Favourite things

Bare feet:

Summer is walking barefoot on the grass, feeling sand between your toes. This morning the question wasn’t which shoes was I going to wear, but whether to wear shoes at all. (I did wear shoes, for all of an hour and a half, I think, and not all at once.)

The other day a friend asked me, ‘What does it feel like to be depressed?’ I was caught off guard, because the question I would have asked myself would be, ‘What does it feel like not to be depressed?’

Today signified what it feels like not to be depressed: the brilliant sunlight, the warmth, the green soft grass underfoot, the sand between my toes, the hopping on rocks and splashing in the sea. It means enjoying myself, my own company. Happiness is stepping from one seaweed covered stone to another; laughter unbidden when a wave surprises me from behind. It means walking barefoot everywhere, surrendering to and celebrating whimsy.

I used to catch glimpses of the beauty of light and of the earth when I was depressed — those glimpses are what kept me sane, grounded. I had to sit still and focus and be mindful of them. I know I am getting better because over the past year and a half, noticing the world is happening more often. I keep having more and more of days like today, days that I look around me in surprise, realising, asking, This, this is what Happiness feels like?

It feels like waking up. It feels like being alive.

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