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I had forgotten the restorative powers
of nature, music, and walking, combined
as one entity in my heart and in my mind;
I had forgotten how much I love the intense colours,
the deep sounds, the meaningful lyrics,
until I see them, I hear them, I feel them again,
but as if it were for the first time.

Nature has always fascinated me.
Being outside and free,
you see things that no one else can see.
All worries become like islands that lie far-away,
all your fears feel like they are being exorcised
from your spirit, and you want to run, dream,
enjoy your surroundings, and play.

My home is always with me,
the village that I have lived in and grew up in
never stops inspiring and surprising me.
All is quiet. All is still.
I never get enough of trekking for miles on my own
on a beautiful morning-
sensing and knowing that I am carrying out the universe’ will.

This morning I awoke and I heard the voice of nature
calling to me and inviting me to see
something mystical, wonderful, to recall something,
and to find something truthful and beautiful
in the chorus of nature’s rhyme.
This morning I chose to believe that anything is possible,
and that life is capable of everything, as are people-
because this moment in time is an example of life at its prime.

I’m sitting in my favourite coffee shop,
enjoying a large, dark, incredible, exquisite,
cup of coffee that tastes as if the coffee beans
had been grown in the garden of Elysium,
and brewed, made, and poured on Mount Olympus by Zeus himself.
The taste in my mouth, the sensation, the experience,
the feeling of swallowing the hot coffee is like nothing else!

I am in another place, I am at another time;
I see new people that I have never seen before around me;
I recognise others that I regularly see
frequent this same coffee shop,
and at the same time of day with me-
they recognise me too,
they are in their own world…
but there is something in the air:
in the taste, in the smell,
in the temperature of where we are, that accentuates, combines,
and makes everything about these brief, enjoyable,
shared moments feel sublime!

The drug that intoxicates me,
heightened by the taste of the coffee,
opens my subconscious and makes me broadcast
my happiness and my contentment to everyone who sees me.

The world outside is calling me back,
but I don’t want to go…
The only thing that could make me happier is sharing this,
sharing everything, with someone-
someone who is like me;
someone who appreciates every second, every moment, like I do;
someone who doesn’t need to say anything,
because they feel what it is I am feeling anyway, always;
someone who just knows.

You have been a calm in the storm,
you have been someone everyone could rely on
to have the answer to a question,
the solution to a problem, the wisdom, the authority,
the strength to keep everyone going throughout the years.
I will miss having you around,
I will miss hearing your voice,
I will miss you being there to encourage, to guide me,
to keep us all on-track, and to inform.
Everyone will miss you.
It wont be the same not hearing your voice or seeing you again,
but I hope that you wont forget us,
I hope that I do meet you again,
and I hope you have a happy, restful,
and a wonderful retirement, Ken.

I have changed. I have really changed-
so much so that people who see me nearly everyday
have physically noticed this change in me,
and have even commented about it,
some people say that they have never seen me more happy,
and they are right:
I am in a season of my life,
in which questions have become answers,
deep connections have been made,
days spent thinking and dreaming and being myself
with someone else and sharing a very personal, special,
truthful, innocence, that I don’t always feel comfortable
showing and bringing out into the light.

Things are more different for me now than they have ever been.
I feel different in every aspect of myself-
not in the defining, fundamental, ways,
but I am definitely showing people
that have known me for a while
sides to me that they have never seen.

It’s a great, inspiring, fun, exciting,
adventurous, amazing, confusing, full, exhilarating,
weird, wonderful, roller-coaster ride of a time
in my time right now-
one in which I am meeting incredible, inspiring,
beautiful, amazing, new people-
one person in particular-
who have genuinely made me feel things and say things
that I have never felt or said before;
a time in which I am discovering new music, new art,
new literature, new ways of enjoying all the things
that life is all about.

Right now, things feel different again-
gone is the confusion, the fog, the static, the pain.
I truly feel like I have come “full-circle”,
but with a gift in my life now to remind me always
about what happened in the previous revolution
that I hope will forever be there to go to talk to,
to talk with, to help work out the inner-workings
of everything with, to be myself with,
without the extra air-supply, protection, trappings,
and necessities, that most people need to survive
these days in the deep depths of life’s ocean.

