How does your garden grow?

Times can be very difficult at the moment and I am so happy that I have a garden. When I was thinking about this blog post the words of the title came to my mind. They come from an old nursery rhyme and this is it.

‘Mary, Mary quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row.’

I did find a more modern one though;

‘All the flowers, all the colours, all in a perfect row, first the seeds and then the water ……’

One thing about having a garden is that you have to care for it. Seeds are sown and watered and then you wait patiently to see then grow. When they are large enough you put them in small pots and keep watering them. Eventually they will be large enough to go out in the garden but water is still very important.

I spend a lot of time every day in my garden. I go round it and look to see what is coming into flower and how much the plants have grown. It brings me such joy at this time of staying at home.

Looking after yourself is important too in all ways, Physical, mental and spiritual care are all important. It is easy to become depressed or just feeling down and I too have days like this. I know on one level that change is coming but the world I would like may not appear until I have left it. I have to trust that all will be well. I know that all is as it should be at this time as we change our perceptions of what life is about. Stay strong and care for yourself.

Earth, Air, Fire and Water

Some years ago I was asked to give a talk on the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, to people who may not know anything about them. So I put on my thinking cap and looked at things we did every day that if done with mindfulness especially, were a way of working with the four elements.

Each person was given a small booklet about these elements. It contained some information about the element and some exercises that could be done anywhere at any time, and also four small crystals, one for each element.

I was thinking about the Earth element the other day when I was working in the garden. I was doing some dead-heading and pulling out weeds. What a wonderful way to work with the earth. I found it very healing and therapeutic. It was a physical and practical act and to me this was so much an Earth element way to work. It renewed my connection with the earth too and made me more determined to do what I could to stop pollution and other things detrimental to our planet.

So now let’s look at the element of Air. If we were outside on a windy day my mother used to say the wind was blowing the cobwebs away from around us. Cleansing the aura as I now know. Air is connected to inspiration, new ideas, messages, movement, breath of life and new beginnings. Standing outside on a breezy day is a good way to connect with Air. Imagine yourself flying and see how that feels. Did you ever climb trees or walls when you were young, and then jump off? How did that feel? Just imagine that now though not do it practically!

I’m leaving the Fire element until last so now what about the Water element. I love to be near running water. I see it cleansing the earth as it moves along. It is receptive to my thoughts and I link it with compassion, trust, love and wisdom. When you take a shower, your are cleansing yourself and the aura around you. Think about it as you shower. You always feel better after a shower, or after walking by water especially running water or the sea. We often say ‘go with the flow’ when talking about problems in our daily lives. So flow like the water. You can imagine yourself floating on calm water with a night sky above. Then write down how you felt.

So lastly, the element of Fire. Fire can transform things as you can easily see if you burn something like a sheet of paper. So it changes things and cleanses. It is also about purpose and growth and rebirth. I like to think of our inner fire, the force that enables us to do things, to accept ourselves and to transform our lives when needed. I like to watch the flame of a burning candle. Try it and see how you feel .

Of course, this is a simple way of looking at the elements but it is a good place to start. The druid path takes you deeper into the elements and deeper into yourself but if you know nothing about them then start simply.

Taking things for granted

Earlier in the week I was thinking about this blog and found a really good word for the title. Now it escapes me and I have had to use the words ‘taking things for granted’. However I was looking at what we take for granted, here in the UK at least. Most of us take for granted that we may have a job, a house or other residence, enough food and enough clothes. We take for granted the electricity and gas that power our homes and we also take for granted the water we use. Some of course have other sources of power and some even have a well not piped water but we do have water.

So what else do we take for granted? We often take our relatives and friends for granted too. We expect them to be there for us when we need them and can get upset when they don’t help. We take our public services for granted. I know we pay for them but we get cross when they don’t work. We take for granted that our politicians will do the best for us even though we know they won’t but we seem unable to get them to change.

One of the main things we take for granted is our health. Although many of us have various kinds of health problems we expect them to be dealt with by doctors and hospitals, but don’t fight for the nurses to have better pay so they can do an even better job of looking after us. But the health problem hit hard this week. I have been having a lot of pain and swelling in my hands and wrists and am waiting to see a consultant. But I have been busy sorting out lots of paperwork from years past and this has not helped. I woke up the other morning unable to use my left hand at all and my right hand only a little. Have you ever tried to wash and dress yourself with the use of only one hand and the partial use of the other? It was quite difficult and it brought home to me just how much we use our hands and take them for granted. We use our hands to wash and dress ourselves, to clean our teeth, to prepare food and cook it and to do so many other things it is too long to list them.

So what do you take for granted in your life? How do you deal with things that go wrong unexpectedly with what you take for granted? I love to read your comments some of which give me other lines of thought and different ways of perception so thank you all for those comments and keep them coming.

 

Sticks and stones and the water element

‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me’ is a well known saying but unfortunately not true as many well know. Words can hurt as they affect our emotional state and it is easy to let teasing words or words said in anger affect us. I know people who tease and keep teasing until the teasing becomes abusive. Some people do not know when to stop or when the person on the receiving end has had enough. And people often say things in anger that they don’t really mean but these can be hurtful all the same.

This ‘over the top’ teasing has happened to me recently, twice in fact. The first time the teasing definitely got out of control and became abusive then suddenly stopped possibly because someone else stepped in and complained. A week or so later more teasing from someone else but about the same occasion in my life and again, someone who did not know when to stop. It is easy to say keep away from these people but when they are part of a group that you are with it can be difficult. So what do you do?

