There are times over the last 18 months when I have felt moments of despair as I noticed what was going on in the world around me. I wrote a few weeks ago about our world with a lot of questions. The events of the week, both personal and global led me to write a poem with more questions. Here it is.
Hope and Despair
I look around the world and sigh. What is the matter with humankind? Why is there war and desecration? Why do people see themselves As better that anyone else?
It comes down to greed for more land and more money, No thoughts of anyone else. How can we change the way people think So they will change their ways?
I have no answers but do have hope Although I sometimes despair. There must be a greater plan around If we are to make our world fair.
Are we still getting rid of the old to make way for the new? It doesn’t really seem that way But I’ll hang on to hope as long as I can And help others to feel the right way.
I am rather exhausted as I am packing boxes to move house. Books on shelves take up more space when in boxes and I feel that once it all goes into my new house I will not be able to move for boxes.
However, the current weather of sunshine and frosty mornings makes me feel better. There is a warmth to the sun and it gets stronger each day. So here is a poem I wrote some years ago.
Ode to a Spring Sun Watching the sun rise over the hill, Bringing another day; Warming the Earth, helping the land, Bringing new life awake. Birds are singing in the trees, Buds are bursting out, Green shoots appear on the brown earth, Feeling the warmth of the sun. Watching the catkins dance in the breeze, Welcoming the sun, Wonderful sun, warming the earth, Bringing new life awake.
‘Hope springs eternal’ are well known words. But this last week has brought a lot of hope to the world. I have seen the snowdrops coming into bloom and that is showing me that spring is on the way, new life is ahead and there is hope for a better world. But what really resonated with me this last week were the word so of Amanda Gorman and the inauguration of Joe Biden as President. The poem is about and for America but the words can be relevant in any society. And those words were powerful.
The last three lines of Amanda’s poem were as follows;
For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.
I don’t really need to write any more as those few words say it all. Fill yourselves with light and shine out so you are seen. Be the lighthouse for someone who needs help. Be a beacon of Light. Shine out!
Imbolc, Brighid’s Day, Candlemas or whatever you call this time of the year, all lead to the coming springtime with the same kind of thoughts and feelings behind them. For me, February 1st is also a sad time as I remember a dear friend on this day, her birthday, although she left us for the Summerlands some time ago. So a time of sadness and also joy as I see the land renewing itself.
I noticed that the flood waters have receded and some farmers have been able to plant seed for future crops. I noticed the growth of the bulbs in the garden as they push up shoots strongly from the damp earth. Some plants are also in flower, the Elephants Ears, the Aconites and some other small plants whose names I cannot remember. Of course, the snowdrops are in bloom too.
New life, new beginnings are foremost in my mind. I have made plans for things to do and make in the next few months before the longer days come into being. But there is hope as well, hope that all the divisiveness of the past few years here in the UK will be lost and we will come together and learn to work together in peace, with respect and with love. There will be changes as well but we need to accept these and look at the effect that they will have, then act accordingly. We will need to make sure that everyone, whatever colour, creed or whether ill or disabled, has the same opportunities to live their lives peacefully and without any bullying or nastiness from others.
We all come from the same source and we all share the divine spark even if we think we don’t have that spark. Find that divine spark and know that we are all one, united in our world and working together for peace and love for that lives on the planet. Blessings of the season to you all.
A new calendar year is approaching. As a druid though I have already started my new year at the time of the winter solstice when the light returned. But the calendar new year is also important. This coming year is also the start of a new decade.
2020 is coming. I am very interested in numbers and see 2020 as very important. It is the start of something new that will make people more aware of the way they live and the environment around them. People will I hope start to treat those around them with respect and love, caring for those less fortunate. I hope they will learn that everything is connected and whatever you do, say or think, has an effect somewhere else.
What do I hope for this coming year of 2020? I already feel energised especially since I noticed the shoots of the spring bulbs appearing in their pots and the new buds on the shrubs and trees. They give me hope. The natural world seems to continue on its way whatever we do to it. When forests are cut down it is not long before other plants start to germinate. Life is always there.
