If you look, you can see my husband in this photograph watching with eyes that are no longer a boy’s, but not quite a man’s yet either.
Growing up in Wales he had the benefit of living half a mile from the harbor in Tenby where he sailed the boat he built with his younger brother’s help. They were both Sea Cadets and for a while John thought he’d join the Royal Navy when he was older. His father talked him into waiting. ‘ Go to University first,’ he said,’ you can always join the Navy afterwards.’
By going to the University at Cardiff, John chose a different path than the one he imagined as a boy and although he never joined the Navy, he still loves the sea. He doesn’t look back the way I tend to and he doesn’t waste energy on regret. Most of my life, I’ve learned by observation and his way looks more peaceful than the route I usually take.
I’ve spent years reading books on letting go, forgiving yourself, and moving on, but living side by side with such a peaceful loving man, I find myself absorbing his natural way of living more in the moment. While I am not wholly a woman without worry and likely never will be, I can see myself changing as my tendency to cast wistful glances of regret over my shoulder at the past, slips away a bit more each day.
It’s funny how the decisions in our life seem to stack up like dominos with those made years earlier affecting the path we find ourselves on later. Fifty years after this photograph was taken and when the time was right, John’s path converged with mine.
I think about that when I look back at decisions I’ve made in my life, especially the ones that I’ve wished I could undo, but one thing done differently and it would all be different.
Can you find my future in the photograph …