Reaching a crossroads

Crossroads are so different from a fork in the road. A fork in the road only gives you three choices, back or one of the forks. A crossroads gives four choices, back, one of the side roads, or forwards. Big choices to be made then.

I remember several years ago I was out walking in the woods with my friend Simon. We reached a crossroads on the tracks so sat down on the convenient bench that was there. We were undecided which way to go so I said that I’d sort it. I stood in the centre of the crossroads, invoked Great Spirit and asked for a sign for which road to take. As I sat down again on the bench I heard Simon say ‘Wow, just look at that’. I turned to see and there was a huge hare sitting in the centre of one of the tracks. As I looked the hare disappeared. There was our sign so that was the track we took. It led us to see deer, a slow worm and many different birds that we had not seen there before.

But sometimes, it is not so easy to decide which way to go. Do I go forward or do I take a road to the left or right? Or do you go back as you are not ready to take one of the other roads? Sometimes you know instinctively which is the right road. I do think that whichever road we take will be the right road for that moment in time. Later we may think it was the wrong one but I expect we learned something from that decision. I always feel that whichever way we choose, it is one we take to learn something and is part of our ever winding path of discovery.

This blog is rather short as I have a shoulder problem which is making typing difficult but hope to do more next week after a few days of rest away from home.

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It’s not just about plastic!

Whether you believe in climate change or not, scientific facts show that over the ages of the earth, the climate has gone cold then warmed up then gone cold again. A few years ago I attended a lecture about this and saw all the evidence. However this current rise in temperature is more steep than ever before so it is believed that we have something to do with that. But I want to look at other things. Take our rivers for example, it wasn’t until about 1960 that polluting our rivers was made an offence, but the rivers were still polluted for another decade. It is still an offence but out rivers are still polluted in many places. Accidents happen at factories which discharge water into the rivers and canals. When this happens fish die and all the other life in the water as well. River water is often used for our domestic supplies after some filtration but the drugs we take which pass into our urine don’t disappear so that some of these drugs, hormonal ones for example, affect the life in the rivers as well.

And look at our oceans, full of plastic, stuff that has been thrown overboard from cruise and cargo shipping. Natural disasters like tsunamis also pollute the oceans filling them with debris washed from the land.

So what about our air, the air we breathe? In some cities air pollution is so bad that people wear masks to help stop the polluted air from entering their lungs. One day last week I walked into town down a fairly busy road. It was a busy time of the day and the fumes from the petrol and diesel filled the air and I felt I was choking. Now where I live is only a small town so what is it like in larger towns and cities? School runs are bad for this. When I was young there was little choice in which school you went to. You went to the nearest one and walked or cycled. Central heating and factories all put out pollutants into the air. At least we now have cleaner air than we had when I was a child and the factories belched out dense smoke every day. Other air pollution is caused by radio waves especially those used for your mobile phones. Mobile phone masts are a huge source of air pollution and radiation.

So how can we change this? If we were not so greedy and wanting so many material items, such as clothes, new phones and other gadgets, there would not be the need for them to be made. Mobile phones are made using rare materials which will run out eventually. Why do we need to devastate forests to make items for our use? Do we need these items or are there alternatives that do not destroy our forests? We have to look at what we wear, eat and use. Do we really need a lot of clothes that we might wear once a year? Do we need to eat foods that have to be imported? Do we need to fly to exotic places for holidays? Do we need to have large petrol guzzling cars?

I’m sure you can think of many other things but these are just a few for your to think about.

Some food for thought

This blog is somewhat different from normal. Over the last week or so I have been pondering various questions. I am still thinking about some of the answers. So my blog this week is going to list the questions I have been pondering. The answers are for you to think about. They are not in any particular order.

Do you know who you are?

Are you ready to work for change?

Do you work with nature?

What is your vision?

How does what you do feel in your heart?

Do you trust what is in your heart?

Do you dare to dream?

Do you do things for yourself at the expense of others?

What is your vision of the future?

Do you take time to sit in silence and listen?

Do you need more or do you have enough?

Finally, I am a grandmother and have been thinking about what I want for my grandchildren. If you are a grandmother, what do you want for your grandchildren?

Working together

This last week or two has shown people working together to try to make politicians change their minds and realise that climate change is important. In some areas we have already seen good results from this and the subject of climate change has become important where before it was ignored.

I learned many years ago that trying to do something important like making changes in the world around me, was much harder on my own. If others joined me then we got results. But this applies to so many other things, like helping the elderly, the homeless, those with disabilities and so on. One person alone won’t change things although change does start with you, yourself. It needs a lot of people to make change happen.

So finding others who think and feel the same way is important. I am always very pleased when I meet new people, if I find they think the same way as I do, as someone once said ‘we sing from the same hymnbook’!

