Being thankful

The last couple of weeks have been dire and I have been trying to find something to be thankful for. I am rarely ill with the ‘bugs’ that go around so I was absolutely shocked when I got one of these nasty ones. I have always looked after my immune system so it seemed even more shocking. I cannot remember ever being this ill in all my life.

What kept me going was the birds using my feeders. I managed to get outside every couple of days to fill the feeders and I can see them through my kitchen window. And then when the sun appeared . rather infrequently though, that also helped. I am now much better but not yet 100%. But I am still here so I am thankful for that. My son did the shopping and got me out a couple of times in the fresh air for which I am also thankful.

I am now in the third week and am much more able to do things so I have spent some time working on new items for my web site. ( as some of the pages were well out of date. I started with my family history page and have been working more on this. Some of the stories in my family history are quite sad but when I look at how many people are living now and how they lived then, there does not seem to be a lot of difference in the help given to those less fortunate. I am thankful for what I have and thankful that I have enough to have a reasonable life. I am not rich but I do have enough to pay my bills, eat and have clothes. There are many less fortunate and I would like to be in a position to help where I can.

I am looking forward to being able to get out more soon and enjoy the countryside again.

Being thankful

The last few weeks seem to be full of people complaining about what they want to do and can’t do, what they want and can’t have and so on. We have so much to be thankful for. As many of you know I love social history research and have spent some months this year looking at orphans and disabled people living in orphanages and the workhouse. My grandmother who was born in 1890 was terrified of having to go in the workhouse even though they were no longer in existence in the 1950s. Life in the workhouse was hard. If you were disabled in any way and your family could not look after you then you went into the workhouse. Women who had illegitimate babies often ended up in the workhouse and were often classed as feeble minded. There was no Social Security, no Housing Benefit and no NHS. Houses did not have running water either for a long time and many families shared some form of toilet in a yard. Life was totally different then and has changed greatly and for the better in many cases although we still have homeless people.

So what can we be thankful for? We are alive of course and most of us have everything that we actually need to live a reasonable life but there are still many who live in poverty and the current situation has brought this to our notice. If we have plenty then we can share with others, toys for children, food for families and so on. But in this century no one should be without a roof over their head or without enough food and clothing. Many of us are in a position where we can do something to help but it needs changes to the law for some things to get better. Volunteers do wonderful work but that work should not be necessary.

So be thankful for what you have and offer help to others less fortunate and find ways to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you or your family or those that you know. When employment is in short supply and money too then think how you can help to make life easier for others. Would you want to be in a position where you had no food or clothes and had to camp outside under a blanket in the cold and snow?

Some thoughts for today

It has been quite a sad and emotional week. Here in the UK we have been remembering all those who died in the First World War as today is 100 years since the Armistice was signed. It was meant to be the war that ended all wars but it was not long before another world war started. Since the end of that one there have been many other wars and conflicts and some are still ongoing. I sometimes wonder if we are ever going to learn that war means death for many and strong emotions for those left behind.

I wonder how much is remembered by our bodies about war. I was born during the Second World War . For many years I said that I remembered the bomb dropping on the houses not so far away but when I researched it I found that the bomb had dropped exactly one week before I was born. How could I remember it? I also do not like enclosed spaces. I suspect this is because my mother always hid under the stairs during bombing raids and I was with her in a small enclosed dark space.

So if I remember these things and know how it has affected me, how do others cope with what they have seen and experienced during a conflict. There were many atrocities which seem beyond the understanding of human beings but they still continue. Man’s inhumanity to man continues every day somewhere in the world. When will we understand that we are all equal whatever colour, race or creed and we all need to respect that and work together. If we can’t do this then there will never be a world wide peace.

So today as during the week, I am remembering all those affected by wars and conflicts as well as those affected by large natural disasters and any form of  terrorism or shooting events. The trauma left behind is not easily dealt with and can linger for ever.

Here is the Druid prayer for peace. I welcome you to use it whatever creed you have.

