I started cooking yesterday so my kitchen smells of garlic and combination of a few new spices. It's quite early to be awake with my unhealthy routine but holding onto a hot mug of chamomile tea sweetened with a little honey I contently dive into this settlement thinking what today will be like and what Nadia will come running to tell me first thing when she wakes up kissing my eyes open. It's quiet (and I can just recognize the shapes of trees outside from where I'm sitting), just how I like it - content and relaxed for as long as my tea is hot and I can tell the arrangement of toys on the table across from me by heart. The floor looks tidy but the somewhat mess of a few crayons, plastic toys, a stapler used for yet another book she made using Stabilo pens and her imagination, pair of scissors, her empty water bottle with Elsa and Anna looking at me curiously at first seem impossible to come to terms with. Abundance of paper and plastic that feels like growing unintentionally overnight. I take it for granted, a view that needs no special explanation filling me with joy there's an artist indoors that lays dreaming as I type this, a personality yet not shaped but loved unconditionally, still a lot unknown yet proving excellent in its making. I know I'll find all of this scattered here or elsewhere for the mornings to come. I fool myself the dawn will always come with familiar repetitions - the presence of a child will not be fading, how could it, not yet, not for a long, long time. I glance at the pebbles she lined up on the windowsill last night and can't help but smile. A satisfying smile I don't have to search for it through the alcoves of my memory but take it in with all five senses right here, right this very moment. So happy.
It's beginning to get brighter, I can now see the stilled leaves perfectly. It's unusually dry, calm and inviting after days of rain and dreariness. My eyes are brimming with excitement for once looking out the window. I drank my tea, sneezed several times assuring myself there's nothing to worry about and keep warm socks at bay for little longer. My back doesn't ache as most mornings that I can barely put my feet down and begin the race of time. I don't handle pain well even though I put on a brave face at witnessing my sciatic nerve collapsing. It yells for a plan of action, ongoing treatment or just occasional acknowledgement this body changes and becomes less predictable. I've no idea what I could do about it other than let my child climb over me with her arms pulling and slender legs wrapped around like a pretzel countless times every day. This is something one cannot let go away easily. The bending, the twisting, the ordinary. My back goes through a lot in a week but as things turn out it's a combination of everything - satisfying and not, such life. It's something I haven't learned to do well, to take good care of myself the way I look after multiple things without even realizing. Through energy put skillfully in crafting each word, folding laundry with neat and precise movements, applying second, more defined coat of mascara, in things important but not crucial, I thrive. A packet of crisps beside me, essential.
It's almost morning, time spent on writing becomes less productive. Busy mind starts its daily race bouncing off idea after idea, chore after chore. I still have those quiet moments to myself for less than an hour so it's worth squeezing them like wet hair. I like this room a lot. Particularly I like to stay indoors (though you may not believe me seeing this excessive amount of outdoor escapades I document) so a place requires nice areas to occupy my eyes with pretty things. Not always useful or easy to reach but so attractive to the eye at each passing that my life could be easily spent on doing just so - silently applauding. It's the spots, corners or shelves that keep this abode together. It's not plain magnolia walls stained in ink or unattractive carpeted floor that gets rearranged in my head daily. Those we've never come across to tackling. I have no idea why. Those are our walls after all, this is our home - rented or owned, this is insignificant. What's truly important is to make it ours every way we can. At 6 years old I believe Nadia is incapable of telling what's changed here apart from the arrival of new sofa and a bushy rug in a happy hue. It's almost like we've been tearing along on our own not merging with the dynamics of this space and yet it will define Nadia's perception on a happy place, lively place, a home.
My mum let me draw on the wall of my tiny space when I was 10 or 12 - I still remember the sad wing of an angel I drew way too close to the ceiling disappearing under the leakage every time it rained. It kind of developed its own features over time - the old house was collapsing gradually allowing all kinds of deformations in plaster, faded paint and the leakage blurred out the lines. It was far from pretty but I was happy to add a signature to my place no matter how temporary my residence or how poor the resources. And I kept adding a touch of personal wherever I went over the years. Sometimes it scares me how easily this idealistic, happy child inside is pushed aside once we grow older, how what we've learned to pursue with persistence and eagerness is given up without fight. Nadia's bedroom walls are adorned in her artwork, images of princesses or heroes she currently resonates with. It is busy. It is a happy place. Today I'm worn out of dreaming of organizing a space once it's mine. Tomatoes will grow anywhere, rented soil makes no difference to the ripeness of fruit and if she remembers a crazy wallpaper her mama tweaked between meals, the better (already bookmarked a navy one with drawings of boats, talk about the urge).
It takes time for me to implement a new idea into a well-known routine or philosophy but I'm eager to try even if I may only be great at trying. The present is all we've got, the pebbles I will not move from the windowsill but to dust around them, the over-talked about plain boring paint that keeps me in a state of panic - this is happening. I've reached the point I no longer want to explain why a coffee lover like me is not in a possession of a high technology piece that comes with 16 capsule-assortment -- yes, those cabinets are frustratingly low to accommodate one but let's do it anyway. Let's look for friendlier kitchen and make it work. That's the plan. But first the coffee because days centered around a good brew are essential.
I get up slowly, that first perfect stretch. I hear the bed next door creaking and the rhythm of a new day entwines for good. Upon typing up the last words I smile gently at the thought how lucky I am. To not only dream of changes but to make them happen. Right now because it's all we're in the possession of.