I knew this day would come,
I envisioned this moment,
I experienced brief phantoms of pain,
I anticipated the sound of my own heart breaking,
before I felt it, before it took my breath away,
and made me ache and agonize over and over, again and again-
paralyzing every part of me, from my chest to my hands,
from my legs to my brain.

There is no cure,
there is nothing that I can take to relieve me
from feeling what it is I am feeling-
I have never felt more inferior,
I have never felt more insecure,
I have never felt more like I am standing beneath
a rapidly descending ceiling.

The storm clouds have been gathering for weeks,
it was only a matter of time before the conditions were right
to electrify the atmosphere and allow tensions,
and pent-up emotions, to strike-out and reach there peak.

I feel every gust of the storm,
as if the wind were blades that could cut my skin
and could penetrate my chest all the way to my heart.
I stood at the storm’s heart, its eye, for a while
thinking that it had mistakenly passed and not left a scar.

The storm is not over yet,
it is still there effecting me, hurting me,
throwing and tossing me in every direction-
I don’t know which way is which anymore,
however I believe that is nature and life’s intention;
but now, I am taking a moment to collect myself,
and try to breath normal, and think straight while I can,
as I consider what is to come for me,
as I stand with my back to the storm.

The sun in my eyes, the touch of a breeze-
like the breath from someone’s lungs-
caressing my neck,
the feeling of the water from the fountain I am sitting by
splashing against my back,
the joy that I feel almost makes me want to cry,
everyone’s attention feels like it is focused on
tapping into a powerful energy,
my mind wanders, my thoughts feel like an ocean,
I look up at the beautiful blue sky
and I am in need of nothing else
but what this moment can offer me:
the freedom to be who I want to be,
the time to spend listening to the song of humanity,
the escape to have everything a person could ever need
before me.

As I look out and around at the people standing
and sitting beside me around the fountain,
everyone begins to glow, everyone starts to radiate,
everyone begins to lose their control,
everyone starts to talk to each other in every language,
and the golden air around them begins to shimmer
and vibrate.

I think about the world.
I think about my life.
I think about who I am,
I think about who I want to be with,
I think about stars being born
every second in someone’s eyes,
I think about being made new by the sun’s light.

The truth is there for me to touch,
the reason is there for me to hold,
life feels unending, hopeful, beautiful, and lush.
I understand the vast connections and messages shared,
I see the secrets that can never be told.

I could sit here all day in the afternoon sun,
I could watch all evening people coming and going,
arriving, leaving, returning, becoming,
delighting, igniting,
I could observe all night in the star-light
everybody acting, imagining, and dreaming as-one.

At sunset I watch the clouds burn,
at night I beseech to the heavens for love
and togetherness to return,
at dawn I watch fixated and fascinated watching the sunrise,
at midday I return to my favourite spot by the fountain,
taking it all in, sitting in full fusion with nature’s glow,
with the sun in my eyes.

At the bottom of my garden,
there grows a grand, towering, amazing, apple tree-
I still remember planting its seed in the ground when I was a child,
watering it for the first time with its first vital drops of water,
watching it grow year after year until its top branch grew so high
it looked like it could almost touch the sky
and too high for me to see.
I have had this fantasy for years
of climbing to the top branch of the apple tree
and picking the apple that lies the farthest out of reach,
returning it to my kitchen, chopping it up,
and baking it in an apple pie,
but the apple tree is so dense, precious,
and important to me, to our family,
I would hate to see even a single apple come to harm-
I don’t think I could live with myself
if it got sick or died.

As I stood looking up at the beautiful, majestic,
glowing, due-speckled, green, and red, apples,
as golden sunshine streamed through the apple tree’s branches
and cast a shadow on me, the wind blew delicately,
I heard the sound of breaking and then the sound of something
hitting nearly every branch on the way down
and falling from high above to the ground.
As I looked up, I could see the biggest,
and the greenest, apple that I had ever seen in my entire life,
fall like lightning from a thunder cloud.
I had just enough time to be able to catch a glance
at the great apple and reach out with my right hand
to catch it before it fell and touched the soil
covering the apple trees roots-
the apple was heavier than I expected,
and as it lay in the palm of my hand,
and as I considered what had to happen to make it grow so high
and then fall so far,
I had a revelation about life, about myself,
about what lies at the centre of us all-
human beings, birds, the Earth, as star,
as well as what can be found in an embryo,
or in an apple’s core,
and I instantly had this overwhelming urge to bit into the apple
and potentially taste and be reminded what is important in life:
how what grows above ground and below the Earth
is connected to everything that grows
in a thousand acres of rainforest, in every garden-
what flourishes and what can be found on the ocean floor.

