Carl Barenbrug

Product design, creative direction

A Moment at the Shore

It's Good Friday. 7AM. I don't particularly care about the significance of today, but it's a bank holiday and I've got the day off work, but instead of having a relaxing morning, I hit the gym for an early session. Energised by the sunrise of a beautiful spring day, I decide to do something a little different. I say to myself that after this workout, I'm going to treat myself to the simple pleasure of an indulgent breakfast at a local Edinburgh bistro (Toast) I've enjoyed in the past.

After a fairly satisfying training session at the gym where I also finished listening to the audiobook Calm by The School of Life, I make my way to the bistro. I sit on a stool facing out to the waters of Leith. The sun is still shining and the water is still. It's a beautiful spot. I browse the menu while listening to a soothing jazz playlist and order avocados on toast with a couple of poached eggs and smoked bacon, with a coffee. Very hipster, I know, but so what? As I look out, I see several ducks pottering about on a fallen tree in the water, while another relentlessly nose dives to scour what lies beneath the surface. I smile as I watch this duck repeat the process over and over sticking its butt in the air each time it takes the plunge.

I look around a little more and notice three elderly people practicing Tai Chi in a park in the distance. The movement draws me in to an almost hypnotic state. I sit and admire the repetitive nature of the smooth and controlled movements while appreciating the required focus likely needed. I think to myself how much I might enjoy practicing this too.

I look further down the shore and notice a man sitting on the edge, his feet dangling just above the water. Beside him is his little dog sitting completely at ease until he catches a glimpse of his owner opening a sandwich. The man pets his dog and it again falls into a relaxed state as two swans slowly swim by. Everything feels at ease in one sense or another. My phone remains in my pocket, I wait patiently for my breakfast as I sip my coffee, and take a moment to appreciate the pace of the day.

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