I remember when the sky was always an impossible blue.
The days when I left home after breakfast not to return till evening.
When with a friend, I’d lie in fields of barley or under larches or hide from little sisters among the bracken or in hawthorn trees or walk among plants taller than our heads …
or more often than not…
I’d sit alone in the quiet copse or by the whispering river, deep in my own thoughts and worries and dreams and ideas: lost.
Lost in the waiting room between worlds: the one which was and the one which might be, the one which I feared and the one which I hoped for.
There was sometimes a joy in feeling lost, caught between a range of possibles none of them yet real.
Sometimes of course, lostness meant fear.
Turning the wrong way on an unfamiliar road, walking further and further hoping for something I recognised. Too terrified to turn around. Fearing I’d never see anything I knew again. Feeling guilt in trusting a stranger’s hand …
Or falling into the fast-flowing river all alone, tumbling toward the not-so-distant waterfall, catching at last on branches till I could drag myself out and dry in the sun so that no-one would ever know…
Or older now, driving in fog or heavy snow, too fearful to stop. Has my turning been missed? Am I too close to the edge? Will I drive like this forever?
And in the end the heart-calming, velvet warmth of being no longer lost but safely home.
Yesterday I felt lost and I feel lost today and tomorrow I will doubtless feel lost as well. It’s the way things are right now.
I’ll be feeling lost for a while, caught in the space between what is and what might be, between knowledge and doubt and possibility, on the edge of the cliff contemplating tumbling down or the possibility of flight.
Yes, there is a little fear, but just now…
the sky is that impossible childhood blue again.
I accept the lostness. Not abandoned, not angry nor terrified but in a waiting room between worlds: the one which was, the one which is, the one which might be, the one which I fear and the one which I hope for.
I hesitate under tall trees on a path which forks into side-trails and copses, hesitate on the edge of a river which twists out of sight and dithers towards side-brooks and weirs.
I feel lost but I’m all right. I will own the lostness and I’ll wait until the unknown is known and the possibles become probables.
And today I am content under this impossibly clear sky, closing my eyes and imagining all those unknown worlds around me as blue – from opal to indigo – each as beautiful and embraceable in its own way.
Sometimes it’s all right to feel lost.
I don’t know quite where I am today, but I am all right.
Words and photograph copyright 2020 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.