When passion seeps out of every pore

We went to a tiny but wonderful festival of folk music over the weekend. Gossington Festival to be precise. Great bands, and so small we could chat to all the great artists and behave like groupies. The hit of the weekend for us though, despite all the big names there, was the drummer of a band called Roto-Trad (he turned up later playing for Seth Lakeman too). His name is Cormac Byrne: a young Irish man who clearly lives, breathes and joyously celebrates drumming.

I’m not a connoisseur of drumming by any stretch of the imagination but Cormac seemed really, really good. But perhaps that was because he was clearly enjoying himself so much. All the time he played he had a huge grin on his face that had you looking past the charismatic lead singer and fixating on that smile. It was the smile of someone utterly connected to his flow – to his purpose in life – and loving absolutely every millisecond of it. That kind of passion is infectious, inspiring and hard to ignore.

We took a little video of him here. Unfortunately it’s a bit dark but I include it here hoping you’ll get a sense of what I’m talking about.

It is my wish for us all that we find, treasure and keep this kind of ecstatic communing with our purpose and passion. Surely this is the very definition of happiness?

Sasha and I being Cormac groupies

Sporting Love

It’s been a busy couple of days getting ready to go on a school trip with my son, Sasha. It’s a big occasion. Every year all the children from Class 5s around the UK’s Steiner schools (and some from abroad) gather at Michael Hall school in East Sussex to re-enact the ancient Greek Olympics. Of course it’s extra special this year with the London Olympics starting very soon too.

The children spend 3 days preparing for the big day which will be this Saturday. Then all the parents arrive and witness what I can only describe as a truly ‘goosebump’ moment. To the beat of an enormous drum hundreds of 11/12 year olds enter the arena in white togas led by teachers bearing huge flames. The atmosphere is electric. Silence reigns. For every one of us in that field at that moment it feels like a historic moment – cetainly it will be one that we will never forget.

I know all this in advance because I was there two years ago when it was my elder daughter’s turn. Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

It got me thinking tonight of all the amazing moments that sport has produced. Heroic times. Magical times. Miraculous times. Think English football in 1966. Think Jesse Owens. Think hundreds of moments like this happening every day around the world:

 

And here’s my favourite sporting heart-warmer of all time. The extraordinary story of a young man with autism – the team waterboy – being given a chance to play in the last match of the season.

 

It’s moments like these – highlighted so wonderfully by sport – that makes you realise we humans are, at heart, loving, generous and in this together.