The end, the beginning, the weirdness

I am home after as many weeks away as I could manage, and I feel like I’ve crashed into the end of summer.

Having spent every day since March struggling to climb lockdown mountains…

parent … work … educate … clean … provide … feed … organise … plan … parent again … 

I’ve mourned the lost time with my kids as I’ve worked and ignored them, I’ve begrudged the lost time at work from trying to home-educate, and vice versa, I’ve resented the mess of my house and the sadness of my garden…

and now they tell me that it’s time the children should go back to school and the shutters of a long-lost and now-alien “normality” are coming down, closing off the unwalled horizons of the lockdown strangeness. Because for all its difficulty and loss, it was also a time when we weren’t tethered so tightly to the nine-to-five.

For all that we’ve stumbled along, worrying about how to navigate the weirdness and tiredness, still I have little desire to return to the life before.

I have a week off, to organise my children’s education and plan the next move. The leaves outside are wide and about to turn brown; the apples are starting to fall, the earth is heavy and moist. Is it time to usher out the spiders and scoop up the sand and dust? Is it time to brew tea and listen to the bubble and plop of boiling blackberries? Time to buy a new jar of nutmeg, lay out the mint leaves and orange rinds, and cover the season’s pears with cinnamon and rum.

Lay the fire. Place the books on the cushions, and throw a blanket over the chair. Consider, first, a run in the late summer rain.

 

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Thank you for reading 😊