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I took advantage of the gorgeous weather by going to my favourite outdoor space to soak it in. And when I say soak it in I mean, feel that sunshine deep in my bones.

I practically raced to the car park. And I didn’t even take time to park the car properly, but there weren’t too many other cars in the lot, so it seemed like a minor detail. I’m telling you, I needed that sunshine heat more than anything.

Rushing to my favorite sitting spot, I wasn’t entirely sure why I was so driven… it was as if I was worried time would run out, or I’d get a call from preschool about picking up my son, or I’d remember I had an appointment… the race against myself was on.

Unzipping my coat, I leaned into the wooden bench.

I took a breath.

I sat.

I watched Tui birds flutter ahead, their bird speak a robotic call I’ll never be able to replicate because I’m too human.

I thought about the crap going on in America right now. The DNC disappointment, the gun violence, the election, the supporters, Black Lives Matter, contaminated water, the drug epidemic, everything. It weighs heavy on me. I would never turn a blind eye to these issues, but it definitely breaks my heart. Sometimes the busyness of my own mind forgets how to be still.

How do I hold the noise, not let it take over, and still find peace?

I thought about what’s before me. Now. In this moment. The spot I sat in is one I saw in pictures online before moving to New Zealand. I would look at it everyday to remind me where our adventure was headed. A picture of the Ponga, Hinau, and Tawa trees dressing up the rigid hills on the blue-sky backdrop, with patches of green pasture at the top where sheep most likely graze.

I sat.

I breathed.

The heat from the sun warmed my otherwise chilled skin.

I moved further into the bush to another bench with spectacular views of the range. A bit windier, I opted to lie down. The sun directly above me, I was forced to close my eyes.

And listen.

I lay there for a good twenty minutes, until I realized I was probably falling asleep it was so heavenly. When I opened my eyes, they were filled with tears.

In that moment, I was happy.

I was flooded with memories of when we arrived to New Zealand and frequented this place: my son taking early steps here, his first few scrapes and bruised knees along that path, his first made up song on the green below, the abundance of birds dancing in the trees, the 800-year-old Rimu that holds my secrets, sharing the space with my parents when they visit. These memories of life and joy now filled me to the brim.

For some reason I kept thinking, “I’m not afraid”, “I don’t want to be afraid”, and “I don’t want the fear” as if it were a chant. And every time I thought it, it released.

I released the fear, the tension, the hurry, the guilt, the grief— I emptied it back to the Universe. My shoulders relaxed, the tension faded away to the abyss of wherever it belongs. Aware of my feet, I now suddenly felt grounded.

I breathed.

I’m happy.

There’s something magical that happens when you sit with joy. Today I sat with joy and allowed it to take over. Today I acknowledged it and let it become part of my breath. Even if the moment lasts twenty minutes, it’s there. And if it’s there, it’s not going anywhere.

Today I was aware of my breath and it took care of me.

While walking back to the car my stride was much slower, gentler, aware, and I couldn’t help but smile. To add to it, in my car U2’s The Fly played on the radio. They’re one of my all-time favorite bands, and I turned that shit all the way up.

The song was exactly the one I needed to hear at this moment.

My heart is full, my body relaxed, the warmth from the sun still on my face, and I am simply, happy.

 

 

 

Lyrics to U2’s The Fly, 1991 Achtung Baby

Oh, baby child

It’s no secret that the stars are falling from the sky

It’s no secret that our world is in darkness tonight

They say the sun is sometimes eclipsed by a moon

You know I don’t see you when she walks in the room

It’s no secret that a friend is someone who lets you help

It’s no secret that a liar won’t believe anyone else

They say a secret is something you tell one other person

So I’m telling you, child

A man will beg

A man will crawl

On the sheer face of love

Like a fly on a wall

It’s no secret at all

It’s no secret that a conscience can sometimes be a pest

It’s no secret ambition bites the nails of success

Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief

All kill their inspiration and sing about their grief

Over love

A man will rise

A man will fall

From the sheer face of love

Like a fly from a wall

It’s no secret at all

Love, we shine like a

Burning star

We’re falling from the sky

Tonight

A man will rise

A man will fall

From the sheer face of love

Like a fly from a wall

It’s no secret at all

Oh, yeah!

It’s no secret that the stars are falling from the sky

The universe exploded ’cause of one man’s lie

Look, I gotta go, yeah I’m running outta change

There’s a lot of things, if I could I’d rearrange

 

 

 

 

 

 

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