The train station was empty. I was the only person on the platform, no trains due in for ten minutes. There wasn’t silence, more a quiet that made you remember hearing your own pulse when you dive underwater.

Ten minutes. An empty platform. Possibility. I took advantage.

I pulled up my current favourite instrumental song, raised my arms, and waltzed.

I forgot about counting, about if I was meant to go left right or the other way, forgot about the closed circuit cameras above me. I forgot all of it, because I had remembered. I had remembered I’ve always wanted to dance on a train station platform. Opportunity presented, and I didn’t need anyone else to make it happen but myself. So I danced, and I laughed, and I thanked myself afterwards as my train screeched its arrival.

A week later, I still think about those couple of minutes. Every single time I do, a smile blooms across my face, and my heart goes supernova. It was a love letter in an unexpected moment, written by myself, and it continues to feed something deep and sometimes whimpering way down inside my belly. I fed myself love by recognising a want, a need, an opportunity.

I want to do it again. Not necessarily the Train Station Waltz (though I’m sure I’ll do that again because it was too wonderful not to repeat), but to pay attention to what makes my sigh full of appreciation and delight. To what actually makes me sigh or grin in undeniable excitement or from being so stunningly in the moment of right now.

Why wait for someone to buy you flowers? Why not go to bed ten minutes early just to revel in the foamy seaside sound of the new doona/duvet, or stop and watch the rain fall? If you want to swing as high as you can, splash in a puddle, spit watermelon seeds or get the moisturiser you love so much despite it costing more than the sensible cheaper one… why don’t you?

All of the why nots are multiple, familiar and obvious. It (whatever ‘it’ is) isn’t sensible. Useful. Practical. Other people are meant to buy you flowers, chocolate, perfume. The dishes aren’t washed, the floors aren’t mopped, you have plenty of ballpoint pens which work just as well as that pen which writes like the ink is alive. Swings are for little kids. Puddles are messy and undignified. Flower bouquets just die. Adults don’t have time for nonsense. We’ll do it later. We’re too busy.

Of course we’re all busy, but I refuse to accept we’re all too busy to live, to enjoy life’s moments – the ones which sink us to the ground swollen with satisfaction, shoot us skywards shrieking with delight, make us shimmy and dance and sway in a concrete tunnel, suck in lungfuls of lilac and jasmine until we taste it on our tongues – between the grown up sensible tasks and responsibilities we deal with every day.

I think the proverbial virtuous woman was a dedicated woman: to her faith, her family, and her community. I can picture the woman, sweat curling her hair extra tight against the nape of her neck, the arch of the sun tracing the curve of her spine over her chores, her hands sore and aching at the end of a day. But I also then see her quietly slipping up the stairs to the roof, where she watches the eggplant and charcoal shadows chase each other, relaxing as they tumble and smudge together under the glistening sky. I see her shoulders relax as she soaks in the starlight, as she crushes lavender under her nose, anoints herself with it and sighs, smiling.

Do you do loving things for yourself? What do you do as a love letter to yourself? What is your main reason or response to saying “no” to something that delights you? What feeds you more than food?


  1. Sage

    May 27, 2014

    Such a rich, luscious piece, Kel. Thanks. I have been taking baths. I also went on a bike ride the other day–so freeing. And whenever I walk by a lilac bush I grab a leaf, fold it, place my fingers where my brother taught me and create a green whistle.

    Love this whole idea. Too bad there are no train platforms where I love now.

  2. Karen D. Austin

    May 27, 2014

    We are often so busy doing for the future that we don’t always relish the beauties of the now — including our imperfect yet glorious selves. A great invitation. Thanks.

  3. Raven

    May 27, 2014

    What a gorgeous bit of writing! Thank you for sharing this wonderful reminder. I know I needed it. In a book called The Artist’s Way, the author encourages us to take ourselves on an “Artist’s Date” once a week. A couple hours all to ourselves to do whatever our inner-child/artist/spirit wants to do. I was amazed at how hard it was to think of something to do. Have I been so focused on others, or on the mundane, that I’ve forgotten what sparks my inner light? Thank you for the inspiration! I see some dark chocolate and maybe some trampoline jumping in my near future…

  4. Blue

    May 28, 2014

    i’ve thought about stepping up in my life and working at being more daring. being daring doesn’t have to mean some crazy, over the top or outlandish thing. for me it’s doing the very things you’ve described here. and i’ve been daring myself to be more daring. to allow myself the kinds of fulfilling things i have historically exempted myself from…because of money or time or circumstance or feeling like i’m not worthy of them or that it’s better to spend that time or money on others. i’ve spent my life being pragmatic vs. digging in and relishing the beauty and wonder of the world.

    so i’ve happily bought the shards of colored glass i need to create my art…which is also a luxury. and i’ve stayed up late reading a book that i just didn’t want to put down. i’ve purchased the lilac plant and the overpriced mascara I wanted even though they’re “wants”, not needs. i’ve dared to prioritize myself as highly as i do my family. it’s been delightful. ♥

  5. Kellie aka Selwyn

    May 29, 2014

    Sage, oh I love a good whistle! Enjoy your varied joys!

    Karen, relishing “our imperfect yet glorious selves” – exactly!

    Raven, I hope you get the dark chocs and trampolining – even at the same time 🙂

    Blue, creation is so important, and I firmly believe it is a need, not a want. Enjoy!

  6. Sara

    May 31, 2014

    What a lovely reminder! The art museum and time at the beach are now on my to-do list.

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