Although I am still ‘taking time out’ in many respects I felt I wanted to write about this theme. I originally thought of writing a book with the above title but decided that it would be far too unwieldy and very pricey to publish. So I decided to make several scrapbooks instead. There is an art to making good scrapbooks and I have made many in the past. This time round I purchased three A4 size scrapbooks with a brown cover and brown pages inside.
I pondered for some time about how to do this but decided that taking specific places like my garden and various nature reserves for each book was the best way. Then came the task of sorting photos for printing. I have thousands of photos on my computer dating from when I had my first digital camera. I also have three or four boxes of photos from before that time.
What I noticed when going through these thousands of photos is that very few were of people or buildings and most were of landscapes and the beasties that live in the landscape. I have found photos of dragonflies taken in 2015, hiding away in a different folder than where they should be. But it has been a wonderful experience looking at the photos and remembering when they were taken and who I was with at that time.
Choosing which photos for the scrapbook is very hard though. I love all my dragonfly, damselfly and butterfly photos so how can I choose just one of each kind? It is the same with the photos of birds feeding in the garden and the many pictures of flowers. I need more ‘time out’ in order to do this but I felt I would like to let you know how I was using my time out.
Officially we are now in the winter season. I have noticed how the trees stand proud against the skyline with their bare branches. I see my hedge getting much thinner with large spaces so I can see through into the garden of my neighbour. The birds are still there but keep hopping out to feed on the conveniently placed feeder. I love the days when the sky is clear and the sun is shining. There is something special about the winter sky and the landscape around us.
But winter also has a special meaning for me It is the time when I take stock of what the year has brought me and look at how I have dealt with it. There has been a lot of sadness and grief this year and that has been hard to deal with but getting out occasionally amongst the trees has helped enormously. I have also looked at what I have achieved or not achieved as might be the case with some things. Are there lessons to be learned from this and can I do better next year. I find the winter months with the shorter days gives me more time to contemplate what has gone and what is to come in the future. I can do the stuff that I have put on one side while I have been enjoying the summer times. I can unpack the boxes still left to do since I moved earlier in the year. Maybe I will find the items I have spent hours looking for but still not found!
I also stock up on food just in case I cannot get out. I am old enough to remember the years of heavy snowfall when nothing stirred so make sure I will be OK if anything like a heavy snowfall arrives and stays with us. But most of all I am looking forward to the Winter Solstice, now in less than three weeks time, when the light returns and the hours of daylight start to lengthen. I have lots of new things I want to try next year so I shall start planning them now, making sure I will have everything I need to do these things.
So a time for contemplation, planning and enjoyment is what winter brings to me.
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?
It has been another busy week with offers of things to do but the best things were the walks in the local countryside. I love being out in nature and love to see the wildlife as I go. Today was a wonderful stroll and a look at different small paths that led away from the main path. Even found a tree to hug as well.
But some of the offers of things to do this week I will have to think about. Writing my latest book has reawakened the ‘spirit’ of search if you like to call it that. I want to look at some of the topics I studied in the past and see how much they have changed. I feel the need to do more ‘spiritual’ work than I have been doing. It is as if I have been taking a break and doing lots of other work like family history and local history. Maybe the time is now right to work more on other things like healing, astrology and so on. I need to get back into a different routine but also enjoy the daily walks which really do fill me with so much pleasure. It is good to have company too especially if my companions think the same way as I do. That is a bonus!
This week is going to be chaotic as my bathroom is going to be turned into a wet room. Tomorrow is the start of the work so I will be going out on a trip to one of my favourite places, Trentham. Hopefully the trip there will help me to make more decisions about my way forward.
How do you make decisions? Do you act intuitively like I generally do? Or do you think long and hard about things first?
It is only in recent years that I have been visited by the black dog. I cannot remember it ever happening before about five years ago. I got very depressed at that time and wouldn’t go out or do anything. Counselling helped and I know how to deal with it. But recently it has happened more often and I am trying to find out why this is.
Up until about five or six years ago I was still very active and ran workshops and groups for various subjects. I have run a family history group for a very long time and that enabled me to meet others with similar interests. I also ran groups where we learned about colour, the tarot, numerology and other similar things.
Today I am much less mobile and have to use public transport to get anywhere and I do find this hard as buses never connect properly and you spend a lot of time waiting at bus stops. Every few months the bus companies change the timetables and this makes it even worse and also confusing. I do have projects on the go, for example, I am working with a group of other volunteers on a project with the local museum. I also have my own projects on family and local history to work on and possibly may start to run a family history group here where I live.
