Finding joy in these dark times

There is always something good out there that will give you joy, however dark the world is around us all. One of the things that gives me joy is my tiny garden. I live in a housing complex for older people so we have fairly large grounds around us with lots of trees and a small brook running along the bottom of the area. Some of us have found a spot to have a small garden and I am one of those people.

My son has a large garden and grows most of his own plants from seed. This year he ran out of space to house all the seedlings so a large number came to me. I have half hardy plants on my windowsill including some pepper plants and I have two mini greenhouses outside which are full of plants and I have trays of plants outside the greenhouse. Some of these plants will go in my little garden but some are being ‘sold’ to raise money for the Brain Tumour charity. There are chrysanthemums, echiums, lots of different rudbeckias, inulas and french marigolds. There will be others later as they become ready for planting.

‘Sold’ is the wrong word as people re being asked to give a donation to the charity. As the plants are ready to go outside, they will be offered to others for a small donation to the charity. My son and I also planted a wildflower garden last year and this is now coming to life. There are several plants growing strongly already including poppies, and wild carrots.

But being out there in the early morning, opening up the greenhouses gives me so much joy. I can stand there in the quiet and listen to the birds singing, robins and blackbirds mainly but there are other birds. I love the early mornings especially when the sun is shining. There is a feeling of peace out there and joy at being alive. I hope that those undergoing the terror of wars and natural disasters will find somewhere where they can feel peace. Just standing outside and closing your eyes can bring that peace feeling to you. Peace is inside you and is always there if you look for it.

My greenhouses

Gathering Strength

I wrote a post five years ago with this theme. Here it is again with some additions;

‘The decision to leave the EU brought a deep shock to many in the UK. Now is the time to regroup, to look at past mistakes and to plan for a fairer world where the old, the poor, the
disabled and all in need are cared for. Respect for others points of view is essential but if we all had that then the vitriol of the press would not occur and that would help all of us.’

So what has happened since then? Is our world a fairer one and do we respect others more? Does the press do better or have they got worse?

‘Our land is at threat by fracking and major road and rail building which will go through ancient woodlands and nature reserves. It can take many years for these to recover properly
and it is important that we try to stop the desecration of our land. Recent research has proved that spending time in nature can keep you healthy in mind, body and spirit. Think about this.’

This is still going on and many wonderful trees have been felled. Fracking was stopped but might appear again on the agenda as the war in Ukraine continues.

‘We also need a fairer voting system too. Over hundreds of years those at the bottom of the heap have fought for improvements in their lives. It has taken until after the Second World War to develop some of the things we should treasure like the NHS. Are we moving backwards to the years of Lords and serfs? Or can we stand united to get what is needed for all of us, not just here but in other parts of the world.’

No change here I think.

‘I have been watching the VE commemoration events. I remember the war vaguely. I was 4 when it ended. I remember the deprivation caused by rationing and the derelict areas where bombs had fallen. Many lost their lives in the war so we could have freedom, justice and peace. Are you ready to fight now for a fairer world? Reflect and think about what you can
do. Stand up and be counted!’

A few years after this blog was written and we are now celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen’s reign. Have your or your views changed over the last five years? Are you still ready to fight for a better world? We all need to stand up for what is right, for peace and respect for all. We need to shine out our light and radiate peace and love at all times. Can you do this?

When you have nothing

The news and social media are full of people in war zones and disaster areas who have nothing left. Houses are demolished in some way or other and there is no water, food or heating. What do you do when you are at that point? The only way is up of course but that can take some time. It was good to see photos of men repairing the roof of their home. But what has happened in many areas is that people are coming together to help those in great need. The events and darkness around them is also full of light as many awake to the fact that certain things are essential for living while others are not.

Some governments are trying to do things which are inhumane and show a definite lack of compassion. But the people in general oppose these things and see the wider picture of how we must help each other if we are to survive as a race of humans. If we are to survive then we must learn to care for each other, to respect our differences and to share not only our knowledge but our food, homes and most of all our love.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help although I feel you should never have to ask. If you are in need of the basic things for living then they should be available from some source wherever you are. We should all be aware of what goes on around us so that we can see what is needed and where it is needed. During the second world war, people worked together to help others with housing, food and clothing. No-one was left to starve or without a place to sleep. The same applies now, we work together in some way to help those in need. Have compassion for others whatever their religion or colour. The most important thing about them is that they are human beings just like the rest of us and have the same requirements in life. We are all connected and from the same source so do not discriminate in any way.

Sorry if this seems to be a bit of a rant but recent headlines make me feel ashamed to be British.


The conversation goes a bit like this. ‘Do you realise that we need clean air to breathe?’ Response ‘Of course I do’. ‘So why do you have a very large car that runs on diesel when you don’t need such a large car?’ ‘It doesn’t really apply to me does it, after all I am only one car and what difference would it make if I had a smaller car or used public transport?’ No-one I speak to seems to understand that we all have to change our ways, every one of us. It is the same with flying abroad for a holiday.We can do it so why not?

During the first weeks of the when we were ‘locked down’ and had to stay indoors except for essential journeys, the air around us became cleaner and the sky too seemed brighter without all the chemtrails running across it. If you stepped outside for some fresh air that is what you got, much cleaner fresh air with not fuel smells. Surely that must have told us something. But now we are back to normal, far too many cars, some of which are ‘souped up’ and patrol our streets bringing noise pollution as well. And the skies are full again and people struggling in long queues to get on planes and ferries to go abroad for a holiday. It seems that no-one is learning lessons here and that the future for us and our planet is of no concern either.

It is the same with all the conflicts in our world. Unless it is actually on the doorstep no-one seems to care. I thought that being human meant we cared about others as well as looking after ourselves and that we helped those who were less fortunate and had compassion for them. We are all one, all part of the same universe and human race. We are all connected in many ways and we need to find that connection and share love , compassion and peace so that we have a future to look forward to.

Thoughts of the week

A new month has begun and there are lots of things swirling around in my mind. I have written about change a lot of times but this week we saw a huge change in the weather. Monday and for several days previously the weather was sunny and hot enough to sit outside. Along came Wednesday evening and it started to snow and has continued snowing on and off since then although there is still a lot of sun. I wonder what this sudden change in the weather will have on the plants, the birds and other animals who have come out of hibernation. For me it was about putting on thick warm clothes again and having hot drinks not cold ones. There is an old saying, ‘don’t cast a clout until May is out’. I have always understood this to mean don’t take off your winter clothes until the end of May or when the May blossom is out.

Quite prominent in my thoughts this week were banned books. When I worked in the library around 1957 there were some books kept locked away but people could read them if they requested them. One of these was Ulysses by James Joyce and another one was The Decameron. Nowadays some countries have banned books that I read as a teenager. These include 1984 – George Orwell, Brave New World – Aldous Huxley, Lolita – Nabakov, Lady Chatterley’s Lover – Lawrence and so on. What do you think about books that are banned? If a book is banned then I want to read it and find out why it is banned. If a book is banned is there something in it that those doing the banning, don’t want us to know?

In my thoughts for a lot of time is the trauma of war. As a child I remember hiding with my mother in the cubby hole under the stairs while the bombs dropped. I now get claustrophobic in small spaces and hate loud bangs. What trauma is building up with those in Ukraine and other countries where there is a lot of conflict? How will this trauma be dealt with if at all or will those fleeing have to sort it out themselves. There will be trauma around the lockdowns during the pandemic as well. I have seen that in some children who won’t or can’t socialise with others and in some adults who will still not go outside. We can carry the pain of our ancestors within us so how many generations will it take to clear the trauma and pain of the current conflicts? I would love to read your comments on all my thoughts this week.