There are two things you can do when you’re feeling emotionally down – you can either succumb to the feeling while sitting on the couch in a vegetative state or you can try to build up some positive energy with a little light exercise.
Today, I was feeling emotionally down and facing such a decision.
Feeling pretty low, I reviewed the above choices and was leaning towards the vegetative state. But deep down I knew I needed to get out and try to make something of the day. So, I grabbed my iPod and went for a stroll around town.
It wasn’t a particularly sunny day – mainly cloudy and cold, which didn’t help me feeling emotionally down. I had no planned route in my head. I just went wherever my feet felt like going and before long I found myself standing at the entrance of a small park on the other side of town.
The park was very familiar to me and almost immediately I felt a feeling of warmth and comfort engulf my body. I hesitated at first, but then slowly made my way through a chain-link gate which I had crossed through dozens of times before. It was nice to see that not much had changed since the last time I visited.
As I stood in the center of the park and looked over my left shoulder, I saw the house I had grown up loving as a child. A house which always brought me unconditional love and support; a place I knew I could always go and feel accepted.
It was my grandparents’ house. Well, it used to be before they sold it some five years ago to move into a one floor apartment due to my grandfather’s failing health. Admittedly, the house wasn’t as meticulously maintained as my grandparents had kept it, but it still appeared familiar.
Alone in the park environment, I just stood there staring at the house and remembering all the wonderful times I spent with my grandparents.
Regardless of the visit, we inevitably wound up at the park which was right around the corner from their house. I could still see grandma looking out the kitchen window and waving to me as I played on the swings. I could almost still see her standing there today.
As I made my way around the park, my mind flooded by a sea of joyful memories and tears began to fall from my eyes. I remember thinking that so much had changed since my childhood and there were no longer people looking out the window telling me what to do and protecting me from a cruel and sometimes heartless world.
That job was now my own – the part of being an adult they don’t often tell you about when you’re a child or teenager. How I longed for the safety and security that came from that house and the two people who resided there for some 50 years.
I stayed in the park for about 20 minutes and in that time I found myself smiling – not because I’d discovered the answers to all my problems, but because I remembered how fortunate I’d been to have known some truly amazing people who’ve inspired me along the way.
People who could always help when I was feeling emotionally down.
The television show The Wonder Years said it best: “Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.”