As a teenager, I sat on the windowsill of my bedroom often. With the window off the latch and flung wide, one shoulder would be outside, the other in. My feet would serve as counterbalance on the wood and thin metallic rim of the radiator. From that vantage point, I would feel the breath of the world as it flowed past my universe. From that window ledge, I could feel whole.

As a twenty-something, both times I returned from expedition, I dreaded being inside once again. The air in my flat felt too still, disconnected from life’s flow and ebb, the sounds too muted. The call to return outside would be strong but eventually overridden by the need to stay in a tranquil spot of my own come the weekend.

Now I am blessed. Now I can head outside to lean into myself, in a space which is rarely shared with other humans. In the sun and shade, breeze and stasis as the day dictates, I quieten. I write, I capture photos and I regroup. I used to think it meant I was lazy. Now I see it as vital. All too often we spend hours being dragged outside of ourselves, foregrounding other people, things and events. But there’s a need for balance. And this is mine. I need time to feel the earth under my feet, to spot the bugs who share our air. I need time to feel the difference between yesterday and today on my skin. I need to listen to natural life around me to remind me how purely I can live my own. From the outside, I learn how to tune in to within.


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