• Julie

Oprah's podcast and the little things

It's all about perspective. Feeling a bit slumpy, I knew I needed to shake up my routine. So I got up early one morning last week and took myself on a solitary walk down my back road. (Nothing new there, it is the same walk I’ve been taking daily for the past two months! And yet, in the countryside, everyday feels different. The cows and sheep move between fields; different flowers gradually come into bloom and the foliage has exploded with the recent good weather.) It was a bright, mild morning. The birds offered their chorus of welcome as I shut the front door. Sun beating down, illuminating the place in an ethereal undisturbed glow that only visits briefly in the early morning.

My dad has always been an early bird. And I feel I have taken after him. There’s something secret and euphoric about being out in the early hours of the day, while the rest of the world sleeps. It feels as though you are stealing an hour or two for yourself. And you watch the earth wake in a magical symphony, perfectly orchestrated with crescendos of birdsong interspersed with livestock calls and traffic hums. The crispness of the night lifts as the sun begins to warm the day. A stillness shrouds these early hours, transpiring opportunity. Just beautiful.

During this particular walk I listened to Oprah's SuperSoul podcast interview with Bishop T.D Jakes. Well my goodness. If you are ever in need of a change of perspective, then this is the podcast for you. Simply put, it reminded me that suffering and hardship in life is inevitable. This can be sad, but it is necessary. Only with sadness can we experience happiness. Life is full of poles. The bishop talks a little bit about religion, but in an accessible manner. This is a topic I am very much still trying to decipher. However he gave me some valuable food for thought and I am thankful for that. I would often pause the podcast at certain points just to let his message marinate and rest as I allowed meaning to trickle in, feet crunching the gravel and twigs, and understanding filled me. “Let faith drive the wheel even if fear is in the backseat”. A humbling and assuring sentiment. Secondly, their conversation reflected on the gift that is time. Time to reflect on previous journeys, where we are and where we are going. I had forgotten how much I adored reading. So I allowed myself the time to sit still and pursue my love. I devoured two books in two days, both of which I highly recommend and will write a post on: The tattooist of Auschwitz and Conversations with Friends. There is no feeling more wonderful than when a book grabs you and launches you full force into its world. Characters build themselves before your eyes as their traits are solidified throughout the story. Pages bring us to lands we have never before travelled (definitely helping me cope with the whole travel restrictions because at least we can go there mentally with books!).

The beach has been granted a status of utmost respect and admiration in my personal value hierarchy. Visiting it almost everyday, I am endowed with gratitude. Where I live, the tide goes miles out (not really but it feels like it!) and then comes in right up to the soft sand every day. The cyclical rhythm, the wide expanse, the sheer length of the coastline. It’s the perfect place to get lost in your music and walk and walk and walk. The ultimate meditation.

And we cannot neglect the fact that Ireland is now in ‘phase 1’ of reopening our country after our covid-19 lockdown. This means that we can now gather in groups of 4 outside, maintaining social distancing. So this week, I was able to meet some of my dear friends for walks on the beautiful beach! We hardly knew what to say, it's not like we had any news! And yet it was great to be present in one another's company and laugh. I missed their melodic laughs. I only wish I could hug them. Soon.

I suppose this post is just a little thank you to the simple things that I have been enjoying the past week. Tune into the simple things and you will not be disappointed.

I wish you all a wonderful, healthy, fun filled week!

Julie x

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