Somewhere Over The Rainbow
For days, it is all about the blue. Until it becomes about the vibrant green of the granny smith apples in the fruit bowl. Have they always been that green, I wonder when I first spot them. They are beautiful, I think as I pick one up to examine it more closely. But it only takes half a second before my brain is overloaded with the visual signal.
Do I know they are apples, I wonder, or am I assuming that.
As my vision clears, I am struck by the names I put on things, and how I have to translate them into objects.
No no, I assume it is an apple, because fruit belongs in the fruit bowl, and the fruit bowl sits on that area of the bench. Although I cannot see the fruit bowl or the bench. Not in any real way anyway. My brain still registers that the way it always has. I know it, but I don’t see it. Or do I? I assume I can see it, but my assumption is based on a story I tell myself. A kitchen has benches, so of course I can see them. Can’t everyone? But do I look? As in actively look? Of course not. Because looking is too hard. And when I have tried to look in the past, there has been nothing. If anything, it doesn’t even occur to me to look. Why would it? I mean I already know the bench is there, so I don’t need to see it.
Sighties are funny how they need to see things before they believe them. But at the same time, they don’t see as much as they think. Because if they did, then maybe they wouldn’t run into me so often.
But those circles… circles are so funny, I think, turning the shape over in my orb. Circle circle circle, I say to myself trying to wrap my mind around the shape. What a funny funny shape. It is so circly and round, and there are so many of them. Can I count them? Oh no no no, my brain decides trying to take them all in. But the nystagmus doesn’t allow me to ever focus on one thing, so as my eyes wander of their own accord, my ability to process the image struggles to keep up. But circles are so circly… They go round and round and round and round. There are no corners, just a roundy edge. Isn’t that amazing, I continue with my inner conversation. And just like those circles, that never begin and never end, I too could go around and around and around forever. I want to follow the circle in every way. The circle is smooth and circular, and so easy…
Looking is so much fun, but how do people do this all day? And at everything! That is in sane…
But seriously, how can something be that green? That is a beautiful vivacious green. How does something so brilliant even exist.
When I look at it, it takes every ounce of energy I have. Therefore I no longer consciously feel it in my hand, or smell its fragrance. All I can do is be entranced by the green green green. Sound slips away and there are nothing but the pretty, pulling me into its embrace.
The circleness almost makes me dizzy in both shape and thought. It is as if I am on a wheel and cannot get off. My head is spinning.
I was surprised when the next day after the apple incident; lemons appear next to the green circles in the fruit bowl.
My recognition of them was so much quicker than the green circles. Something about the shape reminded me of what eyes look like. Or what I imagine eyes to look like. Roundy in the middle and somewhat pointy on the ends.
These are beautiful, I think. Truly beautiful.
Darling, did you just buy those, I ask Michael, wondering why he didn’t tell me they were there. He always tells me when he buys new things and where they are.
Nope, he replies, they have been there for days.
No they haven’t, I dispute. I would have noticed them. How could they have been. I would have noticed them yesterday when I saw the apples.
He just laughs. How had I not seen them, I wonder as I pick one up.
Yellow is gorgeous, I muse. But have lemons always been that yellow? I always thought they were darker and more dull. This is a yellow, which declares itself loud and proud. How have I not known about this before?
I hug it to me with glee. I want to hold it forever. Again another colour to reignite my imagination.
It doesn’t occur to me I am not seeing things . I am just so excited to have sunlight, the blur of my baby, and the relative dark greyish brown of the ground again.
I can live with this, I declare one morning to Michael.
Good, he says in that loving way. Not pressing me for further information, but knowing I will provide it if and when I am ready.
I can live with only the Blue sky, blinding sunshine, a purple blob otherwise known as Little, and those funny green circles in the fruit bowl, I continue.
It may not seem like much to anyone else, but after a world of nothing, it is everything!
Let’s go to the ocean, I say, or rather shout excitedly, throwing my arms in the air. I want to see the blue ocean!
I figure if I can see blue sky, then blue ocean should be possible, because that is not too far apart, and maybe my brain will make sense of it. So off to the ocean we go.
We’ve never taken Little to the beach. Well not since she was about three months old. So I am ridiculously excited and overjoyed about our day.
I wonder what the universe will bring us today. Michael says as we’re driving, and I am examining the sky for signs of something. Even he seems to be filled with more optimism and the sense of possibility.
Still I don’t know how this has affected him, because he isn’t talking about it. I try to put myself in his shoes, but to no avail. The truth is, I am far too busy being in my own, that I don’t have the capacity to empathise or reflect on his perspective. Not until he tells me anyway.
Is it cloudy today, I ask him, not sure if I can see them or not.
I am constantly testing, measuring, and monitoring my vision for signs of improvement or deterioration.
Is it better than the day before, or is it worse.
Is that headache a headache, or something more sinister? Is my pressure ok? What if my eye is bleeding…
I wonder if the fear of my vision disappearing again will ever dissipate, or is it to be a friend for life.
As we head down to the ocean, I can barely contain myself. Sand sand beautiful sand. It has been an age since I have felt you beneath my feet. But oh to see your beautiful orange or is that brown colour… Surely, sand can’t be that bright. I’ve always remembered it as something other. But the other now eludes me. Something with less colour. Maybe it is just this beach, I think as we trudge through it.
Oh my God oh my God oh my God we’re at the beach!!!
Ok, so is orange correct? It doesn’t feel correct. In hindsight I know it as gold. But at the time, I couldn’t put my finger on it. But maybe gold isn’t right either. I simply don’t have enough references yet to understand the world’s pallet.
I can hear what I am after long before we reach it.
Crash crash rolling crash go the beautiful waves.
Crash crash crash.
