I feel blessed this morning. Although it is cold and frosty, the sky is blue and the sun is shining. I watched the squirrels scampering about in the garden and the blackbirds digging for worms. It was such a joyful experience and I feel truly blessed by this.
Despite the restrictions still in place I took a blood test the other day and then broke my already broken tooth in half. I need to now find a dentist but after I got home that day I discovered that the gardener for this place had made me a small garden patch of my own on a corner of an existing lawn. I can see this small patch of garden from my kitchen window and I am quite excited at the thought of what kind of plants to put there. My son will help with this of course as he is busy growing many plants from seed but they will not be ready to plant out for another couple of weeks at least. But another thing to feel blessed for.
My son is also taking me on one day a week to explore the local environment. There is a lot to see around here on the many lakes formed by old gravel pits and also by the river. This week we explored another one of these nature reserves and after a muddy start the walk was very enjoyable. Lots of fungi and the sighting of a great crested grebe on the water. Another thing to be grateful for and feel blessed.
I love jigsaws as I find them calming and meditative in some way. This week I am grateful for the large pile of jigsaws in the residents lounge which I can borrow and then replace. So a week of feeling blessed and many feelings of gratitude.
Times can be very difficult at the moment and I am so happy that I have a garden. When I was thinking about this blog post the words of the title came to my mind. They come from an old nursery rhyme and this is it.
‘Mary, Mary quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row.’
I did find a more modern one though;
‘All the flowers, all the colours, all in a perfect row, first the seeds and then the water ……’
One thing about having a garden is that you have to care for it. Seeds are sown and watered and then you wait patiently to see then grow. When they are large enough you put them in small pots and keep watering them. Eventually they will be large enough to go out in the garden but water is still very important.
I spend a lot of time every day in my garden. I go round it and look to see what is coming into flower and how much the plants have grown. It brings me such joy at this time of staying at home.
Looking after yourself is important too in all ways, Physical, mental and spiritual care are all important. It is easy to become depressed or just feeling down and I too have days like this. I know on one level that change is coming but the world I would like may not appear until I have left it. I have to trust that all will be well. I know that all is as it should be at this time as we change our perceptions of what life is about. Stay strong and care for yourself.
Why does everything happen at the same time? Or as is happening now, it is one thing after another. Little minor health things and other little things to do with everyday living are building up one after the other. It seems that there is never a gap between each thing that happens and they just follow one another before you have fully recovered from the first one. And somehow I have to fit in the everyday chores of living, cleaning, washing and cooking, etc. But this is a sign of our chaotic world I suppose. Even the weather is chaotic and not normal for the time of the year.
So how do we cope with this kind of thing? Going with the flow was always something I advocated but now even the flow is turbulent so I am not sure I want to just go with it. What I decided to do in the end was to sit back for a few moments and think of ways of calming or taking my mind off what was going on. Music is good for me and I love to listen to it all day. I have my favourite music as well, some of which can be very inspiring but is not necessarily the right kind of music to calm me down.
Again I like to read but some fiction can be relaxing while other fiction can be just the opposite and have you wondering what is going to happen next in the story. I have started painting again which I do find relaxing and takes my mind off other things too but inspiring music is good for this. I love the soaring music of Rachmaninov but I also love the soul searching music of Shostakovich as well. But neither of these are really calming although they do make me feel better.
Just sitting by the window and looking out on the garden is calming. I can watch the birds and butterflies which are still around and relax for a while. The simplest way to relax or calm down is to do some breathing exercises, taking deep breaths to slow everything down. You only need a couple of minutes and you can feel much calmer then.
I wonder how long this chaos will continue. Everything I read about it states that all will be well in the end and that all the hidden corruption and badness in the world will come to the surface to be healed and then we will learn to be who we are meant to be, compassionate, respectful, loving towards each other and helping each other to live a joyful and peaceful life. I hope I’m still around when this happens!
I belong to that group of people who are never to old to learn. But I do hear many others say that they can’t do something because they are too old. I suppose it depends on what you think the word ‘learn’ means. The dictionary definition is this; ‘ to gain knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience.’
I know I love doing courses that interest me but I do them so that I learn something and am not bothered about an exam or a certificate. Recently I have been doing a couple of courses about dealing with pain, one course looking at exercises to control or get rid of specific pain. This was interesting to me as I found that I already did some of these exercises but I still had the pain at times.
But there are many others things I have learned since I moved house. I have learned to recognise the plants in the garden which were new to me and the butterflies and other insects that were also new to me. I learned to ‘drive’ my mobility scooter safely. I have also learned how to adapt to doing things around the house when my hands are painful. So I have never stopped learning, learning mainly by experience in this case.
This topic came about because of a discussion with my son about web design as I have been thinking of updating my web site recently. I did the original one in the late 1990s when I taught myself the language of HTML. Then my son took over and later on a friend. But as an independent person I want to do my own. Am I too old to learn this? I don’t think so. I believe that we all learn something new every day. And the ancient druids spent years studying and learning so as a druid I am doing the same but perhaps in a different way.
The sun is shining and it is quite warm. It makes me feel so much better. This week I have watched a family of plump baby blackbirds learn to feed themselves getting worms out of the ground and now they have flown off to make new lives for themselves. As blackbirds have more than one brood I suspect the parents are now getting ready for the next brood.
I have also seen a pair of goldcrests which look as if they are nesting close by. They come into the garden several times a day. And there are many butterflies including some orange tipped ones.
There are also lots of other garden birds too and plenty of insects of various kinds. A question posed by my son yesterday has made me do some thinking. How do the butterflies know which plant to lay their eggs on. Some butterflies only lay their eggs on specific plants so how do they know they have the right plant? The more I look at the natural world around me the more I am amazed by it and the more I realise that I don’t know about it.
I’ve also seen quite a few bees which is good. I am trying to make my garden friendly for bees and other insects but it is going to be a long job as I am limited in how long I can work in the garden at one time. But at least I have the joy of sitting and watching what is going on in the garden and that makes me feel very blessed.