This last week I have been doing a lot of reflecting, looking back at my life as well as the last few months. Maybe it is something about the time of the year. It is now Autumn and the nights are drawing in and it is getting cooler. Once it has gone dark and I have closed the curtains I can sit and reflect. It might of course be something to do with my age as older people often look back into their past.
As many of you know I love researching my family history and also local history. For the last month or so I have been researching life in the local workhouse. Seeing how people were treated when they became destitute or ill or had mental problems is very sad and that led to my thinking about today. There are many problems in our world still, there are many homeless, jobless and very ill. But in the west at least, we have so much to be thankful for. Most of us have a roof over our head, enough food and enough clothes as well as methods of getting out using public transport for example if you don’t have a car. Although I am not good where physical mobility is concerned I am thankful that I am still able to do lots of things. I can get out, I can take photos, I can write even though it is painful and I can look after myself mainly although I do need help for some things.
But there are so many people who are not satisfied with their lives; they want more money or a bigger house or more clothes and so on. Is it not time that we reflected on the things we do have and be thankful for those? Is it not time to reflect on what we need to do to change our world? Small steps lead us on. From little acorns do large oak trees grow. On that note I will say I have planted four acorns this week to see if they will grow.
I read something this morning which really resonated with me. It was about how we treat our world. Each day we see more disasters occurring, not just in war zones but in our countryside where rivers are polluted, pipelines leak or explode, lakes are polluted and so on. Just this week in my area fish died because of river pollution. We see greedy companies wishing to destroy the landscape for new pipe lines, new railway lines which go through ancient forests and destroy natural habitats which have built up over the years for various species.
And do we just watch and think it won’t be long before the human race disappears or do we do something? If we do something then what do we do? Working together is important as can be seen when the Native American tribes came together to stop a pipeline being built across their sacred burial grounds. I am not going to write any more here because I would like you to read the words I read this morning so that you are aware, if not already aware, of just what is happening to our planet.
Here is the link:
Ushering in the Closing Chapter of the Human Species
All through our lives we find ourselves facing challenges. Some of us have more than others but I don’t know anyone who has never had a challenge to face. But life is a journey and it is the challenges and the lessons we learn that make life interesting. Just think how boring it could be with nothing to make us think and do.
Some challenges are very difficult and may have life changing consequences while others are much easier and may just be a choice between two paths. So what sort of challenges can we have? There are the ones about what job to do, where to live, when to move home and lesser ones like what to wear. All these are challenges that we face, some times every day. How we deal with these challenges can change the way that day goes for us. Wearing the wrong clothes for an important meeting can change the way people see you and also change the way you feel about yourself. But these are minor challenges. What about the big ones?
During my lifetime I have faced many challenges. I remember some of these quite well. One in particular was surgery at a young age which meant I could no longer have children. I already had two but all my friends were busy growing their families and it was difficult to deal with. But the most life changing part of this was the out of life experience during the operation. That did change the way I thought about everything and my whole attitude to life changed from then on. Other challenges have been dealing with unexpected deaths, first of my father and then of my husband.
Now I face challenges with my health but these have been ongoing for some time and I have learned to deal with them. At least I thought I had but each time there is a relapse or flare up I have to think again and find my way through. The biggest challenge yet to come will be facing death but I hope that is some way off and is a topic for another blog post. How do you face your challenges?
One final thought which many disagree with is this; whatever you choose to do at a certain point is the right choice for that moment in time. Only later may you think it was a bad choice. But what did you learn from making that choice? If you learned something from that choice then it was not a bad one.
It is that time of the year when I start to gather together food for my larder and freezer so that if and when the weather gets too difficult for me to go out, I have food to eat. But it is harvest time and many others are out collecting the fruits of nature. I saw a woman collecting blackberries the other day. So far I bought some Victoria plums which I really like and turned them into jam. It is a good start but I need to check what is in my cupboards and see what I need to buy.
It is not just food that needs to be collected and stored. There are all the other household items for laundry and cleaning and the essential toilet paper! Over the last few years there have not really been any hard winters here but if it is icy then going out is a no-no. So being prepared is good.
I do like this time of the year as the leaves change colour on the trees and gradually fall to the ground. When out last week, there were elderberries ready to collect but remembering to leave some for the birds. There were cones ripening on trees and lots of beech nuts lying around. I feel it is important to recognise these gifts of nature, take a few for yourself but leave plenty for others. I hope to get out this coming week to take more photos and to enjoy the autumn colours but this may not happen as my arthritis has flared up again especially in my spine which makes lots of walking difficult. But I will go out even if not very far. I have lots of trees at the end of my road and they are slowly changing colour.
How do you experience Autumn and do you store things for the winter?