But first of all we have to rid ourselves of the conditioning from our childhood and further back too, and the conditioning of our current lives. It is easy to just go along with everything but when things get really bad and you wonder why, then that is the time to change and become who you really are, not the conditioned human being generated by years of abuse and conditioning.

I am in the process of listening and watching the movie, ‘Time of the Sixth Sun’. I am finding that so far, much of what is being said is something that I have known for some time but have been unable to do anything about. But we have to make change happen and together we can do this so find out who thinks like you do and get together to make those changes,

Walking your talk, balance and inner knowing

I have heard these words so often over the years, ‘Walk your talk!’ So I am pleased to see so many people starting to do this. It is very easy to talk about what you can do to recycle, or to respect others, or to help to save the earth for another generation. But do you actually do anything about it?

I started to talk to others about all of this and then managed to get a group of people together to talk about what we could do but to actually do something as well. We’ve only met twice so far but ideas are plenty and actions are starting. You can’t just sit there and do nothing!

But looking at the plastics problem I have found clothes made from bamboo and some with bamboo and cotton. Both of these grow so that in itself brings another problem. If we all decided to have bamboo and cotton clothes then growing the cotton and bamboo would take over areas meant for other things to grow like food crops, trees and various plants. So there has to be a balance.

Most of us have lots of plastic items in our homes. Some plastics are never replaced and that is fine I suppose. It is the single use plastic that is the real problem, the pop bottles, the plastic bags for food and so on. Here again we need a balance.

Some thing else that cropped up this week is inner knowing. I have knowledge at times that I know has not come from something I have learned but is inside me. Where does this knowledge come from? A example came to my mind. Years ago my mother said to me ‘Don’t go in that room, you could cut the atmosphere with a knife.’ In that room people had been arguing. Today I know that it was the negative energies that could be sensed but how did my mother know this (she was born in 1916)? She also said the wind would blow the cobwebs away if I went for a walk in the wind.Cleansing the aura of course. So does this inner knowing come from our ancestors or are we born with it?

The plant is Honesty!

Freedom

Over the centuries people have fought for freedom and today some of us think that we do have freedom. but do we? The definition of freedom is the right to say, think,and act as you want. It is also a word used when someone has been freed from prison or from other places or events. People have fought for better housing, better pay, the vote for all and unions to represent us in the working place. This fight for freedom has gone on for centuries and still does.

But do we really have freedom? With freedom comes responsibility. We cannot act as we want if it harms others so we try to be responsible in our actions. The same applies to what we say or write. We avoid hurting people with words as well.

But are we free to do things that others do that are perhaps good things. The answer is no as some things are only available to those who have money. Look at our current Parliament. Would you be able to become an MP if you were for example only a labourer in a work force?

But we do have quite a lot of freedom generally. We can choose where we live and who we marry if that is what we want. But there are often other things attached to that. If you don’t have a car then you can’t live in some very rural villages even though that might be best for your health.

Also we conform to criteria of what is expected of us. We go to school and wear uniforms then later as teenagers we all wear the same kind of clothes because our peers do. Freedom is the choice to wear what you want so why conform?

But doing certain things like stealing breaks the law so you cannot do everything you might want to do. However if you are a considerate, thoughtful, caring human being who respects others and everything else on this earth, then you will not want to steal or send hate mail or do things that would upset others.

Many years ago I used to say that freedom was a state of mind. I suppose if you feel free then you are free. But we need to be aware that many of our freedoms are gradually being taken away from us, When you have to think what you say or write because the powers on high are watching you then that is time to think about how to change things for the better. I remember reading the book 1984. That future is here now. Stand up for your freedom and be counted. Vote for change for the better when you can and support others doing the same.

Before the Internet

A few weeks ago I was looking for something in my filing cabinet and came across a dissertation I had written in 1964. I had written this while at college training to be a teacher and studying music. The pages were yellowing and brown around the edges. The typing was raggedy and inconsistent in colour. The music examples were fading as they had been hand written in blue ink. The work had been typed on a manual typewriter where you hit a lever to move to the next line. The pages were 8 inches wide and ten inches long not A4 as we use now.

Several thoughts came to my mind. How on earth did I manage this on a manual typewriter, 20,000 words or more and all the music examples? It must have taken me days to write. Then there was another thought, how did I find out all the information? There were no computers or search engines. The library and bookshops were my sources for the biographical information and descriptions of the music. I also used music scores as well. Listening to the music was done on a record player, the vinyl records playing at 33 rpm.

I decided to retype this and get it published via lulu, the company I use for my books so I had a much better copy of the work I had done. This was easier said than done however. I am managing the typing bit although there are lots of foreign names in it and strange characters that other languages use. A Google search helped me to solve that problem. So what about the music examples? I have music notation software but some of these examples were so complicated and would have to be printed and then scanned in order to place them in the document that I decided that handwriting them after all was the best policy. I still have to scan them but I find it quicker to handwrite them than to do them in the music notation programme.

