Spring in the Pyrenees

Spring has come. Not only are we surrounded by the most diverse colours of green, every day new flowers are out, but after four months into our new homes and lives, we can say that we are changing. Spring has also come into our lives. We feel different. We feel new. To speak for myself: after years of being tired, always some form of stressed of hurried, having a full head and a heart pounding in my throat when I went to bed, I got so used to feeling that way, I thought it was normal.

When we first got here, in the darkest midst of winter, spending long evenings by the fire and slowly discovering our new habitat, I realized how tired I was. Not just tired from working hard, having small children and planning a move. But tired from life. I was tired of always trying to ‘be someone’, of having a career, of living on other people’s terms. I was tired of the city, the noise, the traffic. I was tired of spending my days in coffee bars and behind computer screens. I was tired of always thinking what I had to buy, what I wanted, what I lacked. I was tired of trying to shove my children into our schedules. I was tired of trying to eat healthy, worrying about the way I looked, about canceling appointments and not meeting other people’s expectations. I was so tired of the life I made for myself, that I didn’t even realize it.

And so I thought my first months would be filled with reading, writing and giving lectures. But that didn’t happen. I was just too (yes again) tired. I slept a lot, I read a lot, helped the children settle in and I did something I hadn’t done in years: I started to clean the house. The house had been empty for months and as it is very old there was dust, stuff, insects, crumble from the walls etc everywhere. Cupboards full of things from our landlord. And I just started to clean. Something I had never liked doing and so we always had help, even if it was our last money, it always felt as a gift to come home to a clean house. And now I was doing it myself. The monotone rhythm of the broom, the duster and the sponge. And to my surprise I found it relaxing. And after a while I felt that with all the sweeping, mopping and scrubbing I also started to clean myself. The ritual of cleaning everything started to clean me from my frustrations about not being good enough, it gave me the feeling I was doing something good for me and my family. I was taking care of us, and cleaning us from everything that had cluttered to us along the way. I took out every single closet and every single corner. My broom had gone through every aspect of our life.

And now the blossom is on the trees and I have finished cleaning. The house is clean, I am clean. An suddenly I started writing again. For the first time in months I have some new inspiration and new energy, which I was afraid it had left me forever. It is spring and every spring we get the chance to be all new and fresh again. So I have to go outside now and celebrate, take the time to smell the flowers for a bit.


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