The smallest of things make me happy. Like the way our Japanese literature teacher walks into the room with such energy, so happy to teach us (even if she can’t see us: “My usual glasses are broken so I’m having to use these ones that go dark in the sun – but they seem to be delayed reaction and only change half-an-hour later when I’m inside!”) Likewise with our new writing teacher. We sit there in silence, barely giving her an inch, snapping back when she doesn’t quite catch what we say. But she bravely perseveres, refusing to be brought down by our lack of enthusiasm. I have a great deal of respect for her, and can’t help but smile in the presence of such an attitude.
I’m in the Info Commons now, on Skype to *Twinkle*. I can’t really talk for long. She’s tired, and I’m reluctant to disturb those around me. An eavesdropper may think the conversation is between two disinterested parties, but they’d be wrong. There’s a strong feeling of love connecting us, and that doesn’t need a babble of words to communicate.
Next we’re off to the Enterprise Zone for a meeting with some financial adviser re. raising the few thousand pounds we need to pay the bills. Oh, hang on, it’s not just any old financial adviser, it’s our business bank manager! He kindly offers to review our account for us – maybe he can help!
Leaving that meeting I bump into Toni in the corridor. She’s the lady who provided *Twinkle* and I with funding last year. She’s been meaning to contact me. We sit down and discuss business. I can tell she is hesitating to ask for an official report on how the funding was used. I pre-empt her by producing the document I typed up yesterday just for that purpose. She smiles, and we start talking about eco-weddings.
Next it’s up the hill we go to Beanies, the healthfood store. I take a detour through the park, capturing on camera daffodils in the Spring sunshine on the way. At Beanies, my organic vegee box is waiting. I supplement it with pumpkin seeds, almonds, apples and bread – and not forgetting the raisins for my porridge! At the counter is the girl in her early twenties with the friendly smile. As with the older lady to her left, we only know each other through brief weekly encounters, but there is a genuinely caring relationship there. These are the kind of people I would like to be in a life raft with.
Back down the hill, and into the weekly Japan soc committee meeting. Soon, it will be time for my third (and final) distributing of ballot papers as we hand over to a new group. It’s been a difficult year for Japan soc. I’m sure that next year’s committee will make another good team.
I’m struck by the diversity of characters we have around the table. In particular, I’m moved by three people who, despite being very quiet on the whole, demonstrate a great deal of compassion and understanding when they sense others are being attacked without good reason. I know I didn’t have their insight 7 years ago.
Walking home I’m reminded how it’s not just the little things that make me smile, it’s the big things too. The Sky! This past week we have had some amazing skies, as the days lengthen but the chill remains. Incredible deep blues, straight out of a Steiner painting! And the clouds, adding stunning contrast.
As I reach my flat I note the trees by the side of the road. Bare twigs and branches. But soon! They’re going to be bursting into life! That lovely fresh light green, so young in the spring sunshine! That truly is one of the happiest times of the year, you can just feel this energy all around you, bursting out after a winter in hibernation.
Arriving back in my warm room, I have a huge smile on my face. Today was a good day …and I can’t wait till tomorrow!