It is such a beautiful morning here in the UK. It was like this yesterday as well and I have always hoped that days like this make people feel happy and balanced. Not so. Recently I have felt anger around me, in shops, on the bus and in the town. It is like a huge volcano waiting to erupt. This feeling has been simmering for a long time. I first felt it a couple of years ago and have watched it grow and grow until it will soon erupt. But how will this anger erupt? Will there be strikes, violence, fighting or other things?
Some of this anger and hate seems to be erupting on social media. I have always tried to keep the peace and have often posted on social media trying to calm things down. This no longer works. I only hope that the anger is because people are waking up to the injustices of our world and not for other reasons. But much of what I see and hear is directed at people of other colours and this is so wrong. We have allowed the media to brainwash people into thinking they are the only ones of importance and that any one else is not worth thinking about.
But as I wrote in a previous blog post we are all connected spiritually and genetically, in Europe at least. Where have things gone wrong? How have we come to the point where only the rich matter, where those who are less well off are at the bottom of the ladder where health and a living wage are concerned. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening and we seem unable to stop this. Is this why people are angry? Hate is of course rising again like it did in the 1930s. We should be looking at the similarities between us not the differences. How can we help these people to release anger safely and to change from hate to love?
We have a beautiful world, let’s enjoy it in safety and in peace. Let anger wash over you and fade away, let hatred be changed to love. Let the sun warm your heart and mind and open it to the real potential that we all have, to find peace within us and in the world. It is time to live in harmony.
What drives us? What is it and does it change over the years. I have been thinking about this quite a lot recently. In my early years I loved music and learned to play the piano reaching diploma standard by the time I was sixteen. It was music and the love of it that drove me then. But a love of art also joined in, painting, drawing and just being outside doing this too. When my children were of school age I was working, going to art classes and studying part-time for a degree in science mainly geology. Then the love of the landscape took over together with the music and art. It was good to know how the landscapes I loved so much had formed and this drove me onwards to find out more.
Throughout my working life music had played an important part as well as painting and being outside in nature. But when I got the opportunity to retire, did these things change? I now had time to do other things but music and art were still there as a driving force but then I began to write.The writing has taken over from the painting but the music is still a part of my life even if I can not play the piano so much nowadays. But I can’t seem to stop writing. I research for historical writing and watch nature for my creative writing but everything I have done is a form of creativity.
So what do I call that urge to create, that urge that drives me on? I have no idea what to call it but it comes from deep down in my soul. Creating is a way of life, I need to do it and am compelled to do it. Some would say Spirit is driving me on? What would you call it? What drives you on each day and forward into the future? Has it changed over the years? Could you survive without this urge to do things? Even now as my physical body is failing me my brain is active and I keep writing as in this blog. Why do I do this I ask myself. I could sit back and relax and do nothing but that is not my way. I need to be active and if I can’t get outside in nature like I did when I was younger, than at least I can write and take photos. I think I would wither away without this in my life.
I often hear people of my age and older saying how hard life was for us when we were young and that today’s young people have it easy. So first of all let me tell you about my life when I was young. I was born during the Second World War so things were a little difficult to say the least. Food and clothes were rationed and we had a ration book we had to use to buy things. My parents had saved enough money to pay a deposit on a new semi detached house. But it was not as you would see one today. In the kitchen there was a Belfast sink and a small gas cooker. A heavy wooden draining board was attached to the sink. My mother washed everything in this sink and used a hand wringer to squeeze the water out of the clothes. There was a washing board for putting clothes on which needed scrubbing. (the washboard later became a musical instrument with Lonnie Donegan’s skiffle group) There was no refrigerator but a larder or pantry with a heavy marble slab in it and on the slab stood a mesh cupboard known as a meat safe. Milk was delivered in bottles which were washed when empty and put outside for the milk man to collect. In the dining cum living room (the front room was only used when we had visitors) there was a coal fired range with two ovens and a hob for boiling things in saucepans. The kettle was put on this hob to boil. We had a radio as well. There were two wooden armchairs and a stool for me. We played card games, dominoes and snakes and ladders of did jigsaws in the winter. My dad grew lots of vegetables. When we went to buy them we took a shopping bag and whatever we bought went straight into the bag. No packing stuff at all. Meat was wrapped in a heavy white paper and handed over to go in the bag. We did not have a car until my dad was in his forties.
So life was hard in many ways but we had lots of freedom to go out and play in the open spaces and in the woods coming home dirty but happy. Young people today do not have that freedom. They do have lots of electronic gadgets and washing for example is done in a much easier way. But is life better? I look at the young ones of today and the pressure put upon them to achieve at whatever cost. Everything is measured, education especially and certain standards have to be reached or else. Then there are the adverts on the TV and all around which keep saying that you need this and that to make your life better and easier and give you happiness. I don’t think they have it easy. They have to make far more choices than I had to and many do not cope with the pressure put on them. They all want the latest designer outfits not because they really want them but because their friends have them. At least we didn’t have that worry. My mother made most of my clothes and her own.
So how do you look back at your past? Was it good or better than what younger people have now? If you are young and reading this, how do you feel about what I have described? I know that when I was teaching, my class could not understand why we did not have a TV.
Over the last few years ethnicity seems to have become far too important in our lives. I keep hearing about immigrants from Europe and immigrants from other countries but we all have some genes in common even if only in trace parts. (I am writing about Europe here) Some time ago, several years in fact, I took a DNA test to find out which daughter of Eve I belonged to. This came about because of research by Bryan Sykes on the theory of human mitrochondrial genetics. He classified modern Europeans into seven genetic groups, haplo groups. Each of these groups shared an ancestor, the original Eve. It is much more complicated than this but I hope I have given you some idea of what I am getting at. From this I gained the knowledge that my group was Katrine and she lived around 15000 years ago.
So what is this to do with druidry? I believe that we are all connected in spirit at least but many of us are also connected genetically although we may not know it. I recently took another DNA test specifically for the purpose of tracing close relatives or distant cousins. This test reveals your ethnicity and many people have been surprised by what they found. So what about my ethnic origins? Briefly I am 82% British, 7% West European, 6% Scandinavian and the rest are traces of the Iberian Peninsular, Eastern Europe, Ireland, Italy and Greece. There will be many others with similar DNA living and working in the UK but who are classed as immigrants because they were not born here. We are all immigrants if you think about it. The British Empire and much of Europe, invaded other countries and pushed out the natives. Americans most of all must know how much of other nations is in their genes.
My ancient origins are Siberia, Sweden, Spain, Hungary and Russia! Now there is something to think about. How do we decide who is an immigrant and how are they different from us? Think of the Vikings and the Normans who invaded Britain and how much of their genetic heritage is in our own genes. Will the advent of all this DNA research help us to be more tolerant of those we feel are not like us? If we all descend from the ‘Eve’ of Bryan Sykes (not the biblical Eve) then we are all connected.
I hope you have managed to sift through my words and understand what I am getting at.