I have a strange relationship to heights. It actually may be standard issue but I see it as strange. I can step backwards off a cliff completely dependent on a rope of zero intelligence, zero problem solving ability and a complete indifference to my survival and feel (mostly) fine.
However, I will be fighting for composure within a ridiculously safe distance from an edge if I am left to my own walking/standing/ laying in fetal position skills not to die.
Even if there is a barrier.
Even knowing it would take a running start and several cartwheels and an impressive leap to accidentally fall off.
What's far worse is trusting my husband and kids to avoid death by gymnastic tumbling.
We went on our first "social distancing - home school" adventure yesterday. Having mountains readily available is going to be a lifeline for Coloradans needing an escape from all things virus. I watched my kids draw closer to a rocky cliff top and noted the physical pain in my body mount. Some part of my brain screaming for their survival while another part knew I was totally unreasonable. They were safe. They need to be able to trust their ability to walk, and think and and not jump off of cliffs. They weren't anywhere close to where my body believed them to be. Their Dad was there, holding hands with the little one, watching the movements of the older ones. They were enjoying peace and frivolity while I stood alone in an arena where Reality and Fear were tangled and fighting for the clarity of separation, waiting for a clear victory- a call to arms, or a holdfire.
I have felt the underlying tremor for days. I have allowed the conflicting dialogues in my head to run beneath the surface of my motions. One voice saying my life will never be the same. That somehow from a Wednesday to a Friday my whole orbit shifted. I woke up today for the first time sad instead of feeling a numb fascination with the distance I have traveled in so short a time. I am at sea wondering both how I got here, and how I get back. If I am meant to stay at sea, if there is no quick rescue, no gentle return to shore, is my little boat is wide and warm enough to carry the innocence and happiness of my children through the gathering clouds?
I have not lived long enough to know where this fits in history. It is a heavy moment that passes and we forget all too soon the lessons won in the struggle? It is something that will change us fundamentally?
I have faith that I will travel, I will explore, my kids will be happy and free. And that maybe we will be separated from last week’s reality just long enough to learn that families are the best friends, that a clean home, warm fireplace, homemade dinners and school in kitchens and backyards are the things of childhood magic.