Friendship and its varied meanings has been on my mind this week. There are so many different layers to a friendship. There is affection, sympathy and empathy, mutual understanding, enjoyment of each others company, trust, the ability to be oneself without fear of being judged and so on.

I find I have a very few close friends with whom I can share all the above characteristics but I also have friends who are more like acquaintances. I have ‘friends’ on sites such as Facebook who can and do offer support when needed even if it is only words of encouragement and virtual hugs. But these play their part too.

For me friendship is a two-way thing. I like to think that I can offer many of the things mentioned above, like support, understanding and empathy even though I cannot do practical things. When you get older friendship becomes more important especially if you cannot get out to meet people as you did when younger. Friendships should be valued and when a friendship wavers then things should be done to put it right. Like most things in life, you get out of a friendship what you put in. I am thankful for my friends.

Do you value your friends and what they offer you? And what do you offer them in return?


September ramblings

The Equinox is upon us very soon and autumn is definitely here. It was misty this morning and the leaves are now mainly golden brown. The birds are all busy feeding so they build up reserves for the winter. I have never seen so many on the feeders at one time. I counted twenty yesterday at one point.

It has been a week when I have had to do a lot of thinking about my way forwards. As you know I am disabled and this week has seen a flare up of my problems, all at once which is very disheartening. It can be hard to think in a positive way but I feel that my druidry helps me with this. If I can see nature through my windows then I have something to colour my days. My village has an annual Arts, Garden Produce and Crafts Show. I entered some of my photos and craft work and got two 1sts and a 3rd. My son took me there in the afternoon after a quick visit to the wildflower farm. It was good to see how many people grow their own vegetables and flowers and who take a pride in what they do. There were cakes, breads and various children’s sections which encourages them to join in and learn how to do these things.

The visit to the wild flower farm enabled me to use my new camera and see more nature even though it was a struggle to walk more than a couple of yards. But nature is awesome. The way the leaves change colour then fall from the trees enabling new growth next year, the way the dragonflies lay eggs ready to hatch in the spring and so on. Whatever we seem to do, nature continues and surprises us like the mushrooms which appeared on my lawn. Does nature ever surprise you?


Autumn arrives

Yes, you can smell the change in the air in the mornings and evenings as the leaves start to turn gold and brown. Some mornings there is a mist and heavy dew on the ground. But what happened to our summer? There have been a few good days but it has been far too windy for summer. Last week, heavy rain and strong winds flattened anything taller than a few inches.

It is getting dark earlier in the evenings too and soon it will be the Equinox. Then Samhain and the winter time. Are you ready for this yet? Have you prepared for it? I always stock up my cupboards as I cannot get out easily and I have stocked up on food for the birds. I have plans for helping them get through the winter too.

But autumn is so beautiful. The colours on the trees glow when the sun shines and the young birds are growing too changing their plumage to adult status. The rowan trees nearby are laden with berries and some of my shrubs have produced berries too, orange and red ones. Blackberries are ripe and people are busy collecting them to make jam and wine. What do you do at this time of year? Do you make jam or wine? Do you collect fir cones and conkers?

Nature is awesome!



Compassion, support and understanding

There has only been one thing heading the news this week, the refugee crisis in Europe. I shall probably get some flak for this blog. I have already had some on my Facebook page regarding links I have put there. We talk about refugees and economic migrants so think about this. Do you or do you know someone who has moved house to get their child in a better school or moved to a different town to get a better job? Have you lived or do you know someone who has lived in a war zone?

I remember the war and the bombs and the devastation caused. I remember people having to move to find new homes. I also remember when I was at school and one day several Ugandans joined us. There have always been refugees and they are all over the world not just coming to Europe.

As a druid I have compassion for these people. I have not walked a mile in their shoes but the media photos give me some idea of the conditions some of them lived in. But I have been on the verge of being homeless several times in my life, once when my children were quite small so I know how that feels. I know about the feelings of insecurity, the feelings of where do I go next and so on.

People who are running away from their ruined homes need help, support and compassion. Do we put keeping our material assets against being human and helping others?  It was good to see the welcome given yesterday to those entering Germany. tI was better than that given in other countries where potential immigrants from Indonesia and surrounding islands are cooped up in a prison like environment on an island away from the mainland.

These are people we are talking about, human beings just like us but in dire straits and needing help. What are you doing about it? It is a long and winding road travelled by us all not just the refugees.