I stepped onto the bridge. The sky was grey, the air cold but humid. My hair was sticking to my scalp under my wool bonnet. I folded into myself, boney arms dangling and walked out midway to gaze.
This New Year's Eve, I was longing for a view.
How it felt to breathe in openness after having been so constricted. These months which passed without passage. But the summit of the Mount Ventoux in the distance was shrouded in fog or perhaps falling snow. So I inhaled and let my eyes go soft with lack of focus. It was definitely not the first time I had found myself here. A kind of cure. Or a cure of kindness, much needed.
This past year, 2020, was my year of Solitude. The Great Battle of Isolation, one could say.
How do I dare to make a comment of it when so many have lost so much more than I?
And yet, there were times, in all honesty, when I felt that the pillars of the necessity of my existence had crumbled. I stayed for community, for my beautiful family foremost and the tiny gleams of searching that let me believe deeply that I was not done yet.
Everything is relative. We choose to forget, or to remember, all the time.
What is astonishing is the part of our hearts - my heart - that signals the beauty of life no matter what. How it keeps our blood pulsing on. If we are so lucky as to be able to pay attention to its call.
So that particular afternoon, I lifted my gaze and focused.
And there, just beyond, floating underneath the last arches of the broken Pont d'Avignon, I saw two white sparks. My eyesight, which had always been impeccable until this year, made me question but yes, there they were. Two white swans. A pair for life.
There are never, ever, swans upon this stretch of the Rhône.
And this, finally, was the recognition of what I had been listening to since the Solstice. Initial whispers to be heard of a shift and yet of something, finally, moving as strongly as the current of the river rushing below. Light like hope amidst all uncertainty. All inhumanity. Such a contrast against the shadows love brings.
Will those swans, with their exaggerated elegance but also biting, occasional mindless meanness...will they get us through?
I took them as a beacon, quelconque...perhaps, you shall too.
If you would like to hear my recording of this post, you may find it: here.