Tag Archives: the world can be wonderful

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

My camera is broken, but each week I take on the WordPress Photo Challenge anyway…
It was very cold this morning, but it’s three o’clock now, and it’s a beautiful afternoon. The sun is shining and while there is a coolness in the air, it’s a clean coolness that perfectly complements the warmth of the sunshine, like an iceberg dropped into a volcano, though that metaphor might be a bit strong.

Walking along the riverside’s boardwalk in Dublin’s city centre on an afternoon like this it’s impossible not to feel happy, and I do. I’m not used to being there at this time of the day, watching the sun wink along the ripples of the river and watching people sit contentedly in the sunshine, some reading, some just watching the world go by. There’s a young man of in his twenties sitting with a pipe in his mouth, a real gnarled-old-man’s pipe, and this makes me smile, not because it makes him look daft, though it does, but because he looks so confident with it, as only the young can look.

I can only stay happy by ignoring the reason why I’m strolling along here at this time, which is that I have left work early because I don’t feel well. Both yesterday evening and again at lunchtime today I felt really dizzy, and am on my way to my doctor to see which of my five theories she agrees with:

A: that my blood pressure suddenly rose;
B: that my blood pressure suddenly sank;
C: that I’ve had a panic attack;
D: that someone is spinning my head around in an Exorcist-like fashion;
E: that I’ve been taking E.

Anyway, I’m not worried that it’s serious, I’d just like to find out, so I’ve taken the afternoon off. Generally I’m one of these people who believes that I should only miss work if I’m really unwell (say if I’ve been rolled flat, cartoon-like, by a steamroller), and I feel a bit guilty leaving early.

And a bit guilty that my punishment for skiving off has been a walk full of contentment, and warmth, and beauty.

And that I feel so happy about it.

Stellar By Starlight

The clock going forward last weekend means that I am again getting up for work in the dark.

This reminds me of the times during the last couple of months when the project that I was working on seemed never-ending, and to try and ever-end it I was going into work at seven.

There is no bus that would get me in that early so I would have to leave my house at 5.30 for the longer walk to the station to catch the six o’clock train. This sounds like torture but in fact there were times when it was a lovely walk, with stars and the moon still in the sky.

There was nobody else around, a human silence in which to appreciate birdsong.

The walk would take me around the side of Greystones Golf Course and the beauty and variety of the sounds coming from the trees there can be breathtaking.

I don’t know much about ornithology so I can’t tell which birds I was listening to. I presume one of them was the lark, since otherwise the phrase “up with the lark” is meaningless.

As for the rest of the dawn chorus, they could be anything. Sparrows. Puffins. Tits.

At times the project caused exhaustion, stress, disillusionment and depression. But the morning walk used to help me deal with all of this.

The world around you, if you open your senses and take it all in, is a constant source of wonder.