Those who know me, and have for awhile, know that my sight hasn’t always been this bad. As a child, I had 20/80 vision, as a teen and young adult, 20/200. And for those who have always wondered what that ratio means, it means that what someone with perfect vision sees at 200 feet, I saw at 20.
Anyway. I have visual memories, I understand visual references, I even dream visual dreams. And there’s some moments that are just frozen in my mind, visually.
I don’t know how old I was, I would say over eight and under twelve, and for some reason we were all outside at night at our cottage. So. No lights but what we turned on. There may have been a meteor shower that night, as we had binoculars with us. I assume because we didn’t have a telescope. I’d always seen stars, but even then at the height of my vision, only the brightest. At some point, someone handed me the binoculars, I looked up and… there they were, scattered across the night sky. So many points of light. I’d never really comprehended how many there were.
The Most Glorious Sunset
This one happened when I was nineteen. I was leaving for a year in England, and at the time “home” was in Charlottetown, PEI. Now, oh you younger people of the area, there was a time before the bridge. This was that time, though it was being built, and where the bridge now stands there was a ferry. We decided to drive/get the ferry to Halifax and I’d fly from there. It was evening, and I was on the ferry on the deck as the sun went down, and I’ve never seen such a sky. I can see it right now, but how to describe it? So many colours. Pinks, purples, magentas, dark golds, blues. It didn’t look real. But it was, and it was like that sunset was the Maritimes saying goodbye to me.
Back in 2000, when I was 24 years old, I had the opportunity to go down to Washington, DC for a six month internship at the Library of Congress. It was a fantastic experience that has spawned quite a few treasured memories. During that time, I stayed in a building for women under the age of… I want to say 28, and we were pretty much all interns from all over the world. It was in the heart of Capitol Hill, and had a walled in back area with a porch… and a cherry tree. It was beautiful when it went into bloom, and even more so when the petals began to fall. I remember sitting out there with friends as a breeze caused what looked like a pink snowstorm, the blossoms all dancing and spinning through the air. To this day, I love cherry trees, and it’s due to this.
I could go on, though those three are the ones that stand out the strongest, for one reason or another. Maybe it’s because one was a sudden understanding, one was one of those liminal moments, and one was from what seems now like a sort of golden season of my life, but I can still see each and every one of them if I just close my eyes.
And not to sound like a broken record, but please continue to be kind this week to those you meet and to yourself.