I am hanging in space in a moment of perfect stillness, no resistance, suspended between my launch point and my destination.
The point after my in-breath and before my out-breath.
There is no rushing.
I have no influence; I am at the mercy of the wind, the air temperature and the sun.
I sit in time, with the perfect silence broken by the intermittent flame over my shoulder.
I have been feeling a lot of the neither-here-nor-thereness of these recent days. We’ve left how things were, only to float untethered above the regular starts and stops, the “new normal”, an eventual but elusive destination. There is an unscripted expanse of time in front of me, and with it, the feeling of drifting.
We are gliding over my neighbourhood, and now house, at once familiar and yet strange when seen from this vantage...the house, the garden, the wheelbarrow left out in the side yard. There are the unfinished projects, the dead tree limbs that need to be removed, the south-facing shingles that will need replacing. There are also hidden gems; the blooms resulting from long effortful afternoons, my hiding spot for escaping into a book, a favourite cup left from my morning coffee today? yesterday? It is all so recognizable, and though I wish I could just reach down and take care of a few more things, my life remains out of reach. And we float on by.
I feel peculiar; I miss feeling grounded.
The basket is small and hems me in; the perimeter surrounds me, keeping me safe and contained, but at the same time, confined. My limbs held close to my body, I am invited to look at the world and accept the direction that we float in will not be of my choosing.
Where will we end up?
I don’t know.
That will be determined by our response to the wind, and how well we have read the invisible signs that come in gusts of air. The rules of navigation are different up here. I watch the drifting landscape and give up trying to predict our trajectory. From this vantage, I can see the bigger questions at play, impossible from the vantage of my backyard. Are those trees starting to turn? Is that river running dry? What of this beautiful land will shift in our “new normal”?
I hear everyone speak about “the new normal” as an end destination. As if we will arrive upon it, a clearly articulated endpoint that has been waiting for us all along.
But I don’t expect that it will just show up; I expect that we will have to create it. Ground up.
My sudden energy just succeeds in tilting the basket; the territory of industrious hurrying is far below me. These small circles are not meant for executing a way forward. Not knowing where we will touch down, there is no way of knowing where the starting point of this “new normal” will be.
To plan the “new normal” without pondering my lessons of this time is to risk recreated precisely what was, where I was and who I was.
I am not sure of the woman I will be, changed by the experience of this time, and thus WHO will be authoring the dreams and the desires for what is to come.
Through this experience, my sightline has changed and with it, my values have shifted, goals have realigned. I have renewed curiosity for the answer that will come to the question that sneaks in at night, “who do I dare to be now?”
I am learning, when suspended in a bubble, acquiesce.
Be silent and present to this time of noticing and inquiry. Don’t rush past the question marks in a fervent search for a false comfort that comes with a stake in the ground.
I am willing myself to let go and sit in the unknown.
To play in this space between yesterday and today, between what I knew to be true and what I will create for tomorrow. The more I pay attention to the impulses of wonder and wondering, the more ready I will be to articulate my new-normal once we touch down again. And until then, I float in the space in between.