Small Things

At the beginning of this week, I wrote this post about How to be Happy When Life Feels a bit Frayed, and I’ll be honest, since then I’ve been struggling to follow my own advice. I have felt frayed this week – edgy and unsettled and withdrawn. It has taken a lot of effort to try to practise what I preached in that post, and I haven’t always managed it.

Sometimes, I have, though, and I’m thankful for those moments. Like when, after a long day, I stood on tired feet in the back garden and could see the black outline of the hill in the distance and the air was fresh after the rain, and I felt truly thankful. Or when I lay in bed with the fairy lights twinkling and the sound of the rain on the roof of the barn. Or when I watched friends say their wedding vows and after the ceremony walk out into a window of sunshine for photographs on the step of the church.

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Today, too – the woods were all drops of water made into sparkles by the sun, green leaves shining wet, blue sky through the canopy and the sound of the running stream.

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The week had a clear highlight: spending Thursday morning learning about and practising Falconry on beautiful Exmoor. We were at the Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre which is an idyllic old farmhouse turned B&B with a huge menagerie of animals. It was amazing to be that close to the birds.

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There have been other Small Things too – walking along the coastline, the excitement of seeing a rescue helicopter practising right up close, getting lost in the book sale in a quirky antique shop, getting lunch out with Andrew (the most giant Brie and Bacon sandwich known to mankind!), phonecalls with friends and quiet time pottering around the house.

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I’ve been waiting to have children for a long time now, and this week I felt at times overwhelmingly sad and frustrated about that. But I’ve also been learning to treasure this time, this life. I don’t want it to slip through my fingers because I’m too caught up in waiting for the future to notice the present in all its splendour.

A prayer from Psalm 108:

My heart is steadfast, O God;

I will sing and make music with all my soul…

I will praise you, O Lord…

For great is your love, higher than the heavens;

your faithfulness reaches to the skies…

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