Walking down past the golf course to the beach this morning, I was assailed by the smell of the gorse bushes, that coconut-like tang that mingled with the sea breeze, awakening my senses and stirring my soul. And as I inhaled the scent I was transported back in time - right back to a memory of a day when I was 11 years old:
I was walking home from primary school on my own. My older brother was already in secondary school and my twin brother and my younger sister were attending a brand new school that had been built nearer us while I completed my final year of primary school in a school further from home. (Shock, horror, I probably walked a round trip of 3 miles every day!)
As I walked past similar gorse bushes that day, I decided to stop for a moment, to savour the freshness, to revel in the alone time and to thank God, whose nearness I sensed in that moment.
I probably didn't know the term "introvert" then, but I did know that I needed to carve out space and time to get away from people and sit by God's side.
That moment this morning, reminded me that, while, today, I am called to journey in faith with people, in sometimes very full-on ways, I still need the restorative time alone with God who feeds my soul and who nurtures my spirit, the God who leads beside the still waters (or the gorse).
The signs were there early on - and they still are!