It is one of those rare hazy late summer mornings where the wind gently blows around the trees and bushes in a hushed dance. Deliciously, no one else is around and I am left to enjoy a complete peace that I rarely feel. It feels like I have forgotten the concept of time, and everything is still. Simply existing in this moment is a wonder. The kitchen door is one of those old fashioned wooden doors with two parts, a bottom and a top so that you can have either one or the other opened or closed. In this house, it generally stays constantly open and despite the fact that I am the kind of person who always feels the cold, even in summer, I leave it open myself because the view of the garden is so pretty. It is a large garden that stretches all the way down to the river. I can’t always hear it, but I can feel the water close by and it is comforting.
It is Saturday, and I have absolutely nothing that I need to do today. I sleep later than usual and when I get up, one of the guys is leaving for work and suggests he takes us out for dinner later. The other is away for the weekend. I think they like having a female around. They enjoy the company and perhaps the gentleness without the complications of a relationship. I am intrigued, but I actually don’t care as long as I am around people who are nice to me.
The last time I was here, I was different. It was all new to me, and I was still learning. To tell the truth, I only started learning when I came here. I had not learned how to appreciate the moments. I had not learned how to be happy. I would not have known how to enjoy this morning. I would have felt like there was something I should be doing, or I would have been out the night before, or going out tonight. I would be hoping that something would happen that would move my life on when I went out, that I would meet someone who would make it all seem worthwhile. I was looking for meaning in my life and I thought that love was the only way to feel that. I was right and I was wrong. Love is the only way to feel it. Love is the only kind of real meaning you can find in life, but not romantic love. It is a love that is hard to describe, a love for everything and everyone, including myself. I learned how to feel that, and I learned to do it particularly when there is no one else around. It is looking out at the garden and loving how beautiful it is. It is a love for the way the sunlight is throwing shadows and light onto the kitchen floor. It is a love of the spider web that is shining on the kitchen window. It is a love for the warmth of the sun on my arm as I write. It is love for the Neil Young song playing on my Ipod which reminds me of lying on my floor after school listening to my dad playing music in the living room before my mum got home from work. It is seeing particles of dust fly through the air when you move that you would normally never see when you are busy. It is a love for all of these in between moments. These moments where nothing at all is happening, and no one is around, but you feel a love for life, love for everything in your world that surrounds you right at that moment. These are the moments that keep me going when life is difficult, because I know that they will come again, and I will always remember what it means to be quietly happy.
It is the end of Summer and Autumn will be coming soon. I remember autumn afternoons in my mother’s house, when the days are getting shorter and the afternoons darker. The air is colder and it is often windy, but it is nice and warm in my childhood home. I can see the big tree in front of our house starting to turn orange and the leaves floating to the ground like feathers. They took that tree away. I remember sitting with my mother in the living room, it seems bigger than it is now, although it is the same. My mum is busy doing something, possibly ironing and I am lying on the couch watching a film. It feels heavy, but not in a bad way, in the way a woollen blanket feels on you, comforting.
I know that this feeling means that everything is about to change again soon. I can feel it. In the short term, someone will come in, perhaps Dot, and the spell will be broken and the charade will begin again. It’s not always unenjoyable, playing at real life. Sometimes I move through all of the acts like a graceful dancer, moving from one task to the next. At other times I am aware of all the little acts that I am doing, and I wonder why I do them at all. Every morning I do the same things, I get up, I brush my teeth, I get my gym clothes on, I workout or run, I go to work, I spend all day organising meetings, cancelling meetings, re-organising meetings, attending meetings, writing about what happened at the meetings, arranging the next meeting. I come home, I meditate, I hang upside down, I make my dinner, I write, I read, I go to sleep and I do it all again. Sometimes I feel like I am watching myself doing all of these things and that I am a second or two behind everyone else, and I can see that it is all one big movie and none of it is real at all. Sometimes this makes me laugh and I am light about it, at other times, I can’t stand the banality of it and I just want to stop it. I want to run away and travel and simply do whatever I feel like doing at the time. You can’t always do that when you are a part of the system, when you have a nine to five job, when you have bills to pay. I would you know, I would just up and leave it all and in fact, I know I will again. I would like to be able to do it for the rest of my life, and that is what I am trying to do now. I will work for the rest of the year, I will strive, I will be brave, I will take opportunities, I will ask for success so that I can go out into the world and experience it all.
I can feel the moment passing already, my reverie is lifting. I can hear sounds next door which mean Dot will be over soon. I will look at my phone and answer text messages. I will have a big sigh and I will go to my room and close my door and start writing with a purpose. I will go for dinner and perhaps I will meet a distraction. I will discuss life with Laurie and I will remember why I am here. I can feel it coming. I can feel it because it is not something that is happening to me, but something I am doing. Everything will change very soon, I have asked for it. I have asked to be rocketed out into the world. I know it will come, but I don’t know with what else. That’s the thing, you ask for these things, but you have to remember how to ask for them, because you get them, but they don’t come on their own, they come with problems and difficulties and most likely heartache. I know this from experience. I asked for somewhere beautiful to stay in the country that I could afford, and that is what I have, I never imagined that the opportunity would come for me to be here, and I know that there may be a price to pay for that, I will accept it when it comes, although I have no idea what it might be. I know my being here cannot be permanent. So I will look out at the garden and I will look around my room content. I will sit down to write my stories, and I will love as many moments as possible, because it is not permanent and I have no idea what is coming next. Nothing is permanent. You can fight that, or you can sit down quietly and appreciate those little moments before you are propelled into the unknown once again.