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.
We seem to be getting more periods of extreme weather in the last few years. These range from snow and ice to floods and extreme heat. Last week it was warm and sunny and a definite feeling of spring in the air and then overnight the temperature plummeted to below freezing and we have lots of snow and ice together with a strong wind blowing the snow everywhere.
I feel for the plant and animal life. The birds had started their mating rituals and some were building nests. The spring bulbs had dared to show their faces and were blooming well. What effect will this extremely cold spell have on them?
As humans we are able to adapt to the spells of extreme weather whether it is cold or hot but the animals and plants cannot deal with these extremes so easily. Is this a new weather pattern or a sign of climate change? Whatever it is, it could affect our food supply. Extreme cold or flooding and even heat can affect the way our crops grow. We hear of drought in other countries and how that affects all of their inhabitants. The UK also relies on other countries for some of its food so there is much to think about.
One of the things I have noticed over recent years is the way that the seasons have become less defined. Summer and autumn last year seemed to just be one season. Is this also something for our future climate here?
But I was ready for the spring. I had a feeling of expectation, of new things ready to happen especially as I am about to move house again. Now everything seems to have been delayed but hopefully not for long and the sun will soon shine again and the flowers raise their heads.
One other thing which crossed my mind was the solar storms we have been having and I wondered if they had anything to do with these extreme weather patterns. Food for thought! Of course the wind is cleansing, blowing away all the negativity around us which is good and the icy cold kills nasty germs so maybe these extreme weather spells can be good for us.
It has been a roller coaster of a week. But what can you expect. There was a Blue Blood Supermoon on Wednesday with all the things that a full moon brings into your life. And it is Imbolc, or Candlemas or Brighid’s Day whatever you prefer to call it.
But there are definitely signs of spring around. Hazel catkins, snowdrops, pussy willows and lots of other spring bulbs pushing through the earth as well as loads of buds getting fatter each day. The birds are singing well too.
It is also that time of the year when I start to spring clean and give away any unwanted items. It also clears away any old energies especially negative ones that clutter the air around me. This is even better this year as I hope to move to a nicer place quite soon and that was a part of the roller coaster ride this week, looking at a possible new home. I had time to sit on a train looking at the landscape around me. The day I travelled out was a cold wintry day. The fields were covered in a heavy white frost and had a beauty of their own. It looked as if some of the water on the marshes was frozen but the ducks and other birds were still there. Coming back the sun shone until I got back here when there was a flurry of snow and hail showers. The changing weather never ceases to amaze me. One day the sun can be shining very warmly while the next day or even a few hours later it can be snowing!
But change is what life is about. If there were no changes we would get bored and live a tedious life. Change is what makes other things happen, sometimes for the better and other times not so but change is a part of life. Changing the world is different. To change the world we need to change ourselves first to what we want the world to be. Its no good complaining about litter if you leave litter yourself. So change is important. The earth shows us this as we see the snowdrops appearing in the ground. They have changed during the winter months from a little round bulb into something beautiful when they appear above the ground. How wonderful is this?
It has been another week of dark grey days with lots of rain and occasional flakes of snow. But it is the dark grey days that I do not like. I need light and warmth in my life in order to function. I started well at the beginning of the week as I was writing a new book then suddenly on Wednesday everything came to a stop. I was feeling depressed again and I am sure it is the dark grey days.
I used my SAD lamp for a short time and it did lift my spirits enough to do a bit more writing. But I shall be really glad when the weather improves. If the sun comes out I immediately feel better as I am sure we all do. Yet the landscape in winter has a beauty all its own. I love the bare trees with their gnarled branches standing out against the sky. I love to watch the birds on the feeder in the garden and see the hazel catkins swaying in the breeze.
We have been lucky where I live unlike many of my friends further north who have had large amounts of snow. Yet I think I would have preferred to see the snow rather than the grey dark rainy days we have had. The snow brings light to the landscape unlike the rain which just seems to wash it out into a greyish mass.
Soon it will be Imbolc, where we welcome Brigid. The snowdrops will be out then bringing their light and joy into our world. I am looking forward to this and to the lengthening days.
The phrase ‘hope springs eternal’ has been going through my mind all week. So I have taken the words ‘hope’ and spring’ away from that thought and that is what I am writing about today. But the original quote is about hope always being there even if we forget about it, it says’ hope springs eternal in the human breast’. However bad things get there is always hope within us that things will get better.
So what about Spring? I can feel that Spring is in the air. I go into my back yard in a morning and you can smell the difference in the air. It might be cold or wet but that smell of spring is there. And when the sun does shine, you can feel the warmth too. I can see tiny buds on branches and the crocuses are coming into flower.
So if I put the words together I get Spring brings hope. It was the celebration of Imbolc during the week. For me this is always about hope and looking forward to the coming lighter and longer days. I look forward to being able to create in a better way, to being able to get out more to enjoy the natural world and above all to enjoy what the season brings. It gives me hope that the future will be different and better although I am not silly enough to expect it to happen all at once. I know and understand that things often get much worse before they start to improve and I feel that is what is happening now. But the bad changes occurring at the moment are awakening people to their real reason for being on our planet and hopefully that will bring about the changes. Many people have just lived their lives squandering and wasting resources as if there was no tomorrow but now everything is coming home to roost as we say. So take hope from the coming of the longer days and the burgeoning of nature and know that eventually the world will become a better place as more people find their real place in our world.
