The little girl sometimes liked being upside down, but only for a little while. She swung so high on the rope tree swing that her daddy made. Her feet would go way above her head for a moment. Feeling upside down even though she wasn’t, almost touching the oak leaves with her bare feet. But the relief of being feet planted on the solid earth, right side up, was grounding and safe.
She learned to do a head stand up against the basement wall, her head firmly set in a soft pillow. The blood rushed furiously into her pounding ears. The room looked bizarre and unsettling. She could only take a few seconds of this, and then would plummet back into right side up reality.
One day, she got up and everything was upside down in the world. Everything. The grownups talked about a virus. She didn’t really understand. She tried and tried, but she couldn’t get things right side up. People looked and sounded weird, upside down. She felt unsettled all the time, as she tried to make sense of this new world.
But then, suddenly, the thing that had caused the upside-downness, the bad virus, went away. The world tipped back the right way. She was more than happy. She was peaceful, grounded, safe, normal. She smiled, and the whole world saw that smile.
When I was a child, I would play wood-elves outside for hours. We had a ring of box bushes that I would sit inside with my collie, Laddie. He would sit solemnly, guarding me inside the ring, and I would pretend to be a wood-elf with all the rest of my imaginary wee folk with me. I would find opened walnut shells on the ground; they were the elves’ beds. I would sit very quietly, because everyone knows that elves can’t tolerate the noise of humans. This picture, taken in Shenandoah National Park, is the closest I’ll get to being a wood-elf. Due to the strangeness of angle and camera perspective, I look smaller and more diminutive of leg than usual. But this makes me strangely happy. 🙂 Go figure. Slainte, Lisa