Deep within the still centre of my being
May I find peace.
Silently within the quiet of the Grove
May I share peace.
Gently (or powerfully) within the greater circle of humankind
May I radiate peace.

May we remember all those who died and the reason why.


New friends and lots of reflections

There are a lot of nasty clouds around at the moment some of them quite thundery so I hope they stay away while I write this blog post. For the first time for many years I went to a druid ceremony this afternoon. Those who know me well know that this time of the year can bring back lots of traumatic memories so I thought that going to a new grove would be good.  I enjoyed the ceremony and also meeting new people who I am sure will become good friends. I hope to go to more of these ceremonies.

It has been a week of reflection also. It was suggested by some of my friends that I should write a book about my experiences of a spiritual nature. I thought about this for some time and after searching out old diaries and journals as well as photos and other writings I started on this. What memories are coming back. So much has happened over the last twenty years that I am sure a lot of it has been forgotten but it only needs one photo or diary entry for the memories to come flooding back. I have also asked others who have known me for some time or worked with me to see what they remember so they can jog my memory too. This brings me to the reflections. I find I am looking at some events in a totally different way now than I did many years ago. This also includes my reading material. Books I had long forgotten have resurfaced and are being read avidly again but with a much deeper perspective on what they contain.

I know I am the perpetual student forever wanting to learn more about things of an esoteric nature but I believe that you learn something new every day. That also applies to what I see out there on my walks and record on my camera. My black dog has gone for the moment and I am looking forward to the future. Thank you all for your wonderful comments and support. I think a photo of a butterfly is appropriate this week.

Reflecting and being thankful

This last week I have been doing a lot of reflecting, looking back at my life as well as the last few months. Maybe it is something about the time of the year. It is now Autumn and the nights are drawing in and it is getting cooler. Once it has gone dark and I have closed the curtains I can sit and reflect. It might of course be something to do with my age as older people often look back into their past.

As many of you know I love researching my family history and also local history. For the last month or so I have been researching life in the local workhouse. Seeing how people were treated when they became destitute or ill or had mental problems is very sad and that led to my thinking about today. There are many problems in our world still, there are many homeless, jobless and very ill. But in the west at least, we have so much to be thankful for. Most of us have a roof over our head, enough food and enough clothes as well as methods of getting out using public transport for example if you don’t have a car. Although I am not good where physical mobility is concerned I am thankful that I am still able to do lots of things. I can get out, I can take photos, I can write even though it is painful and I can look after myself mainly although I do need help for some things.

But there are so many people who are not satisfied with their lives; they want more money or a bigger house or more clothes and so on. Is it not time that we reflected on the things we do have and be thankful for those? Is it not time to reflect on what we need to do to change our world? Small steps lead us on. From little acorns do large oak trees grow. On that note I will say I have planted four acorns this week to see if they will grow.


A few ramblings or possibly mumblings!

I have spent a few days away during this last week and they gave me a lot to think about. I found out how easily my stress levels rose when my booked transport did not arrive and had to be reminded which in turn meant that the coach had to wait for me. There is nothing more embarrassing than being late for something and everyone else is sitting there waiting for you. It took me until the next afternoon before I could really relax. On the way we had a lunch stop in a shopping village I know quite well. Luckily the developers had left alone many of the old trees so I was able to take some photos of them and talk to them as I passed by.

Last week I wrote about solitude, being lonely and being alone. I think I experienced all of these during my four days away. But I also experienced companionship with an old friend who visited me there. I sometimes wonder why I go on these holidays as they are not really what I enjoy but it does get me out of the house and somewhere different. Previous similar holidays have always been good as the hotel has always had wonderful landscaped grounds around them so there have been many trees to hug. This year the landscaping was far too new and not exciting at all. Plastic rocks in a man made narrow lake said it all.

It was good to see the landscape that I love as we travelled and it made me want to go back there to live. Although the landscape is industrial there are many wide open spaces and views of the open moorland to the north, something I really miss. After all it is home and I am thankful for the time spent with my friend.


