Ninth Cloud

I’ve become obsessed with Ben Howard. His voice is unique and his lyrics are poetic and inspiring. I was listening to “Cloud Nine” (a song he wrote for his sister) and was reminded about the power of well-wishes. Close friends of ours just got engaged. It was obviously a really exciting time for them, but also for ALL of our friends. Their joy became our joy and it increased exponentially. Joy and happiness are like that. When they’re shared, the expand and fill into all sorts of tiny crevasses and nooks. The thing is, that it has to be shared. I’m reminded almost daily of how connected we are. Our friends’ recent engagement was just one example of sharing good news.

I found out this week that I am going to be doing my 4 month winter placement here in Hamilton starting in January. It’s a lottery system for placements and there are 90 students. Needless to say, with McMaster being in Hamilton and all, it was pretty highly coveted. I picked three other cities (where I had places to stay) but was hoping to stay here at home, in the city I love, with the husband, family and friends that I also love.

Turns out, I got lucky. The placement emails came out early and I had left my cell phone in the car. We were at Maja’s for a Wednesday night dinner (there were 12 of us!) I try to be pretty present at group gatherings so I was intentional about not bringing my cell phone in with me. When Matt and I left, I had a number of texts from friends in my program (which was heart-warming in itself). I called a friend on the way home to congratulate her on getting a wicked placement and told her I was speeding home to check my email. Matt handed me the house keys before we were even parked and I raced up the co-op stairs, adrenalin pumping. I checked my email and low and behold…Hamilton. I definitely fist pumped, jumped up and down and cheered. And then I proceeded to call one of our friends who was still at dinner. These were the people that have been carrying this silly placement burden with me for all these weeks and now these are the very people who share my excitement. I received emails, phone calls and texts from my friends. How sweet this lucky “success” was, but how much sweeter is it to have people to share it with?

So, how does my obsession with Ben Howard fit in, you ask. Well, his song- cloud nine so beautifully illustrates the power of well-wishes in our lives and how freeing it is to live entwined (in a healthy way, of course) with others. So yes, I am ecstatic about getting to do my placement in Hamilton, but I’m cloud nine because I have people to share my excitement and relief.

and all these faces, Oh how they adore you
With every blessing, every strength of a storm.
And it seems to me it all worked out so different
Funny how distance and time they don’t change at all.

So may your worries, may your worries
Never fall to loud.
And may you stay here, may you stay here
Happy in your own skin,
On the ninth cloud.


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