The Unbearable Lightness of Now


I’ve been aching to write, these last few months. So many things to mull, chew the cud over, express. Then this last week a growing pang, from the depths of my belly, a yearning to sit here, at my screen and create space for the bevy of feelings that sit with me in these days. And now I have created that moment, how do I find myself?


Distracted. Easily. In part I want to switch to another gear. Avoid all that has lead to this pang, this discomfort. We have moved, finally, out of London. Several years in the making, the longing to leave, for a different quality of life. One more resonant with us, here, now. And so we are, here, in our new home. Temporarily renting until we find somewhere we’d like to buy. We hope. And, until last Thursday, I was riding a fine wave of busy-ness. Months beforehand, spinning numerous plates in the bid to find schools, pre-schools, a home for us to arrive in. Selling our house. Packing boxes, goodbyes to dear friends, more packing, more goodbyes. Then unpacking, finding homes for our treasures, our clothes, our chutneys and mustards and mugs and toys. Far too many toys.


But last Thursday, maybe with planetary alignments, maybe not, I woke misaligned. Not quite with it, feeling it. Twisted and knotted inside. It took the whole day, with Ms Buoyant and Bubbling Four in tow, until I found the stillness to connect to that which had left me feeling so disconnected all day.


Yes, it was my efforts. My 100% go, go, go efforts of being so terribly busy and occupied, in our departure and arrivals, to enable this great step for us as family to happen. I had created too few opportunities to pause and breathe in the preceding months and last Thursday, some beautiful and insistent part of my being decided it was time to unplug. Time to welcome this chink of sadness and sink into the unknowing.


So now I find myself in a no-person’s land. Between distraction and wanting to run away from a swirling in my stillness. Between our old home and life in London and the new one here, in Devon, just beginning. I’m re-learning what new means so freshly, almost painfully. I feel it’s keen, raw sensitivity. I feel it’s unlanded-ness. I feel everything within me that wants to do the just opposite and cement. I feel my desire to walk. To walk and walk and walk until my feet have burned neural pathways in my being to intimately know the new landscape of the land that occupies life beyond these four walls. I want to cover the walls with photographs, postcards, colour, with US. I want to find the shops to shop for fabulous fruits and vegetables and chop and fry and roast and make merry sweetness from onions and peppers and all their magical friends. My hands ache to do. My feet ache to connect. I don’t want to be distracted by my children. I want to veer away from their disquiet when it rises. I want to sniff and spray my scent alone.


And then I feel a heavy sense of responsibility for their settling. A desire kicks in to do more the day to day. To make our home homely. To make routine routinely. To fix and secure. To hold their tears and frustrations when they tumble in our new surrounds.


Betwixt one distraction and another, I haven’t quite known which way to turn. I learned as a child to make the best of a shitty situation and took this as my mantle, growing into adulthood. Putting myself into tight environments, most not feeling fully comfortable in, yet each time trying my best to make them and I twinkle and shine. And I felt this urge kicking in again.


But we are not in a tight position now, far from it. And I am grateful to the speed bump in my unfolding last Thursday. To the burning in my gut that said, STOP, LISTEN and FEEL. Soph, feel the newness in the air around you. It is there floating everywhere, like stardust. I know you see it, feel it. Some of it is, indeed, very slowing, and in it’s own, own time, settling but just be it and let it be. Don’t force it down. Sit side by side, darling girl, the sadness of all you have said goodbye to. Grieve the glorious relationship you had with London all those years. Acknowledge how it didn’t work out. Be with this pain. Be with the untying of the cord from the A13 to be there in support for your mother and sister. It is no longer required. You have been granted new freedom. Be with the woe this cord came with, the you of it, the they of it. Be with the liberation and what that means, the bright side and the dark.


And be with the passion and love and light you shone with as you carved the cobbled streets with your name in your youth. Be with the crevices that you dove into so courageoulsy and discovered yourself in. Be with the passage of becoming a mother, the joy, the fear, the splendid ongoing sense of arrival. Be with the colour and the dance that was 25 years in London and really, really be with the love. This is not lost. Allow your heart to falter enough that the tears can start fall and cry, cry for all that needs to be witnessed.


See this Machiavellian distraction, greet it. Yet know there is no need to ride it. Be brave now, when you can. Feel all that is not certain. All that is falling to ground but that, at now, is more happily in the air around you than finding land. Maybe it never will. Who knows. Be with now, my love. As painful as it can be, in the unknowing, in the no fixed points of reference, in the freshness of a newborn shrieking to the world Hello!, be with this all. Your responsibility lies for your children, not in enabling them define points to stick to, but in you taking your time to arrive. When you know that it’s safe to feel this seemingly few referenced place of being, they will start to know it well too. You are their reference my friend. Welcome the fear but try not allow it to predominate this experience. It has it’s place, yes, but so too embracing the unknown from the depths of your heart, even when it’s easy, easier, to pull away.


Be here now. In sadness, in grief, in bone-deep exhaustion and relief, in wide-eyed excitement and contentment. In growing up. The fragrant and magnificent kind, that doesn’t need to know every corner of things. I know it’s taken a while for you to believe this, but you friggin, hig-heartedly deserve this space. This growing out. Try not resist. Uncertain as it may seem.




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