I’ve been sick for three weeks. I don’t get sick often and when I do, I recover really quickly. Three weeks of feeling awful is highly unusual and totally shit! Yesterday I finally felt ‘normal’ again. Actually, better than normal, I felt energetic and full of joy.
After a morning of achieving more than I’d completed in almost a month, I picked up a friend’s nine year old daughter from school. Her mum was in Sydney on a business trip so I was tasked with looking after her until Dad finished work in the evening. We bought afternoon tea and chatted about her day, telling silly jokes and giggling endlessly. I took her to swimming lessons and watched her show off all her skills for me. She hugged my enthusiastically and told me she’d be giving me four more hugs before the afternoon was over. I felt proud to be a part of the ‘village’ helping to raise this child. I was genuinely happy in her company.
My children are teenagers now and most of my conversations with them are either serious and / or greeted with rolled eyes and exasperation. I’d forgotten the simple joy in talking with young people and viewing the world innocently. Nine year old kids are SO easy to amuse. We told fart jokes and blamed each other for bad smells. She misheard me call her a ‘Giggling Gert’ as ‘Killer Goat’ and the nickname stuck all afternoon. She, in turn, named me ‘Mrs Iceberg bott-bott’ due to my complaints about my freezing butt from sitting on cold concrete watching her swim.
While my young friend swam, I read Agneta Nyholm Winqvuist’s book Wabi Sabi – Timeless Wisdom for a Stress-Free Life. I learned about Haikumoments – a moment where everything stands still as you open your heart and are filled with reverence. Simply put it is about appreciating the magic of any given moment and feeling grateful for it.
After several weeks of feeling sick, sad and sorry for myself, I marvelled at how energetic, joyous and thankful I felt in that moment. The sun was setting in hues of orange and pink, the air was cool enough to make my nose tingle and I felt overwhelmingly happy. I was mindful of the Wabi Sabi tenets –
Nothing lasts forever
Nothing is perfect
Nothing is ever finished
This euphoric feeling won’t last. Troubles, arguments, depression, anger, sadness and fatigue will visit me again. Yet I’m learning to hold each moment lightly, allowing it flow in and out with ease. Learning to appreciate the joyous moments and accept it when they are over.
I’ve mostly written this post as a personal reminder of how such a simple day brought me joy.