She’d been there for seven days and so far she’d survived. Done better, in fact, than she had imagined when envisaging it in advance from one step far away. Given the circumstances, the disruption, the different location and altered routine – a routine she stuck to, swore by and depended upon as if her life were a cup made out of the finest bone china, her routine an armoured tank to huddle inside – she was pleasantly surprised. Perhaps things wouldn’t be so bad after all, or not nearly so bad, anyway? And anything not so bad after all or not nearly so bad anyway, was good in her books. If she was going to be bold: perhaps even better? Her doom and gloom predictions were bleak, end of the worldy, of the cut her down and slice her apart variety. She had thoroughly expected to be lying in a heap by now, catching boot heels and trainer soles and fending off umbrellas. To be upright, standing, walking even, was a miracle she couldn’t help thanking the constellations for. Maybe the misfortune that had dogged her ever since her real life dog had died had realised it was time it departed, making way in its absence for another breed of fortune to arrive; one that was bright, shiny and pleasant, a joy to have around? Maybe her dreams would come true, allowing along the way her wants, needs, hopes and goals to be both met and realised?
Ok, so it was still winter and wet, dark and cold most of the time. But it was also unseasonably mild, given that by now it would usually be freezing and the rain, although persistent, was at least intermittent and light. For England, that was unusual.
It was also unusual for her to be feeling so chirpy at this time of year and so excited about the future. She had energy and enthusiasm to spare. By all accounts, she should really be holed up inside, hiding behind the walls of an apartment or snuggled beneath the folds of a duvet, curtains drawn, lights low, music bleating softly… She hadn’t realised how much she had missed her former life – her friends, her family, her country – until she had come home from being away for a while.
Maybe in order to appreciate what you have and know what it is it does for you, you have to journey outside, venturing beyond what feels comfortable and safe to then realise in coming back that it was enough in the first place?
by Rebecca L. Atherton
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