Step step oops step, go our feet.
This is tricky, Emily says as we hold hands and she struggles to balance.
I know, I reply, also having trouble finding my feet, but enjoying the innate familiarity of the feeling none the less.
Sand is one of those things that takes me home. It is apart of my happy place. Whether it is a relaxed walk along the ocean’s edge, or a giant thigh burning sandy slippy hill to run up, it just makes my heart open to new possibilities and drop the old. I can’t help but feel grateful and gleeful when it squishes and scratches between my toes.
The breeze is that unmistakable sea breeze that can only ever be found on the beach.
I am not conscious of smelling salt, although I am sure I must.
I am way way too excited for such trivial sensory details. All I want is to see the sea. To see the beautiful blue sea….
And then as if by magic it appears. A big bold blue stripe in front of me.
My emotion bubbles over, as I race with Emily down the sand.
Look baby girl, look, I exclaim. This is the ocean…
Michael is ahead of us. But before he can say anything, I have my jeans rolled over my knees, and I am sprinting to the water’s edge just as I used to when I was small.
I squeal and jump and twirl with glee.
The sea the sea, the bright blue sea…
Honey, can you see it, I ask him spreading my arms wide to illustrate the vista. As if he cannot. But in my moment, if I am seeing it for what seems like the first time, surely it must be the same for him, so why isn’t he as excited as I am?
How can he not jump and twirl and swirl and scream. How can he be so contained? This is incredible. How can he absorb such beauty as though it is nothing. My heart is not big enough for this, I think as I restrain myself from running into the ocean completely. I want to meet the waves where they are, and not wait for them to come to me.
I want to expand to be as big as the ocean, I think as I run circles on the spot and continue to express my excitement with abandon.
On closer contact, I think it is more of a green than a blue. But whatever it is, blue, green, bluey green, I want a coat, a bag, some boots, a hat, a belt, another bag, a scarf, a skirt, a necklace, a top, and definitely another bag in that exact colour. It is gorgeous!
I don’t remember it being like this, I think.
It is brighter and more beautiful.
The only thing which stops me diving in, is that I have only packed spare clothes for Little, and not us. What was I thinking? How could I have forgotten something so fundamental to my ocean going experience.
The amount of times I have gone to the seaside and ended up soaked is ridiculous. And I don’t mean as a kid. Because that was just standard practice. It seems I have never really grown out of accidently on purpose falling in.
I cannot possibly be any more happy when Little comes to join in the fun.
We had taken her to a small inlet without waves earlier in the day to get her used to water. Well that, and to see if mummy could see it. Oh my God, did you know the water sparkles, I had asked Michael as we came upon it. The sun was high in the sky, and there was a twinkly white reflection on the water’s surface that beckoned to me like a Greek siren. It was all I could do to keep away…
And to think I thought that was enough. But this! This is one thousand times more.
There are no twinkly lights, but there is curly white foam running running running.
Before I know it, Little was asking daddy to take her nappy off because it was too heavy and full of salt water from our frolicking.
The apple doesn’t fall far, I laugh as I say to Michael. Michael who doesn’t like sand, and would rather live near a smelly stinky river with it’s’ mud crabs and yabbies.
But me, I am a beach girl through and through. And if I have anything to do with it, we will have that house by the sea one way or another.
She isn’t afraid of the noisy white squashy bubbly waves coming toward us. If anything, the bigger the better.
She holds our hands, and jump jump jumps to her heart’s content. Just as I had done when I was small.
There is something about continuing the ribbon of grandpa to me to her that gives me a sense of continuity. It makes me feel safe, and as though I have contributed to the universe in a meaningful way. In other words, I feel as though I fit. I belonged somewhere. Even if that somewhere is on a deserted beach three days before winter, with my two favourite people in the entire world by my side. And that is all. Nothing earth shattering, nothing dramatic, nothing big or bold or brason in the scheme of things. Just us.
I have a place. And my place is teaching Little to jump over waves just as my grandpa had taught me…
It isn’t long before she is exploring them on her own, and if she falls over, rather than panic, she bear crawls toward higher ground. I mean why waste time standing up, when it was the sand draining from beneath her feet that had caused her to tumble in the first place. I thought she was so clever. Her instinct for strategy always amazes me.
Obviously, the ocean is so much fun.
Well done baby girl, I call to her every time she does almost anything.
I am so proud of her courage and go get-em attitude. And I am just so relieved she loves it as much as we do. Sometimes I think she has so much of Michael in her, that I worry I am not apart of us at all. But this is definitely proof that there is the best of mummy and the best of daddy incarnate in our sweetie.
As I stand back and watch, as in peer at my little baby blur with the much bigger blacker blur of my husband on the ocean’s edge, my heart bursts with happiness.
Here we were filling my bucket list, and it was all so easy. Not to mention, I hadn’t even really known how much I had wanted this, or what dream come true it actually is until we are all in the moment.
Funny how the simplest things in life are often the best, I think as we all stand at the blue stripe, a naked toddler and us with our jeans rolled up and soaked to the waste anyway. The sun was behind us, the sky in front and there was nowhere else we needed to be. The universe just like the ocean is opening her arms before us, and I am at peace.
How could it be as effortless as all this, I wonder as I stood letting the sun warm my half soaking body.
Sometimes things were so much easier in real life than they were in my head. Why didn’t I just live more.
Still I am staggered by the blue of the ocean. Had it always been this blue? I never remembered it being this blue. I always thought it was deeper, darker, duller… But this was stunning… And that white, it is incredible. It playfully gallops toward me like a lover, and I cannot get enough of it.
This is just here for me, I say to Michael who stands observing us in that quiet way he often does. Because surely it was. Surely, that was the truth. How could it be otherwise?