It's something we take for granted, isn't it?
We sure as hell notice when it stops!
I find myself holding my breath... A lot.
I have to remind myself to breathe. Slowly and steadily, using the method taught to me to control panic attacks. Almost every minute of every day I am constantly reminding myself to breathe.
There are the times when my anxiety levels are so stratospheric I struggle to breathe. It's scary. But nothing is as scary right now as the big void where my life used to be.
I had such plans. Such dreams.
I'd finally bonded with my new town and the amazing community therein. Such incredible supportive people.
I'd finally made a decision to be partners in a small secondhand shop.
I'd finally come to terms with the distance between my family and I.
I was still bitching about the appalling lack of health services in rural regions and the abysmal train timetable. Some things never change...
But I was planning my future.
I was going to grow old and die in my home. I was going to treasure her beauty and surround myself with her grace.
I used to wake up in the clear light of morning, with my five magpies carolling the dawn chorus and smile and stretch my old tired bones under my gorgeous and glorious tapestry silk and velvet doona cover. I'd admire the curve of my beautiful white french provincial cast iron bed which had taken me ten years to find. I'd look around my room as it filled with golden light and love her high ceilings, the picture rails, the ornate skirting boards and architraves. The delicious art nouveau mantle over the fire, whose small oval mirror twinkled at me throughout the day. As the sun rose higher, it would beam through the golden and green starburst original window glasses that were the top half of my double hung windows. It would refract of the crystals I had hung in every window of the house and shine rainbows onto the treasures I'd filled my rooms with. My collection of vintage and antique Japanese black lacquer and mother of pearl, paua shell and hand painted jewellery boxes. My books. My clothes. My silks and velvets.
None of it can be replaced. Other things can be bought. Other houses found. But nothing will give me back what I had. I'm just so grateful I have a few beautiful memories that can't be burned.
And so I remind myself to breathe. Breath in... Hold... Breath out... Hold