Spring is on the way

I am rather exhausted as I am packing boxes to move house. Books on shelves take up more space when in boxes and I feel that once it all goes into my new house I will not be able to move for boxes.

However, the current weather of sunshine and frosty mornings makes me feel better. There is a warmth to the sun and it gets stronger each day. So here is a poem I wrote some years ago.

Ode to a Spring Sun
Watching the sun rise over the hill,
Bringing another day;
Warming the Earth, helping the land,
Bringing new life awake.
Birds are singing in the trees,
Buds are bursting out,
Green shoots appear on the brown earth,
Feeling the warmth of the sun.
Watching the catkins dance in the breeze,
Welcoming the sun,
Wonderful sun, warming the earth,
Bringing new life awake.

February ramblings

There is no specific theme to my blog this week as I hadn’t really thought about writing it. It has been a hectic week mainly spent packing boxes and plastic crates with books and craft items ready to move next Tuesday, or at least do the first part of the move. When you have a lot of books and files you need a lot of boxes and once the shelves are empty where do you put the boxes. That’s one reason I move in two parts.

On Thursday I went with my son to visit my new place and it was a beautiful day. The sun shone and there was some warmth in it too. We explored the grounds around the housing complex and saw the squirrels in the trees and listened to the birds and the burbling of the stream at the bottom of the garden. During the journey we saw lots of red kites in the sky, such beautiful birds and this is red kite country so more to look forward to.

Back home I had the privilege of seeing the heron take fish from my neighbours pond. The heron is often around but this is the first time I saw him with a fish. The primroses are out and some of the dwarf iris and other spring plants are starting to bloom as well. This brings me a great feeling of hope. The natural world is still doing what it does even though the humans are restricted in what they do. The birds are starting to find a partner and there is a lot of display from the pigeons. The fox has also been to visit and walked down the garden in full view. It seemed like an old fox. He probably comes every day but I don’t always get to see him.

I had a large number of plants in pots, some of which I had grown from seed. These have all now found new homes where they will be cherished and have a long life. I hope to have a small garden space somewhere after my move but is still to be negotiated so I let all my wonderful plants go to people who will look after them and understand the importance of wild life. So back to more packing now.

Acceptance

Acceptance can mean a lot of different things to different people. This is what Wikipedia says, ‘Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognising a process or condition without attempting to change it or protest it. The concept is close in meaning to acquiescence, derived from the Latin acquiēscere. ‘ So is this what it means to me? There are many things in life that I have had to accept whether I wanted to or not, like losing my home and having family members die. You can’t do much about that and have to accept that it has happened. But there are many other things I find hard to accept and I think this holds me back sometimes.

After an accident while out on my cycle when I was 18, my physical health has slowly deteriorated. I have tried hard to deal with the arthritis and the muscle problems of myofascial pain and continue to do as much as I can. This is despite the pain it causes but as I near the grand old age of 80 I am thinking should I start to accept this deterioration and just enjoy my life as much as I can without the pain. I am one of those people who try to be independent and do everything myself but some things are really beyond me.

Currently I am in the process of moving house to somewhere where help will be available at the pull of a cord. This will give me peace of mind as recently I seem to have a tendency to fall over! However, in the current situation I am having to do all the packing myself and I have hundreds of books and files. Writing and researching family and local history as well as doing various kinds of arts and crafts means you have a lot of things to move. But they tell the story of my life and are important to me so I have to accept that I must do this packing and get on with it.

At this time of the pandemic we are all having to accept restrictions which curtail our daily lives. This is extremely hard for some and less so for others but it takes a mental toll as well as a physical toll and the consequences will be for everyone to accept and deal with including those at the top. But there are many things in life that we should not accept, like abuse of any kind and neglect of our planet. We must fight to save those who are neglected and especially care for our planet.

Needing rituals

Over the years I have changed my attitude to rituals. However, the British especially have their own little everyday rituals like the way you make a cup of tea or whether the jam or cream goes on the scone first. If we look at what we do each day then we can see just how much of what we do is part of a ritual.

I used to stand on the door step each morning and welcome in the day, asking for blessings from Father Sky, Mother Earth and the four quarters of North, South, East and West. Nowadays I tend to stand on the doorstep and connect without words to the sky, earth and the directions. I find words are not needed. This Imbolc for example, I started to see the bulbs shooting up in the ground and noticed some early spring flowers and new buds on the trees. I acknowledged this as the coming of Spring, of Imbolc and felt I did not really need a formal ritual or ceremony to acknowledge this.

My connection with the natural world around me is so strong and deep that words are not needed. I don’t set up and altar as what I can see outside in my garden is my altar all year. I have never really enjoyed the kind of ritual where a theatrical performance comes first. I have been to some of these and found much of the words said are just parts said without any deep feeling or meaning. To me, if you perform a ritual then what you do and say must have meaning for you and be sincere. So I wonder what your thoughts are on this? Imbolc Blessings to you all.

