I wrote this poem 4 years ago, during a very difficult time.
Today felt okay.
Sitting at the beach reading a book,
(a book about someone else’s problems for a change)
on this balmy, warm January day,
the anti-thesis of winter,
while my curly haired 4-year old
built sand castles and nests in the rocks.
He would build them up
then smash them down,
the same utter joy
replayed over and over again,
it just doesn’t matter
to the mind of a 4-year-old,
and I actually felt okay.
The water was still and glassy,
the sand covered in soft, spongy sea-weed,
the product of having been baked for days
in this unusual January sun,
and I read my book
and gazed out at the bay,
and took in the scenes
of other family life
out enjoying this incredible day,
and acknowledged that today was okay.
I don’t know what tomorrow brings,
or even what will happen later,
when my husband and difficult 6-year-old
return from their trip,
cranky and tired from their long drive
along these dusty California roads.
The sun will have set by then
and the day almost over,
but for now, I am okay.
Just a little bit of joy
having seeped into my center,
after weeks and weeks
of feeling nothing but gloom.
Maybe it will be gone tomorrow
maybe I’ll have to begin again,
a life of one day at a time,
a kind of mentality
designed to help me survive.
But maybe it will still be there
and the day after that.
Having taken root in my body,
slowly occupying more space
than anything else,
so that what’s missing in my life
doesn’t throw me into gloom and sadness,
but can instead be just like
my son’s sandcastles,
something I create and destroy
as I see fit.
Diana Ray/April Aronoff
Photography by Diana Ray