This week I feel I have seen a some little shifts in consciousness around me and within me. Shifts in consciousness involve opening up to aspects of our being that we have hidden away. I suspect that really I have just got back to where I was earlier in my life but have deepened what I already know and do.
I have had a busy week meeting friends for the first time in over a year. I have had discussions about healing energies, past lives and other similar themes. I have been out in nature as well and have noticed more of the tiny insects that are out there. I have been chanting in the mornings, something I have not done for a long time. I feel more at peace and even more at one with the natural world than I have before. So is this a shift in consciousness?
I think it is although I am not really seeing things in a different way but in a more deeper way. I have loved to see the different kinds of insects in their environments and learn what they eat and how they live. I feel all of this is important as we learn about the connection between everything that lives including plants and the land itself. Without understanding this connection we cannot change anything and change is important as long as it is the right change.
On another level but still connected I decided to spend a lot of money on good shoes. My feet are deformed and walking is painful but I know of a shoe company that produces the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. If I want to do a lot of walking in woods and around lakes then I need comfortable shoes. I have already noticed the difference. As I walk better and without pain I am able to notice more of what is going on around me. And that is all good.
I spend some time every week out in a nature reserve somewhere with my son and there is always something that fascinates me. This week it was the Brimstone butterfly. I have known for some time that it lays its eggs in buckthorn. We were watching a female brimstone on Thursday fluttering around the hedge in a local reserve. It went from one to another then found one to settle on and lay an egg. She flew off and flew around before coming back to another similar branch of buckthorn. Now what fascinates me is this – how did she know which branches were buckthorn? Does the branch exude some kind of smell or what?
There are other things about nature that have happened recently, like the frogs and toads going back to where they were spawned. How do they know where to go? We, so-called superior beings, have to use maps or a Satnav to find places yet the humble toad and frog head off crossing roads and fields to get back to where they were born.
In the summer I spend hours watching dragonflies and damselflies during their mating dances and the laying of eggs. I have watched the birds displaying their mating dances too. How fascinating is all of this. They do these things naturally and know what to do and when. How clever they are. We do not understand a lot about our natural world but it fascinates me whether I understand it or not. I feel that we underestimate what animals, birds and insects can do. Photo taken by my son who has given his permission for me to use it here.
A new year brings new opportunities even in our current situation. As I am at home most of the time I made a few decisions about what to do and how to do it. Last year I recorded life in my garden and the nature reserves I managed to visit. I noticed how things changed, how seedlings sprouted and grew into strong plants, how the flowers bloomed and how the insects enjoyed it all. I noticed which plants certain insects preferred and made sure I would plant more of those for next year (this year). I watched the birds find their mates and build their nests and then feed their young. I fed the hedgehogs as well until they hibernated. I saw many different insects in the garden and read about them so I knew more about protecting them.
2021 is the year to get closer to nature, to see how the tiniest insect or plant is of importance to the soil, the other plants and the other insects. All of nature, including ourselves is interconnected in multiple ways. If we learn to understand this we will also learn a better way to live. We will be more conscious of where our food comes from and how it is grown. We will be more aware of how our clothes, cars and gadgets are made and whether they harm our environment.
A deeper understanding of our connection with Mother Earth will enable us to understand more about the way we live our lives and we will be able to make better decisions about all of this. If you don’t have a garden or access to a nearby green space then you can find a good photo on the internet and use that for meditation and to search for plants and insects in the photo. There are plenty to choose from.
If you have a garden then you can keep a close eye on what is going on. I have flowers in bloom now during the icy cold. I have cowslips, a purple yarrow, elephants ears and a tiny plant with white flowers that keeps close to the ground. Watching new leaves sprout is an amazing thing and seeing bulbs start to poke their shoots above the ground is very good to see. New life appears every day.
If you have access to a park or green space then use this and watch what happens or has changed each time you visit. There is a lot to see even in January and February. What birds are around? Can you see new growth? Build up that connection with all that is. Deepen it and let it change your life. Happy New Year to you all, may you find peace and love and a deeper understanding of life.
I seem to remember words to a song going like this,’Summertime, and the living is easy’. I suppose that living is easier in the summer and there is so much to enjoy. I love the blue skies and the sun shining but I don’t like it too hot. The garden is full of different insects. The bees are bussing around the cotoneaster hedge and in the many other flowers.
The young birds are learning to fly and to use the bird feeder. It can be amusing to watch them as they find a way to perch on the feeder. There are so many of them this year. There must have been at least 3 different nests in my hedge as the broods of fledglings arrive in fours and fives.
I already have a lot of flowers in bloom and many more to come as summer progresses. I can see ladybirds in plenty and other flying insects. Soon there may be damselflies and dragonflies as one of my neighbours has a pond.
The hedge is alive with the noise of the birds and insects. It is also very green. One of the things I love about this time of the year is how green everything is, so alive.
But now the Summer Solstice has passed the night is creeping slowly over the day, making each day that little bit shorter. Years ago I wrote a poem for the Solstice. Here it is now;
Solstice Prayer It is the time of the longest day When the Sun is at the height of its power And as the Sun watches over us and feeds us all So we feed our Inner Fire. May the power of the One unite us all Bringing hope and peace to our planet; May the Ancient Wisdom, the Eternal Truth, Be warmed by the Sun this day Let us join together in peace and love, Let the Sun shine within our hearts, Let the Child of Light guide us on our way, As our world is filled with peace and love.
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.
A visit to see a favourite tree was both sad and joyful. The tree was over 300 years old and was much loved by many. I had not been able to visit for around 10 years and sadly this visit was to find the tree was no longer there. Whether it was felled or fell naturally I will never know but it was a splendid tree. But a short walk into the woodland revealed glades filled with wild flowers and many species of butterflies and insects. I don’t remember seeing so many different species in one place for a long time and these glades were so colourful and often scented.
This week I heard a well known gardener talking about how his garden helped him to overcome depression. How wonderful are the natural things around us, not only beautiful to see but also healing as well! Although I feel sad at the loss of the ancient beech, I also feel joy at seeing the natural life in the woodland. The ancient beech inspired a poem several years ago (see Poetry and Prose my first book) so maybe the wonderful wild flowers may do the same. Take a walk in the woods or along the lanes and see how many different plants you can find. Two photos for you this week