‘Whatever your path may you have peace, may you have compassion for others, may you have joy and love, may you be thankful for what you have and may you bring love and peace into the world for others to share.’
Looking around at the UK this week and earlier this month I see that compassion is greatly needed for those affected by the floods. The amount of rain falling is unprecedented in many places and after soaking into the already saturated ground there is nowhere left for it to go. Streams that flood also drain into larger rivers and so on until there is nowhere left for water to go. However much you put up flood barriers, water will find the weakest point and those further downstream will be the ones to flood. So what is the answer?
You can’t argue with nature you have to work with it is the first thing to realise. But you have to look at the wider picture and think that if this is the weather we are going to have in the future then maybe we have to rethink everything we know. But at this moment in time practical help is what is needed. Many will have lost everything unless they managed to save things precious to them. But what is transpiring is that people are working together to help each other; communities whatever their faith are pulling together to help each other and those worse affected. It seems that it is only disasters that inspire us to work together. We need to learn to work together all the time, to help each other and to look for a better future.
Here we are again yet it seems not very long since we were last here. The shortest day and longest night are upon us. But somehow this year it does not feel like that time of the year. The weather is exceptionally mild and rather wet. The birds are flying mating games and the spring flowers are out.
In many ways I am not ready for this event but in other ways I have looked forward to it. The dark mornings and nights will become less so and it is one thing that keeps me going. The light will return, the child is born and I can look forward to the longer days.
Later this morning I shall be going to a service of seven lessons and carols. For me many of the carols are very pagan in origin and I love the singing. Afterwards there will be a village social where we share food and conversation. Events like this bring people together which is always a good thing. Sharing food too adds to the atmosphere. I may be a druid but I am able to share events like this. It is important to let go of any feelings against others at this time, to share, to look forward to the future and to respect the faith of others. We have much in common any way and we need to find those common aspects so we understand each other. Let’s use this time to make a better world. Happy Solstice to all my readers. May the returning light bring comfort, joy and love to you all.
What a week this has been, not just busy but full of challenges which are making me think about what I can do to stay independent. On Monday I visited the local Christmas Tree Festival which is the largest in England or so I believe. There were over 1000 trees and the imagination of people always amazes me. Businesses. charities, groups and individual people decorate trees for this festival. The Christmas tree for me is a pagan symbol which the church adopted for their use. But I love to see the trees and their twinkling lights.
I have bought a new walker type thing called a rollator which we discovered that although it folds up it does not go in car boots, not those of my friends anyway. This brings its own challenge of course. It is a good idea though to help me to walk as it has a seat that I can use when I need to sit down. Sorting out transport for a holiday became a challenge too as I needed to find someone to take me to Leicester in a car that would take the rollator. I think this has now been solved but it was a challenge and one which left me feeling very depressed.
But as a druid I have bounced back although not fully back and am thinking about how to surmount these challenges and become more independent again. Each night I give thanks for what I have and ask for help in working this out. I suspect that fear enters some of my problems as you get scared to be out alone in case you fall or whatever. I need to overcome this too and not rely on others to always be there for me. I shall be spending the time until Imbolc working on these challenges and hope that I find a successful outcome. How do you deal with challenges that come your way?
This week I have felt that I need to retreat and replenish my soul from the events of the world around me. But then I think that the time is not right for this as there is a lot of work to do to help others find their way in these troubled times. It is not just the wars that cause us problems but our ever changing weather. There seem to be more extremes of weather here in the UK and this was forecast when climate change was discussed some time ago. Yet we are never prepared for this. I think about my bungalow which was built about 30 or so years ago and won an award for the design of the complex of which it is a part. But no-one thought about the strong winds which blow around the houses and chase plant pots and wheelie bins away because there is no safe place to store them. But that is nothing compared to the floods up north. Yet we still build houses by rivers and streams and high bridges which cannot stand up to the wind.
So do I retreat for a while and ignore the outside world? I have tried over the last couple of days to find that quiet time for contemplation but was disturbed by the howling of the wind and loud bangs as things outside were blown around. Maybe now is not the time for this kind of work, contemplating our world in peace. Maybe some music will help. I have been listening to my favourite composer Shostakovich recently. His music tells of the pain and sorrow that is current in our world yet was current in his world too. As I have often thought and said, times do not change, history repeats itself continuously and we do not seem to learn from this. Maybe my time for a retreat is not yet here.