Do you ever notice there’s a comment about yourself that will crop up every so often, from different people? I don’t mean maliciousness or false rumours. For example, the comment that seems to come back to me is, I get the impression you don’t like being told what to do. I smile every time I hear it. Aside from being very true, I like that description of me. It makes me feel a little rebellious. A little free-spirited: something that makes my heart sing when I think about it.
When I woke up this morning, a memory came back to me. Sometimes as a child I would pick the flowers in my Nanny’s garden. Her one rule was that I could only take one rose from the bush; any other flower was mine for the picking, but only ever one rose. I never broke that rule. I don’t think I was even tempted, ever. Perhaps it was simply because I knew what those particular flowers meant to my Nanny. I lay and wondered if it was something to do with the gentle way she’d ask me. Then I thought that, maybe, it actually had something to do with the taste of freedom.
They say, don’t they, that if you try not to think about something it will become all you think about? We’re living in a lockdown and all anyone can think about is when they’ll next go outside. If we were stripped of our ‘once a day’ rule entirely I think there would be good reason for uproar. Just like, if my Nanny told me I could not pick any roses at all, I would probably have been tempted to.
There’s a lot to be said, I think, for small acts of rebellion. Little things we can give ourselves every day to not feel so trapped: Time to do nothing, an extra cup of coffee. It means when we do follow rules, it feels like a choice rather than a command. I like to feel as though my life is cupped in my hands.
I hope you are all staying safe and sane in this strange time. Wishing the best to you all, always x