A Love Letter to Stepping Outside.
Last night, while my sons lay safe and warm against me, listening to their bedtime story, children their age in Mariupol listened, frozen and terrified, to the destruction of their lives.
Carrying on as normal when people are hiding in cellars as their cities collapse around them feels grotesque, an abdication of humanity. But we have all always done it. Every time you've floated in a warm tranquil sea or lain in the long grass of summer, someone somewhere has been running for their life.
Forgetting makes you feel guilty, but how can you remember at every moment when Syrians have been at war for a decade, when Palestinians can never feel safe, when children in Yemen are starving?
To remember always would be to give up on life, but in those first weeks of a war, when its reality is shocking enough to steal the breath from your lungs, looking away even for a second seems sinful.
But when you've donated and lobbied and protested and signed and there's little more you can do, you need a moment away from the news, a pause to remind yourself that simple pleasures still exist.
And so, while everyone is sleeping, I step outside into the empty moonless night. After the heated house, the cold is a bright, clean shock to the senses. I feel the icy stone under my feet, the cold air on my chapped lips, see the silhouettes of trees and the flash of a fox and remember that life dances on in spite of it all.