Thursday, 18 April 2013

A little light Life Philosophy

As I write the sun is streaming down on my garden, bathing my little herb garden in light. The weather has been switching between bright sunshine and flashes of rain. The air smells amazing. New little buds are appearing on my fruit plants, ready to yield a new crop this year. The last few weeks have given me a good few opportunities to just slow down like this and enjoy my surroundings. As of Monday I am back to college. Life is changing slightly in that arena as I've now been let lose from all other responsibilities and placements to focus on my academic work for the next year and a bit.

As much as I love the practical side of things, and that is ultimately what all this is for, I'm eagerly anticipating this change of pace and the sheer luxury that is time to think and study in such a remarkable place as Oxford. There is truly nothing I love more these days that wandering through the sun filled quads and frequenting the cafés on Oxford's many gorgeous side streets. Spring and Summer in Oxford are some of the best times of the year in my opinion. There is a veritable feast of pretentious entertainment as every college in the city competes for your business with their latest Shakespeare production on the lawn. The festivals get going and the city looks beautiful. I'm so thankful to be here.
Thankfulness has been a bit of a theme of my holiday as I reflect on my college journey so far. Every day is by no means perfect but I feel a deep seated thankfulness for the opportunities I am being given and the path that is unfolding before me. There is no doubt that it is a path of many uncertainties. I have no idea where I will be moving to in two years time, it could feasibly be anywhere in the country. I don't know how I will spend summer next year or what I will exchange my sunny Oxford side streets for. All of it is blank and just the little bit of the road ahead of me is visible for now.

But you know what? I'm really glad about that. Despite being a natural born planner (mostly because I think I could live five lifetimes and not fill them with all the things I want to do!) I'm relishing in the joy of truly not knowing, of simply being where I am and loving it. I'm finding that uncertainty looks a lot like freedom when you seize the opportunities in front of you and really make the most of them. I'm trusting myself to do that in whatever circumstances unfold as I practice it day by day and feel those wonderful moments of happiness welling up as a result.

All this philosophizing has made me a bit morbid in conversation recently and I have been musing to friends over coffee that 'we really are all headed to the same place anyway'. I know, what a cheery companion eh? But it reminds me to take things just seriously enough that I take risks and embrace everything that life has to offer me and not too seriously that I am stuck, paralysed by what might go wrong.

At the end of the day, no matter how much we might avoid this reality, life does end. If the last year and the hours spent at hospital bedside tell me anything then it is the reality of that. One day we will have had our shot and our time in the sun and it will be time for a new generation to take on the world. But right now, these are our days. Isn't that a wonderful thought, shot through with possibility? As for me this is my motto as summer approaches: Live life, enjoy it and be thoroughly thankful.


  1. A great philosophy to live by, Nicola. I really appreciate these reflections of yours. And yes, though it's nearly 50 years since I was a student there, Oxford in spring and summer is magical. :-)

  2. Thanks Perpetua. It's quite theraputic to put thoughts into words really so glad it encourages in some way! :)