Recently I was sitting in a cosy café in Queenstown, the lake and snow covered hills providing me with a spectacular backdrop. I had spent a joyous couple of days with 2 of my loved ones and on that particular morning I took a moment to pause and reflect on a few things.
When you surrender to the mindful moment, the rhythms of the universe kick in and if you tune in, you can be rewarded with some mind-bending clarity.
For me that morning, I was presented with a moment to savour the blessings of my life and to revel in gratitude at being right here, right now, in that present. As I gazed out as the towering hills, dusted with white, the song Landslide started playing. As I have often found lately, the soundtrack of life chimes in, serendipitously and often ironically underlying the pause.
This song has a range of poignant lines; the one that always resonates for me is this one:
Well I’ve been afraid of changing because I built my life around you
But time makes us bolder, even children get older and I’m getting older too…..
Listening to those words in that café brought tears to my eyes and, even now make me marvel at the power of music as a soundtrack to life.
It also made me look quite a sight in that quiet little corner of Queenstown…..
As I think back to that moment now whilst writing this piece, I wonder why those particular lines resonated so strongly for me. I am tempted to not ponder this too deeply and simply revel in the moment it produced. However being the curious soul that I am, I still find myself reflecting on this.
My thinking is thus; as my children grow into the wonderful adults that they are becoming, I am reminded of my own progress on this adventure called life. This doesn’t scare me at all; far from it. So many of our friends and family don’t get the chance to grow older. I learned this at a very early age and still to this day, I try to have a pause daily to reflect on the joy that is life and practice meaningful appreciation of the fact that I am still afforded this honour.
It seems to me that there are many who struggle and I sat in that café in Queenstown, gazing out on the magic, wondering why? I meet people who scrap for attention and power; who pursue the tangible at the expense of the intangible; who seemingly have it all, yet remain desperately and achingly unfulfilled.
Is this a generational thing? In Queenstown I met a number of younger people who had left a comfortable existence at home and set forth into the world, thousands of kilometres away to experience another way of living. Perhaps? These young ones are certainly living in a much smaller world than the one I grew up in and travel is so much more a part of their expectations.
Yet there I sat, in the full bloom of middle age, embracing all of these same opportunities, eager to drink from the fire hydrant of life.
My point in this – and yes dear reader I will get there – is that it is very easy to get so caught up in the day to day that the minutiae of life often passes us by. Every day, it’s important to pause and reflect back to the universe how grateful you are to be alive. When I do this, I am rewarded by things that I otherwise would not see and hear. It could be a song that moves me to tears in a dark café overlooking a mountain, the chatter of an excited little boy diving into his pancakes with gusto, a group of old friends who are travelling together for a quick little getaway.
Whatever it is, it’s exactly what you need to see and hear at that moment and despite what your logical mind may say to you, it undoubtedly MEANS something to YOU if you took the time to notice it.
Hmmm – I’m not sure that last sentence made sense to anyone else but regardless, I’m going to let it hang in the air like a brick doesn’t anyway!
NB: apologies to Douglas Adams for stealing his immortal line.