What a beautiful morning it is. The sun is shining, the blue sky is dotted with small white clouds, the dew is sparkling on the grass and the plumage of the starling is stunning. I stood for some time by my open window breathing in the fresh air and letting the new day soothe me. I noticed a red kite high in the sky soaring then swooping to catch its prey. What a wonderful world it is!
What more could I want or need I thought. But there is much I would like to see in our world. I want to see people going out and about enjoying the natural world around them. I want them to talk to each other, to hug and embrace and to share both good and bad. I want to see an end to war but we don’t seem to learn from the past as war follows war and then another war somewhere else. I want to see an end to the hatred, the racism, the feeling that we are better than others.
It doesn’t matter where we come from, who we are and how much money we have, we all came from the same source and we must learn to honour each other. We need to show our children the right way to live. Some years ago now I read a book by Kent Nerburn ‘The wolf at Twilight – An Indian Elders Journey through a land of ghosts and shadows.’ In this book the elder named Dan talks about teaching our children by giving them a vision of what is right and wrong, and teaching them to help the weak and that giving things away brings wealth. He also states that we need to let them know that they are an important part of the circle of life and if they do not play their part then no-one else can. We are all part of the circle of life and we are all connected in this circle. We need to remember this connection as we go through our daily lives.
I have just returned from a few days away in North Wales. Snowdonia is my spiritual home and I spend time in meditation being there but being there in reality is so much better.
It was good to see the snow capped mountains while walking on Llandudno pier. That was only the start though. The following day was a tour round through Betws y Coed to Llanberis. There was the rushing river over the rocks, refreshing and exhilarating and new buds on the trees. There was a lovely view of one of the mountains I have not managed to climb in my younger days, Moel Siabod, standing there proud against the sky. Llanberis gave another view of the mountains and the stark landscape of Vivian quarry.
The second day was Caernarfon followed by Anglesey and then back round the mountains to Llandudno. Each time we stopped I breathed in deeply, by the sea and in the mountains. It refreshed me and replenished my soul.
The final day was the best. Two friends for whom I am truly grateful organised a taxi up the Great Orme. To stand there with my feet on the earth where ancients have trodden was wonderful. To stand and look out over the sea and the mountains made my heart sing. We walked back down, me with my walker, to the little church of St. Tudno, and sat on a bench looking out over the sea watching a ship go past and the sun glinting on the blades of the wind turbines. Peaceful as well. I not only have new memories but more photos as well.
I am going to copy here the words of a poem I wrote many years ago but which came to my mind on the Great Orme.
I felt the earth beneath my feet,
I saw the sky above,
I felt the throb of my heart beat
In wonder and in love.
I give thanks for the days spent there and for my two friends, Viv and John who made the trip up the Orme possible. It has meant so much to me to be able to tread the land of the ancients and of my forebears. Despite the pain I feel it was a wonderful time and I am blessed.
There is something special about snow. It is white and pure, dazzling when deep and glistens on the trees and ground. I love the way it rests on the branches and on the shrubs like a layer of icing on a cake. I love to see the animal footprints on it when there are large areas of white snow. You can see where animals and birds have been that you might not actually see at other times.
It also muffles the noise so silence can prevail. Even the traffic noise is quieter. It gives me a feeling of peace as the incessant everyday noise of communal living fades into a quiet sleepy humming noise. It is still quite early in the morning as I write this but later there will be children around in the nearby gardens making snowmen and having snowball fights. There is enough snow in some places for toboggan rides as well. There is also a gusty wind which is blowing the snow from the rooftops.
But if you can’t go out in it then watch it as the snowflakes fall gracefully. Each snow flake is individual. There are many photos of individual snowflakes and you can see how amazing they all are. I am one of those who can’t go out in the snow but I can watch it falling and settling on the trees and the ground and see how beautiful it is knowing that each flake is unique. Nature is wonderful. Enjoy it while you can. Enjoy the stillness too.
My photo was taken yesterday in the garden here. I love the way the tree branches are outlined with snow.
This week has been quite stressful as workmen have been in changing my bathroom to a wet room. The first day was the noisiest day so I went out on a trip to Trentham Gardens which I love. There were some amazing flowers to take photos of and the lake was beautiful. It was a good day to let go of stress. The rest of the week was less noisy but there were delays when materials had not been delivered so I tried to get out up to my local pond as often as I could but all the walking eventually brought on more pain.
