I went to the library today where I often go to find a quiet place to read. As I sat before my laptop, opposite the large west-facing library window, overlooking a quiet courtyard, negative thoughts came flooding into my mind. I wanted to dwell on a traumatic event from my childhood, when I was beaten without mercy by my father, or an embarrassing chapter from my youth, when I tried too hard to fit in, and made a complete fool of myself. I wanted to count up all the many thousands of pounds I had lost over the years in failed business deals, or bemoan the almost equal amount I had given away in moments of kindness or misguided attempts to impress. I wanted to ask myself why parenting felt like trying to push-start a car uphill or why marriage had become so difficult. Then I looked up.
I saw the beautiful golden sun, gently setting behind a distant horizon and noticed the birds taking their last flight in their three-dimensional playground before bedding down for the night. How effortlessly they fly, free in open space though surrounded by a concrete city. They have a choice and they chose to fly. Then I made a choice to also let my thoughts fly.
I thought of that proud moment from my childhood when after many attempts, I finally earned a place on the school football team and the day when I took my first donkey-ride on an outing to the beach. I recalled telling a joke and feeling a swell of accomplishment when everyone laughed out loud. I remembered the many successful interviews I had attended and the numerous interesting jobs I had done. I thought back to the day when I bought my first camera just in time to photograph my baby sister on the day that she first stood to her feet. I thought of how much laughter my children give me when I realise that they have such interesting opinions on most things. I remembered the day I asked my girlfriend to become my wife and our wonderful six-month honeymoon in the Caribbean. I looked around and by then the sun had almost set and the birds had retired for the night. I smiled at were my thoughts had just taken me and realised as if I had discovered something new and fascinating. My mind also had wings and I too could choose to fly.