Touch of Grey

Grey vireo holds a wisp of moss … or is that one of my grey hairs?

I looked in the mirror and saw a few more grey hairs: those coarse silver/white ones that stand straight from the top of the head like a ship hoisting a surrender flag. I’m 53. I expect a touch of grey. And the 15 or so usually only last until my next salon appointment. But this time, the grey in my hair was not alone; it was also in the pit of my stomach.

I know this feeling well: depression.

I am very open about my long-standing battle with depression. It is part and parcel of chronic health issues. And usually, I fair well and know how to self-care and communicate with my physician.

But … damn. Really, 2020? I was just finding my footing after 2019 kicked out my legs with the death of my father, family warfare, caring for my mother from afar, and losing one of my jobs …

BAM! 2020.

It is difficult not to be pulled down into the grey. It is difficult to remember that we cannot help others if we are not surviving ourselves.

My outlet is photography. I don’t own a fancy camera–and because I have double vision and contrast issues, my pictures are mediocre. But I enjoy the moments with nature. The time when the focus is off me and on the bird, beast, bug, or blossom.

On Thursday, I walked in the woods. With Covid-19, there are fewer cars on the Peninsula, and as a result, more birds have shown up. I followed a soft grey vireo who flitted among the branches. When I focused the zoom, I saw the white-ringed eye (like the liner of Marlene Dietrich) and pulled in a deep breath to keep the lens from shaking. With that breath, I pulled in light that broke a little of the grey.

I’ll make it through this. I will get by.

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