Strength and power

I have been reading some of my old blog posts this week and wondering if what I had written still resonated with me and my world. I found one post that did but I need to say that I sometimes feel we are losing our right to speak out about our world and I sometimes feel I am in an experiment designed by someone wanting great power. So here is an edited version of what I wrote several years ago.

‘As the world that we have known crumbles around us, let us stay strong and focus on peace. It will come one day at some point, maybe not in my lifetime but in that of my children and grandchildren.’ These are the words I wrote recently. As we look around us we can see everything that we have known and felt to be safe is now crumbling down around us.
I am older than many and remember the hardships following a war. Since that time, we have changed in many ways, not just ourselves but our country and our world. Some things have got much better but others have got much worse and there are large gaps between different populations.


Many years ago I felt that we were approaching a fairer world but that was not to be. There are so many people around who are greedy for money and for power. But they don’t understand what power really is. They think it is about controlling others and that is not the case. Politicians say things they don’t mean and make promises that they have no intention of keeping. But those words and promises lead people to think that they are good which give the politician a feeling of power.


What does power mean to you? If you look up the word in a dictionary you will see that there are many different meanings but the most ‘popular’ one is about being able to do something
in a proper manner and having the ability to do something. For me maybe it means the ability to do something, to help others, the ability to search for truth, To offer thoughts of peace and healing to others is also what I see as part of my ‘power’. We often hear the words ‘people power’. What do these words mean to you? To me they mean people getting together to do something which can change the way we live in our world. But we are not ‘allowed’ to do that at the moment. I feel that there is more to our pandemic than is seen on the surface. Time will tell of course.


Hope

‘Hope springs eternal’ are well known words. But this last week has brought a lot of hope to the world. I have seen the snowdrops coming into bloom and that is showing me that spring is on the way, new life is ahead and there is hope for a better world. But what really resonated with me this last week were the word so of Amanda Gorman and the inauguration of Joe Biden as President. The poem is about and for America but the words can be relevant in any society. And those words were powerful.

The last three lines of Amanda’s poem were as follows;

For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

I don’t really need to write any more as those few words say it all. Fill yourselves with light and shine out so you are seen. Be the lighthouse for someone who needs help. Be a beacon of Light. Shine out!

Using opportunities

A new year has begun and although there are still many restrictions on our lives, there are also plenty of opportunities for us. We are being given time to reflect on our lives, how we live them, what we eat, what we buy and so on.

There can be good things coming out of this pandemic if we look for them and take them on board. The pandemic has shown us what is really important and who the most important people are in our country. Do these important people get paid a fair wage for what they do? Do they get the protective clothing and other items they might need? Are we looking after our old ones who have so much to share about their lives and how they coped? I could go on but I will leave it there for you to think about.

We all have a vision of our future and they vary a lot but we can find the things that we all want and work towards those. We are moving towards a very different world which has been foretold by others over the centuries and we need to make sure we are ready for this new world. We cannot go back to how it was before. Change moves us forward but it can take some time. It is unlikely to happen overnight but we still need to be prepared. But think about your vision of our future. Does it change at all? Or does it stay the same whatever else changes in the world? Follow the right path for you and stay strong with your feet firmly on the ground so you are ready for what is coming.

On an end note I recently bought a book called the Corona Transmissions. It is a diverse collection of opinions and research and also contains poetry. I am not writing any more about it apart from the fact that I am half way through and have found it informative and also inspiring. You may not agree with some of it but it is worth the read as it covers nutrition, homeopathy and herbalism too.

Where do we go from here?

This is the title of a blog I wrote some time ago during the Brexit hysteria in the UK. Most of it is relevant for today so I am reposting this blog with a few edits.

Ignorance breeds hatred and hatred breeds violence as we have often seen. But why do people stay ignorant of the real facts? Mainly this is the fault of the media and various prominent persons who encourage people to hate and look down on others. Some newspapers have admitted in the past that they have distorted the truth or even told lies in order to make sensational headlines. But the number of people who believe these headlines are true is amazing. We need to encourage all people to ‘read between the lines’, to find out what is true and what is just to gain popularity for some kind of cause.

When we learn to discern the truth then we can learn to respect other genuine points of view and learn to live together in peace. At the moment this seems a long way off as so many of our politicians, not just in the UK but in other countries, change the facts to suit their cause whether what they say is true or incites hatred of others. Then they wonder why violence occurs.

We had come so far in our society, understanding that colour and creed and sexuality are not the important things but that we are all human beings living on the same planet and should all have the same opportunities in life. But this week I think that what happened in America shamed the whole world. I look at what is going on in my own country as well and wonder if we are being brainwashed in some way. Have we lost our power of perception so that we do not see the truth around us? Where do we go from here? It is time to reflect on our path forward, to connect with the natural world around us and to join together to bring peace to our world.

Deep within the still centre of my being,

may I find peace.

