I spend my days in four rooms, spread over two floors, no garden. It’s enough for me. The house has its quirks; leaky taps, a shower that doesn’t quite work, oddly coloured carpets and a dodgy boiler system. Yet for all this it anchors me because I know these 4 walls will still stand tall when the outside world is quaking.
Each morning I wake up, open the window and breathe. Across the road is a blossom tree with pale pink flowers stained a musty brown at the tips. Around 3 o’clock every afternoon three pigeons rest on the right-hand side and peck at the highest branches. I have lived here for 6 months and only noticed the blossom and her friends last week.
Beyond her, I spy the looming cathedral. It appears to me this is the first time I’ve really seen it. I miss sitting on the grass outside, having picnics, walking by the river that winds behind the old stables. It was only three weeks ago that I ran in the sun next to the water feeling luckier than I’d ever felt before. That memory seems so distant now as if it will never happen again, yet, in my minds eye I can see the water, running, waiting.
Today after breakfast, I looked at pictures of the canals in Venice. They are clear and bright now, free from the damage we’ve done. I wonder if my river is out there, ridding itself of our waste.
There is little work to do in the house, everything is cancelled. Life has slowed down, my mind has not. It’s new out there, but in here the four walls keep me in, keep us protected. They’ve taught me to sew clothes back together, to sit and read, to stretch, to stop, to think. There is no need to walk further than the shop at the end of my road. We can save now, keep the waters less muddy.
I’ve begun writing again, putting thoughts into space, converting noise into music. The world makes no sense but instead has formed itself into a congealed mess that I must wake up and learn to get along with each day.
Before I go to sleep, I close my window, it is dark now. I see the same star, tiny, but twinkling nonetheless, in the distance. A little ball. And as more join it, I think to myself, this is all we need. Little things.