Pining for sunshine

by Veronica Foale on June 14, 2017

in Life

It has been a long week. Long like I’m moving through treacle and the tired has hit me. Slammed down, there’s a weight in my shoulders. My feet are heavy with the kind of bone tired you only feel in winter, when the temperatures stay low and you wake in the morning with the world frozen solid. Winter white and sunrise through the fog. It’s beautiful but you’ll freeze to death watching it. Or maybe you won’t, but I might.

We went away for a big market in St Helens, and it was amazing and exhausting and brilliant and it nearly killed me, but I’m still going to do it again next year, because fuck it. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, right? Or maybe it makes me bendier, but hey, who’s counting that part anyway. We chatted to customers, both returning and new. I got to rave about my products, because I honestly love what I do, even when the cold is in my bones and I am hurting, I love how my soap smells, and how the hand cream feels, and how I feel when I share that with people. I love brightening people’s days, knowing that something I made with my two hands can make them happy, even if it’s only a little bit of happiness. It all counts, adds up, means something. To me at least.

Winter is in my bones, and it’s June again, which is always a month of remembering, of hospital rooms and death and funerals. Nine years on, you’d think it would be better, but it’s only different. Some things stay with you, like the trauma passed down through our DNA, making its mark on us all years later. Muddy boots on white carpet, you can clean it up, but you’ll never erase the memory of what happened. Nothing is ever gone, which is both blessing and curse really, love and loss, light and frost, the strength you get from putting one foot in front of the other.

My children are sick, and so there’s the incessant whining of “Muuuuum! I’m huuuuungry!” from the smallest one, and it’s inside my head. I hear it when I’m sleeping and it makes my shoulders bunch, because you. just. ate. five. fucking. minutes. ago. and if you’re hungry, maybe eat your damn crusts, and have a glass of water, and you can get your own yogurt out of the fridge, there is a whole fruit bowl available, why can’t you make your own sandwiches yet?

Then I feel ungrateful, because I am so lucky to have these small fragile creatures relying on me, but five minutes without needing me and get your own spoon, is it too much to ask? Really? I am not your slave, pick up your own toys, come and get your sandwich I am not a waitress and fortheloveofgodstopfuckingwhining.

Four is an interesting age, and it’s not my favourite, but it’s not my favourite in a slightly better way than 18 months old was not my favourite. Maybe. I’m not certain. So much of babyhood is foggy and lost now.

I am tired. Worn down and worn out.

[“Mum, I need a drink.”

“You can reach the tap, go and do it yourself!”

Heavy sigh. Huff. Stomp.]

And I remember this feeling from last year, but each year is a little worse, as I get a little older, as my collagen fails a little bit more, and I hold out hope for a short winter and the return of warm sunlight. The solstice is a week away and I am pining for the sun, for the light, for the warm.

I have filled my house with seedlings, in hope and new beginnings, in the germs of new life. I am hoping it helps to watch peas twine towards my roof and parsley grow wild on my kitchen bench.

We’re so close to the solstice tipping point I can taste it, as we slide down into the darkest bit of winter, the coldest bit, the hardest bit. August drags, but not in the same way June does.

One week left.


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