Weary of the constant disruptions to my life from memories of times past, I took it upon myself to seek solace in the quiet of the evening air near the sea.  I wandered for a bit in the shadows, sat among the tombstones in the church cemetery for a bit wondering what it must be like to be dead.  I traced my fingers along the letters of the many names from bygone years and silently prayed that they had finally found peace.

From there I strolled along the ancient walk with the smell of flowers wafting from the gardens of the mansions of Rainbow Row.  My mind kept trying to go into nightmare mode, but I simply breathed in the floral bouquet and felt the gentle sea breeze caress my face.  I could hear the shuffling of others as they walked and chatted quietly.  A puppy came up to me and wanted me to play, so I picked it up and was greeted with eager licks and snugglings.  A young woman came running up, and thanked me breathlessly for finding her puppy as he had gotten away from her. I told her it was my pleasure because I love dogs and especially the ones who like me too.  She laughed and asked if she could buy me a drink as a reward.  Drink…I remembered what happened when I had “a drink” last night and did not want to repeat that episode.  However, I told her she could buy me a drink if I could buy her dinner.  She agreed and off to Tommy Condons we went, where dogs are allowed on the patio.

I told her that I was not one for small talk, being extremely introverted, and she responded that we have two things in common: A love of dogs, and being introverts.  I made the lame joke that we also have dining in common.  She smiled politely and rolled her eyes as she “punched” my arm.  We dined on roast beef sandwiches, she ate my pickle, she bought us Jameson rocks and we sat there having a deep conversation about being at peace.  I admitted that I struggled with finding peace, to which she replied: “Peace is not something you find. It’s not a destination either.  Peace is a journey.  Peace is nothing that no matter what happened or happens, we are okay with our life.”

I’ll admit that was a lot for my brain to process, and I pondered it for a long time.  Then we had to walk the puppy as he was getting restless.  While we walked, I thought long and hard about my life.  There are parts I don’t like about it.  There are events I wish never happened.  There are times I wish I could take back.  Then her words hit me, and I realized that nothing in my past can be changed.  Nothing in my past can physically hurt me.  As long as I can accept that the past events happened and remain IN THE PAST, then I can begin to move forward in peace.  I also realized that this was going to be a journey because the phantoms of my past will not leave me in peace willingly. But at least for this evening I was at peace.

Step one…  One day at a time….one moment at a time….accept what you cannot control or change and learn to accept it as part of the fabric of my life.

At the end of our evening, I asked if I might be allowed to walk her to her door.  She agreed with a smile.  Upon arriving, She unlocked the door, I kissed her hand and thanked her for an extraordinary evening.  She told me that she enjoyed our time together and kissed me on the cheek, I blushed being unaccustomed to such kindness.

When I arrived home I reflected on the evening and decided that I needed to make some changes.  First, the face in the mirror needs to learn to be more thoughtful and positive.  Hiding in the dark is no way to live, unless one is a troll.  Second, I need to learn to get out more.  I enjoyed her company and felt most comfortable.  I like that.  Third…well, I can’t think of a third right now, so I’ll stop here.

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