Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An Ocean of Mercy

Suddenly, like magic, thoughts about work, life, writing and everyday turmoil, thrashing about in my head, come to an abrupt end. It's as if a retaining wall were put in place inside my brain to hold back the flood of thoughts, ideas, beliefs and opinions. Everything comes to a grinding halt.

In its place, from this room, the gentle sound of waves slap quietly against the shore and immediately grab my attention. I look up and out the window, well outside of myself and see nothing but ocean. The light is soft and even on this semi fall day. The ocean is calm and glimmers with reflected light. Peace and serenity surround me.

It is that time of year when summer begs to hang on, but autumn begins to display its change. Leaves begin their transformation ever so slightly and summer days waffle back and forth from warm to cool.

A gigantic pine tree burrows its old and weathered roots into the grassy area twenty yards from the ocean. It is far from a perfect shape, much like myself, but a shape that has been and continues to be be formed and twisted by the wind, and defined by the elements of its surroundings. In spite of its weathered life it remains strong, healthy and deeply rooted. Don't be mistaken into thinking this tree hasn't seen its share of hurricanes, tornadoes or ice storms. The bare patches and missing pieces on this tree, say otherwise. Storms take their toll, yet the tree stands proudly, boldly and even slopes towards the ocean, as if to challenge even more oncoming rages from Mother Nature. The tree can take it.

A woman walks along the shoreline, head down, hands clasped behind her back. Several paces behind a sea gull follows her trail and almost mimics the woman's walk. The woman seems to be looking for something, answers, ideas, or maybe just plain peace. The sea gull's head pokes down every now and then foraging for food.

I sit in my room gazing at the three living species in front of me. I too join them in their quest and challenges.

I came here to try and finish three specific writing pieces. I'm not a nature writer by any stretch of the imagination.
None of that seems to matter now. It's lost in the clutter of my mind that was silenced when I got here. All that's here right now is peace, solitude, and silence, save for the sounds of the ocean. No radio, no tv. no people.
The world has mercifully stopped for a bit.

But I am not alone. I brought someone with me who I have not seen in 60 years.
My dad.

A long lost first cousin called me 10 years ago to tell me he had a photo of my dad when he was in the army. I've never heard from him since- until Monday.

He emailed me the photo of my dad, and it is leaning against the old lamp I am using at this writing desk.

The sepia toned photo shows a young handsome man. I look so much like him, it's scary, but exciting.

Finally a face, my father's face, to put to a name, Dad. A man I have never met but have never stopped romanticizing or fantasizing over.

I have him now.

This room, this time, this view,and his face are all that matters.

Mercy Center
Madison CT.


Blogger Amanda said...


4:57 PM  
Blogger Carrie Wilson Link said...

Wow, is right. I am in total awe, and totally speechless.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous YogaforCynics said...

Oh, the's better in the Fall than summer, I think, particularly since so few know that...actually, I'm going there in a few days, and your post particularly resonates with me because it's where I last saw my dad, a little over three years ago, at a little restaurant on the boardwalk...and the next day he was was gone because of a car accident...and the waves roll on....

11:23 PM  
Blogger Osh said...

Dad's are powerful beings.

My thoughts are with you Suzy.

12:51 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I'm going to have to join in the chorus here:


First of all, you ARE SO a nature writer. This is absolutely gorgeous, and so powerful. You put us right there with you physically, gazing at that horizon, hearing the quiet slap of those waves, as well as emotionally, as we feel right along with you the great, gentle strength of that beautiful tree that has seen and survived so much.

And ah, that kind and handsome man, right there with you. He has always been with you. And now you can finally see him--in that image, in the mirror, in your heart.

This post is magic.

You are magic.

Thank you for these words and for sharing this precious moment with us.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Maddy said...

That's the kind of bombshell that would shatter my retaining wall.
Best wishes

9:03 AM  
Blogger Corey said...

Suz, this is the most beautiful piece I have ever read. Absolutely gorgeous. It is gentle and truthful and peaceful. I am so happy that you have your dad's picture. He is smiling watching you.

9:47 AM  
Blogger kario said...

You are a writer. Period. Your unique perspective on the world is so refreshing to read and I wish you much peace and solitude as you spend these days with your father and the ocean.

Sending love and light.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

Wow again! That is a powerful post. So glad you got to meet at last.
You are a good writer you know.
You have the knack of making the reader want to go on, teasing them to the end!

5:38 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

May you find peace and yourself in the silence of this time. May you hear your father's loving voice in the sound of your heartbeat and the ocean's soft pulse.

Your writing just gets better and better - and it was damned great from the beginning.

Love you.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing and wonderful to have your father with you now.

CJ xx

2:54 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

I'm late. But I am here.

This must be incredible for you Suzy! I cannot imagine how you must feel looking into that face, seeing your own, and just wondering.

wow. and by the ocean. I can near smell it.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Jerri said...

Speechless. I am just speechless.

Kim's right. This post is magic.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Terry said...


7:45 PM  

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