Looking back

We are often told not to look back but to be ‘in the now’ or to look forward to the future. But there are various reasons why we can look back and times when it is good to look back.

I like to look back at my life journey so I can see what I have learned, or not learned as the case may be, so I can  decide what I need to do next. I can reflect on my journey so far. I also like to look back in history to see how countries and people have changed over the centuries.

Looking back at my life can also bring to mind some wonderful memories, some which I have shared with others and some when I have made journeys alone. Yesterday I went out with my son and his partner to a local, wildflower farm. The sun was hot, the sky a clear blue, the flowers colourful and the butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies were out in abundance and stunningly beautiful. Tea and cake added to the day and it will be a day to remember when in years to come, I cannot get out to enjoy nature.

In my history/genealogy research, I am of course looking back, but I try to find out what life was like then, what people wore, and how they lived so that I am in a way bringing them alive. It enables me to see how much our world has changed in the last three or four hundred years.

So looking back for me is important. It enables me to make changes in the way I live my life and it also enables me to see how I do things differently than my ancestors. Do you look back and if so do you reflect on what you see? Does it help you to change the way you do things now? Does it help you to find out what is important in your life as it does in mine?

Here is one of the dragonflies from yesterdays memories.

24jun6

 

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Helping others

Helping others is something I try to do. It can often be just a hug but hugs can mean a lot and do produce a response in the chemistry of the body making us feel better. I also try to be there for other when they need to talk. Sometimes talking to others about a problem can help you to see the problem more clearly and find a solution.

There are many other ways of helping others of course, most of which I am unable to do, such as offer to give someone a lift in your car to the shop or an event or you could offer to do some shopping for them.

Looking at this from the other side, as it were, I am often in need of help but being an independent type of person I am reluctant to ask for help. So if none is offered I try to manage on my own as best I can. For my trips to the art and craft club I use the volunteer car service (this is not free) and I am very grateful to those volunteer drivers.

There are times when I have to ask for help but I am always reluctant to do so. Is this because I don’t want to be refused? Or is it because I don’t want others to feel they have to help when they don’t really want to?

Asking for help and giving help can be a complicated situation but nowadays we seem to forget that help can be needed by others and are often reluctant to get involved. I have been lucky this week as I was offered a lift with the photography group to visit the bluebell woods. That gave me the opportunity to experience something I could not have done otherwise. The same friend also offered to fetch me a bag of compost for the garden. (If you read this Chris then many thanks again) This kind of help is important not just for me but for others who cannot get out to visit nature. Nature helps us so much enabling us to feel so much better.

I would love to read your thoughts on this topic.

bluebell6

A good week

The sun has been shining and I am sure that makes us all feel better. I certainly do and getting out in the country park has helped as well. Planned visits to the doctors have also brought me what I needed, an injection in my wrist next week to help me cope with the arthritis which makes writing and doing anything in the home difficult. So all good overall.

Yesterday was spent in the garden with my son, mowing the grass and planting more plants. A walk in the country park followed, me on my scooter though but still very enjoyable.

I have watched the hedge get greener over the last week and it is now almost completely green. The birds are busy chasing each other and building nests. There are butterflies too, small tortoiseshells and some white ones that might just be female orange tips. While cutting the grass a frog jumped out. He had a lucky escape but the area where he was is very marshy and in fact was almost a pond. My son saw a grass snake in the country park and the trees there are in full blossom like the one in my garden.

It is a wonderful time of the year when nature awakes and starts to show us her glory. I feel so blessed to be in this new home and to be able to enjoy it as well. Being in nature is so nurturing and revitalises my soul. I hope you enjoy being in nature as much as I do. Today will be a lazier day but I shall spend time watching the birds and butterflies in the garden and enjoying doing just that. The simple pleasures in life are often the best.

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A mixed week

Despite the dreary weather and the onset of sciatic pain there has been a lot of good things happening this week some of which have brought me great joy. As usual after moving house there is always a lot of paperwork to do and this time has been no exception. I am still working on this as some change of address letters can only be done via the post.

I have bought myself a new mobility scooter which will be used a lot while I have this intense sciatic pain. The scooter will enable me to get out even if it is showery so I hope to get down to the country park soon which is not too far away.

I have managed to get all my new plants that were ready, planted in the garden where some of them shot up several centimetres the following day as they enjoyed the space around them. I still have about thirty plants in pots which are not yet ready for the garden itself.

My main joy has been sitting and watching the birds in the hedge, some of whom have built a large nest. I think this is the pair of blackbirds who are busy getting worms from the garden. One day a butterfly visited and I managed to get a photo through the window. It is not as clear as it would be had it been taken outside but it is quite a good photo anyway. At least I think so.

