Then, last month, I finally folded away the last of my winter clothes. I thanked them for their service through the gruelling monotony of January, February and March, and packed them up, hoping not to see them again until the leaves begin to brown and fall from the trees. I took some ill-advised lockdown purchases that I’d missed the returns window for to the charity shop, hoping they might bring pleasure to someone mindfully looking rather than mindlessly fixing, as I undoubtedly was when I bought them.
Now at long last, summer has arrived, we’re getting vaccinated, and the weather is, of course, mediocre. I’m still waiting for the sun to take up residence in our sky. But one of my favourite things about the city slowly opening up has been seeing everyone’s outfits – bodies in fabrics that flutter in the breeze or catch the light, people overjoyed at the fact of being outside, of being seen. The more time I spend out in the open, the more I find a familiar pleasure in the feel of fabric on my body as it moves, and the power of clothes to return me to myself. I look at everyone, looking at everyone, and see the sight of ourselves as something joyous, something free. How strange it must be to live without these rhythms of change as time ebbs and flows. Perhaps that’s why, after all, I’m still here on the chilly side of the planet.
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Find her 2021 non-fiction debut, This Ragged Grace here.