I couldn’t wait to peel a wet bathing suit off my taut skin after a swim. I wanted that first feeling of realizing the sun was still out at 9pm, knowing the season had just begun and anything was possible. I wanted blackened feet from being barefoot all day and bike chain grease on my calves. I wanted sticky popsicle hands that I would only rinse quickly under a hose. I wanted to collapse in bed after a full day outside and finally realize how exhausted I was. I wanted to put potato chips in my sandwiches. I wanted to sit by a crackling bonfire and feel the intensity of the heat. I always felt like I could sit right in the center of the fire and not be burned but feel alleviated.
I truly don’t believe there is such a thing as “right person, wrong time.” This is an age-old debate that brings up numerous perspectives and opinions, all of which are intriguing and valid. I have just never gelled with the idea that you can meet a person who theoretically ticks off all your boxes and the only thing standing in your way is “timing.”
This year, I got a taste of a type of introspection even I am not used to.
This year, I have lived (and am still living through) a global pandemic. I must admit, the lockdowns and closures did not drastically change my way of life. A true introvert, guilty as charged. But, assimilating into keeping our distance from everyone, even loved ones, wearing masks in public-I adopted these practices without a second thought. When I started dreaming about forgetting my own mask when going out and being confronted at work with people without one was when I realized that this entire pandemic has scarred me deeper than I’d like to admit. I’m beyond grateful that everyone close to me is healthy, but the amount of microtraumas we are all experiencing, along with the mass amount of death, makes me weary for us. We have much undoing for ourselves in this decade. Yet, I am oddly hopeful.
Someone gifted me an orchid some years ago. They’re gorgeous flowers, and I’m not usually one for flowers in my home (I prefer longer lasting greenery), but I loved them. Its arching branch produced many beautifully speckled and spotted flowers, pink and purple in hue. If you looked closely into the middle of the flower, its pollinating center was extremely intricate looking; thin stems covered in tiny bumps with a bulbous end. I was in awe of it, as I usually am with nature.