In the rush to achieve our dreams, sometimes we lose sight of what’s really important.
As someone who is lucky enough to have children, from time to time I am reminded of the absolutely stunningly beautiful way they see the world. They only want happiness, laughter and for the people in their orbit to be happy.
They may love their iPad or a parent’s phone – stolen while charging at the wall – to get them that video game hit, but it is family time; the Sunday walks in the forest, the silly movie watched together on the couch, the beach day, the kick of the ball, that they crave.
The Whirlwind Wonder hit a big milestone in her life this weekend when she got to go around town with a friend sans parents.
This was up there with man landing on the moon in her nascent mind and how wonderful that is.
As a townie who grew up on the streets, kicking ball in lanes and exploring every nook and cranny of Listowel with friends, I couldn’t object to her having a taste of a freedom I enjoyed, well, so freely, probably since I was half her age.
From what I gather up to 9,999 steps were expended chatting and walking hills and valleys; people watching; sharing views on important stuff like make-up.
The way we torment ourselves with things makes one wonder how can we ever be happy as adults. Yes, terrible things can happen and there are various pressures that land every now and then, but just as they land, so too do they take off and the imprint they leave makes us stronger and wiser.
We spin in circles with our routines, whether that is reading the same kind of book, listening to the same kind of music, obsessing about the same obsessions.
Where can this get us: nowhere! as children we met and made friends with different people every week.
Much is written and said about the damage technology does but here I am typing this listening to Max Richter’s reimagining of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and it’s reminding me of how I fell in love with music all those years ago, cassette in hand, CD in hand, coin in dukebox, the smell of the pub, the clack of pool balls; you’re standing there in awe; beauty struck by a piece of music: Boys II Men, Nirvana, Sigur Ros playing in a field at Electric Picnic. It is these random connections that make life living and I cannot get enough of them.
As a writer about to start a course in finishing a novel; I am excited, a bit fearful and anxious to get cracking. With each day the light shines longer and we are in that expectant phase of the year where the promise of great times to come looms large.
We can all snap back into a reality wonderful and joyful by just being around the people we love spending time with and greeting each experience – good and bad – as a way to develop as a people.
The pure connection of reading or writing poetry, of listening to our favourite songs, of a cross table chat with a friend, of watching a film, or discovering an artist you want top rush around the country to tell people about (or more practically just send a tweet out) is something that never gets old.
The plans may get waylaid, the ambitions blown offshore, the heart broken with grief or hope or both, but life goes on and so long as you find something in a day and can see the world afresh – even by listening to birdsong – you’re on the right track.