All you need is love

This week the words from the Beatles song ‘All you need is love’ have kept going round in my head. So is love all we need? There are of course many different kinds of love. We love our parents and our aunts and uncles. We also love our siblings but in a different way to the love for our parents. We love our firends as well. We love our pets too but again a different kind of love.

We love doing different things. Some of us love cooking and baking, others love gardening or going out walking. So we are all different and our kinds of love are all different. Whatever we do, we do it with love or at least I do and I hope you do too. But what about those we do not know who need our love? Refugees and children who live in poverty too. If we send them love does it make a difference to their lives. At some point it does make a difference especially if they realise that they are loved. But it won’t necessarily change their circumstances.

In our 3d world we need material things in order to survive. We need food and clothing and a roof over our heads. Does love provide this? In order to have those things we generally need some form of income usually from a job. Does love provide this? Many of us have worked at jobs that we do not like in order to have the roof over our head. Although we might come from love and it might make us feel better, love does not provide the roof or food or clothes.

So how are we going to get around this? Is it possible that in a different world love would give us everything we needed? I think there is a lot of thinking to do about this phrase ‘love is all we need’. What are your thoughts?

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Miscellany of thoughts

It has been a strange week with lots of things to think about so here are a few of my thoughts from this week.

I have written about respect before but a brief thought here about it. I was watching a television programme this week when the subject of respect came up and how important it was to respect yourself and each other whatever age, creed or colour you were. No-one should feel superior to someone else because of colour, age or creed. Cheddar Man was brown as were most of our ancient predecessors. We all come from the same source.

Listening to my body has been important this week. Since I moved house I have ignored the listening and just got on with things, housework, gardening and eating junk food. This week my body rebelled so I had to listen. Too much pain and an upset stomach made me realise that I cannot go on as I have been doing. So hand some things over to others and look at my diet, cutting out the junk food.

Other thoughts have been about courtesy which is again about respect. If you are asked if you are coming to an event via email it is courtesy to respond. even if you are not coming. I run a group with about twelve people as members and after my last email about the next meeting I had five replies. Some of course will turn up even if they have not replied. I find this not good at all. After all I need to know how many teas to book!

But now I am listening to my body and going to make a decaf green tea and have a plain biscuit with it!

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Trees

Some years ago I paid for a small grove of trees, twenty I think, to be planted in a nearby wood by the Woodland Trust. Those trees are now much bigger and I love to see how they have grown. Trees are so important to us but there are many who do not know why. They are the biggest plants on the planet, and they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. They also provide us with the materials for tools and shelter.

This week my son and I have dedicated half an acre of woodland through the Woodland Trust, in memory of my dear friend Simon who passed early in August. Simon and I loved trees and spent many hours over the last 20 years or so walking amongst the trees, hugging them and talking to them. So I feel the dedication of these trees is very fitting as a memorial.

There is something about trees that has always called to me. I love them all although some are more special than others. I have always loved the graceful silver birch, one of the trees that grows first after any devastation such as fire. Yet the birch always looks very delicate. I also love the weeping willow which seems to have a yellow colour when the leaves are starting to appear. One of my very favourite trees is no longer around having been felled some years ago possibly because it had become dangerous. It was an ancient beech which seemed to love having people around it and sitting on its wide low branches.

Because of my love for trees I am always happy to help in some way when they are planted and I did this some years ago when the Woodland Trust was planting a new wood. The Trust also does other things in the woodland such as preserving hedging and dead tree trunks for insect life. Do you love trees like I do? I hope so. The photo today was taken earlier in the year as I was leaving a bluebell wood. I hope you like it as much as I do. I did use it on an earlier blog but it fits this one very well and for me is worth a second look.

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Changing seasons

It has been a long hot dry summer but the last couple of weeks have brought us some rain which has been very good for the garden. One day last week I opened the door, as I do every day, to let in the fresh air and to give thanks for all around me. This particular morning was different than the previous ones. It was cooler and fresher but there was also a distinctive feel and smell of the coming autumn.  It’s not something I find easy to put into words but the feel and smell is something I recognise and know that autumn is on its way.

Looking back at the days of summer I see lots of flowers, their wonderful colours still there for the coming days. I noticed the number of birds too. I have a large thick hedge at the top of my garden and it has been home to several broods of birds, blackbirds, sparrows and robins. It has been a wonderful experience to watch them grow into adult birds. This last week a sparrowhawk visited as well. Luckily all the smaller birds were safe in the hedge and surrounding bushes.

I have also noticed the large number of bees visiting the flowers. But many of the flowers are there specifically for that purpose, to attract the bees. There are not so many now but they are still coming finding other plants attractive when their favourite ones have finished flowering.

There has been a large number of different butterflies visiting the flowers especially the buddleias which are commonly known as butterfly bushes. I have also seen damselflies and dragonflies whizzing around the garden but not often settling for photos! The plum tree and the brambles (which are not really wanted as they stop other plants from growing) have done exceptionally well and I have lots of fruit in my freezer. There were so many plums that I have been giving them to neighbours. Someone said it must be the fifth year as you get an abundant crop every five years.

