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Seeing the light

After reading Julie Baird’s new book, Sami Muirhead is inspired to find joy in even the simplest of things.

Opinion

Seeing the light

After reading Julie Baird’s new book, Sami Muirhead is inspired to find joy in even the simplest of things.

Every so often you find a book that is a treasure. I am currently gorging myself on Julia Baird’s Phosphorescence.

In the mum’s own words, it is a book on “awe, wonder and things that sustain you when the world goes dark”. It is a book about trying to find contentment in life and cherishing the things that matter most. Isn’t that an interesting concept?

What sustains you? I know silence in my home nourishes me. Just being in my home watering my plants and changing the tablecloth and generally doing all the pretty things fills up my bucket and makes me feel calmer. Obviously, time with my little kids sustains me. Watching them sleep never fails to stop me in my tracks.

My dogs give me unlimited amounts of joy every single day. For free. Willingly. Dogs love with such joyful abandon. They are reckless who they pour their love over and I adore this about them. I still laugh out loud daily when my posse of pups dig big holes at the beach and then proudly all pile into the one hole and look to me as if to say, “look what we built, Mum”.

Flowers also bring me pure joy. My close friendships are the same. A good hot cup of peppermint tea is a big tick in my book. The only thing that can make that cup of tea better is a bowl of soup with it in bed with fresh linen sheets.

But back to Julia Baird and her stunning book. It is not just another self-help handbook. It is a search for light. Phosphorescence is a process in which energy is absorbed by something (an earth worm or a fire fly for example) and then released slowly in the form of a light.

The ABC TV host has a gift with words and takes you down a delightful rabbit hole where we see the way she looks at the world with wonder and awe.

Heading to nature is a big part of the book and last weekend I took my kids for a walk in Noosa National Park on my quest for awe. Those towering native trees that spread out as far at the eye can see and end in a green fringe that hits the bluest shade of water is a sight that brings happiness to my heart. My kids did not think so and wanted to know when we would get ice-cream/when the walk would end/why were so many people running in the forest who had forgotten their shirts.

But this book has made me prioritise finding awe in our daily lives. The gift to be able to see flashes of joy during difficult times is one worth chasing. May you find little windows of awe and slivers of light in your daily life.

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