sense and sensibility

It’s been a tricky week – the type of week we all have from time to time, that makes you take stock of what’s important – family, friends, health (and erm, sunshine, in case the weather gods are paying attention)

My mood matched the thunder and rain that we’ve had all week, and the best thing about waking up this morning was the slow realization that it was Saturday finally. And that the baby had slept till 6.30. And the sun was shining.


Just before 9, I headed out into the already warm sunshine and that fresh morning smell that you really only get on the brightest summer days – I’d love to say I was going for a walk in some beautiful patch of countryside or a run on a beach. In fact I was going for an eyebrow shape followed by a Pilates class. Hardly life-altering stuff but sometimes it’s the simple, familiar, everyday experiences that bring peace and security when external forces can’t be controlled.

I drove along the still quiet roads, singing along to Florence and the Machine’s Dog Days Are Over on the radio – maybe it was a sign that my recent grey clouds are lifting, but if nothing else, a song to belt out like nobody’s listening.

In the salon, a slightly quirky place with high ceilings painted sky-blue and dotted with cherubs, I breathed in the familiar smells of nail polish and wax.
The radio was playing, a local Dublin station – no soothing muzak here, but oddly comforting. Ghetto Gospel wafted across the airwaves – now I know I’ve just lost all musical credibility, but it was the perfect song as I relaxed for a few minutes of peace on a sunny Saturday morning.

When the girl in the salon asked if I was happy with the eyebrow shape or if I wanted her to tweeze and pluck some more, I opted for more – because this meant I could lie there for longer. Odd that having tiny hairs plucked and waxed out of my eyebrows was the most relaxing thing I did this week. Or maybe not – I’m guessing I’m not alone.

I emerged blinking into the sunlight and headed towards the Pilates studio – I love this time of the morning when the main street is still just coming to life, mostly with dads and small children sent out to pick up coffee and newspapers and fresh bread.
A market stall selling fresh fish was being set up as I walked past, two breathless runners overtook me, coffee shop staff were putting out black-boards calling early risers in for cappuccino and scones and danish pastries; I could smell the deep, rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee as I walked past, but it would have to wait.

I turned the corner down towards the studio that looks out on the coast, and was immediately lifted by the wide blue seascape on front of me – one of those days when you can’t tell where the sky ends and the sea starts. A light breeze brought the smell of the water to me, tiny white boats bobbed in the distance.
I felt strong and happy and peaceful and grateful.

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