The weather is different. The sun is different. Here, the sky is different. Instead of closely standing Parisian buildings, my eyes trace up the shapes of mountains to the sky. My nose smells different roses every day.
My mind, my computer, my books, my phone, my many worlds of creation… They all came with me here - the ones I could bring at least. But the texture of my days is different.
Not more than 48 hours ago, I couldn’t wait to finally touch my feet to grass. Now, standing at that line between cement and grass, I hesitate to take off my shoes. My toes still haven’t said hello to that prickly, tingling, grounding sensation.
I don’t know what’s taking me so long, but I’m allowing it to. I was that kid that rushed to the beach and then took a full day to jump in and get wet. The collision of different worlds - dry/wet, concrete/grass - has always been a thing for me. And this may be the first time in my self-parenting that I’m fully allowing that.
What helps is knowing that I’m not alone. It’s not just me coming out of a cocoon these days, maybe only to build new ones. We are all having to adjust: a painstakingly slow deconfinement (Paris), a sudden and unplanned deconfinement after not really being confined (Istanbul), a sad and uncertain continuum of confinement (Ireland).
The world started moving.
The mind is asking: What about my cocoon? I was safe here. I was comfortable. I was sleeping more than I usually do. I was exercising more. I was reading more. I was with a few people I dearly love. I was finally away from the chaos. Now I need to find a job, I need to drive again, no one’s wearing masks.
I hear you, mind, I say. As the pandemic started, we went through a collective feeling of loss. As the rules of the pandemic evolve, we thought we would gain things back but most of us are still losing (a sense of safety in the world) or grieving over what already was.
I walked out to the garden yesterday, in between Zoom calls. I was tired from looking at screens. I was tired from the long car ride the day before. There was a buzz in my head, my eyelids were heavy, I felt I was moving at the speed of a snail. I arrived at the chair next to the pool and sat down, putting the full weight of my body on the chair, putting my phone next to me on the chair, my elbow on my knee, my forehead in my hand.
Something landed next to me suddenly. A breath of air. A flicker of color. I looked around in my startle.
It was a butterfly.