Returning Light

1 March 2021

This morning, as I sit in my bed, cup of tea in hand, the sun is flooding my covers and, for the first time since autumn, hitting me in the face. It should feel a very welcome return, a sign of spring and returning light to be appreciated. And yet…

The sunny early spring days are no doubt energising and uplifting, after the long days of dark. Their warmth feels strengthening on my skin and on our garden. But I must admit, I do winter well. The quieter, stiller, more pensive days suit me, especially after such a draining year. I really leant into winter this year, distilling our days to nourishing minimalism. Wholesome foods, walks, stories, sleep — it felt good and right, as a salve over the soreness of 2020, and all it gave us to process.

These bright February days are beautiful, and yet I feel myself recoiling somewhat. Part of my brain stirs with projects and schemes, whilst another part whispers, “not yet, please”. I’m not sure I am recouped enough to expend. With the slow easing of our lockdown restrictions in the UK, and my parents reaching the hopeful end of important medical treatments, I feel obligated, rallied to think ahead.

Some of the most tiring and stressful parts of the last year have been dealing with the changing parameters — the figures, the routines that needed to change, the decisions over our behaviours which suddenly felt like life or death. Decision fatigue and overwhelm would peak and subside each time a change came: you’re less at risk, you’re more at risk, it’s safe to see friends, it’s unsafe to see others. I think experiencing a whole year of the same risks and rules would have been less exhausting.

So the new hope, easing restrictions, and lower risk, feel like they should be met with happiness and energy. And yet, I feel like a hibernating creature woken too soon. I’m not sure I have the strength to look outwards and meet a new season. To enter the returning light. Not just yet.

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18 February 2021

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6 March 2021