Houses with gardens and weathered iron gates, one after another, in rows on every street. I sweat in the rain as I walk up what feels like a ninety-degree-angled “footpath,” or “sidewalk,” to the university. Like dollhouses, they remind me of where Lavinia and Jane from The Tale of Two Bad Mice might have lived. That was our favorite Beatrix Potter story. The girls and I always laughed when Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca, the intruder mice, got angry when trying to cut the tiny ham–not realizing it was fake food.
It’s funny. The further I travel from places I’ve called home, the smaller my world feels. I walk past little dollhouses and feel enshrouded in a kind of canopied orbit. It seems that the opposite should be true. My world should expand as I travel, right? But as the things of my past fall away, and the future is just barely upon me, it feels as though only the essential remains. This essential is a three-way invisible thread existing between my girls and me.
In 2011, I traveled back and forth with my husband to a cancer clinic in Denmark. I had never been so far away from my girls and felt anxious and split in half by my duty and love for my children and my duty and love for my husband. The therapies at the clinic were diverse and abstract, as well as conventional, and I was invited to take part in some of the more generalized, less cancer-specific sessions. Rasmus, a specialist in past life regression, told me that if I think in a non-linear, more esoteric way, I’d see that there is no distance at all between ourselves and those we love–space doesn’t exist, just as time doesn’t exist. It was this belief that helped me let go of what I couldn’t control, focus on what was before me, and know that the bond between my girls and me was not affected by space or time.
This is just what it feels like to me right now. The transcending of space as I walk the streets of a foreign country in a little orbit of love.