morgan freeman sunrise park bench

My Summer with Morgan Freeman

We sat on a park bench and looked out over the landscape. I asked about his upcoming projects, but he turned the conversation to my situation. He said we could talk about his projects later but we needed to focus on me. That’s what friends do, he explained.

Over several weeks, Morgan and I had plenty of talks. He always seemed to arrive when I was at my most overwhelmed, struggling with the series of emotional blows that the Summer of 2016 handed out like candy — a major announcement at work that left my job in jeopardy, the sudden death of my brother-in-law, the cancer diagnosis of my best friend’s husband. Each time I thought I could not bear the weight of one more ounce of this heavy life, Morgan appeared.

The first time we met, I was a mess. I had cried myself to sleep with thoughts of my 20-year job being pulled from under me like a cheap rug. He found me on a park bench, sat down, and asked what was troubling me. The sound of his soothing voice was like a sedative, easing my frazzled emotions back to center.

The conversation was not unusual or particularly stimulating that first time, but the ease at which if flowed shifted my anxiety downward a few gears.

“Would you look at that sunrise?” he said. We watched the sun peak above the treeline and throw its orange and pink beams outward like party streamers.

“That’s the thing about the sun,” he said. “It rises every morning.” We watched it rise, in silence, like good friends who don’t need words to know each other’s mind. Good friends can do that.

Over the next several weeks, Morgan appeared randomly throughout my days — his photo on social media, a commercial on television, that familiar voice narrating a documentary. Everywhere I was, the sense of Morgan would surely appear as if to reassure me he, and his comforting friendship, was never far away.

I began to refer to him as my spirit guide. I’d laugh and tell friends that Morgan appeared again as I described the most recent exchange with my friend, Morgan Freeman, out of the context of my dreams.

These conversations occurred in the depths of slumber each and every time. The level of emotional stress I experienced during the day directly correlated to the vibrancy of Morgan’s appearance in my dream that night. We were always on a park bench. His reassurance always made me calmer. He always told me everything would be alright.

Even as I awoke from the first dream, I knew the truth. I knew that Morgan was representative of something much bigger that had come to my side to help me through the turmoil. After all, with Morgan playing the role of God to Jim Carrey’s troubled soul in Bruce Almighty, who better to play that role in the nightly serial known as my dreams?

He became the face of God as he and He appeared throughout my summer days. The sound of his voice or the sight of his face were reminders that He was with me, watching over me. During a very long summer, Morgan was the constant reminder of my shelter in a storm.

Morgan appeared again a few weeks later on the night my dear uncle died. We sat on our park bench, and he let me cry. He put his arm around my shoulder and let me know I was not alone.

“I’ll always be here for you, you know,” he said.

“I know,” I replied. “I know.”

Rita Herrmann lives in the Ozark Mountains with her two dogs and Netflix subscription. A lifelong writer, she's learned to draw deep thoughts from the simplest of observations. Through her work on She Wears Red Shoes, she inspires others to be the best version of themselves, even though she often eats too much chocolate. A good road trip with a great playlist is how she rolls. Her core beliefs include dancing spontaneously, singing randomly, laughing often, living simply, and learning to forgive.

2 thoughts on “My Summer with Morgan Freeman

  1. I just wanted to drop in and say hello! I found you in Bella Grace magazine from June 2016! I thumb through it from time to time when I need inspiration. I have read your article several times. I just visited your website and read your article about you and Morgan Freeman! Loved it. I have had a book published and close to having the sequel done. My first website just went live last week. I would love to have you visit. I live in southern Illinois and have traveled throughout Missouri over the years. Keep up sharing your creativity. I’m hopeful my work inspires someone as well. Kindly, DebO

    1. Hi Deb! So glad you stopped by and took the time to comment. Bella Grace is such a lovely magazine and I, too, find inspiration there from all the wonderful stories. I’ll have to check out your website and see your creativity! Happy you found me here!! All the best, Rita 🙂

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e.e. cummings
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