Slipping beneath the water

Today… or yesterday (it all begins to blur) I took the day off. It wasn’t a good pain day and I am still tired from the amount of paperwork I’ve been doing lately. I am very very behind in a lot of admin and reporting I need to do. I’ve made a good start. I woke very early and not feeling well. Rose stayed over and didn’t have to run off to work straight away. That’s been rare, a morning in bed together. She made strawberry milkshakes and I made bread and honey. When she left to run errands I opened the window and lay in the sunshine, finished reading a book that’s overdue at the library, and actually napped for an hour. That’s very unusual for me, once I’m awake I’ve usually got too much driven energy and mind chatter to nap. It was very peaceful.

I thought about how much I love living alone, how long I’ve waited to be in a home of my own. I’m very social. I love my friends deeply, care for a lot of groups, have a busy online network of people, and pine when I get stuck home sick and lonely. But I also love the time to myself that closing my door on the rest of the world gives me. More, I love having my own home, where I set it up the way I want it to be, where no one trashes my space or borrows my things and doesn’t bring them back. Where I know the contents of my fridge, where I can bake at 3am without disturbing anyone, where there’s peace when I need there to be quiet. One of my favourite places is standing in the kitchen by the sink, looking into my backyard. It’s a mess at the moment, I haven’t been able to get to the lawn or tidy it in a while, but the plum tree is scattering white blossoms through the yard, the sun sets behind my back fence, the moon sails there in the small hours. It feels like I only just moved in here. Sometimes it feels like life moves too fast.

I was also thinking about how much I love to live with and care for other people. It makes my heart sing when I can share what I have, to be able to cook for sick friends, to offer a couch to sleep on for someone needing a place to stay for a few nights, to tend my garden and collect fruit and vegetables from it to give away. I love being part of communities. I love the quiet of a home life, the tending of a home, to clean and sweep and find order. I love being able to let go of the drivenness for awhile, to slip out of it like slipping beneath the water in my bath, a place where I can only hear my own heartbeat. To walk in the sun, to gather mulberries.

In the back of my mind, there’s guilt. There’s a sense of time passing, my life slipping away, so many big goals yet to be accomplished. With a bit of hand holding from Rose, I put it aside. I look after her, she has some residual pain from an accident recently. I keep the freezer stocked with icecubes for the cold pack, prepare dinner while she naps before her nightshift. I lie on the couch and watch tv, moving position every 10 minutes to ease the ache in my bones.

Tomorrow I’ll work on more paperwork, admin, bank things. Today is an island of calm. The night flows around me. I solve no problems, answer no questions, have no insights. I’m just here. Sleep will come for me soon.

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