Today I’m grateful for unexpected delights.
I met up with a friend post-lecture this morning and we went for a revitalising walk. We’re fortunate to attend a university with plenty of green space to wander in, but when you’re busy it’s easy to forget to take advantage of it. You hurry from lecture room, to library. I walk back to my car as quickly as possible, mindful that I should be doing something more productive than travelling. Sometimes living 35+ minutes away from campus is a pain, but I wouldn’t want to ‘live in’ or go through the hassle of a house-share.
Anyway, I digress. It was a cold and gloomy kind of day – the wind was surprisingly bitter for mid-April, but we’d made a plan and wanted to stick with it! All around us the trees were budding and the bravest plants had unfurled tender new leaves, each competing to be the greenest and most perfect specimen. We saw Bluebells getting ready to burst and be glorious, and some striking yellow Lilies that stood out in stark contrast against the dark mud. We took in the smells of freshly mown grass. Stood awhile amid the trees and ran our hands over the bark. Indulged in a little childish pleasure beside the stream.
Afterwards, we sat on the same stone bench that I found on my first day. I remember being delighted by its rustic charm nearness to the department, and pictured eating lunch there (NB. I’ve probably done so no more than twice.) I showed her the presentation I’d been working on for tomorrow and she then talked me through her own ideas. Previously, everyone seemed to keep thoughts about projects and essays to themselves, but in this year of general craziness I’ve found that we all gravitate towards each other, hoping for reassurance. We all want to do well, to find that our efforts have paid off and to realise that we are actually capable. When you’re sat alone in your room, fretting about what you’ve written, it’s so easy to lose sight of that fact. We can do this. The previous 2 years have proven that, despite our fears, we can get through to the other side. We can reach the top of that mountain and look back on how far we’ve come.
J. M. Barrie said, “Always be a little kinder than necessary.” Plato (possibly), “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” The common theme in both of these quotes is clear, but it’s something we need to remember. Life is a battle. We take the rough with the smooth, the happiness alongside the heartache. But kindness, no matter where you’re at, is always important. Kindness is always valued. Kindness costs nothing but, often, it means everything. Smile, open a door, bake a cake, give a hug. Congratulate someone on their achievements or remind a friend that they’re an awesome human being. Small acts = big impacts.
I wasn’t sure that I wanted to blog tonight, but I’m glad that I have. Another unexpected pleasure. Thank you for reading…