It has been a long hot dry summer but the last couple of weeks have brought us some rain which has been very good for the garden. One day last week I opened the door, as I do every day, to let in the fresh air and to give thanks for all around me. This particular morning was different than the previous ones. It was cooler and fresher but there was also a distinctive feel and smell of the coming autumn. It’s not something I find easy to put into words but the feel and smell is something I recognise and know that autumn is on its way.
Looking back at the days of summer I see lots of flowers, their wonderful colours still there for the coming days. I noticed the number of birds too. I have a large thick hedge at the top of my garden and it has been home to several broods of birds, blackbirds, sparrows and robins. It has been a wonderful experience to watch them grow into adult birds. This last week a sparrowhawk visited as well. Luckily all the smaller birds were safe in the hedge and surrounding bushes.
I have also noticed the large number of bees visiting the flowers. But many of the flowers are there specifically for that purpose, to attract the bees. There are not so many now but they are still coming finding other plants attractive when their favourite ones have finished flowering.
There has been a large number of different butterflies visiting the flowers especially the buddleias which are commonly known as butterfly bushes. I have also seen damselflies and dragonflies whizzing around the garden but not often settling for photos! The plum tree and the brambles (which are not really wanted as they stop other plants from growing) have done exceptionally well and I have lots of fruit in my freezer. There were so many plums that I have been giving them to neighbours. Someone said it must be the fifth year as you get an abundant crop every five years.
But what I have noticed the most is the abundance of everything. There has been wonderful colour, and food for everything that comes into the garden, and watching the birds trying to get the blackberries and plums has been entertaining at times.
So now the season is changing and there will be different things to watch and to do as well. But my main thought at this point in time is ‘Abundance!’
The weather this week has been stormy. Dark clouds rushing along in the sky and heavy rain showers. The leaves are being blown off the trees like magic carpets rushing along. But there are still many beautiful coloured leaves around and of course the weather is making the fungi grow.
But like the storm moving onwards, my thoughts have been doing just the same. I have been going deeper in Reiki seeing it more as a spiritual path than as a system of healing. I find myself drawn to the Buddhist aspect of this but know that Buddhism is not for me. I know others who manage to meld together various different spiritual paths and make it one of their own. In some ways I have done this, taking a lot of knowledge from the Native American paths and mixing it with druidry. Now I am adding the spiritual aspect of Reiki to the mix.
If you ask 100 druids what druidry is you will get 100 different answers and I feel this is the same with Reiki and other paths. We are all individual and we are all unique and therefore our spiritual paths are unique to us too. I find that I take from each path what I feel is right for me and then I have this mix of different beliefs and paths. Is this something that you do as well or do you follow a specific path?
I am also moving on into the darker months of the year as many of us are, when I feel I want to create more, to journal more and to be restful. Somewhere deep inside me, is the germ of another book but it has yet to grow big enough to do something about it. Maybe the darker nights will encourage it to grow. But life is a journey and it goes on every day bringing more experiences, more joy and often more sadness as you get older. I have reached an age where many of my friends have passed on. I have to dig deep and continue to do what I need to do and also what I want to do and progress even more on my path. Moving on is a continuous process. How do you feel about this process?
Moving forwards is how it feels so I hope I really am doing this. I have continued to work with the Reiki precepts this week and also taught my first Reiki student for some years. That was an amazing experience and an emotional one too. I have learned so much more about the Reiki energy and how to work with it over the last few years and I am still learning. I have found some good books about Reiki as a spiritual journey and these have given me many more ideas about deepening my work with Reiki. I feel different too which is good as the difference is for the better.
The weather this week has stopped me from going out a lot but I have been keeping an eye on a young swan on the nearby pond. He was pushed off the nature reserve by two dominant swans and is alone at the pond. He was rather battered when he arrived but there are plenty of us to keep an eye on him as dog walkers go past several times each day. I sent him some Reiki energy too and he has done well this week having moulted all his grey feathers and is now able to fly better. I have let the area round the pond have Reiki energy for some weeks now so that all that visits stays safe.
But the weather is cold, wet and windy here now. The wind has been coming over from Siberia bringing extreme cold air with it. The leaves are falling rapidly from the branches and there is a carpet of gold, red and brown leaves on the ground. I can see houses I didn’t see before as when I moved here the trees were in full leaf. It is going to be interesting watching the changing of the seasons here. I notice that we have more birds on the feeders and the squirrel is busy collecting food and hiding it away somewhere. It is time to stock the larder and find the woolly jumpers and thick socks so I am ready for the winter.
Are you ready for the cold of the winter?
If you work with any form of healing energy do you use it for the land around you?
What a change in the weather this week. Not only has it been very wet but it has gone much colder. The leaves are changing colour rapidly and trees are now less leafy so you can see the birds better. There are blue tits using the new bird feeder and I hope to see many more during the coming colder months. There are more ducks on the pond although three of them flew off this morning! But I love going up to the pond in the early morning if I can. This morning though, for the first time I could hear the drone of traffic. This could be because of the wind direction and also because there are less leaves on the trees to absorb the sound. I noticed too the spiders webs this morning as they glistened in the aftermath of the last rain shower.
