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Sunday, 29 July 2012

On your marks

Charged particles surround me and fly off across the planet. Something great has begun. As I look out over the water towards the packed stadium, helicopters swarm overhead like bumblebees in the dark. Sounds of cheering, laughing and whooping engulf the air making my heart beat just that little bit faster. I watch, and wait...
Shooting up into the cool, clear air, fireworks begin to illuminate the July night sky, accompanied by a deafening roar. Face lights up, hairs stand on end, and I'm awestruck at the sheer magnificence of it all. I am witnessing history in the making.
I can't help but think about what is to come over the next few weeks in this beautiful city. Men and women will push themselves harder than they have ever done before. Records will be broken and personal challenges will be set. I wonder what must go through an athlete's mind just seconds before the whistle blows. In that moment, nothing else exists...wings spread, they soar higher and higher.
It is absolutely incredible what we are capable of. Through our daily struggles and challenges, it’s easy for us to forget; we are so much more amazing than most of us realise. Whether our successes are personal or professional, pride comes from knowing that we tried our hardest in the face of adversity.
Simply getting up after a fall is worthy of rapturous applause.
So go out there and shine brightly. Strive to be the best you can and never lower your bar. Go for the gold...
You never know who you're going to inspire.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Excess baggage

I settle down onto the warm concrete ledge and wheel my bag closer in between my legs. As I lean forward to rest my arms upon it, a gust of wind whistles around the corner, up the steps, past the coffee shop and smashes into my face, forcing me to involuntarily close my eyes for a moment before continuing its journey towards the ticket hall and beyond. It is windy this afternoon despite the presence of blazing sun.
With my chin resting on my arms, I watch as people weave in and out of each other in a tangled dance of bodies and bags. It is fascinating.
And my mind begins to wander...I am catapulted back to the last time I stood in this station, surrounded by a sea of people and am instantly struck by associations.
As we navigate our way through life's twists and turns, inevitably, events can leave us with emotional baggage. Sometimes, the weight is so minimal, we barely notice it. And other times, it can feel like we are carrying around a big, old house with absolutely no idea of how to get rid of it.
Every day holds a new lesson for us and the challenge is to take the good from the bad and leave the rest behind...And if we are lucky enough, we might just have people in our life who will help us unpack...

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Sunshine after the rain

Warm Sunday morning sun begins to dry off the remaining drops of water which glisten on the green leaves below. It rained again in the night. The hypnotic beating on my bedroom window usually sends me into a deep sleep within minutes.
Fresh coffee in hand, I sit on my balcony and look out. It has been a tough week and for the first time in ages, I completely fill my lungs with air and notice how instantly my muscles thank me for it.
Regardless of all the challenges we face and all the mountains we have to climb, life still goes on. The earth hasn't stopped moving. Neither has the canal, meandering gently past. And birds continue to sing joyfully overhead with a song that I don't quite understand but love none the less.
I notice a tiny spider descending slowly down a single piece of silvery thread towards her newly built web. She must have set to work early this morning as soon as the rain had stopped falling. And there is blue sky above once again. There has been so much rain lately, it seemed like the sky would be forever grey.
It is easy to get lost in our daily struggles and bogged down in our thoughts… But nothing happens for nothing and I can't help but wonder if the key to happiness and everything else we seek, has been within us the whole time.

Just to let you know that I have written another piece for the beautiful PoV magazine which is available to download now for free.'Vanish' is my third contribution so go and check it out...

Saturday, 7 July 2012

At the end of the day

The last remaining minutes of the day's light holds on loosely as the planet spins 67,000mph away from the sun's bright rays, plunging us into darkness once again. As I reach over and turn off the bedside lamp in the quiet hotel room, I notice that now, with the absence of light inside, evening looks instantly brighter. The air suddenly drops a few degrees and a chill sweeps through the gap in the slightly open window and onto my face. I momentarily close my eyes.
As I look out over the tree tops and down towards the lake, the air conditioning unit whirs into action and fills the room with a hypnotic hum. Light from the NEC shimmers peacefully on the water and I am suddenly aware of all the different colours around me. The Canada geese that blocked the path this morning, are settling down for the night.
A wave of melancholy washes over me as I remember the last time I was in this city. Three years on, I realise how much I have changed.
There are times in life when we are met with challenges so personally encompassing, we think that we will never be the same again...and we never are. Everything that happens to us and every person we meet takes us into a new chapter of our life. Lesson learnt, we move forward...Sometimes easily, sometimes not so much. But we are all survivors and have an inner strength that we aren't aware of until we have no choice but to summon it forth.
I know that I really should get ready for bed in a minute as I have an early start... But for now I stand transfixed at the window, looking out to witness the end of another day.