By Mitch Smith
Where I am now is decidedly different from where I was at twelve months ago.
Then I was angry and cynical about our country and the tin pot dictator who had stolen the White House. I was in a perpetual storm of ego and angst, of despair and hopelessness. I had to take a small part-time job because of some financial issues and I was trapped, it seemed, in a loop of maddening sameness; a La Brea tar pit of banality.
Needless to say, I was not at the top of anyone’s social list, not even mine.
Then mid-year, my daughter, who had given birth to my granddaughter in November 2017, ran into some difficulties with the baby’s father and needed a place to stay. I was all too happy to accommodate them, although I will admit to a certain trepidation and fear. What would that mean to my life, to my routine, to my stability?
As tenuous as my life was, I had lived alone for almost twenty years, which is a hard nut to crack.
Zariah came into my life like a laser, like a shooting star across a black sky. Everything I thought I knew about love and devotion and surrender were all shaken away, like loose skin, and I was immersed in a level of sheer and utter rapture.
Now, months later, I am still floating with this feeling. Seeing her grow and take on a personality and a spirit is an everyday miracle for me. Seeing her smile, and even cry, blows my heart up like a giant balloon.
My angst and cynicism? Oh, they are still there, but now I find that I don’t need to dwell there anymore, they no longer define me, or explain me. I am now someone’s grandfather; someone’s father; someone’s lap to nap in or shoulder to cry on.
I stand now, at the end of a tumultuous year, in a renewed sense of hope. I am seeing the world through different eyes and no longer assuming the worst of everyone and the world at large.
That little girl has rescued me from myself.
I am home.
Photo by Mitch Smith
Mitch Smith is a 64-year old semi-retired substance abuse counselor, who lives with his daughter, and granddaughter, my dog and two cats. Mitch enjoys reading, writing, photography, and continually learning how to be content and happy in his life.
Throughout January, Mythos & Marginalia is looking at Where We are, as witnessed by contributing writers from across this magnificent planet.