Egrets in Morning Sunlight by
(41 Stories)

Prompted By Hello Darkness

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By Manjith Kainickara, Dallas, Texas, USA;

Just before dawn one morning in June of 1986, I decided to end my life.

The trees, bushes and brush would give me plenty of privacy to do what I needed to do.

It was not a sudden decision. At least it didn’t seem so; I’d been on a psychological crash dive into darkness since 1977. The reasons are complex, and make for poor narrative, but I knew that my wife would not be particularly sad about my demise.

That was not the depression talking; it was that misbegotten a marriage. I consider it my nadir, the final manifestation of my nine year downward slide.

So, on that morning, I went to a nearby park to escape the loneliness that I could not imagine ever relieving any other way. The park was situated along a river. The trees, bushes and brush would give me plenty of privacy to do what I needed to do. If done right, it would not take long.

I sat on a rock along the riverbank as the day began, getting myself mentally ready. It was a clear, warm morning. I could hear insects buzzing and clicking as their day began. Dragonflies warmed themselves on stalks of grass. The sun glinted off the ripples and riffles.

From my right, a flight of large white birds came soaring along the river. Cattle egrets. They flew with no apparent effort, gliding just a few feet above the water. Silently, they passed by and receded downriver. Watching them go, I realized that there was still great beauty in the world, and that if I could just hang on a bit longer, maybe I could find some. I decided to go for breakfast.

My wife left me in August. In October, I found Gina.


Profile photo of Dave Ventre Dave Ventre

A lot of things have happened in my life, but now I am mainly in it for Gina and the mountain biking.

Tags: egrets, suicide, depression, despair, hope


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Thank heaven for those egrets! And you found beauty in the world, both in nature, then with Gina. Thank you for trusting us with your story.

    • Dave Ventre says:

      Thanks! I like this community. I was only two months from relief, four months from the start of my recovery. A good example of not seeking drastic permanent solutions to temporary problems. If only it was easier to tell which ones are temporary….

      Sometimes I am shocked that anyone makes 30. In fact, that June day might have been my 30th birthday.

  2. Dave – one lucky man, Gina – one lucky gal!

  3. Marian says:

    I’m so glad you ended up where you were, Dave, with the egrets to show you another way to look at life. If there is one thing I’ve learned along the way, it’s that circumstances can turn on a dime, so that even though life is “breaking bad,” unexpected good can occur. And what a coincidence that, in this time of COVID, I walk to the river levee near my house to watch the elegant egrets feed and fly. They give me comfort.

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