Art in a place where I stayed in Santa Cruz, California. © Joan Currie

Anagnorisis definition: the point in a play, novel, etc., in which a principal character recognizes or discovers another character’s true identity or the true nature of their own circumstances.

The first sounds I hear upon waking in the morning are those of the low-pitched train whistle as it approaches the station about two miles away. The intensity of the sound seems to vary depending on the weather – it is much louder on foggy days. I hear one blast at first followed by several more urgent blasts. At first, I am comforted by the sounds – sounds of a new day, sounds of my daily life in the city. But then, I think of why the whistle blasts so persistently. This station and these tracks have been the scene of a number of tragedies in recent years – high school students mostly. So those first happy thoughts quickly turn to sadness, mourning for the unknown-to-me young lives lost. Every lighthouse, buoy marker, and signal can also be a symbol for the ominous. Then I realize that I must put aside my dark thoughts and be grateful for the wonderful day that lies ahead!