It has been another busy week and I am feeling rather tired with all the packing so I am offering you today a poem I wrote several years ago. It is published in my book ‘Sacred Journey- Sacred Earth’. It is still as relevant today as it was when I wrote it.
‘The hope of Spring’
Watching the new spring leaves unfurl
Gives me hope in a chaotic world;
New growth springs from the dark
Of the winter and makes its mark.
Signs of growth are everywhere,
The birds and trees all doing their share.
So in this dark material world
Is there light ready to be unfurled?
Can we look inside our hearts today
To find a better more spiritual way?
To live without such ugly greed
And only have what we truly need.
We do not need large houses and cars;
We do not need to travel to Mars;
Some clothes and food and a rainproof roof
Are really, truly, quite enough.
So watch the new spring growth today
And think about a spiritual way
To live your life with love and care
And cherish all, if you dare!
It is that time of the year when my mother used to spring clean the house. Curtains were washed, carpets cleaned and all surfaces cleaned and items no longer needed given away. Everywhere felt so much fresher afterwards and we were ready for new projects.
I suppose I am spring cleaning as I am sorting out items to keep and items to throw or give away. I have done well so far with giving away 3 items of furniture no longer needed. This has given me a bit more space so I can start to pack for my house move. I live in a small bungalow with very little space as I have a lot of books and craft items. Packing these is fine but where do I put the boxes? So questions I am asking myself are many. Do I really need to keep these copies of ceremonies from the 1990s? Do I need to keep old emails from people who are no longer with us? Do I really need to keep all these books and maps?
So how do I decide on what to keep and what to throw away or give to someone else? I have culled my books and maps drastically over the last few years as I have moved into ever smaller places so books and maps are not really a problem. The ones I still have are the ones I need to keep. But as my son says, I do have a lot of stuff. But that is because I have hobbies, I write, I read, I draw and paint, I knit and embroider and weave. All this takes space however much information I can keep on a computer I still need space for craft items. One thing I have learned about saving stuff on computers like family history is that you still need a hard copy just in case and I prefer to work on paper where family and local history is concerned.
So my spring project is to sort and pack ready to move to pastures new but also pastures old as I am returning to my place of birth and where I lived for over 30 years. But I feel better about the sorting out. It is leaving space for new things so I shall soon have as much as I always did!
How do you deal with all the things you collect for your hobbies?
It is that time of the year when everyone writes about the coming of Spring but I want to write about something different. Lots of rambling thoughts have been going through my head this week and I hope they have sorted themselves out to make this an interesting blog.
Although time seems to be speeding up and the weeks rush by, there are some days when time seems to go very slowly. I remember saying to my son one day while talking on the phone, that I had been bored for some of the day. He could not understand this as I have plenty of hobbies. I write, I research family and local history, I craft, sewing, some knitting and macrame or weaving, I read a lot and I love adult colouring books so why would I be bored. I am sure you all know about the times when you really do not feel like doing any of those things. I do listen to music, mainly on the radio and I meditate at times. But the days can be very long if you get up early and do not have the means to get out. I did not go out for at least 4 days last week and the only contact with others was via the computer and the phone.
So how do I deal with this? Well, I don’t deal with it really. Sometimes I go and have a nap which often helps. If the weather is good I will stand on the doorstep and look at the clouds and the little bit of garden that I have. In the summer I can sit outside and enjoy nature more but it is winter now and too cold to sit out and definitely too wet! I try to take these days as they come and I know that the next day might be much better and the muse will appear so I can write or do something else creative. I am not a fan of the TV as I prefer to do things myself not watch others doing them although occasionally there can be some good programmes to watch. So how would you, my readers, deal with days like these? If you are young these kind of days may be a long way off but if like me you are retired or almost retired then these days may soon be upon you.
Although my week has been a bit fraught with a visit to the dentist and the removal of a wisdom tooth, there have been some lovely moments. The baby starlings are making a lot of noise in their nest in the eaves as their parents fly back and forth with food. The plants are growing strongly and many are flowering now. The willow has lots of leaves too.
This cycle of growth gives me hope for our world but we need to fight hard to keep our world safe and fertile. We need to look at our values, what do we really need and how do we keep these things? Is the material world more important that our natural world? How can we work together to keep our world the way we would like to see it?
I can see that many people will have a lot of soul searching to do! It is no good saying that we won’t live much longer if we are old, we need to think of the generations to come after us. What kind of legacy are we leaving them?
A short blog this week but one that I hope will make you think and after that, take action.
A couple of days away make a huge difference to me. I was able to take a short walk in the countryside around the village of my friend Nicki. There was still some snow on the ground and the wind was bitterly cold but the sun was shining. I could see new buds forming on the trees and there were plenty of birds around too. I feel that I can move forward into the coming months with some hope.
Together with another friend, also called Niki we did a short Imbolc ceremony yesterday. We each had a small pot of snowdrops and we lit 19 candles for Brighid. It was a beautiful time together and we hope to work together in ceremony during the coming year. So Imbolc is also bringing change to me and others. What is Imbolc bringing to you? Are you inspired? Are you letting go of the old to make room for the new? Are you moving forward with hope?