October 04, 2012

A Home I Once Knew

I have been living in the UK now for just over three weeks. The first question people ask me is "What's it like to be back?" and I never really know how to answer them. It's a little bit like I am numb, just going about my day to day without really feeling anything until I guess at some point it resembles my life again. If you want to know whether or not I miss Rob Roy or Barcelona or all of my lovely friends the answer of course is yes but the same numbness applies. I know myself very well and it seems quite odd that I shouldn't be more emotional about everything... perhaps I've grown up? The emotion that does appear seems to be muted and only surfaces in small, manageable waves like finding something in my handbag that reminds of Barcelona, or snapshots of faces I love or in sentences that start, contain or end with "In Barcelona..."

Many things here are still the same and everything else is utterly different but with some semblance, some scent of a life I once knew so well. I have left England for long periods before but always come back and fit straight in. This time I feel like pieces of me have detached but I don't know where. Where are those other parts of me? In Barcelona? Lost forever? In some ways, it's like finding an old pair of shoes that you used to love and when you put them on it feels so natural and yet so different. Because they are the same but so much has changed. I feel like I never left. But I did. I had another life and totally different friends. It really happened.

I am a creature of habit so there are some things I do regardless of the country I am in like sleeping with the windows and curtains open. I do this in any weather. Last Friday we went for a stroll in the orchards and forest, just after sunset at the height of dusk- those lingering moments between light and darkness where it is neither one nor the other.
There is no sweeter apple than one plucked straight from the tree.

 At this time, the moon almost seems within reach and follows you around, beaming a cheddar-yellow glow in your face. For all the days that have passed for me back in England, this night really pulled at my heartstrings and made me feel alert again because I feel like I have been living at the very front of my skull. There is no past. And there is no future. It reminded me of the things I love the most about this country and so I danced around on the grass playing games with the moon.
I ran around the dark lanes and there she was. I poked my head through the hedgerows and there she was. I walked through the canopy of the forest watching snatches of her through the treetops as she shone down upon me.
When we got home I went to my room to discover that there was no need to switch on the light as my room was bathed in moonlight. I walked to the window and looked up.
A waft of the cold night air came through the window, laced with the smell of a dying bonfire and I lay on the bed and let it all wash over me. I let it welcome me home. And just for that evening, I could feel again and I knew for certain that everything would be ok.

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