On being present.

You’ve walked alone in the snow for nearly two hours this morning with your camera bag slung over your shoulder but you haven’t even made a single shot, though it doesn’t matter because you are just being right now, just listening to the swish of your snow pants with every step and just watching the dense downward drift of the snowflakes that look like a bazillion tiny white stars, and when you stop moving there’s only silence so you tip your face to the whiteness of the sky and close your eyes and concentrate on the snowflakes coming to an end on your skin, the feathery tickles as they pool in freezing droplets on your cheeks and your chin and your glasses… so, in honour of your kids, and indeed of childhood itself, you open your mouth wide and catch the falling snowflakes with your tongue and you don’t even care if you look ridiculous, there’s no one here to see in any case; only the trees and they really don’t seem to mind, and then you finally pull out the camera and make the only photo of the day as you stand among the stoic trunks of the conifers, an unremarkable picture except for the fact that when you look at it you’re reminded that you are very small and the world is very big, that there is beauty in silence and solitude and in the crisp, cold taste of a bazillion falling stars.

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My space.

Dear, sweet children:

I adore you with all my heart, but please, please, please: I prefer to go to the bathroom all by myself. Now that you’re a little older, no longer is it required that you accompany me out of safety, and accompanying me because you’re bored is just not a good enough reason, in my opinion.

At times you’ve observed that I spend “a long time” in there. This may or may not be due to the fact that I’m hiding from you.

Please understand that your mother is an introvert, and as such, enjoys and requires a certain amount of space and absence of noise in order to function properly. Failure in this regard will almost certainly result in the loss of my marbles.

I assure you that while I often need a few moments of solitude, you remain, forever and always, my truest loves.

Even if I lock you out of the bathroom while I’m in there, doing nothing but staring off into space, with my hands over my ears.

Affectionately yours,

Mom

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(Inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude)