There was a sense of quiet industry around the harbourside today. A gentle hum of life ticking over.
I’d taken advantage of the spring warmth and gone for a walk with my son. I’d had half a mind to take him somewhere other than his usual playground. Much as he loves the swings and slides, I wanted to find an open grassy space where he could roam, free of distractions. It should come as no surprise that he fell asleep along the way. We’d taken a slight detour so I could eye up the notebooks in the art gallery. The stillness sent him.
I ordered a decaf coffee and some fries then pitched up outside. The cobbled path joggled my sleeping son, though failed to waken him.
It was beautiful out there.
Young gulls, all dappled-grey and tufty-feathered, glared, beady-eyed, at my chips, daring me to drop one on the floor. Young girls rounded the corner, hands clutching at skirts as the wind blustered. The water glistened. The ferries rumbled along, leaving lengthening triangular trails. The sun wended its way through the clouds casting light and shadow at intervals.
I sat and pondered as my son napped.
Do you ever wonder what the point of it all is?
What’s the point in writing and sharing these stories?
When there are infinite possibilities, why do I live my life the way that I do? What am I doing with my life?
These big questions have always interested me—their answers have always eluded me.
I believe that we all have a deep-seated desire to know who are we and what are we here to do.
From birth we are on a quest to make sense of this world and find our place in it. Babies are brimming with a natural curiosity and appetite for life. They are into everything as soon as is humanly possible. The moment they can move, they are off, rolling and creeping and crawling towards their heart’s desire. It is impossible to quell this wonderlust, though its fervour can innocently be dampened by well-meaning grown-ups who have forgotten what it is like to live in the moment and lead from the heart.
That is why sharing stories is so important.
There is magic in transmitting a feeling from one heart and mind to another.
There is magic in reflection.
Stories are the lifeblood of humans, currency for communicating complex ideas, beliefs and values. Stories connect us. Stories shape us. But, ultimately, we are not our story. We are the stillness from which the story emerges.
So, I guess the point of it all is to come to know ourselves.
And in living an ordinary, wonder-filled life, we become like children, flame-lit from the inside with eyes burning bright. We need to feel this light. It transforms us. These stories remind us that it never goes out, no matter how dark life seems.