It was one of those days when I felt grateful for being alive. In the morning on my way to work I was crossing over ha’penny bridge and I could feel the warmth of the Sun, like you would feel on a summer day. I looked at the river and paused to take the view in. I would often do that when I am crossing this bridge. That day the sunshine glittering on the river reminded me of the sea bathed in sunshine. A summer feeling emerged in me, a feeling of happiness that carries no distractions, a pure type that lasts but a single moment, but still in my depths I sensed that I was touched with inner sunshine. I haven’t felt like this in a very long time.
Not that I wasn’t happy at all, but I often had to struggle through the circumstances that were not of my choosing to find the joy of living and to be grateful, when at most times, especially lately, I would have rather chosen a changed circumstances, though that was not possible. I am a survivor, by which I mean that I don’t allow painful experiences and disappointments in life to knock me down for good, and I have had a few. I find beauty in small things and I probably appear to be very happy and joyful even when I don’t necessarily feel so. But there comes a time when you no longer what to be ‘a survivor’, when just want to live. That morning as I was observing the sunshine over Liffey there was no usual struggle to overcome something, no interior striving for happiness, I just allowed the beauty to shower me with its goodness and I felt happy. What a blessing!
That brief yet pure moment of happiness mixed with the sunshine spilled into the rest of the day. When all distractions of life’s hurts are stilled inside us, even if for a moment, the good fruits of life are free to emerge. Love we have experienced can then fill our soul, and love is always a gift. And so it was for me that day. I managed to gather fruits of the past that are still true in my heart, even though a lot has changed. I put some of them into a poem, the rest I used to nurture my spirit.
Later in the day I was crossing Liffey again, over a different bridge this time. I was in a hurry going to the late evening Mass, but I stopped for a moment: the sunset spread its warm colours over the water creating a magnificent view. I took a photo, the one above, and said to myself how indeed it is true that the eyes that see beauty are blessed with happiness.
© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 2nd May 2014)
Photo by © Iva B.