In the sixteenth hour of this interminable Friday, the clock finally seems to be speeding up its rhythm. Its a bummer it couldn’t have stepped up its hustle a little while earlier seeing as I’d have much rather the end of a full day of lessons to have come sooner. After dragging my head out of a textbook I thought I’d make the most of this evening doing something I’ve been anticipating doing for a while now, but haven’t been granted with the time nor catalyst to do so. A new stash of passion-fruit (super ripe and super juicy may I add) and a cuppa’ of chamomile tea soon cured my writers’ block none the less. So here I am snuggled under a freshly washed blanket which still carries the scent of washing powder, aside a wall glittered with fairy-lights, drinking tea (Oh and munching on passion-fruit of course), ready to do what I have been intending to do for the past month or so. Write. Mindfully.
7.00AM GMT. The time when my vexatious alarm begun blaring its ludicrous chirps, chimes and caterwauls reminding me of yet another monotonous day-to-be, crammed with studying and assignments. Another day means one step closer to exam season. A stress imbued period of tension and pressure. Definitely NOT something to look forward to. After dismissing the snooze button, I drew back my curtains to a dreary view of the murky-grey sky flustered with rain clouds. The weather was dull and after finding out my favorite dress was in the wash my mood was depleted, only to wander into the kitchen and discover we were out of Almond Milk and the banana stash had collapsed. I mean come on, a morning without bananas and Almond Milk seriously? I knew I was in for a bad day. Twenty lengthy minutes waiting in traffic and I arrived at college. The first day of mock exams and not only one, but FOUR pens ran out on me mid-essay. Caked in ink I lumbered to the toilets to wash my hands to be greeted by an empty soap dispenser. Not forgetting getting caught in a rain shower walking home after unintentionally leaving my umbrella at home. 11PM GMT I finally reunited with my beloved bed.
6.47AM GMT, I was awakened by the downpour of rain against my window ledge ten minutes before my alarm was due to ring. I lay there, giving my body to adjust to the arrival of a new day. Allowing each muscle to wake up slowly, and make the most of this quiet, tranquil time surrounded by nothing but stillness and the sounds of nature outside my window whilst the rest of the world still sleeps. I found it peaceful awakening as an early-bird. A clear head and a good nights sleep are elements I cherish. As I spent a further ten minutes studiously searching my wardrobe for my favorite dress, realization hit that this dress was in the wash. So on it was with a comfy jumper and skirt. I made my way to the kitchen ready to prep my nana-oatmeal, to discover we were out of Almond Milk AND bananas. How can this possibly be? I was deprived of my morning oatmeal fix yes, BUT a new stash of ripe mangoes, fresh strawberries and coconut milk caught my attention. So an exotic Acai bowl of summery fruits topped with shredded coconut and cashews it was. And oh boy, breakfast had never tasted so damn good. The traffic was bad, but as we approached school the clouds shifted a little and the sun began to shine its rays. They highlighted the green of the grass, reflected off the swings in the park and made the water droplets form a blurry layer of condensation on the car window. The condensation formed a rainbow reflection on my arm; red, yellow and green, all the colors were there. As strong as anything, a mixture of rain and sun painted a product of beauty on my skin. It wasn’t even 9.00AM and I’d already seen a rainbow and relished the sweetness of a bowl of summer fruits. Mid-essay in my first mock exam and four of my pens ran out, I lost my train of thought and forgot what I was meant to write. Rummaging through my bad in desperate need of another pen I came across an old train ticket (to a concert which point blank stands as one of the most incredible nights of my life) but also a necklace which has a very sentimental meaning, that I had been searching for for a while after simply misplacing it’s whereabouts. It seems if my four pens had not run out, I would not have searched the depths of my bag for an extra pen, so I would not have stumbled across a memory from an amazing experience nor would I have found what I had been searching for for ages. Just like if we had not run out of Almond Milk and bananas, I would not have enticed the sweetness of a bowl of the ripest summer fruits. If the weather had not been dreary when I awoke at 7.00AM, then the sky would not have painted a rainbow on my skin. As I walked home I was mesmerized by the darkness of the sky casting its shadows and drenching people as they made their way through the rush hour of students. Umbrellas went up and heads turned down, away from the sky. People’s moods worsened, agitated pedestrians huffed and puffed at wailing school kids flapping about a torrential downpour. My face went up, my eyes looked up towards the sky. Wet hair and all, as rain drops ran down my cheeks taking my make-up with it I felt ALIVE. The cool droplets of water against my warm skin was soothing, fresh. I saw birds flee to the safety of their nests to comfort their babies amid the storm, kind car drivers who allowed children to cross the road in front of their cars to save them walking the extra 100 yards to the crossing in the rain. I witnessed the storm clouds slowly migrate across the sky, the beauty of something so uncontrollable and undesired which holds so much power to alter someones mood being transported away to some place else reminded me that nothing bad never lasts. Bad times will always pass, and despite them appearing dull and gloomy on the outside, there is almost always something positive lurking amid their presence. If I had remembered my umbrella, I’d have blended in with the troops of students. Heads down, looking at the pavements, protecting their faces from the rain. If I was holding my umbrella I would not have captured the beauty of the birds protecting their babies, nor would I have seen the kindness of strangers in allowing people to reach the opposite side of the road.
Would you believe me if I were to tell you that both of these explanations were describing the exact same times on the exact same day? Recalling the not-so-positive aspects of this (not so gloomy day) in retrospect has taught me that Perspective is one of the most powerful things we, as humans, can possess. The power to see things differently and shift our negative experiences into a realm of positive ones, despite not acknowledging their mere beauty at the time. Everything which happened on this day occurred to bring something much greater into my vision, negative events happened to allow positive ones to replace them. The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away, is not something accountable to justify a “bad day”. When if we were to look a little deeper than whats on the surface, we will discover an even greater prospect. So look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there- HERE – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. To me, this underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known, because if you look the right way, you will see that the whole world is a garden.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
Maybe a little perspective is all that more of us need to confide in.