There's a strange comfort to be found in watching rain drops run down a window pane. In watching a bird pecking at sparse grass, seeking its early morning meal. In standing in the garden at the dead of night looking at the moon shining its gentle light down on the world, so much less conspicuous than the light given to us by the sun.
For me, these subtle reminders that the universe is so much bigger than me sooth my soul. It is so incredibly easy to become wrapped up in the trials and tribulations of every day life that I often forget that this is my only chance at this life, and that everything that happens is just a microscopic part of a giant picture.
In the past I have swayed from being fairly devoutly Christian, to being staunchly sceptical of there being any "greater power", to somewhere fairly comfortably in the middle. One constant for the last decade or so however has been my belief that our lives are mapped out before they have even begun, that there is a reason for everything and that, whilst we may feel we have control, ultimately our decisions have already been made for us.
That isn't to say that we shouldn't take responsibility for our actions - to neglect to do so could have disastrous consequences - or that we can't decide to change the route our path is taking. What I take from it though is a quiet reassurance: if I royally screw something up, it was intended to be so, in order that I could learn from it.
In recent weeks I've found myself questioning almost everything. I've had days where I've felt like a complete failure for not being able to do the one thing all living creatures were supposedly sent here to do. I've gone over and over the possible reasons in my head, never finding the answers I so desperately seek.
But whilst those days are dark and fearful, once the blind frustration of the situation has lifted and I can see a little more clearly, I feel a sort of peace from believing that this happened for a reason. And call me naive, but in a world that can at times feel so alien, the thought that something, someone, somewhere is trying to keep me on my allocated path is encouraging.
Life is so fast-paced, we can become all-consumed by "doing"; being in the right place at the right time, being the fastest, brightest, funniest in everything we do. Our eyes are so highly focused on what we perceive to be our goals that it's easy to become blinkered to the world around us. We're human, after all. The need to win and survive and be the best is in our very DNA.
But just sometimes, that world can become too much. Our heads rush with the noise of the busy spaces we frequent, our feet ache from standing, walking, running, never pausing. Our souls are heavy and our minds are tired and we get to a point where we quite simply just have to...
And when we finally do stop, it's in that moment that I like to look around me. To notice once again the water droplets running down the window. To watch the bird pecking at the ground. To gaze at the moon and the stars and wonder if the earth looks as magical to them as they do to us.
For life may have its twists and turns, and sometimes it might feel like everything is falling apart, but the water falling from the sky, the moon shining at night and being able to share this world with beautiful creatures, all serve to remind me that even though my own tiny little fraction of this planet might be temporarily broken, the world will keep turning. And that insignificance, which can sometimes be so overwhelming, can in itself be the most comforting thing of all.