Some of you might know that I am a cycling fan and this week I can only sit and admire the feats of one particular cyclist. He has won the Tour de France several times now and this year has gone on to win La Vuelta, the first man to do so since the Vuelta changed places in the cycling calendar around 1995. He is an unassuming man but works hard to do what he does and always thanks his team for their support as without them he could not do what he does. I am writing about Chris Froome of course and I do wonder what challenge he will find next. He also took the time to learn to speak French and is then able to have conversations with notable people in the race management. In public he is always polite and does not have the quirky character that some other cyclists have which means that often the British public do not like him very much despite his achievements. I find this rather sad that we cannot look beyond what we see on the surface.
This applies to other things and people as well. Many of those who are in constant pain always say they are fine when they are not really fine as they don’t want to be pitied by others. Is this a British trait or do other nations have the same kind of feelings? I know I’m just as bad as often when asked if I am OK I will respond with a yes even though I might be feeling unwell.
So a mixed bag of things this week. Are you seeing and feeling the changing of the seasons? Do you see beyond the face value of things?
What a beautiful morning it is. The sun is shining but there is a chill in the air. The dew on the grass is sparkling in the sunshine just like gems do. There is a stillness too; it is as if the plants and animals are waiting for something. There are huge fat rose hips and juicy blackberries on the bushes as well as loads of crabapples. It looks like a good harvest.
The mallards have returned to the pond joining the pair of moorhens who live amongst the lily pads. It was so peaceful this morning when I visited the pond area. My bathroom is finished and the stress has gone so I am more mobile and able to enjoy the beautiful landscape around me. I can see the leaves changing colour now, some gold and some turning brown. It will be interesting to see what it is like in the winter months.
My neighbour and I put up a birdfeeder on Friday so we are now waiting to see what kind of birds arrive. There are many different birds around here including predators as well. But I love the tiny wrens too which nest in the nearby hedges.
My new book is finished and I am waiting for a proof copy to check for any spelling errors I have missed previously then it will be available for everyone. I will put details on here when it is ready. So now I am looking for new projects but have found a couple of half written books from some years ago so will work on those first.
This week I have also replaced one of my very large chairs with a smaller one and then moved my computer desk which I no longer use and given the swivel chair away. It has made a lot more space for me to move around and I feel better for the larger space. Little things like moving furniture around can make such a difference.
I hope you enjoy the coming days as autumn returns to our land. Tell me what you like best about the changing seasons.
Deciding what to write about this week has been quite hard. There is so much going on in the world and in our lives that choosing the right thing did not come easy. So this is maybe a bit of a ramble about different things. First of all autumn is definitely here. There has been a distinct change in the colour of the leaves this week and one or two trees are almost bare. The wind is much colder and any flowers left blooming in the garden are dropping their petals and dying down. A new set of shelves sits in my garden now with pots of spring bulbs on them. They are complete with copper slug collars to deter the slugs from eating the bulbs before they even sprout.
This week seems to have been full of challenges, some larger than others. Little things like my mobile phone deciding not to work as well as the scanner and then a download from the Record Office refusing to download. Other challenges are physical as my arthritis plus whatever else it is has flared up quite strongly. I had a knee replacement ten years ago and I think it is now wearing out! So getting out and about has been somewhat restricted.
But there are good things too. I am doing a course at the local museum and this is very interesting and has enabled me to meet new people who have at least a few things in common like local history. I would like to find the druids who are lurking somewhere but I am sure they will appear when the time is right.
Yesterday was what I call a truly autumn morning, misty with a chilly feel and some dark clouds heading my way. I went out though to Trentham for a short walk along the lake side and through the trees. It was beautiful and peaceful as I was earl;y before many others had arrived. I found a new fairy sculpture too. There are around sixteen of these now and they are made of wire. This one was very beautiful and I took a photo of her silhouetted against the lake and sky. I felt so at peace with myself walking along the edge of the water, so much so that I found myself chanting to Mother Earth.
The trees are still mainly green but there are patches of brown and yellow leaves among the green. Two things fascinated me about the trees. One holly tree had a broken branch and the leaves on that branch had all turned to a rich brown colour. On another tree, there was a branch with leaves at different stages of their changing colour. So some were green and yellow, others going to red and brown and so on.
The cygnets on the lake had disappeared and in their place were beautiful white swans, a pair of which were doing some kind of mating ritual or that is how it seemed. Looking out over the lake I saw the rain clouds approaching and decided to head back via the cafe for a cup of tea and a toasted teacake. Then it was head for the bus stop in the rain. By the time I arrived home it was pouring down, real heavy rain which lasted until early evening when the sun came out. Strange weather but I felt the benefits of my short walk in nature. It makes such a difference to how I feel and move.
I hope you all take walks in nature, it is so refreshing and replenishing.
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.
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?
I open the back door each morning when I get up. One morning this week, when I opened the door, the scent of autumn met me. It is hard to describe this scent, sort of moist with a chill to it but there it was, definitely an autumn scent.
So on my next walk to the bus stop I was more observant than usual and behold, the leaves were turning, some yellow and some brown. There were nice crisp leaves on the ground too. Unfortunately the wet weather had destroyed the ripening blackberries but other berries had survived. The rose hips in my garden are ripening and will soon be ready to pick while the rowan berries are doing well too.
The landscape will be so different when the trees are bare but it will have its own beauty. There is something special about each season when it comes and I find them all equally beautiful. Autumn has such wonderful colours, reds, yellows and browns. Even the ferns turn brown and so do other plants.It will be sad to see the flowers die but then I shall be looking forward to the spring bulbs. There is always something to look forward to and hopefully in the coming couple of weeks I shall be able to visit Trentham again as well as other local nature areas. I will of course be taking lots of photos to record the changes of the seasons.