Rhonda Cagle

Dark Waters

In Uncategorized on December 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm

It’s the cloudy days I love. Gray, overcast skies with clouds that billow and swirl make me think I’m watching the tides of an eternal ocean from the underneath. If I peer intently enough, I might just catch a glimpse of the toes of a sainted loved one wading and splashing in the tides on the sunny shores that lie just on the other side.

These were the thoughts jumbling in my mind as I set off for a quick walk around Friendship Park on a rather overcast day. Rain was threatening but my need for fresh air outweighed my need of staying dry so off I went.

As I walked I took in the sight of empty sports fields, their grasses withered with our Southwest’s version of winter. Come the weekend, the fields would come alive with the energy of soccer and football leagues, but for now the yellowed grasses were a good fit for their barren condition.

Continuing my stride, I made my way to the pond and I stopped to peer into waters darkened by the weather. Usually the Valley’s endless sunlight skims the surface, throwing sparkling diamonds upon the waters like a benevolent king. But today those waters were dark and brooding, their surface still.

My mind turned to several friends who are facing dark waters in a season of life defined by foreboding gray skies. Cancer has claimed a husband and father. His wife and young children find themselves awash in stormy seas, with grief rolling them over and under in its powerful tides. Another friend, self-employed and self-insured – the only provider in her family – has just been diagnosed with cancer. Surgery and treatment and its staggering costs swirl in the waters as dark, cold wetness laps at her soul. Marriages coming unraveled, RIFs and pink slips causing financial crisis, and sons and daughters facing mental illness and addictions evidence the ominous clouds of this winter season.

A mom and her daughter making their way to the edge of the pond interrupted my thoughts and I stopped to watch their movements. With the delighted abandon known only to a young child, the little girl began throwing breadcrumbs to the ducks and geese living in these dark waters. In an instant, the darkness parted thanks to dozens of webbed feet breaking the surface of the waters and moving frantically toward the direction of the child’s shrieks of happiness. She giggled and laughed, watching the gaggle of life swimming and diving amidst a pond of darkness. Oblivious to the storm, she became my ray of sunshine to a gray day of introspection.

I’m determined to be the emotional equivalent of that little girl in the lives of my friends. I can’t change the seasons or the dark waters. What I can do is stand at the edge of the darkness, throwing breadcrumbs of hope and help to attract to the surface the life that still swims amidst watery midnight. That’s what I can – and will – do. That, and look up; knowing if I peer long enough, I’m likely to see the saints and the sunshine that lie just above the clouds.

  1. It really is so much about perspective. I love going to the local park and feeding the ducks and geese. It’s good for my soul. Nature always has a way of reminding me that someone bigger than us is watching out for us. As always I love reading your blog posts. 🙂

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