Today, I’d like to share with you a memory of a serendipitous moment that I had years ago. The event itself was not that unusual – just my insomniac past self enjoying a beautiful spring morning – but it was certainly memorable for me. There can be such beauty and magic in the small things of life.
It was an early morning in May, and I had stayed up for the whole night, as I often did at the time. I meant to get myself a class of water, but as I stepped into my tiny kitchen and glanced out of the window I forgot all about my thirst, and instead stared, mesmerized, at the sight before my eyes.
It had rained at some point during the night, and there were small puddles on the ground. The grass and the leaves on the trees that to me seemed to have appeared out of nowhere in just a few short days ago were an amazingly beautiful shade of green. And above, in the sky that was lighted by the rising sun, there was a rainbow. I stood there dazzled for a moment. And then I stumbled to get my camera, because I just had to get a picture. I hurried out the door, careful not to make too much noise in the staircase. I did not want to wake up those who did not share my strange sleeping patterns.
Outside, the sound of birds singing was much louder than I had expected. Apart from that, it was really quiet. There were no sound of people or cars. It felt like I was the only one awake. I had feared the rainbow would have somehow disappeared before I got there, but my fear had not come true – so I stood there, surrounded by the scent of rain and grass and the noises that carried no presence of humans, with a morning sky and a rainbow above me. I had come to attempt to preserve this moment somehow, so I took some pictures, and some video. But everywhere I looked there was something new to capture, some other beautiful things to admire, and I knew I wasn’t going to see enough just by standing in front of the house.
So I decided to go for a walk. I dashed to get my bag, and on my way back outside I narrowly sneaked past a mailman who seemed to take a lot of effort to make as much noise as possible delivering the newspaper. But as soon as I was back outside, the singing of birds was again the only sound to be heard. I walked past the parked cars and followed a road into the woods.
Underneath the trees there was still twilight remaining from the night. The forest shone dark green, and all around me the forest floor was blooming with small white flowers. I felt like I had walked into a dream, or a fairytale. I couldn’t remember when I had last felt so alive.
After a moment, a small path turning away from the road caught my eye. I had never walked that path before. On a whim, I decided to follow it. The singing of birds never ceased, the air felt easy to breathe, and the white flowers glowed like stars all around me. Soon, on the right side of me, the trees revealed an open field, and above it, against the early sky, the same rainbow that had invited me outside. The open field was a golf course, I knew, but so early in the morning it was devoid of all signs of people and seemed to be just like any ordinary field covered with brilliantly green grass.
Then, a new noise joined the chorus of birds. I heard running water, and soon enough came by a small stream that ran across the path and had formed a small pool on the stone. Again, on a whim, I took off my shoes. I put them on the ground beside me, and sunk my toes into the water. The water was bright and cold, but did not feel unpleasant; on the contrary! I stepped fully into the pool and splashed around, enjoying the sounds the water made. The clean stream ran softly around my ankles, and above me the sky kept slowly lightening, yet the rainbow did not fade away.
When I finally continued on I nearly left my shoes by the stream. I returned to get them but didn’t put them back on, deciding to carry them instead. The forest path had twigs and small stones among the sand and mud, but I didn’t care. Every thing I felt made me feel even more alive. As I walked, I felt like laughing, but I remained silent, not wanting to break the magic with a human voice.
When the path turned left, leading further into the forest, I came across the side of the field and a sign that said: “Walking on a golf course can be dangerous” (which I assume means the players will use their golf clubs to beat the crap out of anyone who’s caught trespassing). I ignored the warning and I stepped into the field. The grass was soft under my bare feet. I held back laughter of joy once more, and for a moment, enjoyed walking where I wasn’t supposed to be.
But the forest called me back, so I went, and took the left turn. I climbed over a fallen tree, and stopped there. I closed my eyes and breathed.
I felt a change in the air just seconds before the first raindrops hit the leaves. Slowly and quietly, at first, but then with increasing speed, and soon it was pouring. The rain filled my shoes as I stood there, grinning from ear to ear. Shivering, but not from cold. No coldness could reach me at that moment.
I walked slowly back along the path that had took me here. The birds still sang in the rain. I couldn’t stop smiling. By the time I had reached the road, the rain had stopped, as quickly as it had began.
As I walked back home, a woman walking her dog went by. When she saw me coming, barefoot, soaked in the rain, carrying rain water in my shoes and smiling like an idiot, she took the opposite side of the road long before we went past each other, taking care to keep as much space as possible between herself and me. My smile grew wider, and I wanted to laugh aloud. I wanted to ask her: “Isn’t it a beautiful morning? Isn’t life wonderful?”, but as she clearly already thought I was mad, I kept my silence and walked on.
I came back to the house, and closed the front door behind me, quietting the sound of birds that already was beginning to mix with the daily sounds made by people. I climbed the staircase with quiet steps, not bothering to put the lights on.
Behind me I left a trail of wet footprints on the stone floor, and I wondered if anyone would see them before they disappeared.
(I would have liked to use the photographs I took that day to accompany the text, but alas, a computer mishap ate all my files at one point, including the photographs of this magical morning. If I cannot be a role model, then at least I can serve as an example of what not to do – so kids, don’t end up like me: remember to back up your files regularly! The image used as a featured image in this post has been taken by Flickr user muumi91 and is used under the CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. The image has been slightly edited for the purpose. The original image can be found here.)