This week has been very busy as I am moving house but there have been times when I have been able to sit and relax. During these times I have done a lot of reflecting on times past and times to come. I am old enough to look back at the changes in our world over several decades. Some of these changes have been good ones but others not so good.

There is much good in our world but many do not see this. We need to be positive and see the best in everything. This enables us to move forward and help others to do the same. I have always looked for the best in people too especially during my teaching career. Every child and every adult has some special attribute. We are all unique and have different ways of doing things. We need to respect that in each other. My photo this week is of reflections in the local stream. Try to reflect on your life, past and present and see how changes have affected you.

Mists and frosts

The other day it was very misty. Mist makes everything look magical especially when the mist is moving. The trees loom out of the mist and look stark and forbidding.

This morning everywhere was white with a heavy frost. The sun is now shining and the frost starting to melt. In the garden, the remaining flowers and leaves are like jewels, with diamond like spots of melting ice. It is beautiful. I wonder how many others have noticed the beauty of nature this morning or they all still in bed? Have you looked outside this morning at your garden or surroundings to see what nature has gifted you? Be aware, look, listen and observe closely what you can see. The beauty of nature can help you to get through any bad times, it can make you feel so much better. If you live in a flat and have no garden, have indoor plants in pots. They too can reward you with new leaves and flowers. But you will need to care for them too.

Approaching winter

It is a very frosty morning here, white roofs and icy roads. But the sky is clear and the sun is shining. There is something about this kind of day, a clarity and a crispness. I love this feeling and it inspires me to write and paint.

Today is a special day here in the UK when we remember those who died in World Wars. Now we have peace in our world or at least some parts of it. It would be good to have peace everywhere but I think that will take some time. In order to have peace we need to work together and not always be wanting more. We need to share what we have with those who have little. Since the storm in the USA I have seen this kind of sharing going on. The community is working together as it should.

In our current material world, we all have too many ‘things’ in our homes. I was born during the second World War and remember rationing. We did not go without anything but we appreciated what we had and my father grew lots of vegetables in the garden. We were healthy and fit. Is there a message in this? Do we eat too much and take too much for granted? Winter is a time when we can think about these things and prepare for the coming spring.

My photo this week is of the local stream where it runs over a small shelf of rock. Like the water, we need to go with the flow, to let things we no longer need be washed away and to cleanse our lives of the rubbish we no longer need.

(photo taken by my son Warren Viggars)

Storms, cleansing, changing perception – my rambling thoughts on these

After the massive devastating storm which ravaged the east coast of the USA, many thoughts have crossed my mind. But a few words that someone said after seeing their home totally flattened stay in my mind. She said ‘It’s only stuff’. It is well known that traumatic events change peoples perception of the way they live their lives. They find out what is really important to them and change the way they live accordingly. We all hoard things we no longer need. I am as guilty as the rest here but this year I made a decision to give away a lot of things I no longer need or use. I feel much lighter now.

I was not surprised by the storm. Earlier this year I was reading a book which discussed what would happen in the near future regarding the weather and a great storm on this particular part of the coast was forecast. Looking at storms here in the UK, we have had more damaging ones than usual and more floods due to heavy rain. One thing that has always amazed me is that we persist in building homes on flood plains. No wonder we get flooded homes. We have not looked at the way our landscape works and listened to the ‘messages’ of the past. We, as humans, seem to think we are above the elements. But there are many of us who know that we must learn to live with this and plan accordingly.

We need to take a look at our lives and think about what we really need to survive. We need to think about the way we ravage our land and planet and change to a more loving way of caring for the land. Are there enough of us out there to make these changes work? I hope so.

I am not posting a photo this week. Take a look at the photos on the news pages about the storm and see the power of the water.