Sunday, 12 February 2017
Next train: 1 minute...
I knew I could make it. I’ve done this a thousand times before. I just needed to get a move on. And so I changed gears and accelerated. With rucksack securely on my back, I began weaving in and out of the crowd. Dancing between dripping umbrellas and speeding passengers, I ran through the connecting concourse and took the stairs up two at a time towards the platform. My heart was pounding out of my chest as music pumped through the headphones. Out into the open once more, cold rain landed onto my face and refreshed my flushed skin. Everything glistened as evening light bounced off concrete; it was beautiful. I gave one last push to make the train. My body left the ground with a giant leap. Gliding elegantly through the air, I entered the warm carriage and immediately felt relieved that I had made it.
But something was off.
The pooling water beneath my feet was just enough to send me flying horizontally as gravity grabbed hold of me and pulled me down hard. I landed flat on my back. Surrounded by the faces of strangers looking down, a wave of self-consciousness suddenly washed over me. And then I was struck by the realisation that no one was moving to offer a helping hand. So, slightly embarrassed, I pulled myself back up onto my feet and adjusted my clothing.
I leaned against the window as the train doors closed. And then, as I watched the city begin to whizz by, I realised something: There are going to be times when we fall. Whether physically or emotionally, we lose our balance and find ourselves on the ground. Sometimes we get hurt and sometimes we don’t. But, however we fall and however we feel, we always have the power to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves down. Nothing is permanent and it’s within these moments that we discover an inner resilience that we never knew existed.
Saturday, 4 February 2017
The sun is setting and I'm 38,000ft up in the sky. A familiar hum of two powerful engines outside makes me feel sleepy.
As I look out of the frozen window, I gaze down towards the earth. From up here, lost in the thin atmosphere, I can once again breathe deeply. I am swimming in my thoughts. I wonder about the young lady sitting on the other side of the aisle, a tear streaming silently down her cheek. I think about the handsome, tall man walking back to his seat who casually glances back. I think about my beautiful family back at the house, stoking the fire and getting ready to snuggle up in front of a movie. Life is happening all around. And I am part of the dance.
We bank ever so slightly to the right just as a sudden burst of orange comes splashing into the cabin and basks us in a surreal glow. These are the final moments of another day. I suddenly wonder if I'm one step closer to what my heart yearns for.
The air hostess makes her way up the aisle with a clunky trolley. She smiles as she places a cool gin & tonic in front of me, and continues on.
I turn my head once more to look at the darkening sky. Soon horizon will disappear into the night. Soon I will pull down my blind. And soon I will start my movie.
But for now, all I have is this moment…and everything’s perfect.