At six o’clock this morning the sun was shining but it has disappeared and there is a mist. It does look as if it will improve though and if it does I shall test my new scooter and head for the country park. But whatever the weather does I can enjoy watching the wild life through my windows. Nature heals as well as giving pleasure so I hope you all find time to enjoy being out there too.

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Circles and cycles

I was thinking about cycles especially. The words from the song ‘Windmills of Your Mind’ were going round in my head which led to my thinking of cycles. We all know about the cycles of the seasons, the cycles of our lives and so on. But how many other cycles do we know of?

When I visited the local pond on Monday it was completely frozen over. When I went two days later, the weather was warmer, the sun was shining and the reflections in the water of the pond were extremely clear. Another kind of cycle. Water to ice and then back to water.

If we look around us we can see so many small cycles going on. The weekly cycle of days, the daily cycle of hours, day turning to night then turning to day and so on. One of the cycles in my life is a creative one. I am in the creative part now, busy writing a new book, but then there will be days when I rest and let my mind do other things before returning to the writing.

One thing I noticed is that circles are never ending but cycles can end. It depends how you look at them. Take our lives for example. We are born, become children, then teenagers, then young adults and then grown ups. Eventually we die and that is the end of our cycle unless you believe in reincarnation when your cycle of life begins again elsewhere.

For me the cycles within nature are the ones I love. I see the seeds falling on the ground then hibernating until the warmer weather comes. Then small shoots appear, then leaves and flowers and when the flowers die we get the seed pods which open and let the seeds fall to the ground and the whole cycle repeats. I love to watch this happening. At the moment the willows have their little furry buds and the hazel is showing off its catkins. Another cycle is ongoing.

How many cycles do you see going on at the same time? I can think of lots more but will leave it to you to think about.

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End of November ramblings

We had the first snow of the coming winter the other day. I woke up to a covering of white but it soon disappeared although there were flurries of snow during the day. There has been a lot of rain too and everywhere is wet underfoot which makes walking difficult for me where there are lots of wet leaves. Today I walked with a friend to Ford Green Hall a beautiful old mansion. There was a Christmas Craft Fair there today and it was very busy. We walked both ways and enjoyed the damp trees and misty landscape.

Outside my window the trees are almost bare of leaves and I can now see the many different birds sitting on the branches before using the bird feeder. This is giving me an opportunity to take photos of the birds again as I could not see them before because of the leaves. I love to see the trees now when you see their shape better and the way the branches grow out from the trunk. There is something special about them now and when the frosty days and nights are here too. On the nature reserve there are many different birds now as well as those that have been hidden amongst the leaves. There is always something to see and notice when you take a walk however short the walk. I walked back from the hospital the other day and the sky was clear. It is downhill most of the way but quite steep in places but is less than a mile to walk. I stopped and admired the view over lots of houses where there used to be fields but in the distance the moorland beckoned.

The approach to Christmas seems to start earlier every year. As a druid I should not really celebrate this festival but celebrate the Winter Solstice and Yule instead. However I like to celebrate them all but more of that to come in a blog next month. The photo is of Ford Green Hall taken in the rain this morning. I could not avoid the tree as the grass was too wet to walk on.

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Trying to stay positive

When you are surrounded by negativity, staying positive is definitely harder. Each day when I go to sleep I count my blessings and am thankful for all that I have in my life. If I stay in my flat all day and sneak out to the pond once in a while then staying positive is fairly easy. It is when I get talking to some of the others in this retirement village that the negativity creeps in. In a community of this size there are always bound to be those who moan continuously and those who are constant complainers. There are a few who are more positive but they are in the minority.

What is it about people that they are always negative? Nothing is right for them and they constantly go on about various events in a very negative manner. They seem stuck in their lives and unable to move beyond the negativity. I have tried to help with this but some are extremely resistant to change. I wonder what has made them like this? Getting old can be frightening especially if you are ill and/or alone but there are still many things in life which can be enjoyed. There is Bingo for those that enjoy it but some still find things to complain about with the bingo sessions. I really feel for these people as they are missing out on so much enjoyment in their lives. Trying to get them outside in nature by the pond is a no-no even though it is less than five minutes walk away.

So what can I do? I need to stay positive so I can help others but the resistance to any kind of change is so strong that it is unlikely to ever happen. I have lived in other communities but have not seen such a huge amount of negativity as I have here. Is this because the place is so large? Or is it just the people who live here? How do I get them to see that there can be more to life than sitting staring into space?  Even a walk around the garden would make a difference. I shall keep trying and smile at them more than I already do.

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