There is barely a book, article or programme about good parenting that doesn't mention the importance of boundaries. How a child can thrive within them as they feel safe and secure. How the firm setting and policing of behavioural boundaries can reduce discord in a family. How we need to respect our children's personal boundaries, particularly as they change with age and need.
Have you heard much about boundaries for us though? Instead, here's what's lauded and sold to adults: that travel, wanderlust and flightiness are exciting and enriching. That breaking through our boundaries and acting outside our comfort zone is exciting and enriching. That our boundaries trap us. That being 'free-spirited' describes our heroines and icons.
I expect this is because it is true of most of us. Or perhaps true of the fabulous, feted, young things that are now the generation behind me and populate our magazines and culture.
I feel like my spirit is free and gliding. But I am like a child: my spirit flies within its boundaries. Beyond that, it is like Icarus to the sun.
At home; with my family; making, keeping and nourishing our home. Creating. All those things I write about under my blog name: making, baking, wandering, wondering, sewing, mothering. In all these things I am darting about the skies like a swallow.
Beyond that? Sometimes I go beyond my boundaries and all is good. But sometimes... I am not. I am learning about myself as I age, as I learn to live with a tiny illness that occasionally throws the shadow of a giant. I am learning that I have limitations, and that I must see them not as a trap or a cage, but as like the walls of my home, replete with windows bringing in light and views. They are about safety, comfort, security and refuge.
I have had a good year, but uncannily something always goes askew around the summer time. This is the third time the PTSD has hit and, after the earthquake of the first and the sharp but brief fall of the second, this was just a tremor. But it taught me that my dancing flight has a territory it lives in. It taught me that my boundaries help me thrive, keep me safe and secure. I can visit the world beyond but tentatively, mindfully, and with my little bird feet stepping on the ground.