Silently within the quiet of the Grove,

may I share peace.

Gently and powerfully,

within the greater circle of humankind,

may I radiate peace.

A new year ahead

A new year brings new opportunities even in our current situation. As I am at home most of the time I made a few decisions about what to do and how to do it. Last year I recorded life in my garden and the nature reserves I managed to visit. I noticed how things changed, how seedlings sprouted and grew into strong plants, how the flowers bloomed and how the insects enjoyed it all. I noticed which plants certain insects preferred and made sure I would plant more of those for next year (this year). I watched the birds find their mates and build their nests and then feed their young. I fed the hedgehogs as well until they hibernated. I saw many different insects in the garden and read about them so I knew more about protecting them.

2021 is the year to get closer to nature, to see how the tiniest insect or plant is of importance to the soil, the other plants and the other insects. All of nature, including ourselves is interconnected in multiple ways. If we learn to understand this we will also learn a better way to live. We will be more conscious of where our food comes from and how it is grown. We will be more aware of how our clothes, cars and gadgets are made and whether they harm our environment.

A deeper understanding of our connection with Mother Earth will enable us to understand more about the way we live our lives and we will be able to make better decisions about all of this. If you don’t have a garden or access to a nearby green space then you can find a good photo on the internet and use that for meditation and to search for plants and insects in the photo. There are plenty to choose from.

If you have a garden then you can keep a close eye on what is going on. I have flowers in bloom now during the icy cold. I have cowslips, a purple yarrow, elephants ears and a tiny plant with white flowers that keeps close to the ground. Watching new leaves sprout is an amazing thing and seeing bulbs start to poke their shoots above the ground is very good to see. New life appears every day.

If you have access to a park or green space then use this and watch what happens or has changed each time you visit. There is a lot to see even in January and February. What birds are around? Can you see new growth? Build up that connection with all that is. Deepen it and let it change your life. Happy New Year to you all, may you find peace and love and a deeper understanding of life.

Looking back at 2020

Reflecting on this year has been difficult. There has been so much change to the way we all live. When the first lockdown arrived I chose to treat the next few weeks as a retreat. This was good but I found it quite hard to do. I missed the company of others and the face to face chats. I did not have access to Skype or other similar media at that time and I felt quite lonely at times.

After a while I found solace in my garden, watching the birds nest and produce young and watching the plants grow. As time went by I found that the highlight of my week was when my son visited as part of my ‘bubble’. This made life much better and we were able to go out and visit nature reserves. This enabled me to go to places I could not have gone to otherwise as I do not drive. I found these visits inspiring and exhilarating as we saw species I had not seen before. I took many photos and decided to make a scrapbook of the garden and these visits. I have filled two scrapbooks so far and half of another one.

I tried to walk every day but this became far too much and there were far too many people around. I started research projects and creative things like sewing and knitting and have eventually settled into a different existence. I write more, create more and I am looking forward to meeting others when the time comes. In many ways I have become more insular both by myself and with my son in our ‘bubble’. It’s as if the world outside our small radius no longer exists.

It was not until quite recently that I went into town. I needed money from the bank and I missed my sewing and knitting magazines. My son came with me and helped me through the sanitising process of shopping in stores. But I find I am not really interested in going shopping. I have never been a shopper that browses and used to just go with a list and get what was on the list. I think that goes back to when I had very little money and could only afford what was essential.

But there have been days and weeks when I have felt very down and did not want to get out of bed. These times come and go and I expect are the result of the way of life I am now living. I feel for others in similar and in worse situations. At least I have a garden and a hedge full of birds. I used to enjoy the winter days when the sky was blue and the sun shone. This last month the days seem to have been grey and wet which I find quite depressing but I noticed that the blue tits have returned.

I have done a lot of reading, light fiction and other deeper stuff and have bought myself a webcam so now I have more learning to do. But life is a journey with many lessons on the way and it is true that you learn something new every day. Overall I have managed. Some days have been exceptionally good, others quite bad and then there are plenty of what I can only call passable days. But my way of life has changed in many ways and I have survived so far.

In some areas, the community have got together to make sure every one has what they need and to help those who cannot do shopping on-line or get other things. There has been a wealth of help for the vulnerable especially families who find themselves in poverty through no fault of their own. There is more caring going on too and this is good. Many have realised what is most important in life and it is not the latest phone or gadget or the latest fashion clothing.

I always felt there was a purpose for the virus, that it was meant to make us stop and think what we were doing in our lives, the way we were abusing our planet and how we wasted stuff. I felt the virus would disappear when we all realised that we had to change. But the virus is still here so what does that tell me? I think we have a long way to go and maybe with the effect of climate change we have left it too late. I am trying hard to stay positive about the future and holding a vision in my mind of a world where we live in peace and work together in peace and respect each other knowing that we all have a part to play and that these parts can be different for each of us.

So let’s see what 2021 brings. Happy New Year to you all!