How I See…

Sewing needles pricked my feet and legs, throbbing from the freezing temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean’s bath in the month of September on the North Eastern state of Maine. The air temperature was cooler than I was used to, the land was dressed in trees that reminded me of Christmas. The leaves on others looked red, yellow, and orange as though they were spoiling from being left out of the fridge. The breeze swept across my body, resulting in a reaction of small bumps to warn me of this new cooler environment approaching. I stood looking into the vast dark blue color of the Atlantic Ocean it looked cold, it looked grey, a thunder cloud not welcoming even when the sun shines overhead. The sandpaper texture of the small pebbles stuck to my wet feet, the sand was very course filled with larger pieces of shells and rocks. What was this new place filled with dark seas and rough sands? I was introduced to my new home taken away from the softness of my previous inhabitants…this new place was dead and dark…I miss the warmth, life, and lightness of the small island I once called home. This other unfamiliar place was not welcoming so I decided not to embrace it, instead I looked back at the past hoping one day to be reunited to my “home” once more.

I took my eyes from the dark sea and followed the horizon my first glance stopped at a far reaching island from where I was standing I measured an inch, continuing the horizon stopped again with a much larger island with a house close to the shore it was surrounded by large shale rocks protecting the soil from falling in to the water surrounding it from all sides. The house was white and appeared to have no one living there. The house was dark and a few fir trees were the only company that was provided to the lonely white house. I followed the path from the house through the water back to my feet, which were now turning a slight purple color a feeling. I had yet to experience the pain that over came me the tips of my toes aching as though someone was hitting them with the sharp end of a hammer. The appearance shifted slightly pink at the ends as well. I took this as a sign to walk over and place my shoes on my feet in the safety of the driftwood. My curiosity however had consumed my desire for warmth, so I composed a small workout involving jumping jacks, sit ups, and small sprints to warm my spirits and bring some blood back to my little toes. I found myself wondering to the other side where large shale rocks extended out to the ocean they were much taller than me measuring at least two fir trees on top of one another. Each was a different layer on top of the next. Some jutted out further than others providing a natural step, what to do better than to climb to the top inching my way against the hard rock in my slippers and ungloved hands I thought to myself. The wind at the top blew much more furiously I needed to situate my feet so I didn’t topple back down the side of the double fir tree “mountain” side. I found the horizon once again and continued following it until it cut the land where cliffs blocked any remaining horizon.

At this point the time we had spent at this new place was determined by the retreating ocean revealing the treasures beneath as I stood on land. It continued to creep backwards revealing larger rocks and slippery material ranging in color from dark brown, forest green, to a darker cranberry color, dense material. I would realize later that this was seaweed only having seen it on spam musabi prior. As I walked closer towards the retreating ocean it continued to reveal other treasures these were collected in tide pools. A small spiral shell with soft mussel material within them that quickly retracted when touched. In another a small crab the size of my little finger nail scuttled from side to side to confuse any onlookers. A closer observation of the pool appeared to have an almost invisible insect-like organism moving quickly along the tide pool with two antennas and a curled tail…a premature shrimp I would learn later. A small white sharp rock-like material hugged the larger rocks. Smaller at the top with a beak-like mouth directly in the center of the top. These organisms covered much of the rocks as well as a green-brown paper-like material with bubbles at the end it laid on the rocks like blankets covering it from the wind blown air. In between these larger rocks were oblong-shaped shell-looking material with one side matching the other. A spine connected the two sides and looked like you could open it to reveal its pages and the secrets that lay inside. The outer material was hard and was painted with different variations of blue and purple.

I placed the shell back where I had found it and continued my search. However, at this point I had lost much feeling in my hands and feet to the coldness of the water. I forced myself to retreat back to the warmth of the car. The walk back to the was long leaving me several chances to revert my eyes back to the treasures the ocean revealed to me that day. A small gift to welcome my resistant young self to this new cold, dark, and dead land. Perhaps, I wonder to myself this place is not dead, but in need of uncovering the life to find the warm light in all the cold dark…this thought lingered in my head that day and continues to linger in my mind as I reveal new pieces everyday. Perspective is a funny thing it can be the difference between how well feel and how we see in any one moment. I always strive to shift my perspective that way I can learn how others see the world as well. There is much to learn when you step outside your perspective, this is just a little of how I see…

-Kalyn Danielle

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