Forwards, backwards, two steps to the right and back again. The weight of the world does not rest on my shoulders alone. It’s weighing us down together.
That morning, I decided to go for a walk. A slow walk, not at my usual hurried, gangly pace. I slowed and noticed. I noticed the clichèd sounds of wind rustling through trees as my feet sank with every step, disappearing into the mud.
I had laid awake, listening to that 2 am rain.
I watched tiny birds hop over puddles and absently wondered if they’d forgotten their wings. I walked on, sure of my direction, yawning and squinting into beams of early morning light. Shadows crept into view.
I strayed off the quote unquote Beaten Track. I was drawn into the wild shrubbery, taken in by the allure of the moss covered rocks, twisted, fallen branches and gum trees that seemed to be giving up. Further and further from man made suburbia I strayed. Away from the distant views of empty driveways and laced kitchen windows I ventured.
I am lucky to live where I live until living becomes a conscious effort. The physical place does little to make up for a mental space that’s becoming smaller and smaller. Lucky is now a synonym for acceptance, an expected social nicety and empty consolation. It even sounds hollow, clicking on the edge of my tongue.
The outdoors is nice. Beautiful. Even though I’ve dressed it up in manufactured subtext by romanticising the trees, moss rocks and birds, and needlessly describing the squelching of hiking boots.
Do I ever just walk?