Living Memory

June 11, 2017
By , Clarkston, MI

I couldn't handle it, I had to leave. My world was shattered, life in pieces. I tried and tried but I didn’t understand, why me, why? It's almost as if I never get a break why can’t I just relax. I was fed up, I bolted to my front door, grasped the handle and pulled it with all my strength. I heard the faint voices of my family attempting to tug me back, ¨ Steve come back….. Steve….. Back.¨ All I could do was run, so that's what I did until the voices were inaudible. I had no direction, no purpose, no thoughts, just my flip flops slapping the pavement as I tried to escape reality. I never was great at getting far enough, I slowed down almost at my neighborhoods lake. The afternoon sun shined a dark yellow into the never ending darkness of the forests to each of my sides. The woods consumed the light as if it was never there at all. I didn’t need that at this moment, I continued to run until I came upon the neighborhood lake. My eyes reached the lake staring intently, immediately giving me peace. The light of the sun shimmered on the surface the sparkle not limiting my vision but extending it. In that moment, I realized the potential beauty in our world, but that's not where it ended. In the distance, I recognize the shape of an animal, two animals, coming closer together. Once they reached each other they created a heart, and immediately I knew, they were swans.

Swans are animals that are together for their entire life, and they make a heart sometimes when they come together. I remember reading that swans are monogamous because of my extensive interest in animals. The emotions I felt in that moment were ones I could never hope to describe. That was one of the only times I really felt alive and like I was really there. I was just standing there in awe as the sun slowly went back to hide for the next day. All I wanted was to hold this moment forever, to keep feeling this. I was shrouded in darkness as I began my walk back to my house. Each step I took meant something, I felt it in my bones, I felt every breath, every movement, every thought. I approached my house and walked up the driveway to the bench on the porch, then put down my hood embracing the night, sitting staring out in the distance. All I could think about was that beautiful image I saw before, the lasting effect it gave me. Still to this day whenever I think about that moment peace radiates from me. The memory of why I was so angry or sad was erased from my brain, there was no longer a place for it, that place was taken by this memory. When I was staring out in the distance I only could see light in pitch black darkness. The cold fall air brushing up against my skin did not make me cold, it empowered me, awakened me, let me see more.

This experienced informed me on what I really want to leave behind, a lasting effect of peace for people to look back on and gain strength from. I want my image to be someone who promoted peace, someone people relied on, someone who was kind and helped people with that in mind. The swans I saw that day really made me think an eternity of peace and happiness, because of the swans nature of staying with one another forever. In some moments we think our world is over, all hope is lost, but it's not, just like the swans we will continue. A swan really shows how I want to be remembered, a peaceful creature that does not stop unless absolutely necessary. It really makes sense to me now, why this memory is still so vivid in my head, because that feeling I had when I saw that amazing sight is the feeling I wish to give people, the same lasting feeling I still can feel today. It really is funny how the things we remember most only last for minutes when life is so long and full of experiences. I want to be the few minute interaction that leads to a lifelong memory.

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