Thank you letter to an eye surgeon and the spiritual journey of restored vision…
Dear Doctor D,
Not counting the Brownie Hawkeye camera I owned as a teen ager, this will be the the second year of my self-taught foray into amateur photography. I am now 72 years old. You can see by the photographs how important sight is to me and how devastated I was when I could no longer see the camera settings or optical viewfinder that allowed me to take photos. Your life’s work as a skilled surgeon has changed all of that.
All of my life I’ve searched for a meditation that would force me into the present where happiness resides. I’ve always lacked the necessary discipline to practice any forms of traditional meditation that promises to relieve stress, tame an unruly mind and force one into reality which can only be experienced in the moment. All else, as you know, is either the old dead ashes of history or the useless activity of living in the unknown future.
The things I love most about photography is that it captures moments in time, and forces one to be observant of reality found in the present Photography also gives me a chance to demonstrate my love of Victoria (our fair city), which is beyond words.
The second activity that I was fortunate enough to discover that provides access to the joy of the present is the simple act of feeding wildbirds wherever I find them. My daughter Merritt (seen in the photographs) is very much into this satisfying and immensely easy activity that opens the door to happiness and relaxation that can only be found in the present. Peanuts and dry dogfood for the crows and ravens, whole grains for the waterfowl and seeds for the groundfeeders is just payment for the joy of relating to this wonderful bird life. To feed these miracles of life commercial bread products is to unintentionaly do them harm.
My daughter is self employed and recently told me when she is experiencing life or work related stress she will take an hour between clients, drive to Saxe Point Park and feed her friends the crows who live there. Since crows have the ability to recognize individual people by their facial features they greet her as the friend she is.
Like her I enjoy the friendliness of wildbirds as I make their need to work finding food every day a bit easier by feeding them nutritious, healthy food. Sparrows, finches, crows, ducks, peacocks and geese all express their friendliness by their trust and recognition.
Above all it forces one into the present where these wonderful creatures live. How lucky I am to have found these two realities even this late in life.
This priceless gift of sight you’ve restored to me makes it impossible to properly express gratitude for a gift of such magnitude. These photos are but a token.
Thomas, Vancouver Island Canada
Thomas is an over the hill bird lover and unpublished author who resides in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.