She is free now. For the couple of hours, at least. She is almost running upstairs, rushing into her room to fetch her light coat and the scarf. It takes her no more than thirty seconds. Smashing the door closed, off she goes. Downstairs and out of the hotel – to the fresh air of the early May. She is making sure that no one is following her to the street – she wants to be alone. Large sunglasses are covering her eyes and almost half of her face. It’s the evening time, a little after six thirty, but the sun is still high in the northern skies. She is turning around the corner of the hotel and starting to go with the wide, energetic steps of the sheer determination.
Actually her destination is not so far away, it is clearly visible from the narrow country road that disappears in the fields. She is aiming towards the sea, the blue line on the horizon. She has been fascinated by the open sea since she was a child. It has been many things to her: the playground, the free space, the nature in its truest form. But today, it’s something else. The sea is attracting her, as never before, by its turbulence, it’s energy, it constant roar. It is the nature in transition, and she is feeling the same.
She is going along the patchy path across marshes and tiny creeks, over the cracking wooden bridges. Her eyes are trying to catch everything – the wild geese with their wings flapping like a wet laundry in the wind; the tiny violet flowers grasping the soil among the sandy dunes; the dark, murky waters of the creeks.
The wind is bringing some noise from behind – a group of runners is approaching her fast and she is stepping aside. The young men in the running gear – the colorful t-shirts and pants – are keeping the same pace as a flock. These men are actually her colleagues from the conference – young, much younger than she, ambitious, efficient. No time should be wasted, even if there is very little time free from all the duties they normally have. Ambitious, efficient, time saving – she has been like them for almost all her life. Studying, getting married, working, giving birth, running her chores, moving, organizing, setting down, seeking, struggling, improving, repairing, answering whatever had to be answered.
She is feeling empty – it has taken too much of her, for far too long. She has become restless, her mind is constantly awake, day and night trying to solve the problems – real and imaginary. She wants to slow down and she is doing it with all the willpower that has served her so well to speed it up. She is canceling, postponing, erasing and forgetting, allowing herself to linger awhile among the things she likes, in places she likes. The sea, the dunes, the marshes. She is learning to love the moments of solitude, the lonely walks, the solo lunches, the solitary coffee breaks.
She has finally come very close to the sea line, where the waves are swallowing the narrow sandy beach, leaving the white seashells and sea grass on the shore. The wind is making a mess with her long hair, tying her scarf tight around the neck and almost blowing her sunglasses away. She is breathing the cold, salty air and thinking that the walk in the wind will tire her out fast. Probably, she will even fall asleep easier.
She has not slept well since some months ago. As if some tiny mechanism in her body sets an alarm clock in the middle of the night, causing her pulse to rush and her blood to pulsate in the veins. Her body seems to go on streak at nights and sets its own rules, and all her willpower and discipline are powerless to combat it. At nights she feels like a different person – a rebellious physical body with the defeated, useless mind. At these times she imagines herself being an animal or an insect, steered by instincts, physical, wild, in pain. Like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Eager to fly but unaware of how it will happen.
How will all this end up? Will she ever fly? Will she become free from this pain? Will she become free? She doesn’t know yet, it’s still a mystery. She has not managed to put this into words either. But one thing she knows well. She is the woman in transition.