There was an absence that made her crazy, like she knew where she wanted to be but couldn’t put one foot in front of the other.
I always knew life had many pauses and that some were longer than others. I knew we are not supposed to be achieving, making plans and being busy all the time.
But my pause felt too long – long enough for the silence to feel like a burden, long enough to be able to watch everyone else race past me.
At least when my mind was lost it had a title and I could tell people ‘I think I have lost my mind’ and that I could focus on finding it through practicing mindfulness and well being. But my mind wasn’t lost at all it was just still.
She wasn’t hollow or still like an animal whose breathe had left it’s body, she wasn’t aching in any way, she wasn’t crippled with sadness or falling into the descent of madness. She was just static.
I was still happy, happy with motherhood and nurtured this part of me with a full heart but when my babies slept and the house was as still as my mind I forgot who else I could be. I made endless cups of tea to fill spaces and gaps in my thinking, I was curious about what other people were doing online watching their busy lives from my sofa burning my lips on china cups.
I read books about women who go mad and listened to music about people who were trapped in a loveless romance.
But I wasn’t busy I was still.
We are told to be passionate, hopeful and driven. To be careful with our time and spend it wisely. We have to keep up, be busy and say ‘I can’t I am busy’ at least 3 times a week. We have to work beyond our limits and prey that someone is watching so respect can lift our heads higher and feed our self worth.
But one day when I was pottering I decided to take the boys to the sea – you know we always do this it wasn’t an exciting moment or a surprise but I felt we should be there.
I was thinking about this feeling and this interval in my life, this strange notion that I should be doing more and that I should be chasing dreams the way I used to or spreading my wings further and tying harder.
I lifted Wilbur my youngest close to my face his breathe warm against my cheeks, the cold air made our noses red and our bodies slightly stiff. I told them we would walk to the sea to see it and acknowledge it and that that was enough for the day.
As soon as I said this out loud I heard the words louder – clearer.
That was enough for now.
These thoughts, these worries were not really relevant right now.
I smiled inwardly – to myself as if I was sympathetic to my worries but freeing them all at once.
The sea was still but not completely still, small ripples of water fractured the waves as they stopped at our feet. The water so calm that even the stones we threw barely made a sound but as the cold air forced us to leave we turned away and headed home.
She doesn’t wait for her tides she just knows that they are coming. (The sea)