A Time Like This

5:30AM! I blinked more than a few times as I looked at the time. My mind was in disbelief. It cannot be 5:30AM. It is too dark. I have had one of the worst night sleeps imaginable though it was more of a string of punching the pillow and then tossing from one side to the other. While I hadn’t slept and was awake I also didn’t want to get out of bed. I looked over at my Assistance Dog Buddy, and said, “you don’t REALLY want to go for a walk yet do you?” Buddy’s response was to jump on the bed and back down a couple of times. Hmmm I guess he did want to go for a walk. So up I get and off we go.

I walked out into the morning after. Yesterday of 46+ degrees on the Celsius scale which would be around 116 in Fahrenheit. It was hell hot. I don’t handle heat well. I am not a summer kid but love autumn and spring weather the best. Crisp air is great! I love autumn for the colours of the leaves turn on the trees and listening to the fallen one’s crunch as I walk. Spring holds the promise of growth and renewal. Summer in Australia is relentless. So today as Buddy and I walked out of the house and up the driveway in the grey early morning light I felt like I survived a major natural hazard.

img_20170212_062335575The air was without sounds! Things were quiet. No cars. No music. No people. Nothing! I love it when there is no one around. I am not a people person. I also love the soft pastel light just before the sun comes up.  As we walk we see it slowly happen. Silently. Ever so slowly, kind of like a smile the creeps on one’s lips when you remember a happy memory. The red begins to tickle the clouds like a lover slowly running theimg_20170212_062739382_hdr tips of their fingers on the cheek of the one they are kissing. It is only lightly at first. For me it is like being part of a precious moment as the day is ready to appear out of the darkness of night.

img_20170212_062731265_hdrI look up and see the day break. It is a wonderous thing. To feel the breeze on my face and to hear Buddy walking over dried grass and fallen leaves is like beautiful music to my ears. With my mental illness there are times of great struggle to keep on living but in this moment I am content. Something I rarely feel. I am looking at something that will never ever happen again. Sure there will be more sunrises but there will not be another one today. I am witness a miracle. How can I be right in the middle of suburbia and still feel at one with the natural?

I wish I could begin to describe how my skin tingled and my heart raced as I watched God give life to this day. This day when so much would happen for so many. People will be born today and their mothers will know the img_20170212_063702029_hdrjoy of holding their baby for the first time. Someone somewhere will laugh or giggle. People will wake with blurry eyes after the struggle that was the night before. Some might have to clean up the mess after the night before. Without a doubt what will happen today will become the memories in times to come.

img_20170212_063542061_hdrSummer days in Australia are often heralded in by a riot of colour and light. Today was no different. This is one of the most iconic things to see as an Australian, the dawn of a new summer day. The colours are bold and brash. The heat is already beginning to build. There are many times I wish I could be somewhere cooler but at seeing this sight my heart knows I am an Australian. I once heard someone say that whenever a scot hears the bagpipes they long for home but whenever I see a day like this begin I know that in ever fibre of my being I am Australian and glad to be alive!img_20170212_063422217

Just a moment

What is a moment?

Life is made up of moments be they good or bad moments. What is it about these brief parcels of time that we store them in our memory to be recalled and reflect on these moments. It sometimes feels like we can take them out and look at them like a diamond or precious gem.

Life’s moments can be good or bad memories. I can clearly recall the moment that I heard of John Lennon being gunned down outside his Dakota apartment building in New York by Mark David Chapman. I can tell you where I was and the shock that gripped me along with grief. I had never been to New York nor had I met John Lennon but it affected me. It was a moment just a moment in time. It is like this for people when it comes to events like when Lady Dianna Spencer died in a car accident or how the 9th of September is forever connected to the terrorist attacks on the United States of America. If I bring it to the more personal level I know the moment that my mother passed away with me by her side.

Moments don’t have to moments of bad news because I still remember holding hands with a girl for the first time when I was in Yr 7 at school. I swear that I could feel electricity surge through me as our fingers entwined. There is the memory of that moment when I know that I am in love. Moments of laughter. Moments with friends. Moments with the sun on my shoulders. Good moments that become great memories.

Sometimes special moments can happen with people you just meet and probably won’t ever see again. One such moment happened a couple of days ago when I went for coffee with a friend of mine. We were at Café Mondeo in Blacktown. As part of my paranoia I try to be aware of everyone and everything around me. I noticed that several people from another table got up to leave, one person went to the counter to pay and this woman in a wheelchair came wheeling towards me. She stopped and we talked. The conversation started because as always my psychiatric assistance dog Buddy was with me and she told me about her assistance dog which is a golden retriever. We didn’t need to ask each other what the dogs do for us or why we had them. It was a moment of two people who had a bond of common understanding because of our dogs. It wasn’t about the dogs it was about that we were equals. It didn’t matter about our disabilities because for a moment it was just two people talking. There wasn’t that awkward question of “why do you need a service dog?” we just talked. It wasn’t a romantic thing but what it was was a moment where I felt normal.

It was an amazing moment. I don’t think that I connected with someone like this for a long time. A moment of understanding. A moment of equals. A moment that I treasure.

In a crowded city and in the crush of depression I was treated as a person. I was treated as normal. I was me.