My time in Brighton has come to a close after four years. I regret that while I was there I didn't allow myself to feel that it truly was my home - having itchy feet stopped me from wanting to feel like I was putting down roots. What I have come to see in retrospect is that I did put down roots, and these roots provided me with the nourishment I needed from the people and places around me. The wonderful friends, the vibrant city, the almighty sea, the blustery Downs and the embracing forests.
But Mole stood still a moment, held in thought. As one wakened suddenly from a beautiful dream, who struggles to recall it, but can recapture nothing but a dim sense of the beauty in it, the beauty! Till that, too, fades away in its turn, and the dreamer bitterly accepts the hard, cold waking and all its penalties.
From 'The Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame
This change has reminded me of the need to live more mindfully, alive in the present moment and respecting and enjoying what is around me, rather than spending all my time imagining or fretting about the future.
I have now returned to London, a world away from the life I have been living and a past life I left behind purposely and eagerly. But I am here once again. And I must accept and make the most of my time here, in case I miss the roots growing, however temporary they may be...
There is always joy and wonder to be found, whether we're by sea and sand, amidst cars and crowds or alone on windswept moors.
And certainly with Luna, hiking the Downs...
And that is how I want to live my life: with joy and wonder.
And O most constant, yet most fickle Place,
Thou hast thy wayward moods, as thou dost show
To them who look not daily on thy face;
Who, being loved, in love no bounds dost know,
And say'st, when we forsake thee, 'Let them go!'
Thou easy-hearted Thing, with thy wild race
Of weeds and flowers, till we return be slow,
And travel with the year at a soft pace.
From 'Farewell' by William Wordsworth
Let's see how this chapter begins...