In the aftermath of fire we are transformed, chameleon - like; subtly changing to fit into the spaces and routines of others. We softly tread, anxious not to disturb, mindful that for all we are amongst true friends, we are still transient, with all the etiquette this entails.
Unable to relax, I yearn for my own sense of space, for things that soothe and calm; for routines all my own. Waking in other beds, other rooms from fitful sleep has left me world weary; I long for an end to this peculiar exile.
This weekend I dispatched son and husband to family, and with determined air, a camping stove and a bucket, reclaimed my home from the creeping sadness of neglect that threatened to overwhelm it.
As I tidied, scrubbed and cleaned, the heaviness I have become accustomed to silently slipped away, restoring the connection with my own space once more.
Last night I slept curled around soft breathing cats, in my own bed, for the first time in 81 days. A hiatus of calm in these turbulent times, unsustainable whilst there is no water, power or sewerage to make return possible; yet for all that exactly what was needed in order for me to regain what has slowly been leeched away.