One afternoon at the pond was really lovely. The sun was shining and there were dragonflies of various kinds flying around, some laying eggs. Another day I saw the heron but he flew away just as I arrived. Another day I watched young birds in a nearby garden. This morning I saw a wren, a blue tit, a coal tit and several starlings.
This is my way of dealing with stress and with the constant pain that I have. I find being in nature such a healing experience and I always want more even though my trips to the pond are limited by my mobility. I can see that a mobility scooter might be a good idea. I did have one once and it makes a lot of difference to where you can go but you do really need a good one for rougher ground.
My downstairs neighbour looks after the garden in front of our flats and we have discussed having a bird feeder out there hanging on one of the trees. I think this is something we need to get soon so we can feed the birds in the winter. There are many different kinds of birds in this area because of the pond area and the nearby nature reserve.. Watching the birds will also help when I get stressed.
How do you deal with stressful days? Do you get them often?
Having moved to a new house and a new area I have had to change my daily routines quite a bit. I still get up early but have discovered that visiting the local pond early is good as there is much to see. But another visit later in the afternoon allows me to see different things so some days I get two short visits. I then have to fit in all the other domestic things like washing and tidying up as well as going out to do other things like project work at the museum. I am now settling down into some kind of routine but allowing myself to do things spontaneously as well as that is also important.
I love my new camera and the pond and really enjoy the peace and quiet of that space. I love to see the birds and butterflies as well as the damselflies and dragonflies and it is good to see that other people in my housing complex go there for the peace and quiet too. These daily visits will keep me going when the days are dark and dreary as they replenish my soul in many ways. There is something about an open space and water that lifts my mood and I hope it does so for others.
I am also pleased to see that others walking up there also notice the wild life even if they don’t know their names and appreciate what they see. So new routines and some new projects to work on as well. I hope you, my readers are enjoying time out in the natural world and finding joy in that as well as peace.
My son came to visit today and we set off first to look at the local pond then after lunch we went to the nature reserve on the other side of the road. It was warm and sunny and lots of damselflies and dragonflies around to see. So much green out there and beautiful water to watch as well. We then came back had a short break and went back to the local pond where we watched a dragonfly sitting on a thick blade of grass then diving off and then returning. Amazing to see them close up on camera. Their wings and bodies so clear to view when caught on the camera and such a wonderful sight.
I am always amazed at what nature can offer me. Not only that but the peace and tranquility of the area around the water is so refreshing and brings me such joy. I had found this week that I was getting a bit depressed with the rain and the dark skies but that all changed when I got out there today. Science has now proved that being in nature is good for us and I can definitely agree with that. I hope you like the photo of what I think is a skipper butterfly.
Earlier this week I went to sign all the papers and collect the keys for my new home. Within a couple of minutes walk is a small country park. As I was early for my appointment and feeling a bit stressed I decided to take a look at this small park. There was a small pond with a few reeds and irises around it and a man sitting quietly fishing. There were several seats so I sat down for a while listening to the most wonderful birdsong and enjoying the peace and the sunshine.
After a while I decided to explore the paths I could see. One went back down into a street while another one wound upwards through the trees. I took this upward path noticing the blossom on the trees and the wild flowers. It was not long before I had to return for my appointment but that short break in nature had destressed me. I know I will be there often to sit and enjoy the natural world around me.
I am sure that we all feel stressed at times and science is now proving that being out in nature can help us and is beneficial for our health. I hope you know places like the one I have found and use them for reflection and replenishment. I am adding a couple of photos to give you some idea of what the park is like.
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.
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.
Last week I wrote about Trentham and how much joy it gave me to walk around the estate. This week while out there a woman came by and said ‘What joy in nature there is here’. We smiled at each other in recognition of our similar thoughts and she moved on.
But then I started to think about other things that bring me joy. I am creative, I write, paint, make music and do various crafts. Creating things is a large part of my life. This week I have been creating music and photo slideshows. I learned how to do this earlier in the year but had forgotten some of the technicalities involved so another learning curve began. After some frustrating moments I did this and the following day a friend suggested I load the video to YouTube and so I learned how to do this as well. But just looking and listening to this video brings back the memories of that time in Trentham and so it brings me joy. The actual work involved also brings me joy. Here is a link to this;
But there are many other things that bring me joy like playing the piano and composing my own little pieces of music. So this is my ‘hobby’ at the moment and although I use the computer for this as well it is very satisfying to learn something new each day. The learning itself brings me joy.
My photo this week is from a series taken last year but when I look at this photo I see so much beauty that I feel joy too.