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Posts Tagged ‘good to be alive’

The Jive Aces playing live at the Mayor's Thames Festival

This is my birthday week.

BC and I celebrated in style with the Mayor of London at his Thames Summer Festival.

On both sides of the River Thames between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge there were market stalls, street theatre and live music. We had the best cup of coffee ever from a small Fair Trade stall on the South Bank. The two man team must have served at least 500 cups of coffee by the end of the day, and always with a smile.

Afternoon tea at Tate Modern looking across the Millennium Bridge to St Paul's Cathedral

People were out to enjoy the day.

The Jive Aces played outside Tate Modern and a crowd danced in the sunshine. You can listen to the band here and sense the thrill we felt.

The beat of their music made our feet tap.

And there was a tender moment when the gentleman in front of us helped his wife out of her wheelchair to dance on the spot – perhaps reliving something they had lost.

32 groups of people formed a carnival procession in the early evening. The air came alive with the beat of their music and dance. Hours of planning and preparation invested in a display of delight.

Thames Festival Fireworks

And as darkness fell we joined the crowds on Waterloo Bridge to watch the amazing fireworks display from three barges on the river. Thousands of us gasped and oohed and aahed in unison.

There was a rhythm to the day – a rhythm of life.

A good to be alive day!

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

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. . . a morning like this morning.

I am riding home on my bike, the warm wind blowing in my face and the sun shining overhead. I am breathing deeply and I realise this feels good.

Hey, if anyone asked me I would tell them: “You know what – I am happy“.

So I get curious and ask myself

How do I know I am happy? –  What am I doing and thinking and feeling that lets me know I am happy?

Well, first thing I recognise is that I feel . . the caress of the wind ,  the warmth of the sun, my heart pounding in my chest.

I am breathing very deeply.

I taste . . the chocolate brazil nuts I ate – an indulgence for me as I bought a gift for another.

I hear . . my breathing, people talking, birds singing, cars passing.

I listen inside my head – and it is peaceful. There is no chatter.  So I do a double-check, yes there is something. I see . . a picture – a movie picture and I am inside it looking around.

I am reliving the time I have just spent with my lovely friend. There is softness, and love, and warmth, and acceptance, and sharing. All that we have shared in the past is around us as an unspoken cocoon.

There are no words – just a deep silent bond. The picture is glowing in my head and I feel contentment deep in my belly.

We chatted for two hours. The words will replay over the next hours and days.  For this moment, I am savouring the experience.

This is a ‘good to be alive moment’.

A young woman wrote about how she had changed after a year of treatment for breast cancer. She said:

I want to live in the world, not in my head

Experiencing and enjoying the richness of each moment had become precious to her.

I go to the book of Psalms –  the language of relationship between God and humans, for words to express what I feel.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed are those who take refuge in him.

So what does this mean to me?

I know that true friendship blesses me.

I know that the more I tune into my senses the less attention I will give to chatter in my head. If I feel low, the best thing to do is to tune into a sensory experience – music, walking, swimming, being with a friend.

I know that the more I tune into my senses the more I will be alert to the blessing of taking refuge in God.

And for me there is something significant about breathing very deeply and feeling very alive.

I would love to hear what verses from the Psalms express a ‘good to be alive’ feeling for you.

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