The power of nature

Earlier this week I went to sign all the papers and collect the keys for my new home. Within a couple of minutes walk is a small country park. As I was early for my appointment and feeling a bit stressed I decided to take a look at this small park. There was a small pond with a few reeds and irises around it and a man sitting quietly fishing. There were several seats so I sat down for a while listening to the most wonderful birdsong and enjoying the peace and the sunshine.

After a while I decided to explore the paths I could see. One went back down into a street while another one wound upwards through the trees. I took this upward path noticing the blossom on the trees and the wild flowers. It was not long before I had to return for my appointment but that short break in nature had destressed me. I know I will be there often to sit and enjoy the natural world around me.

I am sure that we all feel stressed at times and science is now proving that being out in nature can help us and is beneficial for our health. I hope you know places like the one I have found and use them for reflection and replenishment. I am adding a couple of photos to give you some idea of what the park is like.

 

Moving on and letting go

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.

Random Sunday thoughts

Having written this blog for several years now I try not to duplicate themes I have written about before. Sometimes this happens but I try to avoid it. This morning several thoughts crossed my mind, each one could be a theme for a blog post but I felt that several such thoughts might make it more interesting.

Squirrels came into my thoughts this last couple of weeks. I live in a small Victorian style terraced house with a small back yard and a tiny garden. There is a rose tree though and it has lots of rosehips still on it and on the ground. One day I spotted a grey squirrel on my gate obviously having fed as he was washing his face. He has visited several times now and I have purchased a feed box for him and some special food. Many people consider grey squirrels to be vermin but a couple of days ago I read a different view about them while browsing the internet. This view was that they helped us to plant trees. They bury nuts to save for later but often forget where they are so the nuts just grow into trees eventually.

My second random thought this morning was about joy. Yesterday I received a Christmas card in the post. The picture on the front of the card is of a sunset, snowy ground and a tree with bare branches silhouetted against the setting sun. It is a stunningly beautiful photo and gives me much joy. I can see lots of sunsets here if I go and stand in the street where there is open space with lots of trees around so I get silhouettes of them there too.

My third random thought is about helping others. In my street many people go out to work although there are some of a similar age to me. Last week the parcel delivery man was busy and I seemed to be the only one still at home. So I took in parcels for other people who came to collect them later on. This of course also expanded my knowledge of my neighbours who I had not yet met. One of these has a large ginger cat who sits in the window swiping at passersby making them jump. He is quite a character. But it is good to help others and get to know them too.

So three random thoughts for you. What do you think about squirrels, sunsets and helping others?

This squirrel was sitting in the park by the Museum earlier this year.

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Withdrawing

It is that time of year. It is cold, icy and with strong winds. I just want to curl up with a blanket to keep out the draughts and stay indoors. For me it is a time to actually do things as well. I find I can reflect on the previous months but also do some searching out of unwanted items. I know this is the wrong time of year for this but it helps me to retain a sense of homeliness if you like. By doing the sorting out I make my home tidier and better to live in during the winter months.I move things around to fit the season so that I feel this cosiness and warmth around me. I am sure I am meant to hibernate at this time of the year. It certainly feels that way.

This morning I decided to make what could be a Yule cake or Christmas cake. I love the smell of baking, bread, cakes and pies of some kind. It permeates the whole house and makes it feel warm. There is something about an open fire too but I don’t have that pleasure. Central heating does not give off the same vibes. I can’t watch the flames of a coal fire and look at the colours and shapes forming in them. That is something I miss. But I can light candles and watch their flames instead.

So I am withdrawing into my cocoon of cosiness. What will I do in my cocoon? I shall read and knit and continue with my research. I shall look through the windows at the sky and the trees. I shall watch the sunrise and the sunset and see the beautiful colours sin them. I shall listen to the wind howling through the chimneys and making the trees sway alarmingly. I shall not become a hermit though as I shall talk to friends and acquaintances by phone, email, text and in person. It is just that my home will feel different making my own feelings different as well.

And I shall look forward to the Spring!