While retyping, I am also learning. I have forgotten just how much I knew about these specific composers and their music which are the topic of the dissertation. It makes me realise just how much we learn at times during our lives and just how much we can forget as well. Do our memories only hold a certain amount of information so that when it is full like the memory on the computer, we have to erase some to make room for more? Some food for thought there! So this is an interesting experience. Not only am I relearning old stuff I am learning new stuff as well. Below is a scan of one of the original music quotes. The music is by Vaughan Williams.

Gardening

There is so much chaos in the world this week that I decided to do some gardening to get away from it all. I have quite a large garden but a lot of it is grass. The back garden is raised above the level of the house so it is easy to work in as I don’t really have to bend down.

I have weeded, moved plants around and generally got my hands dirty. There is something about working in the soil with plants which are growing and therefore alive. I talk to them and encourage them to grow and they have done. Most of my plants in the garden at the moment are perennials so grow every year and they spread too. It is good to see how much they have spread over the winter months and many are already flowering. What joy this brings to my heart.

I then decided to fork over a small patch near the bird feeder. I recently moved some plants here after splitting them. They seem to be settled are starting to spread again.. After I started digging the birds rushed off but then settled in the nearby hedge watching me so they could pick up any worms that appeared. So I had company for that part of my gardening work.

Then it was time to water as the ground was quite dry. I have a lot of plants in pots as well and they needed water too. My little greenhouse has some pots in it which also needed watering. Salad greens are sprouting as are the peas. I am looking forward to eating them later in the year.

But what joy and satisfaction I gained doing this work. I had worked with the element of Earth and then Water and Air was all around me. My inner Fire gave me the energy to do the work so a good day with the elements.

Here is a photo of one of the plants in my garden.

Finding the balance

We have just celebrated the Equinox, a time of equal day and night. I have been taking a look at what is in balance in my and our world and what is out of balance. Looking at myself first of all, I have noticed that some things are in balance while others are not. If we look at our emotional, physical and mental bodies, are they all in balance? I think my emotional and mental bodies are in balance but not my physical one so I must find ways to deal with this. Next I looked at how I spent my days.

I am retired so don’t have to go to work but I do spend a lot of time working, either writing, making music or writing music and doing art work. Of course these could be considered as leisure activities! But sometimes they can be very hard work as well. I try to find a balance between doing these things and resting, taking time just to sit and stare, generally at the garden. I have been watching the blackbirds building their nest. It is a beautiful nest but I don’t want to disturb them by getting too close so I have not taken a photo of the nest. But watching the birds is an important part of my day. There are many of them and many different ones even though each one seems to have a character of its own.

There are many other things to look at for balance, do we/I overeat? Do we/I drink too much? Do we/I get angry or sad? Both of these make you out of balance especially anger. I look at the world around me and find very little of balance there. Our world is in crisis and our leaders seem paralysed and cannot make decisions to do the right thing. They are too busy fighting amongst themselves and making sure they get plenty of money to look out for the environment and the people they serve. So trying to keep myself in balance is important. I hope you can all do the same. Surely if we ourselves can stay in balance it will influence our world.

Bardic skills?

During my work with the druid order I never thought of myself as a bard. I always thought I was more aligned with the Ovate work, healing modalities, working with trees and plants. But looking back at what I have done and still do in my life I am beginning to think about my bardic skills.

I have always been a musician, I learned to play the piano at the age of seven and still play seventy years later. In the early years of my teaching career I composed the music for songs for children and remember being interviewed on the local radio while the children sang.

Since I was at school I have always sketched or painted and still do. But what is new over the last 20 years is the fact that I now also write. I have written several books, some of poetry and some about druidry while others are about local and family history.

Looking back at some of the poetry I wrote about twenty years ago I see that much of it also carries a message. Around the year 1999 and also in 2000 I set some of the poetry to music and made a CD. I have been looking at that recently and seeing that I can do better now where the music is concerned so I am busy re-arranging the songs so they have a piano accompaniment. I am also looking at setting other poems to music.

To me these are definitely bardic skills even though I never thought of them that way before. So here is a poem taken from one of my books and a photo taken early this morning.

The hope of Spring

Watching the new spring leaves unfurl
Gives me hope in a chaotic world;
New growth springs from the dark
Of the winter and makes its mark.

Signs of growth are everywhere,
The birds and trees all doing their share.
So in this dark material world
Is there light ready to be unfurled?

Can we look inside our hearts today
To find a better more spiritual way?
To live without such ugly greed
And only have what we truly need.

We do not need large houses and cars;
We do not need to travel to Mars;
Some clothes and food and a rainproof roof
Are really, truly, quite enough.

So watch the new spring growth today
And think about a spiritual way
To live your life with love and care
And cherish all, if you dare!