Thankful for life

Just a few hours away from closing a one-year cycle. Tomorrow will mark 29 years since I received the gift of life: an opportunity to return home, to remember who I am and to actually choose to be that me.

Life is a gift precisely with that purpose: consciously deciding whether we want to live in light or in darkness, in joy or in suffering, in our essence of eternal life or in the ephemeral of the earthly.

I made that decision a long time ago. Now, we only need to be 100 % coherent with that decision and make life a reflection of that source of eternal life. Should one fool oneself to believe that the means are the end? Or live a life dedicated to the eternal instead, from the eternal and in action?

This is for us to decide.

Today marks the end of a year full of unexpected changes that have brought me both agitation and peace. It is often said that in order to know whether we have made the right decision, we just need to observe how it makes us feel. Now I just feel peace, deep and sincere peace. A joy and a contentment that have nothing to do with the surroundings.

Last year, I celebrated my birthday in the city, wearing a pair of new, fancy urban shoes and with my hair nicely straightened. This year, I will celebrate it in a small village in France, wearing lots of layers to protect me from the cold and with my hair in its natural state, forgetting all about my old fights against a burning hair straightener. I will celebrate in nature. In my own nature.

Life is becoming more and more simple, but also more and more fulfilling. Not needing gives you freedom, lightness and the peace of those who can manage with very little. Life is becoming simpler, to the point of questioning how much sense the so-called normal life makes. Losing our peace for a job, a house, the image we have of ourselves and the image we want to preserve in front of others… Believing that that is all there is to life. Time is usually spent either working or trying to forget about work. Is that really all there is to living?

Coming to Taizé was never an escape from what I have back home. I like (liked?) my job, my lifestyle, my little apartment, my city, my, my, my… And I traded all that for a space that had a lot less comfort to offer, but where my heart was pushing me to come.

We should listen to our hearts more often; they might even know more than our brains.

Life here boosts creativity and I know things will never be what they used to. They just couldn’t. How could one possibly swap the light of the sun for that of a bulb? How could someone ever trade the sea for an inflatable swimming pool? Living is about listening, acting and adjusting to change. Living means being capable of dying with each yesterday and reviving with each new sun.

Thank you, Life, for showing me my path and allowing me to see beauty in the smallest things and perfection in every moment. Thank you for giving me one more day in this world and the chance to share the gift of being alive. Thank you for the freedom and the courage to be who I am. Thank you for the feeling of awe at each sunrise, and for constantly reminding me that I know nothing: neither what I am capable of, nor what the future has in store for me.

Today marks the end of a cycle, but there is no night without a dawn. Tomorrow will be the beginning of a new cycle and I will be here, observant and with my arms open, ready to welcome all that it has to offer.

Thank you, always.

[Written in December, 2016]

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