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Sunday 10 September 2017

Little Acorns

She sits patiently on the mat by the front door.With beautiful brown eyes and ears bent over, she still looks like the puppy who arrived two and a half years ago. We stare at each other as I sit on the bottom step and tie up my laces. She’s getting excited. A tiny yawn turns into full-on tail-wagging body-shake. I chuckle at how much I adore her.
My little friend and I make our way up across the common and into the darkened woods. It smells damp and rich in here. I watch her spring off into the distance to chase a squirrel up a tree. He escapes just in time. She loves this game.
Strolling under the emerald canopy, lost in my thoughts, I breathe deeply and enjoy this sense of calm. Something crunches under foot and suddenly brings my attention back. That’s when I spot a hundred tiny acorns resting on the ground. There is something so comforting about seeing them…autumn cosiness is just a hop, skip and a jump away. I reach down to pick one up. Still green and shiny, it rests in its tiny brown cup. Then a thought pops into my head. As I look up towards the towering oak, I can’t help but wonder about us and our potential. In amongst deadlines and demands, it’s easy to forget just how amazing we really are. We overcome so many obstacles in life, we rarely congratulate ourselves for our triumphs. Through pain we grow taller and through challenges, our roots strengthen.
And all it takes is one tiny seed – a seed of hope, a seed of belief, a seed of love.

Sunday 12 February 2017

Watch Your Step

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

Night Flight

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.

Thursday 5 January 2017

Firsts & Finishes

The monotonous rumble of tyre on tarmac is sending me into a kind of hypnotic trance. I watch as cars overtake us and disappear into the distance. I look through windows and see people dancing and talking and laughing and thinking. A child stares out of the glass and locks eyes with me. We change lanes and head off to the left.
She is gone.
The white lines on the road flash by and I wonder where everyone else is off to on this New Year’s Eve.
And that's when I’m instantly struck by the most glorious sunset burning beyond the trees. I’m transfixed. Deep scarlet bathes my face as I look out across the horizon. Cars pass on both sides and I'm lost in the motorway.
Caught somewhere in between today and a brand new year, I can't help but think about all the things that can happen within the space of twelve months - the possibilities are endless. We can say “I do”, “why not”, and “never again”.
And sometimes the line between an ending and a beginning is imperceptible. Instead, an echo of a feeling floats around just long enough for us to catch the slightest shimmer of it in our periphery.
But that's the wonderful thing about life: every day is a chance for a new beginning, a new hope. We can gently let go of what’s gone to make space for some other beautiful.
And as the final burst of daylight vanishes over the hills, I close my eyes and thank the universe for all the good things in my life - I’m surrounded by so much love, so much potential, I know that I’ll always be able to find my way back home.