It would be different if I could live my life in the woods - but I know I would not be more alive there. It's just that I would feel more alive, and it is something that I confuse too often in my daily life. To be alive and to feel it are different, and so even though I work in a boxy office with no windows for the majority of my day, and sometimes get home when it is too dark to see outside the window at the beauty that has been waiting for me all day, I still feel alive, when I try.
But to be honest, I do lack some beauty in my life as of late. When I was a college student I witnessed the changing of the seasons with my whole body. My breath on my walk up the hill told me the season. The sound of the leaves - or the snow - or the heated slap of my sandal reminded me of the time of year and my place in it. My wool mittens became my most used possession, second only to my pack that hit the back of my legs gently when I ran down the hill, just to feel my cheeks warm up from the cold air and my pounding heart. It was often on those long, sometimes cold, usually brisk walks that I had the most time to think.
It is a challenge to fill my life with beauty the way I could as a student. Back then my work was to read Wordsworth and Austen and today I write reports and forget sometimes, what it is like to read literature for my living, to write poems for my work. So I find beauty in my small moments, everywhere I can.
I find it in the thick tufts of Kevin's hair that welcome me each morning, and in the simplicity of my morning granola and fruit. I find beauty in the poetry that others write, and make sure to read at least one poem a day at my desk to remind myself of who I am. I take walks at lunch outside when I can and leave my iPod in the car so I can listen to the city and the train but also breathe in the air that is different from the air in my office. I read the thoughts of others on blogs like yours and find that they inspire me as much as Wordsworth and Austen because you are real people to me and are learning in this life just like me. Learning how to balance the good and the ugly and the kindness and the hard times and learning to love ourselves.
I maybe don't feel as alive as I used to - but the point is, I am alive and I try to feel it. Consciously discovering that feels very necessary.