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Questions and more questions

I had thought about the theme of the ancestors for my blog but this morning I changed my mind as I felt I had more important things to say. Most of this blog will be questions, some of which you might like to think about, some of which you might like to answer. So my first question is this;

How have we managed to let our world get in such a mess? Not an easy question to answer in a few words but thought provoking.

Why do we leave things too late to get them changed? It is only when we see the actions done on our behalf that we think about their effects and that we should not have allowed this to happen.

Why don’t people register to vote and then vote so that things can be changed?

Why do we listen to the rubbish spouted by the mainstream media and believe it is true? Are we unable to think for ourselves?

How have we allowed greed to take over our world? I saw a child’s tee shirt last year. On the front was printed the following words -‘I scream, I stamp, I get.’ I saw something similar this morning ‘ I like, I want, I asked Grandma, I got’. I don’t need to say any more as I am sure you will see what I am getting at.

Some of you might think I am a grumpy old woman but I hate the way our world has changed. We buy things and throw them away after a short while or if they go wrong. We used to repair items not throw them away. Why don’t we change our shopping habits so that there is less rubbish to dispose of? Some countries are good at this.

Why do we allow companies to bottle water which should be free?

Why do we allow long pipelines across land which is not ours and on which the pipelines might leak (which they often do)?

Why do we use man made drugs when natural medicines are better for us and cost less?

I could go on but I am sure I have given you food for thought. I hope so.

Yesterday I foundĀ a leaf on the ground. I brought it home to press and took a photo at home. The colours are beautiful and remind me that as humans we are all different colours and should mingle together like the colours on the leaf.

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Autumn thoughts

Yesterday was what I call a truly autumn morning, misty with a chilly feel and some dark clouds heading my way. I went out though to Trentham for a short walk along the lake side and through the trees. It was beautiful and peaceful as I was earl;y before many others had arrived. I found a new fairy sculpture too. There are around sixteen of these now and they are made of wire. This one was very beautiful and I took a photo of her silhouetted against the lake and sky. I felt so at peace with myself walking along the edge of the water, so much so that I found myself chanting to Mother Earth.

The trees are still mainly green but there are patches of brown and yellow leaves among the green. Two things fascinated me about the trees. One holly tree had a broken branch and the leaves on that branch had all turned to a rich brown colour. On another tree, there was a branch with leaves at different stages of their changing colour. So some were green and yellow, others going to red and brown and so on.

The cygnets on the lake had disappeared and in their place were beautiful white swans, a pair of which were doing some kind of mating ritual or that is how it seemed. Looking out over the lake I saw the rain clouds approaching and decided to head back via the cafe for a cup of tea and a toasted teacake. Then it was head for the bus stop in the rain. By the time I arrived home it was pouring down, real heavy rain which lasted until early evening when the sun came out. Strange weather but I felt the benefits of my short walk in nature. It makes such a difference to how I feel and move.

I hope you all take walks in nature, it is so refreshing and replenishing.

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Gathering

It is that time of the year when I start to gather together food for my larder and freezer so that if and when the weather gets too difficult for me to go out, I have food to eat. But it is harvest time and many others are out collecting the fruits of nature. I saw a woman collecting blackberries the other day. So far I bought some Victoria plums which I really like and turned them into jam. It is a good start but I need to check what is in my cupboards and see what I need to buy.

It is not just food that needs to be collected and stored. There are all the other household items for laundry and cleaning and the essential toilet paper! Over the last few years there have not really been any hard winters here but if it is icy then going out is a no-no. So being prepared is good.

I do like this time of the year as the leaves changeĀ colour on the trees and gradually fall to the ground. When out last week, there were elderberries ready to collect but remembering to leave some for the birds. There were cones ripening on trees and lots of beech nuts lying around. I feel it is important to recognise these gifts of nature, take a few for yourself but leave plenty for others. I hope to get out this coming week to take more photos and to enjoy the autumn colours but this may not happen as my arthritis has flared up again especially in my spine which makes lots of walking difficult. But I will go out even if not very far. I have lots of trees at the end of my road and they are slowly changing colour.

How do you experience Autumn and do you store things for the winter?

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