What are values? The dictionary definition, one of them at least, is that values are a principle or standard that is worthwhile. Valuing is regarding someone or something with esteem. This topic came up earlier this week when a friend asked me if I felt valued. This gave me pause for thought. Do I expect or want or need to be valued and if so is this not my ego at work? My friend said that she valued my friendship and my support for her when she was going through some bad stuff. So this brought up other thoughts. Do we value our friends and relations and if so why do we value them? Also should we tell them we value them and why?
Maybe if we told our friends and family what we valued about them, our relationships would be much better. And on the other hand perhaps if we were told that we were valued then it would make us be better people. If you did a job well at work and your boss said how much it was appreciated then how would that make you feel? There is a lot to think about here but as usual I would love to read your thoughts.So this week I have lots of questions for you. What do you value most in your life? And why? Do you tell people you value them? Do you value material items more than friends or family? If you had to leave your home quickly and could only take one thing with you, what would you take?
Time is flying by. It feels as if Beltaine was only a couple of weeks ago but here is the Summer Solstice. So now the days begin to get shorter yet it feels as if we have not yet had any summer.
This week has been quiet as I have not been able to go out because I have bronchitis and my antibiotics make the skin photosensitive. So indoors I had to stay. It has given me time to reflect though and that is always good to do. I made some decisions about my home and garden and when I am well again I hope to put these decisions into practice.
My son gets out and about and like me is a keen photographer. He takes much better photos than do and I put one of his photos here. This photo to me shows the shades of dark and light which make up our lives. Nothing is pure black and nothing is pure white. All around us there are different shades and nuances in the light. It is fascinating to see and to watch as the sun moves round and the shadows and light change. Have you ever spent time watching how the light and dark change during the day? And how special some of the effects of this change seem?
We are almost half way through June and the weather is very mixed, hot and sunny, then wet and thundery and you never know what the day will bring.
It has brought some interesting birds to the feeder though. I have had two jackdaws, several blue tits, a robin and a collared dove. The dove seems to know when I am watching. It tried to make a hole in the seed feeder then it discovered that there were two holes already and now it feeds daily. A few weeks ago a large crow came. He played around with the half coconut fat feeder and then managed to get the rope into its beak, lift the coconut from its hook and fly away with it. Clever bird. There are also goldfinches around and a blackbird but they feed from the ground usually.
If I walk down to the shops I can see and hear other birds. There is a rather lovely small chestnut tree on the way down the hill. It has a beautiful shape and had large flowers this spring. I took a photo of it one day but it is hard to avoid the bungalows and cables nearby. It is a wonderful tree though and gives me pleasure each time I see it. I hope it continues to flourish.
My depression means that I have not been out so much but I do try to find some things to do each day that will give me pleasure so even going shopping can do that when I pass this lovely tree. At least I can see flowers and birds from the windows and that can only be good for me.
Ancestors have been in my mind this week as I researched family history for a friend and also watched the D-Day anniversary celebrations. We owe so much to our ancestors. Not only did they make us who we are but they also helped us to win a war which in turn brought a different way of life for many people. In the 1920’s and 1930’s people who had little money could easily starve and be homeless as there was no social security available to help them out. Unemployment was extremely high and wages very low. After the war, things changed and the NHS was born, houses were built and people enjoyed a higher standard of living.
I am old enough to remember the latter part of the war, the bombs falling and the wail of the air raid siren. We did not have an Anderson shelter, my mother preferring to hide under the stairs with me. No wonder I get claustrophobic in enclosed spaces! I remember the way people worked together and shared resources and just how much my father grew in the garden. I remember the building of the prefabs, prefabricated bungalows to house those whose home had been lost in the war. There are some of these still standing.
But what of today? Are the changes that our ancestors fought for still with us today? Or are we going slowly back to the world of poverty, starvation and death? A book that I feel everyone should read is ‘Harry’s Last Stand’. As a veteran he has an insight into the world of today that our politicians do not have.
Here are my father and grandfather before the war that took so many lives, so many that it is hard to imagine but if you visit a war cemetery in France, the rows and rows of graves will make you see and feel just how many gave their lives so we could have a better world.
I’m not sure what I am going to write about this week but no doubt the words will flow. It has been a mixed week for me and for the weather. Today the sun is shining! This should make me feel better but today I just feel depressed even more. But why should this be? I have a nice home, food and clothes. So what is missing? Is it the company of like minds or is it something else?
There are so many people around who do not think about anything except the soap operas on the TV and the way their neighbours behave. What has happened to the caring society that we should have and in some ways did have decades ago. I remember when families worked together in the community so no one ever went hungry or without help if they were ill. Nowadays, many neighbours seem to take delight in finding fault with each other and do not do what I would call neighbourly things like cutting my half of the grass when they cut the other half. Many do not even know who their neighbours are! We hear tales of people being found dead or very ill because no one visited them or called to see how they were. Do you know who your neighbours are? If you did not see them for a few days would you check out their home to see if they were OK? I try to help others when I can. I see this is a part of who I am as a druid and I would not see a neighbour go hungry or without help that others could provide. What kind of neighbour are you?