The darkness's reign had come to an end, and I stepped back into the life I once took for granted. I felt the gravel crunching beneath my feet as I took my first few steps; something I'd never taken notice of before. I looked around and inhaled my surroundings. Not a quick glance, but an appreciation of all the things that existed around me. The sun felt warmer. The grass looked fuller.  The flowers seemed brighter. The trees looked taller. The air felt clearer.

I tentatively raised my hand to a neighbour nearby. Being inside had made me long for human interaction that I wouldn't usually participate in. The world existed outside of my bubble, and these past few months had taught me that. They smiled and waved back, and I felt tears spring to my eyes, that the world may now be kinder.

I continued walking. A figure approached, and I resisted the urge to dart across the street; something that had become second nature to me over the previous weeks. I felt the breeze as they brushed past me on the pavement. No longer two metres apart; no longer in danger.

Rushing and impatience came hand in hand on a normal day; but not today. I listened to the sounds of children playing freely in the park. The sound of laughter from a couple nearby. The sound of a dog trying to get his owner's attention. The sound of birds overhead.

I could sit and listen to these sounds for hours. Something on a normal day I'd be desperate to get away from. Desperate to get home. But I've realised that home isn't just a house; it's the place where you live. It's the local market. The people you see driving to work in the mornings. The park opposite your house. The fish and chip shop at the end of your road. Those places all make up your home.

I walked for what seemed like hours, and drew in my last breath of fresh air before clicking the door shut behind me. I sat and thought; and one thought in particular struck me. While we'd been in hiding and looking after ourselves, the world had been healing too.

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