This blog post was first published at Wild Woman.
I close my shutters on the night sky. A different view to the place I first called home, and the second, third, the fourth. I've lost count now collecting chunks of home where ever the bus, train or airplane goes. City lights flicker below, mimicking the stars that do the same above, all surrounding a full moon glowing blue. I close the shutters on this still night sky. Breathing in deeply, I smile from my temporary home safe up the mountains.
Slipping into sleep, the night brings confused dreams of merging lives, places all mixed up. Past, present and future in a tangle. I see the bright familiar faces of family members, so close I can touch them then bang, they're gone. Friends lost too soon show up, dancing in and out of reality, "what are you doing here!?" I shout over the sound of concepts too complicated to put into words. I thought I'd never see them again. The bustling bright coloured souks of Morocco carry me away then I'm at the bottom of the ocean with coral reef, sharks and dolphins before flying over the jungle in some unknown land.
Crusty eyes, the sleepy smell of dried sweat when I awake to open the shutters to greet a new day. Full sunlight floods into the room, birds squawk and patter on the tin roof. The city below has awoken. Whirring engines and beeping horns play the soundtrack to little buildings in the distance that look like parts of a toy town. The ocean asserts her presence behind, blue as ever. I could be looking out to sea any which way, is it the South Pole, India or Madagascar I see?
All the what if's, the anxiety, the OCD and other weighted labels describing intricate goings on in the mind disappear. A sense of stability lies in the appreciation of the everyday, the gratitude of all the little things. And so this daily routine of closing and opening my shutters has become an anchor gripping me firmly into the present moment.
It's starting to become clear that no matter how far away we go from where we grew up, no matter how much distance we put between us and home, that feeling of being at home can be felt anywhere in the world. What's more, we're always in the process of growing up. There's no defined moment where we've gone and done it, grown up and that's that. I know I'll still be growing up when I'm 73 years old and have a whole lifetime of stories behind me. Looking out to the sea on this new day, a burst of something bubbles up inside.
I'm here. Alone. I did it and will do it again, and again, and again and...
Just me, a backpack and the great unknown.
Cilaos in La Réunion