Floods and fires continue to cleanse the land clearing away unwanted energies from logging and the wrong ways of farming and other agriculture. Floods and fires also tell us that we are not looking after the land in the right way. But back to my thoughts and plans for this new decade of opportunities. 2020 gives us 365 days of opportunity. What are you going to do? I am going to live each day wisely and continue with my creative work as well as making sure I help others when needed. I shall also be looking after the plants and visitors to my garden. I shall be outside in nature as often as I can helping me to stay healthy both physically and mentally. I shall try to eat in a healthier way being aware of how my food is grown and produced. I shall also look at what I wear and how I furnish my home. Can I change anything here to make it more natural?
So what will you do in 2020? I hope you can spread peace and love around the world as well as hope for us all.
There is a lot of uncertainty in our world today but what can we be really certain about. Thinking about this I found very little that I was absolutely certain about. For example, the sun rises and sets each day is something we are sure about. There are many things we feel certain about but are not necessarily so, like knowing I will still be here in the morning. Anything can happen to any of us at any time so nothing is certain.
So how do we deal with uncertainty in our lives? Much depends on what we are uncertain about.Where going to events or making new friends is concerned I have a way of dealing with any uncertainty. If asked out somewhere and I say that I’ll think about it, that generally means a no answer. If it is something I really would like to attend then my response would be immediate. That’s about trusting my instinct.
The best way to deal with uncertainty is to live in the now, in the present. Yesterday is history and we can do very little about what happened then. So today is what is important. I do the things I can and enjoy them, mainly, I try not to put off things that I can do today but have to pace myself so I don’t wear myself out. This means that I know that some things may never get done if anything happened to me. But that is life.
There is a lot going on in the world, some of which we don’t really want to think about because the effects of these events is not certain as we do not know exactly what is going on. There is nothing we can do about this until these events happen so there is no point worrying about them. Living in the present and enjoying each day as it comes along is vital. Uncertainty is so much a part of our lives but it does make us think more about ourselves and how we live.
You can of course make plans to deal with what might happen and if that makes you feel better, then do it. I try to plan ahead for some things and make lists of things I need to do to make sure of certain events in the future. When you get older and you realise that your life on earth may end in the next few years then you do make plans so that when you go, it will be easier for others. But even then there is an uncertainty about the timing so living for each day is still important. I read somewhere that you should live each day as if it was your last. A good way to live then!
Extremes are in the news at the moment but they have been around for a very long time. But lets take the weather first as that is very current. There have always been extremes of weather but we seem to be getting more, possibly because the climate is changing. So we have lots of flooding and lots of drought. These bring their own problems, like landslides and forest fires which both devastate the land around them and people’s lives as well as the wildlife which also lives there. But we are unable to change these events so far. However, such events often bring out the best in people and they all help each other to get back what they have lost. But a question here, does it change their lives?
We can look at extremes of beliefs next. There are some very right wing and some very left wing thinkers around. They each have their strong beliefs and many try to get rid of those who don’t agree. This turns into dictatorship and is not good for the many who don’t have the same beliefs. How do we deal with such extremes? Compromise is essential and we all need to think about what is fair, not just to ourselves, but to others who share our planet. What is best for one person is not necessarily any good for another. We are all different with different needs and this needs to be considered at all times.
Sometimes it can be easy to see if something is good for all of us. Take a large car for example, made in this country. That benefits people by giving them a job, it benefits those who buy the car and drive it, therefore benefiting those who maintain the car. But against all of that, we need to consider emissions and air quality. Not easy is it.
I am a great believer in changing what I can and trying to work with what I can’t change. This applies in all parts of life and the ways of my life. I feel that is a start and try to encourage others so that extremist views may at some point become a thing of the past.
It has been quite a sad and emotional week. Here in the UK we have been remembering all those who died in the First World War as today is 100 years since the Armistice was signed. It was meant to be the war that ended all wars but it was not long before another world war started. Since the end of that one there have been many other wars and conflicts and some are still ongoing. I sometimes wonder if we are ever going to learn that war means death for many and strong emotions for those left behind.
