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Polka Dot Pearl Button

So, today in Cornwall, I’m busy pondering how a tiny pearl button on a polka dot pink shirt could possibly be of any import to anyone. Yet, strangely, it’s come to mean something to me…

This was the second hand shirt I bought on my first venture out after lockdown – when, back then, I felt I was recovering quickly from covid. Until, like so many others, I relapsed after those first symptoms had disappeared.

I’m still navigating some of the lasting impact of what has now officially become known as ‘long covid’. Here in the UK today, a top scientist has described this country as being at a “tipping point” as cases rise further. We’re all having to face the fact the long road ahead may be longer than we think.

Today, for me, marks 7 months – yet I still feel I’m recovering in the right direction, as slow as it is. What keeps me going, though, is trying to notice and appreciate even the smallest of signs that I’m definitely making progress.

This shirt is not my usual taste but I recall choosing it at the time because I so wanted my body to remember what it’s like to feel bright and glorious. But, within days of buying it, the most important little button fell off – and it’s been sitting on my table ever since.

In the ensuing weeks, as my symptoms returned, that poor little button lay waiting for me to sew it back on. Odd that I haven’t been able to do practical things quite as easily as before – even minuscule things like simply sewing on a button. And that’s not like me at all.

But…today, I noticed the sun glint on that cute little button as if it were trying to wink at me to catch my attention. I decided to sit down with all the intent I could muster to sew it back on to its polka dot home – so it too could feel more like itself.

And, I finally did it.

So, I suppose that’s why that little button now means more to me than one might imagine any little button should possibly ever mean. I can now flounce around in that pink polka dot shirt reminding myself that, like that very patient little button, I too will eventually return to feeling fully bright and polka dot glorious again.

And, I’ll keep holding on to those small things that can become the stepping stones we all need to move through that long road ahead. One little patient button at a time ?

By Debbie Geraghty

Hailing from Scotland and now living in Cornwall, UK. A window gazing lover of river and clouds. A visual storyteller and wondering wanderer who tries to live deeply - but lightly.

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