Summer is here again, very hot and sticky weather, thunderstorms, torrential rain and some dull cloudy days. Typical British weather and typical of the British we also complain about the weather. It is too hot, too cold, too windy and so on. It seems as if we are never satisfied.
So today is one of those dull cloudy days with a drizzling of rain. But the rain is good for the garden and enables the plants to grow and also means I don’t have to carry a watering can around to water the flowers.
I lay in bed this morning thinking yet again about choices. As I am retired and live alone I can do what I want when I want so if I wanted to I could stay in bed all day and do nothing. But that is not the kind of person I am. I am a get up and go type of person although I do take time out to relax. But it is my choice to get up, what to have for my breakfast and what to do with the rest of the day. It is my choice to write this blog, to do the filing later and to enjoy reading a new book and the latest family history magazine.
Obviously when I have appointments with the dentist and the osteopath my choices are defined but I also make a choice to go and visit these people. Life is all about choices. The choices we make, define us at that point in time. Some choices we make might be good ones while others may not be as good but we make these choices and they give us our path to follow.
Many years ago now I chose to follow a druidic path with a dash of Native American ideas within it. I chose to learn about Reiki and other stuff such as astrology and numerology. These choices have defined my life ever since and I still make choices about what else to learn about, what to read about and whether to become more involved in some of these things. I believe that we learn something new each day in one way or another and that does seem true. Recently I have learned more about insects and also learned more about how vaccines are produced. I have a thirst for knowledge of one kind or another. I think that is a very good thing but others might not agree with me. There is a saying something like better the devil you know than the one you don’t know. So I learn as much as I can about things that interest me even if that interest does not last long. I don’t think I’m unique in this but I do get funny looks sometimes!
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.
We all go through different experiences during our lives but do we learn from them? As a child we probably do, after all if you are told not to touch something because it’s hot and then you touch it, you most likely will not do that again. There are emotional and physical experiences as well as mental ones, that come to us all during our lives. Do we deal with them in appropriate ways and then learn from the experience or do we hide it all away and try to forget them often making ourselves ill in the process.
There are the deep emotional experiences such as grief, death, divorce and accidents where our lives may be forced to change so we have no choice about learning from that experience.
This last few months most of us in the world have been going through a different experience of lockdown or isolation. It is likely that we have all dealt with this in different ways. Some will have coped well while others will have gone into a depression or have found it mentally hard while others with physical problems who need to exercise in some form or other may have found that their physical health has deteriorated.
Most of us learn to adapt to a new situation and we are going to have to adapt even more as our world changes. This pandemic gave us an opportunity to learn what is most important to us and the world around us. Many have chosen to ignore those lessons so I believe that something else will happen to make people think hard about their lives as well as the continuing of the pandemic. On a soul level we are ready for this new world but it will consist of a lot more change and upheaval as we adjust. Stay strong and go with the flow knowing that all is as it should be and will be.
This last week or two has shown people working together to try to make politicians change their minds and realise that climate change is important. In some areas we have already seen good results from this and the subject of climate change has become important where before it was ignored.
I learned many years ago that trying to do something important like making changes in the world around me, was much harder on my own. If others joined me then we got results. But this applies to so many other things, like helping the elderly, the homeless, those with disabilities and so on. One person alone won’t change things although change does start with you, yourself. It needs a lot of people to make change happen.
So finding others who think and feel the same way is important. I am always very pleased when I meet new people, if I find they think the same way as I do, as someone once said ‘we sing from the same hymnbook’!
But first of all we have to rid ourselves of the conditioning from our childhood and further back too, and the conditioning of our current lives. It is easy to just go along with everything but when things get really bad and you wonder why, then that is the time to change and become who you really are, not the conditioned human being generated by years of abuse and conditioning.
I am in the process of listening and watching the movie, ‘Time of the Sixth Sun’. I am finding that so far, much of what is being said is something that I have known for some time but have been unable to do anything about. But we have to make change happen and together we can do this so find out who thinks like you do and get together to make those changes,
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.
After the massive devastating storm which ravaged the east coast of the USA, many thoughts have crossed my mind. But a few words that someone said after seeing their home totally flattened stay in my mind. She said ‘It’s only stuff’. It is well known that traumatic events change peoples perception of the way they live their lives. They find out what is really important to them and change the way they live accordingly. We all hoard things we no longer need. I am as guilty as the rest here but this year I made a decision to give away a lot of things I no longer need or use. I feel much lighter now.
I was not surprised by the storm. Earlier this year I was reading a book which discussed what would happen in the near future regarding the weather and a great storm on this particular part of the coast was forecast. Looking at storms here in the UK, we have had more damaging ones than usual and more floods due to heavy rain. One thing that has always amazed me is that we persist in building homes on flood plains. No wonder we get flooded homes. We have not looked at the way our landscape works and listened to the ‘messages’ of the past. We, as humans, seem to think we are above the elements. But there are many of us who know that we must learn to live with this and plan accordingly.
We need to take a look at our lives and think about what we really need to survive. We need to think about the way we ravage our land and planet and change to a more loving way of caring for the land. Are there enough of us out there to make these changes work? I hope so.
I am not posting a photo this week. Take a look at the photos on the news pages about the storm and see the power of the water.
We all seem to have busy lives and we rush from one place to another so that we can do all the things we think we have to do. But we miss so much. I watched a mother hurry her child across the footbridge over the local stream because she wanted to get home quickly. The child wanted to see if there were ducks or fish in the stream, but did not get the chance to stop and look. If we don’t give our children the chance to observe nature how can we expect them to respect it later on in their lives?
The bridge over the stream is a short cut for children going to and from school and people going to work or to the shops. In the last year I have only seen two parents stop and let their children look at the stream. One mother brought her child especially to feed the ducks.
I often stop and watch when crossing the bridge. I have seen the stream in full flood with muddy swirling water rushing past almost as high as the bridge. One side of the bridge looks upstream to a tiny waterfall. The other side, the stream goes between tall buildings close to the edge of the banks. But here there are buddleias and a small elder tree. There are lots of little inlets where ducks can hide and lots of large stones which can hide various larva such as that of the caddis fly. I saw a kingfisher earlier this year and my son saw one last weekend. I remember standing still to watch the kingfisher and is seems that he was very aware of me. When I blinked, he moved and was gone. How did he know when to go?
There are plenty of tiny fish in the stream and when you ‘tune’ in to the water you can see them clearly. It can be a magical place despite the buildings and the factory car park but there is no access down to the stream. Perhaps this is a good thing as it prevents human damage to the unique habitats within the stream. Unfortunately I do not have a photo of this stream but I will show you another photo of the country park where the stream has its source and after the heavy rains.