A new calendar year

A new year has begun. I am not one for making New Year Resolutions but I do look back at the previous year and see what I need to do to make this coming year a better one. I have always given thanks at the end of the day for five things that I have, have done, or have experienced. Now I am adding to this. I purchased a Mindfulness Colouring Diary and as well as the colouring I am using the diary sections to write down five positive words to describe that day. If I have meditated I can put Contemplation, if I have been writing I can add the word Creative and so on. I am finding this very good as it makes me think about the good parts of the day not the bad bits.

One other thing I thought about was Random Acts of Kindness. I have known about this for a long time and try to do these little things. It can be very easy as doing something like holding the door open for some one or saying good morning to someone and smiling can all be called random acts of kindness. This is much harder for me now as I am not very mobile but I do manage to get to the village shop every so often. I go when there are people around, going to catch the bus into town or walking their dogs. I always speak to them wishing them Good Morning and smile and they always answer me and smile too. This is a way of connecting with people and you never know where it may lead. Also they may then speak to others and smile, passing it on in effect.

So these are two things which I find important as a part of my druid way of living. There are others but they will do for now. How are you starting this new year? Do you do random acts of kindness? Or do you help in other ways?

My photo is one I love, the petals of the flower reaching upwards and out towards the sun and sky and to others around them.



Mothers Day

Today in the UK it is Mothering Sunday or Mothers Day. In years gone by, this day was when children gave their mothers a small posy of flowers. Today it is extremely commercial and seems to have lost something. I have written about this before in a previous blog and my feelings have not changed since then. It is fine to have a day especially for mothers but should we not appreciate them every day. It is easy to say words of love and appreciation every time you meet and to give thanks for what your mother has done for you. How often do you tell someone you love them? All too often I hear people say that they wished they had told someone how much they cared while they were still alive.

It is also good to do the same for all of those you love and who love you. It is all too easy to take things for granted and never say thank you or show appreciation. The world today seems to be about greed and grab without thought for anyone or anything else.’ I want’ is the most heard phrase from children especially. Have we lost sight of what is most important?

I’ve said enough now, enjoy your day and think of those you love and tell them just that.


Being thankful

I am very thankful for my friends with whom I spent yesterday. We went first to a lovely place called Deene Park, beautiful house and grounds although we only strolled around the grounds. It was Snowdrop week and there were so many different kinds of snowdrops to see. The peace and tranquility of the landscape was wonderful for me too. Looking at the shrubs already in flower and seeing all the flowers made me feel more hopeful that our land is still fine despite our efforts to destroy it. We had tea and cake in the little tea room which had been the old kitchen. There was a wonderful log fire in the old kitchen range.

We then went to the Forestry Commission Fineshades Wood. I have been here before and wanted to see how my old ash tree was doing. The first time I went, it was the most amazing tree with an extremely large canopy. The last time I went it had been lopped and almost cut in half. Yesterday it was still there but bare and with even less branches. It was still quite awesome though. On our way back we passed the stump of an ancient beech. Another ancient tree cut down. I can only assume it had become dangerous as in general the Forestry Commission do not cut down ancient trees.

The whole day gave me so much pleasure. Being out in nature replenishes the soul, allows me space to breathe and makes me thankful for my life, my friends and for what is around me. My photo this week is not of the ancient ash but of the landscape in Deene Park which gave me time to pause for reflection

What makes you thankful?


Blessings and being thankful

It is a beautiful sunny morning here. A little chilly after a slight frost but really sunny with a clear blue sky. This made me think about how much I have. I may not be able to walk very well and sometimes have excruciating pain but I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a roof over my head, food and clothes, a small garden and a wonderful world around me.

As a Reiki Master Teacher I know the Reiki precepts;

The Reiki Precepts

Just for today I will let go of anger

Just for today I will let go of worry

Today I will count my many blessings

Today I will do my work honestly

Today I will be kind to every living creature

These could equally apply to everyone whether doing Reiki or not. If we all lived this way, what a wonderful world it could be. When I feel frustrated or depressed I think about these principles and they always lift my spirit.

Here is another photo of a scene that I find uplifting and refreshing.