In my kitchen at home there is a large canvas that reads ‘Appreciate the little things in life, for someday you will realise they were the big things’. Up until 2019 I would pass this every day, thinking it was cheesy and smelling like ‘Live. Laugh. Love’. Now as I reflect, I think me, and my foul-smelling too-cool-for-school attitude let the words of that canvas fall on deaf ears. Only a year on, I finally understood them as I fell in love with life. In a time where the normalities of everyday life were up in flames, what settled beneath the dust was something beautiful – and I am writing to discuss some of the moments, and people that made me fall in love with life and all its beauty.
March – A blown over tree used as an L shape seat sat above the river at sunset. The comforts of passing water below, swirling and whirling modest in their silence. Two birds intertwining and resting on the wind beneath their wings, playfully swooping and looping lovingly around each other. Small rushes of wind rustled leaves and brushed the arms of my coat. The water of the river glistened and winked on each wave. At this point, time truly sat still, and I experienced a sense of peace that I had never felt, in that moment nothing mattered, and life passed by and I was just watching as it did so. Now, one of my friends TFHG, once told me to not worry or overthink, because realistically ‘nobody cares’. At the time, I never really understood what he meant but, in this moment, I finally grasped it. I was so small and so insignificant that all my worries and tensions, were just tiny springs that worked one small cog, in a huge cycle. And I knew if I could just fall into my own rhythm like the river below me, naturally these tensions would ease, and I would also find peace – and that is all I could ask for.
In my second year of university, I had an attic room – it was quite small, cramped, and consisted a lot of me banging my head on the diagonal ceiling after standing up from my desk. But in the spring nights of 2020, it transformed into my own stargazing hub. I suffered with intensive depressive symptoms throughout lockdown and blew the smoke that relieved them for 2 months out of my sky light. This was not something I was proud of and so I would always say a prayer before doing so, which I still do not quite understand why. In doing this, I would always notice the stars winking and twinkling. Even after this spiral stopped, I still loved to stare into the night for hours on end. This love brought me to a magical moment right from the comfort of my bed at home – I woke up gently around 1am and noticed the stars winking in the night, a rarity due to the light pollution in my area. I embraced it and hung out of my window as I peered further. And like divine timing, a star whooshed past created a path of light through the night sky. A shooting star, like a gleam of hope. Now, I have heard if you look to the sky for at least 15 minutes you will most likely see a shooting star, however I have put this theory to the test many times since and never seen another, except for exactly a week later where the exact same thing happened, just an hour earlier. Me being the hopeless romantic I am, I made a quick wish and shed a tear, for I felt the star was a loving gift that caught me off guard and reminded me just how wonderful life can be.
Skip to third year. My housemates. This part of my love letter to life is absolutely dedicated to them. Starting with my best friend, SL. To you, you are wonderful. I was lucky enough to cross paths with a soul so beautiful she is truly in tune with the world. She has taught me to notice the small and beautiful flutters of everyday – like the sounds of birds singing in the morning, the lyrics that often go unheard, the beauty in being different and diverse, and seeing the rawness of the world beneath all its complications. When you meet somebody that has a view on life that is so refreshing, it makes you fall in love with life all over again, and that is exactly what she has helped me do. Similarly, AW; a soul riding on the wave of life, you have taught me to let go and embrace new experiences. You effortlessly make people feel welcomed and safe, and so I thank you for helping me love the parts of life that I was too scared to try before. Being amongst such different personalities, each so true in their nature, has pushed me to grow into my wings, and keep doing the things I love; to keep feeling the flow of my paintbrush when I am painting, to keep getting lost in the enjoyment in my body when I am dancing, to keep singing my heart out shamelessly with my closest friends, to hug my family a little bit closer, and not be afraid put my whole heart in to things that I love, even if sometimes it gets difficult (nod to CC).
A place that always brings me home, physically, and emotionally – the peace of my nan’s terrace. As a kid I would run in and amongst the wooden pillars of my grandparents’ garden, a small area of concrete that opened into long pool of grass, cut freshly by my grandad, vegetables growing, and daisies scattered like stars in the night sky. A square roof of clematis climbs above you as the sun creeps in amongst the flowers. True, effortless beauty. Having moved around a lot as a child, this is one place where I am truly rooted. Walking from the outside slabs of concrete into the conservatory, scrolling through old photo albums, and more recently my grandad’s record collection – these moments make the worries of life float away and enlighten my soul. A sweet cup of tea, stale biscuits and a side of nostalgia bring me back to life no matter the weather.
And to my mum, who has endured the twists of turns of not only my life but her own too. Like the canvas, I would never understand as a younger child what it was about the simplicities of life that brought her comfort – but she is truly my greatest teacher. A strong, thoughtful, and persevering soul, she inspires me everyday to go further so I can provide her at least an inch of the happiness she has helped me achieve. Her shouts of good night, sharing new music together, and her willingness to be open with me bring light to my heart. Whether directly or indirectly, she has taught me to not be afraid to fall in love with life, to not care what people think, and to always reconnect with my inner self, the purest form of me, where nothing else matters but the beauty of everyday.
To all my friends, mentors, and moments that have helped me to connect with life, I love you. There are so many facets of life to fall in love with, and at 21, I am excited to discover more of the beautiful simplicities’ life has lined up for me.