Being able to stand outside at night time without a coat on felt as such a gift after the kind of never-ending winter we had been having in England. As I stood outside the airport in the dark, with the wind on my face and the smell of the Athenian March night all around something within me yawned, stretched, and started to slowly unfurl.
On a long, meandering walk on a chilly Sunday afternoon I took photos of trees, of rooftops, of churches with their crosses, of skylines, of the way the sunlight fell against it all; I came home sunstruck, grumpy, with my head full of colours and and the phrase ‘reaching for the sky’ on my mind.
For my birthday we travelled a short way south, to the seaside, and found ourselves sitting on a little concrete pier as the sun set, as dusk fell, as the lights of the stars in the sky and the boats in the sea came on; and in that space created between the departing day and the approaching night I could feel myself expanding, waiting, listening for something I could not make out yet.
There came a night when life seemed to be made up mostly of suffering, of little else besides it. I lay in bed unable to sleep, unable to do anything but catalogue the disappointments, the missed connections, the uncrossed distances — and I waited, half-patiently, half-gratefully, for the tidal wave of sadness to recede. When it did, late the next night, it left me suddenly, temporarily so awake to the wonder of this world that I was lost for words, breathless and trembling. It hurt almost as much.
Sometimes you simply fall in love. It is as if love is a puddle waiting patiently for you to come around the corner –skipping with joy, perhaps, or walking fast, intent on your feet and yet absent-minded, or, as was the case for me, unfurling, sunstruck, waiting, breathless, trembling– and step into it. One moment you are dry and unaware and the next you find yourself with wet feet and sparkling eyes, suddenly awake to a new world, and nothing will ever be the same.
Unfurling, sunstruck, waiting; breathless and trembling; wet and sparkling and awake; I think I’m going to stay.