I haven’t posted on here in a while. Sometimes, if my creative writing is going particularly well, it’s almost like it swallows my whole quotient of words; there are none left over to spill onto a blog post. It’s exhausting, but it’s a pleasant kind of exhaustion. I feel like every cell in my body is humming. Like my brain is shooting off flowers of colour and fire.
I’ve been writing wildly these last few weeks. Poems about seals and selkies. Poems about renewal. Poems about birds, and love, and seasons. I’m finding poetry in everything. All day in the office, I burn for my laptop and a quiet room.
Nothing makes me happier than building a poem. Selecting the right words and clicking them together like interlocking puzzle pieces. It’s strange, but it almost feels like discovering something rather than creating something. Like the words are already there just waiting for me to brush the dust off and reacquaint them with the light. I imagine this is how an archaeologist must feel when they turn over sand and find old gold, or uncover a tomb full of jewels. Reverent. Exhilarated. Wide-eyed.
It’s still like Winter here even though April is almost over. The skies are gunmetal-grey, the trees are skeletal and the pond at work is thick with slurry fans of slush in the mornings. This time last year, we’d little peeping ducklings everywhere, and lanky, awkward-looking baby geese. This year, the nests are still full and quiet; the eggs are keeping their sweet secrets a little while longer. I love Winter and all of its austere beauty, but this season has been endless; I am more than ready for Spring with its clear skies, its buds fumbling into blossom and its daffodils trumpeting from the grass verges like triumphant yellow angels.
I fly to Egypt on Sunday, so I’m managing the current lack of heat by resting in the knowledge that soon I will be gilding my skin on another continent. A week of sunshine and drifting lazily in the sea, cocktails by the pool and the delicious coconut-smell of sunscreen. The last time I went to Egypt, almost four years ago, I was still actively eating-disordered. I remember feeling totally self-conscious and glaringly enormous, even though I was so thin that sweat collected in the shallow bowls of my collarbone and the dips between each rib. We stayed on a cruise ship, and every restaurant on board had these amazing displays of food that I marvelled at but wouldn’t allow myself to try: hams and cheeses carved into Sphinxes, pats of butter shaped like pyramids, doorstop-wedges of cake brimming with chocolate curlings and bright slices of dragonfruit. My sister lay on the loungers, all lovely golden curves; I arranged and rearranged my pale bones in a vain attempt to find a comfortable position on the plastic slats.
There is a quiet joy in knowing that this time round, I will laze in the light, eating whatever I like whenever I like. Being grateful for my body, not at war with it.
A little reminder that even the smallest change matters. That any little effort towards the greater good is an effort worth making. A snowflake by itself melts away into nothingness, but a million together make a snowman, an igloo, a Winter palace. Every snowflake contributes to the end result. Every action counts.