Like bears leaving their caves after a long winter, we are beginning to ease out of our long confinement, creeping slowly out into the sunlight, squinting, vulnerable. We know that winter will come again but until then we must go outside, we must sit under open skies, roll in grass and decipher the clouds.
Will we remember to appreciate the sunlight, once the novelty has faded? Or will we instead take everything, libraries and plazas and mountain tops, for granted again, as if they are everlasting, as if we are everlasting?
I don’t know, actually, for I do not include myself amongst those who fail to notice the seasons or express their gratitude for a park bench under a sprawling oak. There is a lot to be said for being indoors, for focusing on the small, everyday details that accumulate into our lives. I am already back to work full-time and miss those weeks stuck inside, my creativity unleashed and unfettered by lesson plans and curriculum design.
Perhaps I have always been fortunate in my location, either by the sea or mountains or as I am now, between them both. There was a short stint of my life where I lived in a completely flat urban concrete-scape. It was not for me. It was like living inside, surrounded by trains and glass and humans rushing here and there, consuming, consuming, complaining.
Of course, now even that sounds like a dream, packed commuter trains, festivals crowded with people in yukata, lined with food stalls, squeezing in between other families for flower watching picnics, along the shore to watch fireworks. All of us pressed up against each other, a sea of humans, rolling along, outside but at the same time, inside of a moment in time, contained in our collectivity.
Our isolation forced us outside of that solidarity, exposed us to our individuality, our dependence on interaction and addiction to movement. Now we are opening the door, stepping outside to step back within.
This week, our story is from regular contributor Kelli J Gavin.
Kelli and her writing will be featured in the upcoming podcast episode.