The sky was incredible in the early morning. I couldn’t sleep, which more and more seems to be the new normal, so I got up and went for a walk. Agnes Obel in my ears. Cool air. That amazing smell of rain that’s just been, and rain that’s almost arrived. Above me was a deep blue sky with white fluffy clouds just tinged on the edges with grey. Sunshine peaked through the tree tops.
(By the by, as an complete offside, Agnes Obel seems the perfect music for grey-tinged cloudy days and foggy wintry ones, just in case you’re compiling a mix tape).
It was entirely glorious, absolutely perfect.
My little cat, Laks, chirped at me while I was eating breakfast outside, not wanting to leave the sunshine. She has a new game where she hides behind a little bush of flowers and waits until I’m not looking to leap up and steal the avocado from my toast. This is the cat who prefers to play with fish, and leave it under my bed (hooray, best game ever) rather than eat it but will turn into Tom Cruise from Mission Impossible scaling the walls for some avocado. Obviously. Laks is entirely demented and I cannot imagine breakfast (or life now in general really) without her.
One of my closest friends called and I picked up the phone to an eardrum-shattering ‘Kathyyyyyy’ as only my small god-daughter can do, usually with her entire lung capacity. It seems to alternate between my name and a dinosaur roar, both of which scare Laks into hiding and leave me breathless with laughter. There’s nothing quite so all-encompassing as the devotion of a small child who wants to tell you everything about their day ever.
Now, sitting in the office catching up reading a student’s thesis, watching the clouds turn increasingly dark and rain occasionally rumble on the window and the sheep bleeting in between the showers, there is just this sense of…not calm exactly…but that, right now in this moment, things are OK. Which feels strange in itself given that I’m working on a weekend, stressed because I’m behind in this reading and don’t want to let my student down, but there it is…
And I’m beginning to realise how much these small moments matter in feeding me (my spirit and colour) amid all the stress and uncertainty and never-ending competing deadlines of what life is now, and what it’s been for the longest time. I’m not sure how to make life better in a grand over-arching sense, and what those type of changes would really truly look like and how they can actually be undertaken. There may always be a gypsy-esque part of me that always wants to go somewhere else as the wind changes, small cat in tow, But right now, if I push the stress away even in the vaguest, most metaphorical sense, and concentrate on the moment – an amazing thesis written by a tremendously hard-working student, beautiful light from the sky, and the smell of the rain – then the small beauties make right now all the better. Sheep always help as well.
This sense of OK-ness in the right now may not last and may fall away at the next stressor – and then I have to remember to find it again, that it was there. It’s becoming one of my six impossible things before breakfast – finding where the colours will be in the grey that can so easily intrude on the every day. More and more though, the sense of knowing these small beauties are waiting for me to see them brings my breath back, even when I’m still working through how to capture larger beauties and certainty in my world.
What are your small beauties?