Tomorrow (November 30, 2016) will mark the 116th anniversary of the death of my literary hero, Oscar Wilde. Many is the time that I find myself thinking about his work and his life – enhanced by the fact that I am currently engrossed in, and enthralled by, the Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries by Gyles Brandreth. Many is the time, too, that I have quoted some of his most famous lines, phrases and aphorisms, though they do, at times, fall on deaf ears.
One of my favourite Wildean quotes is, “Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.” I find myself coming back to this line time and again, especially when I feel as if the weight of life is getting a little too much bear. At those times, I bring Oscar’s words to mind, and, more often than not, will find that my attention is grasped by the sight of a bird on the wing, the scent of a rose in the uplifting breeze, a butterfly spreading its wings in the morning sun, or some other facet of Nature’s beauty that makes me stop, makes me breathe, makes me grounded once more.
This morning was just such a moment. I had slept fitfully and woke up feeling as if my head was stuffed full of cotton wool and that I was on the threshold of coming down with a cold. After feeding all my cats, one of them promptly projectile vomited over his – and several other – food bowls, meaning that they all had to be emptied, washed and refilled. One of the cats then used his litter tray, only bizarrely sat in it the wrong way round and peed over the side and, consequently, over the floor. Cue mopping the floor and emptying the litter tray so that I could clean the bottom of it. All this took up a good 45 minutes, and I hadn’t even properly woken up yet. So when my smiling husband came out of the office after checking his emails and said, in his normal smiling way, “What’s for breakfast?”, I’m afraid I opened my mouth to speak and my mother came out.
“Shit with sugar on!” I said, and, bag of cat litter and cat pee soaked tissues in hand, I flounced outside, determined to throw them as furiously as possible in the main bin!
The air was dry, icy and cold, but taking a huge lungful of it did me the world of good. I looked around at the frost covered ground, and was struck by the sight of a couple of frosted leaves glinting in the light and the sound of the treetops thawing out in the morning sun. The sight of a golden leaf, its edges encrusted with ice crystals, lazily placed amongst the mulch and other frosted leaves at the side of the garden, I found particularly beautiful. I thought I would take a photo to share with you. I hope you find it as beautiful as I do.
In our modern culture of wanting everything to be done yesterday, of hustling and bustling here, there and everywhere with no time for ourselves, let alone anyone or anything else, we are missing the beauty that is all around us. Mother Nature has a lot to tell us, if only we would stop awhile and listen.
Whenever you feel as if the weight of life is getting too much to bear, remember to stop, close your eyes, and breathe. Remember too, the words of Oscar Wilde, and let your senses cure your soul.