along, saying a few choice things to God and tearing up as I walk.

On my way back home, I round the bend and there they are.  Perfectly gorgeous tiny oval-shaped golden-yellow leaves.  Not more than two dozen.  Sparkling against the dark, freshly laid asphalt.

A little sign.  A bit of food for my whole self.  I still see them in my mind’s eye and smell the damp, clean air.  Gold dust from heaven.  A harbinger of better days to come.

By the time I get home, the haiku above has already taken shape in my mind.  A benchmark of more than the changing seasons.

* * * * *
Haiku written 3 September 2012
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 1 October 2014