Red leaves

I wake up and feel tired. And it is hard to go back to sleep.

The wind is moving the trees’ branches outside of my bedroom window. It is 5am. It is October. The sun will be out in a few hours and the street will look beautiful framed by all the red, green and yellow leaves. But right now it is still dark and I can’t fall back to sleep because I am thinking about work, money, kids, people, myself.

I talk to myself and make myself smile. And still there is the dull pain behind my back. And I focus on listening to the wind and the leaves. It is quiet in the house. The kids are still asleep. I move halfway to the other side of the bed. The sheets are cold there and it feels nice.

Then I think about work and that things are pretty bad there. Bad but not desperately bad. Things will only be bad if we give up emotionally. We lose our battles when we give up.  I say to myself that I am not going to give up. It does not matter the reason. Then my mind jumps to things that need to be done. I close my eyes and breath. Breathing hurts. It is probably from stress.

I lay in bed and think about my first night in Norway. We were sleeping in this big village house. The house was empty and the night air was very cold in August. We slept on two air mattresses that we brought with us from US. We had nothing else with us. I could not sleep. I was laying on my back and looking into the starry sky seen through a large window. I was scared. I was scared for my life, for the life of the kids. We were in a country we did not know, we did not speak the language, we were pretty far north. No friends, no family, no work. The relationship with my husband was already damaged and I felt alone for many years then. No one to share my worries, no one to reply upon. And it was a scary place to be. And I was scared. I looked at the sky feeling the cold sweat on my skin and I thought that if you would be with me I would not be scared. I could never be scared if we were together. And I smiled and I was not scared any longer. I just imagined putting my forehead tight to your shoulder and I knew that we could get through anything. It was a fantasy and I felt asleep towards the morning.

This was back then. Four years ago.

Right now I just feel tired. I have a light headache and I sit in my bed and try to look through a Williams-Sonoma website to distract myself. Their sparkling pots, and nice silverware, and pumpkin pie recipes, and brand new apple peelers. Because in reality I am crying. I know all the right answers to my problems. And I also know that it is not about the right answers. It is not about answers at all. It is about carrying your belief day after day, no matter how hard it is. Because exactly this part is hard: carrying the belief fully alone day after day. And being scared.

I stretch in between of the sheets, put my hands on my hips and listen to the quietness of our house. I am glad the kids are asleep. And I try not to think about anything for the next hour. I just lay and listen to the leaves that swirl in the wind.

Red leaves.

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