End of November ramblings

We had the first snow of the coming winter the other day. I woke up to a covering of white but it soon disappeared although there were flurries of snow during the day. There has been a lot of rain too and everywhere is wet underfoot which makes walking difficult for me where there are lots of wet leaves. Today I walked with a friend to Ford Green Hall a beautiful old mansion. There was a Christmas Craft Fair there today and it was very busy. We walked both ways and enjoyed the damp trees and misty landscape.

Outside my window the trees are almost bare of leaves and I can now see the many different birds sitting on the branches before using the bird feeder. This is giving me an opportunity to take photos of the birds again as I could not see them before because of the leaves. I love to see the trees now when you see their shape better and the way the branches grow out from the trunk. There is something special about them now and when the frosty days and nights are here too. On the nature reserve there are many different birds now as well as those that have been hidden amongst the leaves. There is always something to see and notice when you take a walk however short the walk. I walked back from the hospital the other day and the sky was clear. It is downhill most of the way but quite steep in places but is less than a mile to walk. I stopped and admired the view over lots of houses where there used to be fields but in the distance the moorland beckoned.

The approach to Christmas seems to start earlier every year. As a druid I should not really celebrate this festival but celebrate the Winter Solstice and Yule instead. However I like to celebrate them all but more of that to come in a blog next month. The photo is of Ford Green Hall taken in the rain this morning. I could not avoid the tree as the grass was too wet to walk on.

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Trying to stay positive

When you are surrounded by negativity, staying positive is definitely harder. Each day when I go to sleep I count my blessings and am thankful for all that I have in my life. If I stay in my flat all day and sneak out to the pond once in a while then staying positive is fairly easy. It is when I get talking to some of the others in this retirement village that the negativity creeps in. In a community of this size there are always bound to be those who moan continuously and those who are constant complainers. There are a few who are more positive but they are in the minority.

What is it about people that they are always negative? Nothing is right for them and they constantly go on about various events in a very negative manner. They seem stuck in their lives and unable to move beyond the negativity. I have tried to help with this but some are extremely resistant to change. I wonder what has made them like this? Getting old can be frightening especially if you are ill and/or alone but there are still many things in life which can be enjoyed. There is Bingo for those that enjoy it but some still find things to complain about with the bingo sessions. I really feel for these people as they are missing out on so much enjoyment in their lives. Trying to get them outside in nature by the pond is a no-no even though it is less than five minutes walk away.

So what can I do? I need to stay positive so I can help others but the resistance to any kind of change is so strong that it is unlikely to ever happen. I have lived in other communities but have not seen such a huge amount of negativity as I have here. Is this because the place is so large? Or is it just the people who live here? How do I get them to see that there can be more to life than sitting staring into space?  Even a walk around the garden would make a difference. I shall keep trying and smile at them more than I already do.

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Wake up calls

Wake up calls are important and I am not writing about those wake up calls to get you out of bed on the morning. Wake up calls often happen when you become ill or are involved in something traumatic but they can happen at any time. These wake up calls are the ones where you stop and take a look at your current way of living and decide to change it for the better. Many people come to a spiritual path through a wake up call. My own wake up call came when I had an out of body experience while undergoing surgery many years ago. It changed the way I looked at my life and how I did things.

Some wake up calls occur during illness such as cancer which can be life changing in many ways. Some occur during an accident of some kind and these can often be even more life changing. We hear on the news of injuries that are life changing due to accident and terror attacks. So our lives can change in physical ways but often the wake up call is about changing our approach to life and our thoughts about how we live our daily life.

Meditation, mindfulness, crystals and Reiki are a large part of the way I live. Although I spend a lot of time researching family and local history I find that without the other things I have mentioned above, then the research would not be the same either. It never ceases to amaze me how the atmosphere in a room can change through music or the chimes of bells or a singing bowl. These all enhance my life and enable me to live more peacefully and in more harmony with myself and those around me. All these came from my wake up call and my life changed in many ways and continues to change as I meet each challenge on my life’s journey.

Have you had wake up calls? How did they change your way of life? Did your diet change or your perception of things? Did you find a spiritual path to follow? Do you find being in nature helps you?

I will end with a brief note about my short walk the other morning. It was very frosty and as I walked down this path I saw the sun melting the frost and the resulting mist rising into the sky making the surrounding landscape look very mystical. A wonderful experience.

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Ancestors

This time of the year, Samhain, is when I honour all my ancestors. I often think of them though when researching my family history. It is not just my actual ancestors but all those relatives too. They are all part of my family tree.

I like to look at how they lived and what they did and wonder how much of what they did is a part of who I am. I can see what I have learned from my parents and grandparents and also what I chose to keep from that and what I chose to let go. Life is easy today compared to when they were younger. There was often not much money around and so little food and no money for pleasure like we have today.

The most poignant things I see in my research are on the 1911 census where there is a question asking how many children were born to the family and how many died. This week I found one family where fifteen children had been born but nine had died. If a child dies today there are lots of people around to help deal with the loss but then there was nothing and to lose nine children was a great loss. How did they cope? As far as I can see they just got on with it and carried on having other children to replace those who had died.

But having done several DNA tests I know I have other ancestors who don’t go on the family tree. They lived 15,000 years ago but they are still in my DNA. Some were hunters and gatherers and that must have been a hard life too. How much of this ability to deal with hard times is in my genes? My life hasn’t been easy but I have coped and I think this is due to what I have inherited from all of my ancestors through out the thousands of years. I honour them all.

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