• V.Castro

The How and Why

Updated: Jul 4, 2019

It's 2017 and life is plodding along, as it does when you reach a certain age or decide to start a family. A year had passed since we began trying to conceive our second child (my third) without any luck. Although life was good in all the ways society measures success, I felt incomplete. Happy, but something inside me was stalled. There were days I felt locked in a waking sleep paralysis (parental sleep deprivation doesn't help!). How can an incredible amount of love and emptiness reside in the same body?

Since becoming a stay-at-home mother, my self-esteem resembled a two sizes too small sweater full of holes eaten by moths year after year. Yes, I am very privileged to have witnessed amazing firsts in my children's lives, however, it doesn't make the 24/7 wheel of stay-at-home parenthood any less exhausting, or isolating. The days are both long and short. There never seems enough time to complete all those child-centric household tasks, yet the clock moves so slowly, as I wait for my husband to come home and provide me with some respite.

Since I wasn't pregnant, we decided to enjoy a weekend away in Lake Como, Italy. It's a short two hour inexpensive flight from London, and has been a dream destination all my life. As long as I could still eat unpasteurised cheese and drink wine, why not.

We spent the evenings sipping wine until midnight, right in the spot pictured below. One night, slightly tipsy, I remember seeing clouds cover the moon until it morphed into a yellow cat's eye. I decided to grab the Universe by the collar: "Lord, you got a minute? I need your help."

It's funny, I always wanted to write. I devoured books as a kid, always loving the library. In my twenties, my friends and I joked all stupid shit we got up to would be going in "The Book." Whenever I travelled, I saw stories unfolding. However, they were odd shape pieces to different puzzles. Nothing compelled me enough to sit down and write.

When we returned from Como, it was back to the laundry, groceries, school run, cooking, routine. Then one morning, I awoke from a dream that would end up being book two in my series. Without hesitation, I dusted off my computer and began to write the bones of my tale with an invigoration I had not felt in ages.

Who the hell knew you could send a prayer into the Universe... and get a reply.

Lake Como, Italy - said a prayer and got a reply

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