“Even a Lotus flower starts as a tiny seed.” Aaron sat there reading this short letter, repeating every sentence to himself, over and over again… “I love your sunsets, Aaron”
When Aaron first felt inspired to paint, he was already a successful architect. Creativity has been his best friend since he was a child. The most difficult step wasn’t choosing the type of brush or the colours of his first painting but seeing himself as an artist. That he could never have imagined.
As he remembered, that day when he packed a small backpack, it was all too confusing and painful. For days after he arrived in this little village, he went swimming a few times a day. For hours. Until he felt too exhausted to feel anything else but his body hurting…As the days turned into weeks, Aaron found himself truly living again, perhaps for the first time. The days were joyful and bright, filled with spontaneous walks through the emerald-green fields, conversations with the locals, and peaceful solitude in this beautiful, old house. Each morning, he’d rise with the sun, a fresh experience that starkly contrasted his years of alarm clock awakenings, back in New York. He missed the smell of coffee. That Irish coffee that only Anna knew how to make…
He learned to savour the hearty local cuisine, and even picked up bits of Gaelic. As he made friends with the villagers, he discovered a genuine sense of community that was never part of his previous life in New York City. People were not simply living beside each other, they were truly connected, sharing innocent jokes, deep sorrows, and what he never imagined could be his everyday life.
Even the old house began to reveal its secrets to him. Hidden nooks, ancient photographs, dusty books full of poetry and wisdom from a bygone era- as if he went back in time. Every corner held whispers of stories waiting to be discovered.
The serene simplicity of his new life in an old village, made him appreciate things he’d never taken time for before. Every day he watched the sunset, listened to the birds, and felt the wind. Some days he would feel inspired to capture the changes of the season but he never imagined that the Irish landscape could have this unique, captivating beauty, almost difficult to describe but so easy to paint. Why was it so easy?
Instead of meetings and clients, his days were now defined by simple things: comings and goings of an old milkman, the rhythmic patterns of nature, and the quiet solitude after dark. The slower pace didn’t mean life was uneventful; instead, every small event, every minute was filled with meaning and beauty. The everyday became extraordinary.
One day, not far from the village, Aaron discovered a few ancient ruins, and he found himself a bit nostalgic, as he never had time to explore Ireland’s rich history. Anna always wanted to shift perspectives. She was a bit obsessed about it, saying that there is more to life than success. A few times they planned to go back home, to her roots, just to visit her school again, and the old house. Time is flying. Where is all gone?
Twenty five years later, when she got diagnosed, it was too late to travel…Why did they never make this trip together? She was so much fun to be with. A natural red, Anna had beautiful blue eyes, brighter than the sky on a good day. She was right in saying that these sites weren’t just relics of the past, they were places of power and reflection, and they gave her a sense of continuity to a larger human story. Sometimes Aaron could hear her voice in the garden, by the pond where a few Lotus flowers were gracing the waters. He was so certain it was her voice, just briefly, maybe it was just the wind…
Every day he felt a deeper connection with something bigger than him, exactly as Anna promised him he will. “As if I had to bow and make a reverence for every hill, for every tree. It was like the land itself was a wise, ancient being that was teaching me a newfound respect for the world around me.”
All these experiences triggered a profound mindset shift in Aaron. As if he was in a trance for the last 25 years of his life. Chasing the dream but having no time to dream… He was no longer just surviving in his routine life but thriving in the unknown, away from the city lights that once fascinated him. At the same time his love for this little village grew and grew. A village soon to be made of almost 600 people (including the post office lady who was expecting to give birth any day now). Would be so easy to stay in the house here, wondering though the hills and painting the orange sunsets…
A year had passed since Aaron first set foot in this quiet village, and he found his thoughts drifting back to his old life. But could he go back? Go back to what? And what a life without Anna would look like? The man who had left the city was not the same man now. He was no longer the broken man who lost his beautiful Anna, finding refuge in his work, confined in meetings for hours, nor was he a captive to his grief. He was now Aaron, the artist, the listener, the learner, a man redefined by his love and experiences. He felt that now he is finally home…Wherever he choses to go.
Back in the city, Aaron’s heart was filled with warmth and anticipation as he unlocked the door to his apartment. It was familiar, yet different, viewed through his new lens. He saw not a sad space but a sanctuary of loving memories in the heart of New York. His apartment, once a space where he returned to cry at night was now a sanctuary .
Every day, Aaron had this new routine of taking his set of brushes and colours and painting. Sometimes he was painting the sunset he captured in his mind, back in Ireland, in Anna’s garden. Then every month he will go see a new place around New York or in the summer, on the West Coast. He went to his parent’s house, did some drawings and had a local firm rebuilding the old house to bring its former glory.
On quieter days, his adventures were closer to home – a new route to work, a new recipe tried, or a new book read. Every day was a unique journey, and Aaron was the eager traveller, seeking stories and lessons, an artist at heart, capturing the colours of the next sunset.
Most importantly, Aaron realized that the magic he discovered in Anna’s house was not about the picturesque Irish village. The sense of peace, joy, and wonderment was not in the place but within him. It was his perspective that had changed, bringing the magic of sunset into his everyday life.
The shift in his perspective had not just transformed his life; it had revealed a power he always had but never recognized – the power to live fully, to find joy in every moment, to see beauty in the ordinary, and to never stop seeing himself as an artist first.
Aaron’s journey had come full circle. His first exhibition in New York sold all the paintings. Was this the end of an adventure as an architect or the dawn of a new beginning as an artist? A beginning that carries the promise of countless tomorrows, each brimming with the potential for self-discovery, self-compassion, and wonderment. It was a life that Aaron had chosen to embrace, deeply enriched by his transformative journey and the power of shifting perspectives.
He remembered that Anna wrote him 8 letters, and told him to open every letter on their anniversary. It was time to read her second letter. “Shifting perspective is not a one-time event, but a process. Even a Lotus flower starts as a tiny seed. It’s about cultivating self-love, allowing yourself to follow your heart even in the most challenging situations. I love your sunsets, Aaron”
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