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Breathing in the life as we remember it

As the country holds its breath in the anticipation of each next ease of restrictions, I wonder: How is your breathing these days? Are you holding your breath, waiting to book that holiday abroad? Are you gasping for the fresh countryside air that you can just about remember while living in your apartment in the city? Are you dreaming about the smell of the sea? Are you holding your breath because you just cannot allow yourself to breathe in fully in case it is all taken away from you once again? One mindful breath at the time, each will find their way at their own pace.

My first trip to the coast was blissfully uneventful. Something that was triggered was a confusion with the time: how long has it been since I walked on the beach last time? I knew the exact date when I was there last, but the date felt wrong in my experience of how long it has been. In some ways, it felt a lot longer, in others - like I was there yesterday. All that which did not happen last year and all that which happened instead created an experience of a different kind of time. As if the change in the time's quality affected my perception of its quantity.

Will life ever be the same again? - Well, no. It never is. And as I say this to myself, I feel a deep exhale of acceptance. One mindful breath at the time, I will ease my way into this day, and then the next, and then the next. These days will bring changes and I will breathe through each change, one breath at the time, as I have always done: when I first failed at school; when I had my heart broken for the first time, the second time, the twelfth time; when I stood up to my bullies; when a war started; when I learnt that I could not study what I wanted; when I moved to a foreign country; when I realised what it really means to live in a foreign country; when the pandemic changed the way we all live so suddenly and so thoroughly. Everything that is so overwhelmingly big can be broken down into breaths we take through it. One at the time.

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