I bit into the apple and the sweet taste of it skin
and the juiciness of its pulp overwhelmed all my senses
and took me back in my mind to the day, to the minute,
to the instant that I first put the apple pip into the soil,
all those years ago,
and I felt like I had witnessed, tasted, and had been gifted
something that I had never experienced before,
and it felt wonderful!

When I blinked my eyes, I was now at the foot of the tree again,
looking up, thinking abut the miracle that is growth
and the incredible significance, the insight,
what we can all learn about life
by witnessing the descent of a falling apple.

My day began by catching a spider in a cup that was in the bath,
and then taking them outside and releasing them
slowly onto the damp pavement.
After I watched the spider walk away,
I re-entered my house, shut the door behind me,
but I couldn’t stop thinking about the spider-
it wasn’t fear, I stopped being afraid of spiders a long time ago,
it was curiosity, I think:
this instant thought about where they came from,
where they are going, what their life consisted of,
and how our lives, although different in some respects,
were so similar.

Walking in the rain returns me to yesterday.
The touch of the long grass between my fingers,
the feeling of the wind on my face,
the softness of the green grass that I am walking on-
memories flood back to me, I am tranquil, I am warm,
I am full of energy and life,
because I am standing in the most beautiful and perfect place.

The sun breaks through the clouds
and its golden rays instantly accentuate the colour that is always there.
Walking through Brueton Park, passed the glistening water of the pond,
crossing the wooden bridge that joins the lush green banks
of the River Blythe,
taking in a breath, I am instantly struck by the beautiful
and intoxicating smell of the freshly-mown grass in the air,
and I am reminded that in order to fully-appreciate what you have
you have to share what you experience every second
with as many people as possible-
because they too will thank you and fully-appreciate
the gift that we all cherish,
the connected moments of being alive.

Memories, photographs, recollections, moments in time,
are so important to hold on to,
because they are us, they are our lives,
they are what put the spark in the eye of humanity,
they are precious, small, forgettable,
but they are also insightful, inspiring, breath-taking, and immense.
Hold on to what you can, don’t throw anything away,
don’t take even the seemingly insignificant of encounters
and take them for granted,
bottle them up in your mind for a rainy day,
return to them often, and relive the experience.

Life is full of so many people
who want to tell you to do this, or do that;
life is full of stereotypes that strive to make you believe
that you should be one way, or another-
but those people only have the power
to influence you on the surface,
deep-down you don’t believe what they are saying
nor see what their mind tells them they are looking at.
The art of living is to never conform wholly
to how people want you to be-
leave a part of you as a mystery to be discovered,
wrap it tightly with your thoughts,
and only unveil it to your intended other.

There is nowhere more heavenly than a bookstore,
there is nowhere better than a place where
you are surrounded in every direction by books
by inspired, genius, and amazing writers- who had a thought,
and who then evolved that idea into something transcendental,
that could touch the heart of another human being
and serve as a magic door to far-off worlds,
different realities, understanding why people do what they do.

I just love picking up a book, holding it in my hand,
staring at the cover, thinking about the title,
and flicking through it-
taking in everything about the book
before I think about potentially buying it:
the feel of the pages, the description on the dust-cover,
the “weight” of the book, even though that might sound strange-
sometimes I have bought a book
solely because I saw something inside while I was flicking through
that jumped up at me from a page.

I love being around other writers, young and old;
I love a story, or an author, that I haven’t heard of before;
I love reading a book’s dedication that sounds like pure gold;
I love picking up a new book by an author I already know,
buying their book and being completely in-awe.

A bookstore is my sanctuary.
A bookstore smells more incredible and amazing than anywhere on Earth.
Just being in the company of powerful words incased and bound
and there to be read whenever and wherever anyone feels the need
is invigorating, to me-
when I first walk into a bookstore though,
I always find it hard to come up with an answer to the question:
where should I start first?

I love a forest. I love a library.
I love buying a great book and sharing it with a friend
after I have read every word and found an answer to a question
that I have been searching for.
I love being inspired, and there is no better place to be,
there is no better place to spend your time, and your money,
than discovering a work of art that will continue to inspire you
for years.
There is no place I’d rather be than in a bookstore.

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