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 I have felt frayed this week – edgy and unsettled and withdrawn.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.
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.
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.
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.
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…