Without work, without many people around, hours should stretch on. But I am finding contentment in little things: puppy-dog happinesses, river walks, blue skies so bright they look like to crack, a warm bed to crawl into.
Life is quiet but not for long. This time is a blown out breath on a cold day. For a moment it hangs on the air with all the beauty of a tiny world, a cloud country. It’s nothings flow – but not for long. It is just a breath that memory will mist it out. Yet somehow that thought is peaceful, filled with thanks for the fullness of a flying moment.
I am home again.
In these last two years there have been many coming-homes to shades of nothing, to more sickness, to less time. There have been months without work or much to hang a hook on, times when life seemed so light and insubstantial that it was somehow hard to bear.
But this time I haven’t felt that weighty emptiness. The ‘I’, the still point at the centre of the slow swirl of days and nights, dawns and dusks, is just a little stronger, a little better able to support nothing and anything.
I’ve found my way to heartfelt habitual thankfulness for just what is. I have a kind of peace with what this is, whatever it is, and I’m able to see it’s beauty and hold it gently in my hands.
There is simple pleasure, a freedom, in finding myself still very much myself when I have nothing much to do and no one to be. Even without a name, a tag, label, I am known to myself, I am me.
I am here when no one is watching, when no one else sees. I think I might be a little in love – with me. From here I can forgive much, hope, and give unbidden boundless more.
This time will pass.
I am packing again. Feeling a pinch of fear, worrying I won’t have enough money, fretting over the guidebooks I haven’t read, the languages I don’t know, the fact I don’t really have much sense of even where I want to go.
But I am taking a step, travelling light and taking the best of what I have with me. I will be there.
Understand, I’ll slip quietly
away from the noisy crowd
when I see the pale
stars rising, blooming, over the oaks.
I’ll pursue solitary pathways
through the pale twilit meadows,
with only this one dream:
You come too.
Rainer Maria Rilke