Well, this is where the element of water comes in. Water is cleansing so a shower is good but with the intention that it washes away the negativity caused by the teasing. I also like to meditate using water sounds as a background and letting them soothe me and wash away all the bad stuff. I used to love sitting by a river or the sea and doing the same thing. Water not only cleanses but it refreshes and re-energises so that you are ready for another day. Smudging the aura with sage can also help. Do you know of other methods that you can use to heal the affect of abusive or excessive teasing?

On another note, this morning, the sun shone on the tree tops and chimneys but not on the ground. I loved it and tried to capture it so here it is.

febmornsun

Compassion and practicality

Earlier this week I wrote the following words;

‘Whatever your path may you have peace, may you have compassion for others, may you have joy and love, may you be thankful for what you have and may you bring love and peace into the world for others to share.’

Looking around at the UK this week and earlier this month I see that compassion is greatly needed for those affected by the floods. The amount of rain falling is unprecedented in many places and after soaking into the already saturated ground there is nowhere left for it to go. Streams that flood also drain into larger rivers and so on until there is nowhere left for water to go. However much you put up flood barriers, water will find the weakest point and those further downstream will be the ones to flood. So what is the answer?

You can’t argue with nature you have to work with it is the first thing to realise. But you have to look at the wider picture and think that if this is the weather we are going to have in the future then maybe we have to rethink everything we know. But at this moment in time practical help is what is needed. Many will have lost everything unless they managed to save things precious to them. But what is transpiring is that people are working together to help each other; communities whatever their faith are pulling together to help each other and those worse affected. It seems that it is only disasters that inspire us to work together. We need to learn to work together all the time, to help each other and to look for a better future.

streaminflood

The element of water

We use water in ceremonies for blessings (as do the Christians for baptisms) but have you ever thought about water and our need for it. Water is something we take for granted much of the time until we find we have none. This happened to me yesterday. After breakfast I decided to do other things which included the use of water. There was only a trickle from the tap and the toilet tank would not fill up. Then the trickle disappeared. Talking to neighbours I got the same story then one neighbour returned from visiting the shops down in the village. He said there was a huge puddle of water down there on the main road and there had been a burst water main.

This is the point when we all realised just how much we needed water. I was lucky enough to have some water in the kettle with which I could make a drink. Like some others I went to the nearest shop and bought a large bottle of water. But think about all the things we do each day which need water; washing ourselves, washing clothes, flushing the toilet, preparing food, making hot drinks and many other things. At one point it started to rain and I though of putting a bucket outside to catch the rain but by the time I had thought this, the rain had stopped.

Taking things for granted applies to many other things besides water. In the west, we take many things for granted that people elsewhere in the world do not even have . There are many who have to walk to collect water, many who do not have running water on tap in their homes and so on. Should we be more careful about what we take for granted? After all, it is only when it is not there that we realise just how much we use it. I could write more about this but I feel I have made my point. Here is a spring in Cold Ashby village.

spring

 

Weather Watching

I love the changing weather and I see the elements at work each day. This morning they are having a rest after a rather strange week. Some days it has been wild and windy as the element of Air chases things around having fun with the wheelie bins too. Then the element of Water has produced heavy rain and hail showers and even a bit of snow. Then along comes the element of Fire, the sun, to warm the earth and dry up the wet patches.

All of these combined together are an essential part of our world. Without them we could not live. Air cleanses and removes bad smells and debris from the atmosphere, water cleanses too and soaks into the earth allowing plants to grow and insects to live. It also provides us with drinking water from reservoirs and provides life for fish in streams and rivers. The sun warms the earth and us too and helps trees and small plants to grow.

The earth is always there for us too, to walk on, to sit on and to enjoy. Do you see the elements in the weather too? Do you see how they combine to give us life?

stream2

Stormy Weather

This week has been a week of hot sunny weather with several storms, some of which have lasted for many hours. Usually storms clear the air but this does not seem to have happened so far and we still have hot, humid weather.

I was thinking how all the elements are involved in a storm; earth, air, fire and water. There have been lightning strikes and flash floods, showing us the power of nature. A walk by the swollen river last week brought the amazing smell of damp woodland and swirling water over the weir. It is such a distinctive smell but difficult to describe.

But I wonder if our planet is giving us a message. Is she trying to show us what can happen if we have no respect for her? I am lucky to have a garden at the front of my house. Some of my neighbours have tarmac or fancy paving stones leaving nowhere for the rain to go then get angry over the large puddles that form. Houses are built on flood plains, rivers and streams are filled with rubbish. Is this the way to treat our planet? People cut down trees because (I quote)’ they don’t like cleaning up the leaves or cleaning out their guttering.’ But how good for soaking up the rain are our trees?

Have we lost our connection with nature? How can we teach or show others how important our gardens and trees are to your future? What can you do?

muddy river

Reflecting and perceiving

This week has been very busy. I had a session of physiotherapy at the hospital and also started 1-2-1 yoga session each morning in a huge effort to get my leg muscles working properly again. The yoga brings in reflection while working with the breath.

But yesterday I attended the opening of a friends log cabin where various therapists will be working. My friend and I practised our scrying skills on unwary visitors. This too brought in lots of reflection. Most of the images and the accompanying messages related to looking at things in a different way, changing perception of what things really are and also looking at the wider view. This can lead to changes in the way you live and how you work, usually for the better.

I have a photograph for you this week of reflections in the water of a river. If you look at these reflections you can see that they are not the same as what they reflect and other images can be seen. Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and noticed things about yourself that you don’t normally see? Are you seeing what you want to see or are you seeing what seems to be there?

Food for thought here I think. Your comments are welcome.