So plenty to do and a pond close by where I can walk every day at least once. But the black dog has been hanging around for some days now and visited me in a heavy manner the last few days. I do find it hard to live in confined spaces and I have heard others say they feel they are living in a cage and I suppose that is what it feels like at times. I like to feel space around me and lots of light and I have not had that anywhere I have lived in the last few years. That kind of home is hard to find. My mother used to tell me I should live in a field and I think maybe she was right!
But I am dealing with the black dog by making myself go out up to the pond and walk along the paths. I had company this morning, a local dog owner who has become a friend so that should make it easier now. If you get visits from the black dog, how do you deal with them?
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.
Even the Queen commented on the numbers of traumatic events which have occurred over the last few months and how people are coming together to help each other. Traumatic events often trigger a ‘spiritual awakening’ and people become aware of what life is really about. They also begin to see how they have been manipulated by those higher up and in charge. It is not easy to deal with all of this. Not only have they lost someone or a home but they also have to deal with their grief and anger.
One thing I have noticed over recent years is that any misdoing does not remain hidden for long. It soon surfaces and those who did the misdeed have to come forward and face those who were harmed. For many this means going to prison for their misdeeds. It also seems to me that more of us are working together to get changes even basic ones that help us to live better and safer. The truth always comes out so watch out for more and for more traumatic events.
But changing the subject so I end on something more positive, I spent half an hour or more this morning by the local pool which is less than five minutes walk away. It was peaceful, the birds were singing, a man was fishing and I saw damselflies and other insects. The grasses had very heavy seed heads and it was all so refreshing and replenishing for my soul which has felt the sadness and anger of the last weeks.
No questions to ask you this week. I am sure you can think of some yourself but enjoy the photo.
Well, I am on the move again this time to a flat/apartment in a retirement village where there is all you need, small shop, cafe, places to sit in the sun and lounge about, hairdresser, etc. It is a lovely place but where I will be living is smaller than where I am now so more items to dispose of. I have already found homes for some of the smaller items but I have larger items of furniture to go as well. This is good as I can hoard things like many of us do. Sometimes we hoard or keep things because they have an emotional link to the past or to someone we knew. So now is the time to let some of those items go.
It made me think about how we also hang on to feelings about events which may have occurred several years or even decades ago and how these feelings affect our current life So I am also looking at this aspect of clearing out and have already changed my perception of some feelings I had about events in the past. This feels so good. It is not good to hang on the feeling of anger when things go wrong as this can make you physically ill. I do think that as we look back at events in our lives we often look at them through rose tinted glasses until the reality finds it way in. So clearing out unwanted feelings about the past is a good thing.
But back to my new place now. Nearby within about a few minutes walk is a small country park with trees and a small pond. I shall be spending time there and hope it will inspire me to keep writing and maybe to do other things. I see this move as an opportunity to live somewhere where the care I might need is there when needed but I have my independence too. It might be a challenge to downsize but I am getting there.
Sorry about the cars in the photo but I love the shape of this tree.
It is such a beautiful morning here in the UK. It was like this yesterday as well and I have always hoped that days like this make people feel happy and balanced. Not so. Recently I have felt anger around me, in shops, on the bus and in the town. It is like a huge volcano waiting to erupt. This feeling has been simmering for a long time. I first felt it a couple of years ago and have watched it grow and grow until it will soon erupt. But how will this anger erupt? Will there be strikes, violence, fighting or other things?
Some of this anger and hate seems to be erupting on social media. I have always tried to keep the peace and have often posted on social media trying to calm things down. This no longer works. I only hope that the anger is because people are waking up to the injustices of our world and not for other reasons. But much of what I see and hear is directed at people of other colours and this is so wrong. We have allowed the media to brainwash people into thinking they are the only ones of importance and that any one else is not worth thinking about.
But as I wrote in a previous blog post we are all connected spiritually and genetically, in Europe at least. Where have things gone wrong? How have we come to the point where only the rich matter, where those who are less well off are at the bottom of the ladder where health and a living wage are concerned. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening and we seem unable to stop this. Is this why people are angry? Hate is of course rising again like it did in the 1930s. We should be looking at the similarities between us not the differences. How can we help these people to release anger safely and to change from hate to love?
We have a beautiful world, let’s enjoy it in safety and in peace. Let anger wash over you and fade away, let hatred be changed to love. Let the sun warm your heart and mind and open it to the real potential that we all have, to find peace within us and in the world. It is time to live in harmony.