JOYFUL GRATITUDE #186
I’ve been working remotely for the past week in a beautiful old house in Le Touquet. Living just a short stroll from the shore is wonderful. Everyday the beach and its surroundings look different, the weather varies a lot and it’s great to pop over and see what it’s like at different moments of the day.
I’ve been taking long after-work walks alone, savouring each step along the long white sand to the sound of the seagulls flying overhead, whipped by the wind, accompanied by the crashing of the waves as the tide comes up.
With my Mum, we’ve delighted in treating ourselves to delicious artisanal ice-cream, trying to combine swiftly eating the melting cones with chatting as we make our way in the sun along the esplanade.
I also explored the dunes, walking between the tufts of wild grasses blowing in the wind, taking deep breaths of fresh air and watching whispy clouds float quickly across the sky.
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #141
This week in the midst of a stomach bug, the general messiness of life and work tension, Paolo had the brilliant idea that we look out for shooting stars one evening, since it is the season for them.
So there we stood on the balcony wearing our jackets and breathing in the cool air in the dark, heads tilted upwards, scanning the sky until my eyes got dry from not blinking and my feet got cold, surrounded by the soft sound of drops from an earlier rainshower rolling off from the trees into the gardens below.
We gazed out above the rooftops full of hope regardless of the light pollution of Amsterdam. We scouted optimistically despite the passing whisps of clouds obscuring the few stars we could see. We sometimes remained in silence and other moments we talked. Twice we were rewarded by the appearance of a bright shooting star! The shared joy of both catching a fleeting glance of bright travelling light was magical.
During the holidays or on a day off, I sometimes like waking up at dawn to go on a mini-adventure. I won’t pretend it is easy, but once the ten first minutes after waking have passed (where I curse my body for needing so much sleep), I am usually excited to go explore. Those are the mornings I tend to remember best when I look back, since they break the routine.
So one morning, during our recent trip to France, Paolo and I woke up when it was still dark, swallowed a quick breakfast and drove to the beach. It was such a gift to get to witness the world waking up. We spotted a family of deers on the road which promptly skittered off as we slowly drove by, not wanting to scare them. There were barely any other cars and the silence was broken only as we approached the beach, by the relentless crashing of the waves on the shore.
I loved being in the moment with nowhere to rush off to.While Paolo was fishing, I had time to wander and observe the plants on the dunes with their pastel colours blending with that of the soft sand. The vast expanse of dunes overlooking the long empty beach, surrounded by the sky changing colours, were breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful.
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #69
In Brighton, we enjoyed long walks along the beach, each step keeping us firmly in the present with the crunch of the pebbles, the cold sea wind on our cheeks, the waves crashing over and over again on the shore… We looked for pretty stones until our pockets bulged with their imperfect shapes and their fascinating greys, oranges and blues. After a cloudy day, the sun came out, illuminating the abandoned pier with its last rays. It was good to be reminded how deeply healing being by the beach, no matter the season.
Woke up last Wednesday to find it was snowing! The streets were beautiful and so quiet, with the snow padding every sound. Instead of rushing to work like I normally do, I took my time and walked one stop further to catch the tram in order to have a peaceful moment before my busy day in the office.
On my way home I did the same. Despite the freezing wind, I got off the tram and went for a quick walk in my neighbourhood, watching the sunset with its warm colours overtaking the sky. I’m feeling deeply grateful for these moments appreciating nature’s beauty.