Wandering along the Edge
Stepping out, my feet lead me to the National Gallery. I'm beckoned in by the huge sign outside that says 'WONDER'. Such huge paintings with depth, story and colour. Created with love, emotion, patience and, over time.
There's so much spaciousness to this art gallery.
It's quiet too, a hushed kind of quiet where I can almost hear the appreciation from the other fellow art wanderers.
So much variety, scale and purpose to the displays. Lots to take in.
Once I have my fill, I walk down the spiral staircase, not taking the lift (see Blog 'I was Lost' Day 22). Round and round. Down and down I go, emerging into a café. The noise, conversation and bustle is so opposite to my experience that I've just had.
Walking through and out the revolving door, I turn right, away from the Christmas Market and up towards Edinburgh's majestic old town.
Up up up the steps. Lots of steps. My legs beginning to ache. Good exercise I think. And out onto The Mound. Another giant Christmas tree given space and lights to show off its splendour. Spreading out to watch over the New Town; over the Christmas fun fair festivities.
I walk up some more, noticing how heavy my bags are feeling. Turning left, I spot the café. I used to meet my sister here when she lived in Edinburgh. You have to try the Florentine biscuits, she would say. It's name has changed. The biscuits still on the menu though!
'Table for 1?', he asks.
'Yes', I respond.
'Take any of the small tables by the window', he instructs.
I do as I'm told, though spreading out across 4 seats - spreading my load.
It's dark inside.
But the huge windows frame the gorgeous city outside.
It's warm, cosy, with only a few seats taken. One by another lone body and the other by a couple sharing a beer and their phone.
I order a hot chocolate with mint. They're out of mint so I change to vanilla instead. And I treat myself to lemon meringue pie. Well it is my birthday (See yesterday's blog Day23). I know I'm having cake later on, but no-one need know!
I soak up the atmosphere. It's such a contrast to the streets outside. To the rush and hustle of Christmas shopping. A haven.
I take my time. Savouring. Responding to some happy birthday messages. Writing down my reflections on my earlier workshop. Imagining I'm a writer, gathering inspiration for my plot. Time to muse, reflect, refuel and wander. Free flow. This line of Bob Dylan's sings along with me;
"Yes, and how many years can some people exist Before they're allowed to be free?" - Blowin' In The Wind, Bob Dylan
I head on out, down a different set of steps. Passing by a person wrapped in a sleeping bag. Sleeping sitting up. He opens his eyes as I pass. I give him what I have - my smile and a 'hello'. He smiles, nods too and goes back to what he was doing before I passed by - sleeping.
On the train home, I realise that I enjoy so much this alone time. Being on the edge of the hustle and bustle for a while.
A necessary 'refill my well' alone time.
'Fitting my oxygen mask first' type of alone time.
'Self-care' type of alone time.
All that I bring to the training arena.
That I too remind myself to do.
Because these are the times, for me, that creativity thrives on. When my mind relaxes and I give myself permission to go with the flow of my body. Letting my feet take me where they wish. And allowing myself to be inspired by my environment in all it's senses.
"For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils." - William Wordsworth
In doing this;
I'm refuelling for the next part of my day - children home from school time and put lights on tree time with children.
I'm refuelling for my next training and coaching sessions.
I'm refuelling for my next blog to emerge.
I am refuelled for all of this.
Can you give yourself permission to wander along your edges? To refuel.