To find salvation in your darkest moment, all you must do is find the sun. Sometimes we can become so blinded and bound, drowning in the muck of life that we forget the pure joy that feeling the sun on your face. A quiet moment with my face upturned, my eyes closed and a breeze in my hair is a balm for my soul.
During a recent photoshoot with the immensely talented, dream team of Robert Skuja and SaraBella Makeup I found myself enjoying a quiet moment in High Park. Robert caught me in his magic lens and the rest they say is history.
I was nervous to go adventuring solo. My husband has been with me almost every minute of this ankle ordeal, so going anywhere without him made me nervous. Which annoyed me because I've always been fiercely independent, even as a child. It was also my first outing without my crutches. I was a ball of nerves.
Sara arrived in the morning to make me over. As a makeup artist myself I so enjoy letting someone else take over. Makeup artists see the true beauty of every face and bring it forth with their skills. Boy oh boy, Sara saw some beauty in me. I was flawless by the time she was done with me. I can't wait to work with her again.
Robert arrived and we were ready to go. We set out for High Park. Every step was terrifying. I put on the bravest of faces and I joked and laughed with Robert and Sara. I pitched a few locations that weren't too far into the park and had options for me to sit if I needed to rest. I actually photographed a woman with limited mobility in the same locations 2 years ago so I knew they would be accessible for me. I was safe in that regard.
We arrived at our first location and I carefully took off my cast and put on a real shoe. My hands were shaking. I was so afraid that my healing ankle would buckle and i would re-injure it or, my nightmare, I'd break the other ankle. I gingerly hobbled to Robert's mark and tried to let go of the anxiety. I felt too exposed. Cars were driving by, people were looking and my good leg was fading fast. I feel like Sara picked up on that and she lead the conversation and kept me laughing. She was a great support.
Every moment I spent in the brilliant, fall sunshine I felt a little more like myself. Step by hobbled, shaky step I gained ground on the me from before. Each poorly executed but 100% completed step brought me a little further out of the funk I had sunk into. I was doing it. I was making progress. I'm no astronaut but I finally understood the "one small step for man, one giant step for mankind" mindset. This park adventure is just what my brain needed to give me the boost of confidence to take the literal, next steps in my recovery. I was literally standing on my own two feet looking into the future.
My endurance was fading fast so I suggested the next location, a weathered set of stairs I could sit on and rest my poor foot. I swapped real shoe for the No-Fun boot and we were off. I was never so grateful for a sit-down. I kind of lost myself in my exhaustion and allowed my mind to drift. Like a sunflower, my face turned to the sun and my mind became quiet. I thought about how this moment was my light at the end of the tunnel. I was being given a glimpse of what my life would look like once I was whole again. I could hear the wind in the leaves, the distant sounds of children playing, and i could feel the sun melting away the last dregs of depression. The sun is such a driving force in the human existence. We've built monuments to the sun, the sun grows our food and warms the earth, the light is safer than the dark. I knew all of these things but I was reminded of them in that moment. We are all solar powered and I just needed to recharge my batteries. I came back to my body and remembered that there were people waiting on me.
Stretching out and luxuriating in the sun for just a few more moments while Robert snapped away I formulated a plan.
The time had come to take back my life. I was ready. My strength had returned. I was going to do one thing independently everyday and I was going to start revisiting my hobbies and I was going to do whatever I could from there on out to get back to my pre-break self.
Watch out! The Bitch Is Back.
Robert, who's always a pleasure to work with, really knows how to make me feel at ease in front of his lens. His commentary is light, his suggestions few but impactful and his demeanour is professional and approachable. While he was snapping away, I told him and Sara about a possible wardrobe change and the theme I wanted to work within. They both put on excited voices but I don't think I had sold them quite yet. Once I opened my bag of tricks, that all changed...
Stay tuned until next time for: "And I shall rule with an iron fist".
Jacket and necklace: Your Big Sister's Closet
Shoes: Poetic License