I wonder how much is remembered by our bodies about war. I was born during the Second World War . For many years I said that I remembered the bomb dropping on the houses not so far away but when I researched it I found that the bomb had dropped exactly one week before I was born. How could I remember it? I also do not like enclosed spaces. I suspect this is because my mother always hid under the stairs during bombing raids and I was with her in a small enclosed dark space.
So if I remember these things and know how it has affected me, how do others cope with what they have seen and experienced during a conflict. There were many atrocities which seem beyond the understanding of human beings but they still continue. Man’s inhumanity to man continues every day somewhere in the world. When will we understand that we are all equal whatever colour, race or creed and we all need to respect that and work together. If we can’t do this then there will never be a world wide peace.
So today as during the week, I am remembering all those affected by wars and conflicts as well as those affected by large natural disasters and any form of terrorism or shooting events. The trauma left behind is not easily dealt with and can linger for ever.
Here is the Druid prayer for peace. I welcome you to use it whatever creed you have.
Deep within the still centre of my being
May I find peace.
Silently within the quiet of the Grove
May I share peace.
Gently (or powerfully) within the greater circle of humankind
May I radiate peace.
May we remember all those who died and the reason why.
Hope is a word we use a lot. ‘I hope you are well’ or ‘I hope you get what you want’ are two examples. There are many more as I am sure you well know. But what do we mean by ‘hope’?
Generally in the cases above it is a feeling of expectation or a desire for something to happen. In some cases it is merely wishful thinking meaning ‘I’d like you to be well’ or ‘Id like you to get what you want’.
But hope can be seen as a capability to motivate ourselves and others in order to reach goals that we want but these have to be realistic of course. So many of us hope for things to happen that are definitely not realistic or to have things that we are never going to have.
However hope is important and can help people to get better when they are ill. If they believe they can get better then hope will help them to do so. If you are hopeful then you are also optimistic. Hope gives us the ability to see possible good in the future. Hope can make you feel positive and can improve your health. Hope creates self worth and gives you the strength to keep going. Hope gives you motivation which enables you to do things you had not known you could do.
Hope allows you to approach problems with your mind set on success. If you have hope, you can face the most negative times in your life with positivity. Hope therefore improves your mental health. Hope allows you to see opportunities in challenges; we often say ‘Look on the bright side’.
Here is a quote from Emily Dickinson ‘Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul — and sings the tunes without the words — and never stops at all.’ And one final quote, author unknown, ‘Hope is the dream of a soul awake’.
Over the years I have read an amazing number of books but some resonate more than others. I remember reading the Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing some twenty years after it was written.It had a big impact on me but what I remember most now is the ending where people lived in gated enclaves and gangs roamed the streets. I have since read all of Doris’s books. The second book to make a big impact was Armageddon’s Children by Terry Brooks. From what I remember the book was set in the year 2060 or 2070 and it showed a derelict planet, ruined by nuclear and other wars and some survivors living in high protected buildings and children hiding in ruins and scavenging for food.
I try to remember that these two books are fiction but the scenarios are nevertheless quite possible. I look at the world around me in towns and other places and see gated enclaves with huge steel security gates. I see small gangs on the streets threatening and bullying others There has not yet been a nuclear war but it gets ever closer as countries fight with each other, mainly over land and religion.
I play games on my computer but avoid those that have any kind of warfare. But I do know people who play these games and some of them seem to feel that the land in the game is the real land. I have often thought about our planet and wondered if this is real or are we living like puppets in a reality controlled by others. Scientists have proved that there are other realities so how do we find them and go to live in them if they are better than what we have now. Is what we see around us the real reality? Or is it a fantasy land we dwell in controlled by others? If this is our reality then how can we change it to make it better? How can we work to stop terror attacks? How can we help people to see that getting drunk and using drugs is not the way? I could go on for much longer here but I think I have said enough to provoke you into thinking about our world I’d love to read your comments on this.