With daily death briefings, I am sure we have all wondered at times: what is the meaning of life? Many of us may be questioning our priorities, such as making our homes look lovely, how many Facebook likes we receive and celebrity gossip. What does that stuff matter? Maybe we are thinking about vulnerable people, reflecting on those wonderful workers on the front line and our own loved ones.
Life has in many respects been turned on its head. Life is now defined by a very new and different set of values. The news is dominated by very different items than a mere three months ago. Money, careers, house size, all of these are questionable now. I look back and think about why on earth some things seemed so important at the time.
Yesterday I went for a lovely walk with my mum. It was only a walk round the block. We saw a tree my mum described as ‘special’ and she pointed out the blossom on its trunk. And then I heard a pure trill of song. I looked up and there was a robin. It only had a faint blush of red on its breast; I am not sure if it was a female. I looked up and sai ‘sing to us’. And as if it understood it opened its little beak and out poured a symphony of sweet sounds. Mum and I stood and drank in the beauty of the music, the tree and the silence in the street that enabled us to hear it properly. And this for me is the true meaning of life.
The simple beauty of birds singing, the peace of a walk around the block, admiring the artistry in neighbours’ gardens, the Spring blossom, the serenity of the sea, all is music to the soul. The harshness of death is washed away when looking at the beauty of nature, listening to the sounds of the earth and contemplating life in its rich minutiae.
I used to live in a very large flat, surrounded by lovely things I had collected over many years. Now they are all in a storage unit. And yet I am surrounded by natural beauty, as I live very close to the sea. I am relearning that life is not about material possession; it is about enjoying the simple pleasures.
Today’s recipe of hope is to ask yourself what the meaning of life is for you? Have you lost your way? Are you too busy? Maybe set some time aside to take stock. If you are driving, pull up and look at nature, take a walk, sit and listen to the birds in your garden, look at the stars in the night sky.
May you all rediscover the simple beauty of being alive X