But what I have noticed the most is the abundance of everything. There has been wonderful colour, and food for everything that comes into the garden, and watching the birds trying to get the blackberries and plums has been entertaining at times.

So now the season is changing and there will be different things to watch and to do as well. But my main thought at this point in time is ‘Abundance!’

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Closure

There are many words in the English language that have added to or changed their meanings over the years. Closure is one of those words. It meant and still means the closure of coal mines and department stores for example. But it has now got another meaning, closure after an unpleasant time or experience. I suppose it still means the act or process of closing something even with its extra definition.

So closure is the feeling or act of bringing an unpleasant time or experience to an end so that you can start again. Closure could refer then to ending one job which was not pleasant and starting a new job. Once you got into the new job you could forget about all the bad bits of the previous job. But is it that easy?

What about separation or divorce? How easy is it to start again and forget the bad bits? If children are involved then this can make it even harder to let go of the past and move on. Letting go of the pain is hard but it needs to be done if you want to move on. You can make a conscious decision to let the pain and anger go but if this doesn’t work you can try to express your pain and anger. You can write letters to the other person but not send them. Instead you can burn them with the intent that the pain and anger has gone so you can move forward again.

You also need to ‘be’ in the present. Focus on what you are doing now and enjoy your life as it happens. The final thing you have to do is to forgive the other person and that is possibly the hardest bit of all. But if you keep the pain and anger inside you, it will make you ill later on.

But how do you have closure when someone dear to you dies? Our emotions at that time run deep and as the grieving process takes its course we think of closure. Personally I find that with a death of a loved one, there is never what you could call a proper closure. We learn to live with the fact that our loved ones are no longer with us. Our love does not die so we have to learn to accept that they are no longer here but closure, I don’t think so. You can move on and even find another partner but your life has changed from what it was before the death occurred so you look at everything and everybody through different eyes. Also grieving can take several years as you adjust to the fact that your loved one has gone.

Is closure something that we deal with and achieve, or is it a myth?

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Dealing with loss

Loss is something that most of us see at least once a week. We lose our belongings for example. Sometimes we lose precious belongings, items which mean a lot to us. There is a big difference between losing a pencil for example,  a twenty pound note and a watch that belonged to a member of your family that has long gone. Losing something precious like the watch makes us feel sad and even if we get a new watch it does not replace the old one in our hearts.

Losing a pet is even harder to deal with and the grief can last for many months. You never forget them or the joy they brought you but they keep a piece of your heart for ever. Many people have pets instead of children so when a pet dies, the loss to them is greater. Losing someone close to you is even harder than losing a pet. My father died in 1981, my husband in 1995 and my mother in 2003 so you would think I know how to grieve by now. What I have found is that each time someone close to me dies, it brings back all the memories of the previous deaths. So this week I have been feeling a deep sadness at the loss of a very dear friend.

If you search the internet you will find lots of help and suggestions  to help you deal with your grief. Some of these I have found helpful, like keeping to your daily routine as much as you can. You may not feel like doing anything but it is good to actually do the housework or go shopping however painful it seems. There will be bad days but I found that the gap between the bad days and the good ones got longer and there became more of the good days. It takes time to come to terms with losing someone close to you. Anniversaries are the worst days but after the first year of grief you have got through most of those. It is important to try to do joyful things even though you feel sad. I have found that sitting in the garden watching the bees and butterflies helps me

Talking to others or writing a journal can also help. But I need to say that losing loved ones does not always happen through death. There is divorce and separation for other reasons and there are those family members who decide to shun the rest of the family and deliberately lose contact. Grieving also happens in these cases.

One thing to remember that whoever you have lost, they have a small space in your heart where you will remember them for ever and you will remember the good times not just the bad ones.

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Too old to learn?

I belong to that group of people who are never to old to learn. But I do hear many others say that they can’t do something because they are too old. I suppose it depends on what you think the word ‘learn’ means. The dictionary definition is this; ‘ to gain knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience.’

I know I love doing courses that interest me but I do them so that I learn something and am not bothered about an exam or a certificate. Recently I have been doing a couple of courses about dealing with pain, one course looking at exercises to control or get rid of specific pain. This was interesting to me as I found that I already did some of these exercises but I still had the pain at times.

But there are many others things I have learned since I moved house. I have learned to recognise the plants in the garden which were new to me and the butterflies and other insects that were also new to me. I learned to ‘drive’ my mobility scooter safely. I have also learned how to adapt to doing things around the house when my hands are painful. So I have never stopped learning, learning mainly by experience in this case.

This topic came about because of a discussion with my son about web design as I have been thinking of updating my web site recently. I did the original one in the late 1990s when I taught myself the language of HTML. Then my son took over and later on a friend. But as an independent person I want to do my own. Am I too old to learn this? I don’t think so. I believe that we all learn something new every day. And the ancient druids spent years studying and learning so as a druid I am doing the same but perhaps in a different way.

So I wonder what I will learn today?

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