I’ve been in Bristol for a few days to visit my family before my maternity leave is over and Gregg takes over in caring for our son, Jenson. It’s been a lovely, relaxing time and I’m sat here before I set off back to Brighton thinking about how good life is and how fortunate I am.
My dad and I were talking about travels we’ve done over the past year and our favourite moments. He spoke about how he learnt to windsurf in Jamaica and, whilst surfing along, had a visit from a turtle who popped up next to him. It reminded me of a memory I have from when I lived in Japan – a snapshot from my time there which I still remember vividly and fills me with such happiness.
I was training for a half-marathon and was going out for a run along the rice fields of Toyosato, the town I lived in. The sun was shining, I was in my stride and was listening to one of my favourite artists, Ingrid Michaelson. I was in a state of flow, just present in the moment and only aware of my immediate surroundings. My heart beating, my feet pounding, the feeling of the warm sun, no particular thoughts in my mind.
And then a beautiful butterfly suddenly appeared next to me and flew with me for the duration of the song.
It fluttered, almost dancing along and in that moment, I knew that I was truly blessed in life. Life was good.
It was such a small thing – the presence of this tiny thing of beauty while I ran – but summed up how good life is.
How I had my health, as I still do.
That I had no immediate, burdening concerns in my life, like now.
How life is ripe for the picking and filled with moments of beauty and grace. If only I open my eyes to them.
I knew in that moment that all was well in my life. And I know this is true for my life now.
And in many ways, my son is my butterfly. Bringing me back to the present moment, showing me the beauty of the world in his gorgeous, gummy smile and helping me to see things anew as her shows such curiosity and wonder at each new experience he has.
Sure, life can be full of hardships – suffering and struggles, pain and predicaments.
But life is, for me at least, fundamentally good. And I’m so very grateful for it.