A few weeks ago I had dinner with two of my dearest friends. It had been a month or so since we had all been together. Our conversations flowed from catching up to future plans.
My favorite question of the evening was this……
“What is your first memory?”
I had the advantage of time to think, while my other friend answered first.
“I remember the feeling of drowning.” I said. This got my friends attention. “What?” They said at the same time.
I, then related the memory.
I can feel myself going down. Like floating really. Not a quick decent. This slow motion, but, I know I am going down. It is hazy. Blurry, perhaps from my memory or perhaps from the murky depth of water. It is not dark. I still see the light.
I believe seeing the light means Hope.
Now, in my young mind I could not know this, however I believe Hope is inborn. It lies within us waiting to be known, practiced and shared.
As vivid as any memory can be, this is my strongest memory. The sensation of my long hair all around me. You know those scenes they show in a movie? The ones where the character is actually drowning. The hair is flowing in all different directions. It almost takes on a life of its own. Like it is part of the underground world. It sways back and forth. Living beneath the waters. This is my hair. Around my face. Eternal.
No. This was not to be my fate.
My parents, divorced, recently and separately have told their versions of the story. They don’t share much about our life together of just the three of us. My mother shares the least. My father, from whom I take after, does, he shares a lot. His version of this story is ” Last time I looked, you were in the boat, then I turned around, and you were gone!” He said excitedly! They had taken us out on the lake in a little john boat. My mother has often made reference to my love of the water and that I had no fear. So to her it was no surprise when they noticed my absence in the boat. This might be a good time to mention I was only two and a half years old. (Some might argue that this is not possible to have a memory of a child go back so far in time.) My father on the other hand, immediately jumped in the lake to rescue me. His version is he looked and looked, resurfaced multiple times but couldn’t find me. He dove down one last time, not seeing me but he felt my hair. He grabbed ahold to pull me to the surface.
I can’t imagine the relief they must have felt as parents. The fear that sets in, that sometimes turns to blame, anger, resentment. They have never talked about those feelings to me. Am I grateful my father continued to look for me? Well the answer to that is an resounding yes. Did they handle the situation in a positive way that never harboured any feelings of fear within me? They must have, for my love of water is one the greatest. While my gratitude runs deep. The roots that grow deepest inside of me are this…….
My Father never gave up Hope.
He kept searching. I hope you, who took the time to read these words. You, who at times feel like it is too difficult to keep going, searching, may you always find the light.
For Light is Hope!