a year+ in which we’ve been so tightly constricted in our connections to one another,
the radius of our world dramatically reduced,
relying on regulations for recalibration,
repeatedly having to realign expectations,
it is almost impossible to notice how tightly the windows of our mind and heart are shut.
Out of necessity,
out of responsibility,
out of fear,
out of habit,
we have turned our worlds into what we see around us,
in our homes,
in our bubbles,
on our screens,
all under our control,
based on the best advice given by leaders leading our collective efforts to take control of COVID19, taking us all to a place of global health, global security and global stability.
With all travel stopped, our only movement being that around our limited local lifestyles, familiar sights, sounds, scents, sanitized touches and even tases once savoured lose their intensity. Without us knowing, without us even noticing.
And then it happens – a safely and securely locked window is opened just a crack. A window you were told to lock, and keep locked, until deemed safe to re-open. Until trustworthy to be opened. A dry, creaking sounds give way to silence. Only a heartbeat can be heard, a heart that beats stronger and stronger and louder as clear, fresh, pure, light, cool air brushes past.
You are free.
Not next door, not nearby. Somewhere new. Briefly, very briefly. But you are away. Regulations respected. Protocols observed. Experience expectations adjusted.
After a long, painful blur of months blending into countless months, suddenly moment counts.
Every sense is alive.
How incredible it is to realise, after being constricted of breathing for month after month after month, that the window is open, even just that little crack.
How almost disturbing it is when you in fresh air. Then and only then is the staleness recognised.
As the sound of birds is carried in on the breeze, only then is the thickness of silence broken.
Only in looking out to the big, wide open, blue sky are the boundaries of the ceiling visible.
Only in touching clean, clear waters is the dryness felt.
As our world opens up once more – slowly, cautiously, for some even fearfully – in tandem it will pry open a part of our minds and hearts that has, over time, over trauma, that has been tightly shut out of necessity, out of self-protection, out of even, for some, boredom.
In so doing , it will open up the flow of tears.
In so many ways, travel, which is often seen as being recreational, is actually medicinal.
Why? Because it helps heal.
It helps heal our minds from suffering limitations in creativity and inspiration, vision and imagination.
It helps break patterns of intensity of busy-ness, waves of intense anxiety, overfocus on the micro.
It heals us emotionally – widening our perspective, rebooting our spirit of optimism, reigniting our confidence, re-strengthening our hope.
It heals us psychologically by, giving us a sense of humility of honor and a blessing.
And it heals us socially, reconnecting us to the wider, kinder world around us.
Suddenly, strangely yet so beautifully, all that matters is to be able to feel balance, feel freshness, feel freedom, feel gratitude.
Suddenly, for the first time after a long, hard, challenging, exhausting, trying time, layers of self-protection and self-preservation begin to melt.
Suddenly every cell feels the same sensation: freedom.
This time, our shared world, is a new creation yet to behold.
Who we are, how this COVID19 chapter of our lives has impacted who we are, is yet to be understood.
Herein lies the profound value of the gift of travel – the blessing of being able to touch the world once more:
The beauty of travel will be, as always, not simply about going out and discovering the world.
It is being able to stand still in the world and re-discovering oneself.
Copyright: ANITA MENDIRATTA 2021