David Attenborough has taught me that within the animal kingdom, things work on a basis of basic need – shelter, food and water, re-production and death. I have been perusing the concept of instinct being their only guide for each step, or flap of a wing, forward. David Attenborough speaks to me as I fall into each night of sleep; my soft blanket of sound to dim a terrible and unrelenting loudness. I can’t stop myself from wondering if a species with a ‘consciousness beyond that of any other’, was really a gift, or something we’d be better off without. Ducks mate for life, and as far as I can understand, they’re doing better than most of the mothers and fathers, lovers and friends I’ve come across. The foxes and the flowers are weeping for all that we’ve done here. I don’t believe it’s a gift.

Above me, the clouds have parted to reveal a gentle blue-grey which whispers to me,“you are filled with a wholeness which is guiding you through everything you are feeling right now”. And for a moment now gone, I listened to nothing but the birds and the rain from hours before, dripping off leaves into small pools below. The sun that rises and sets is no longer here, yet I still don’t feel bitter about those I once had so much capacity to love. There is a softness in being, as well as feeling like you don’t even want to be. I once sat in conversation with another, atop my favourite hill. I told them not to worry, for I am always reminded of a sweetness and softness un-matched, in light of indescribable emotional pain. My indescribable solace in the face of feeling like I don’t even want to be.

I dropped my lunch into a puddle because my hands were too full, I forgot my laptop for work because my head took a break, and I didn’t bother washing my hands of love for one moment too long, because the mirror caught my gaze. It’s that same thing as waking up cold, but sleeping through a night of discomfort rather than braving a minute or two in search of another layer. And in hindsight one always thinks, “I’m tired for work now, it really would have been worth it”. That’s what I can relate the forgetting to wash my hands, to. And that’s what I will be scolded for, by a Quin 3 months, or years, older.

I’m not going to stop watching Planet Earth as I fall asleep, and I’m not going to stop watching the ducks that visit with every season of rain. I will continue to practice healing, through the giving away of kindness to the man that begs me for a spare coin and then tells me that a girl with such a nice figure needs to marry him. I don’t believe in bitterness towards others. I believe in leaving when the door begins to close, but I do not believe in being bitter. Nobody’s actions have ever been, nor will they ever be, a reflection of me. It will never be my job to scold those that do not know better. My hands are no longer too full – I carry a bag. And I have put a reminder into my phone which lights up with the word, ‘laptop’, 10 minutes before I leave each morning. I sleep beneath the warmth of 3 blankets because my mental health favours sleep incomparably – I’m no longer tired for work, nor do forget to wash my hands. I have bid farewell to vanity, for now.



Image credit: @apricotvalleywf

Author Quinika Davis

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