I walked a lot in January and so far, I’ve walked a lot in February too. Over the weekend, I was walking into town to meet up with a friend for coffee and it was pouring rain or ‘pissing it down,’ as they would say over here. It’s impossible to use an umbrella in Scotland because of the wind. That’s why I had to pull my hood over my head, holding in place the entire journey.
I knew my life wasn’t that bad at that moment because all I could think about was that I was cold, and wet, and my arm was tired from holding onto my hood but I was somehow still smiling. I missed a lot of things about my old life and I yearned for a lot of things that I hoped would be a part of my future life but in that moment, as I walked those rainy, grey streets that looked miserable and dark, I felt fine. Maybe I even felt a little bit excited.
The wind was terrible and strong and sometimes, I felt myself being nearly pushed off the sidewalk or struggling to take a step forward. I felt pretty powerless but not in the horrible way that makes you feel stupid and depressed. It was a liberating powerlessness. I know a lot of people hate feeling powerless but I find there’s actually some relief in it. When you’re powerless, you’re free from the responsibility of having to make decisions and then wonder if they were the wrong decisions. You can literally just surrender and go wherever the wind takes you. There’s nothing to fight, nothing to resist, nothing to blame yourself for because everything is out of your control anyway.
When I’m lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I sometimes hear the wind raging outside my window. It sounds dangerous and frightening but I listen to it with a kind of reverence. Here, in the belly of February, in the middle of the afternoon, we are like flags waving madly in the wind, satisfied with our illusion of power but completely at the mercy of forces greater than ourselves, completely at the mercy of the wind.