Readying for school this morning is proving stressful. Miss Bookworm (10 years) says she is going to move back to New Zealand as soon as she’s old enough. She’s struggling to settle into school, mostly because she hasn’t found any special friends to connect with yet. She tells me she is behind all her classmates in her learning, particularly in maths. She keeps sending me accusatory looks while making her breakfast and lunch, like I am to blame for all her troubles. I know she doesn’t really mean that, but either way it’s hard to see her struggling.
After seeing the children off to school I decide that, rather than doing housework, I will take my camera and go for a walk for the hour I have free. I head towards my favourite lookout point which is just 3 minutes from our house. I snap a few photos of the sunlight on the bay and some nearby birds before heading down to the beach.
I pause often, taking more photographs of the sea, birds and waves crashing on the landing as the tide comes in. All the while I can feel my soul being refreshed, the stress of the morning draining away. Eventually I head up some steps to the cliff top and stand for a moment to catch my breath. I look out over the bay reflecting…and feeling completely blessed.
I listen to the waves on the beach, feel the wind blowing my hair, and observe the silvery light of the sun on the bay. I think about how far removed my little corner of the world is from the wars, killing and hatred that seem to abound in other places all around our planet. I think about how it would be so good if collectively we could focus on what really matters: we are all inter-connected, all human.
It’s not about race, religion, the roles we play or our outward appearance. We are all souls and we all want connection, love, and to belong. But isn’t it so easy to get caught up in our own little worlds: the stresses and dramas of raising children, working to make ends meet, etc? Sometimes we forget to take a step back to look at the bigger picture, to really get an understanding of ourselves and why we are here.
When I think of all the pain and suffering being experienced around the world I wonder what I can do in my little corner of it. It’s easy to feel really helpless. But perhaps in our day to day interactions with those around us we can spread a message by the way we live. A message of respect for our fellow man, even if we think differently or believe different things. This pulling down of others, exclusion of others, and this us vs them mentality – it only causes more conflict and hostility.
It boggles the mind that after all these millennia we still don’t get it, we still haven’t figured out how to live in peace and harmony TOGETHER. But let’s not stop trying. Let’s see if perhaps we can make a difference in our little corners. And I think to be able to do that, we need to find ways to refresh our own souls, to find contentment and peace in who we are. Not looking outwardly for validation or love, but learning to love ourselves first. As we take care of ourselves first we will have what we need to love others better.
I’ve discovered recently that taking walks and photographs in the fresh air nourishes and revives my soul. It helps me to stay grounded and peaceful in the midst of my busy life. I am learning to make it a priority and I’m so glad that I did today.
What nourishes you? What are you going to do today to take care of you?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.