park bench thoughts

I visited a park last winter on one snowy and early morning, and I wanted to record my thoughts and observations that came up from that visit.

This visit was during the days when I was going through a wave of depression that was sucking a lot of hope out of me. So I got sick of it and decided to go out.

Majority of the time that I spent in the park was sitting on a bench and observing the sun rising upon the snow-laden ground, and watching a bunch of magpies dancing under some trees.

Although it was cold and windy, it was nice to slow down and pay attention to my thoughts in relation to my surroundings for a while.

As I was looking at the park, I thought about how interesting it was that the same park that looks so full of life in spring and summer looked so quiet and cold now. It’s kind of like what depression feels like.

You start to believe your personality has shifted so significantly you can’t recognize your old self in your current self anymore. It’s the kind of shift that makes you the kind of person people would feel too heavy to be around. Perhaps it may even be fitting to name you Destroyer of the Good Vibes (lol).

But the same park that people don’t visit when it’s suppressed by all the snow, and has trees whose branches hold snowflakes instead of bright leaves, is the same park that is visited and loved by so many in the spring.

The same park, in a matter of weeks, turns bright and green, with people flocking to it from everywhere. For a few weeks, it becomes filled with laughter of little kids having fun. For a little while, it becomes a sanctuary for those who want to escape their routine and just relax.

Realizing that gave me another perspective on depression. Seems like I won’t be able to completely get rid of it in my life. However, it’s somewhat comforting to treat it just like a season. I hope that now that I know that depression is like an old friend that makes visits from time to time, it will be easier for me to reject the feelings of hopelessness, knowing that it’s a matter of time before the snow starts to melt away again.

Somehow, it was nice knowing I was still there to admire the park even when it was so cold and early. Something about being there when no one else was felt special. Perhaps I could even use the word “romantic”. It’s easy to visit the park and enjoy it in all of its summer beauty, but it’s not as attractive to many to do the same on a winter morning. I suppose the park wouldn’t feel worthless because of it…

Having written all of this, I don’t think I have been able to sufficiently capture in my words how lovely it felt to be sitting alone on the park bench for so long, and just observe the sun rise above the snowy field. Somehow it was comforting for me to know that a beautiful park like this also gets to be “alone” for a while without the interference of too many people. None of that takes away from its beauty. The park is still as awesome in itself. I guess that means I can live with my own winter too, and be patient for the spring to come around. And for the sun to rise. It sure takes its time to rise…

I feel somewhat frustrated that I still haven’t been able to capture in words: the feeling of contentment, and joy that’s tinged with a hint of melancholy, at feeling as if your inner self has somewhat aligned with the natural outer setting like this. It’s beautiful. But I think that at this time I am not yet skilled enough of a wordsmith to get closer to capturing it better.


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