Looking back at 2020

Reflecting on this year has been difficult. There has been so much change to the way we all live. When the first lockdown arrived I chose to treat the next few weeks as a retreat. This was good but I found it quite hard to do. I missed the company of others and the face to face chats. I did not have access to Skype or other similar media at that time and I felt quite lonely at times.

After a while I found solace in my garden, watching the birds nest and produce young and watching the plants grow. As time went by I found that the highlight of my week was when my son visited as part of my ‘bubble’. This made life much better and we were able to go out and visit nature reserves. This enabled me to go to places I could not have gone to otherwise as I do not drive. I found these visits inspiring and exhilarating as we saw species I had not seen before. I took many photos and decided to make a scrapbook of the garden and these visits. I have filled two scrapbooks so far and half of another one.

I tried to walk every day but this became far too much and there were far too many people around. I started research projects and creative things like sewing and knitting and have eventually settled into a different existence. I write more, create more and I am looking forward to meeting others when the time comes. In many ways I have become more insular both by myself and with my son in our ‘bubble’. It’s as if the world outside our small radius no longer exists.

It was not until quite recently that I went into town. I needed money from the bank and I missed my sewing and knitting magazines. My son came with me and helped me through the sanitising process of shopping in stores. But I find I am not really interested in going shopping. I have never been a shopper that browses and used to just go with a list and get what was on the list. I think that goes back to when I had very little money and could only afford what was essential.

But there have been days and weeks when I have felt very down and did not want to get out of bed. These times come and go and I expect are the result of the way of life I am now living. I feel for others in similar and in worse situations. At least I have a garden and a hedge full of birds. I used to enjoy the winter days when the sky was blue and the sun shone. This last month the days seem to have been grey and wet which I find quite depressing but I noticed that the blue tits have returned.

I have done a lot of reading, light fiction and other deeper stuff and have bought myself a webcam so now I have more learning to do. But life is a journey with many lessons on the way and it is true that you learn something new every day. Overall I have managed. Some days have been exceptionally good, others quite bad and then there are plenty of what I can only call passable days. But my way of life has changed in many ways and I have survived so far.

In some areas, the community have got together to make sure every one has what they need and to help those who cannot do shopping on-line or get other things. There has been a wealth of help for the vulnerable especially families who find themselves in poverty through no fault of their own. There is more caring going on too and this is good. Many have realised what is most important in life and it is not the latest phone or gadget or the latest fashion clothing.

I always felt there was a purpose for the virus, that it was meant to make us stop and think what we were doing in our lives, the way we were abusing our planet and how we wasted stuff. I felt the virus would disappear when we all realised that we had to change. But the virus is still here so what does that tell me? I think we have a long way to go and maybe with the effect of climate change we have left it too late. I am trying hard to stay positive about the future and holding a vision in my mind of a world where we live in peace and work together in peace and respect each other knowing that we all have a part to play and that these parts can be different for each of us.

So let’s see what 2021 brings. Happy New Year to you all!

A vision for the future

Some time ago a friend told me about vision boards and I thought about visions of the future. What would I want on a vision board? Well, at my age the only thing I want for me is better health but there are many things I want for the world. So these are my thoughts on the future but not in any particular order but as they came into my mind. First of all I would like to see peace in our world where people worked together, respected each others ideas and thought about the community as a whole. To do this we would need to have more love in the world and more compassion for those less fortunate. Although in my future world we would all be equal so only those who became ill could be called less fortunate. We would care for them in a safe manner and make sure they were loved as well.

Happiness would be there too. I would hope that we all had a deeper understanding and connection with the natural world and that we all could see how we were all connected and how everything was connected, insects, animals, even the landscape that serves us all.

We would live simply, and wisely, speaking our truth and walking our talk. I don’t see items such as mobile phones in my future world either. They stop us from communicating face to face which is so important. It is much better to talk than to text! At the moment computers have their place but with the advent of so much fake news I wonder if we would be better without them. OK they help us to learn about things but observation and thought are so much better.

I would also see that natural ways of healing were paramount. We would learn to grow our own food in a good way and the herbs that help us to stay healthy. I see each family with its own garden plot and many living in groups sharing expertise and working together.No-one would be homeless either. Energy would be generated in a natural way harnessing the sun and water.

I feel my vision is ‘doable’ so why aren’t we starting to live this way? I would love to read about your vision for the future of our world.

Working together

This last week or two has shown people working together to try to make politicians change their minds and realise that climate change is important. In some areas we have already seen good results from this and the subject of climate change has become important where before it was ignored.

I learned many years ago that trying to do something important like making changes in the world around me, was much harder on my own. If others joined me then we got results. But this applies to so many other things, like helping the elderly, the homeless, those with disabilities and so on. One person alone won’t change things although change does start with you, yourself. It needs a lot of people to make change happen.

So finding others who think and feel the same way is important. I am always very pleased when I meet new people, if I find they think the same way as I do, as someone once said ‘we sing from the same hymnbook’!

But first of all we have to rid ourselves of the conditioning from our childhood and further back too, and the conditioning of our current lives. It is easy to just go along with everything but when things get really bad and you wonder why, then that is the time to change and become who you really are, not the conditioned human being generated by years of abuse and conditioning.

I am in the process of listening and watching the movie, ‘Time of the Sixth Sun’. I am finding that so far, much of what is being said is something that I have known for some time but have been unable to do anything about. But we have to make change happen and together we can do this so find out who thinks like you do and get together to make those changes,

Loving and forgiving

I don’t usually write about books I have read but a few days ago a friend lent me a book to read, one I would not have chosen myself if I had seen it on a bookshelf in a bookstore. It was a story of a man meeting God and it was a very interesting book. A lot of the concepts in the book resonated strongly with my own beliefs.

One of these concepts was love and loving. There are many kinds of love as we all know. There is the love of parents for their children and vice versa, there is the love we have for our friends and for our pets. Love is not just about sex as the media would have us believe but love is far more wide ranging. Together with loving there has to be respect for each others and compassion for those who are in pain or hurt or need help of some kind.

This brings me to forgiving. If we don’t forgive someone for any hurt they have done to us then we can become extremely resentful and angry. This in turn can make us physically ill. Some scientists believe that anger and resentment can turn into life threatening diseases if we keep the anger inside ourselves for too long. So many times I have heard the words ‘I can’t forgive him or her’. Forgiving doesn’t mean you forget the hurt but it does allow you to move on from the hurt and live a better life. We all have things to forgive. Often our parents or friends did things we did not like and which hurt us. Angry words, violence and other forms of abuse all hurt but it is no good hanging on to the hurts as it makes us ill.

Love is one of the most important things in life. We are all human and I feel that we all have a bit of the Divine inside us connecting us together. We humans are like the pieces of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, all of us different but fitting together to make a whole. If we all loved each other and forgave any hurts then what a wonderful world it would be.

The book I was lent was ‘The Shack’ by Wm Paul Young. Thank you to my friend Vivian for the loan. Below is a painting I did many years ago with the title ‘Sanctuary’.

sanctuarypic2

Stormy weather approaching

Expect trees to topple and buildings to get damaged we are being told as a large storm approaches. It has been very blustery for the last few days and the leaves are falling rapidly from the trees. Some trees are already bare while others are still green but the garden is covered in leaves of many colours and the sycamore wings from a nearby tree. The fallen leaves provide homes for many insects and food for others so nature is working in this way too.

But what about the effects of storms on us, not just our property? I find that after a storm the air is clearer and the sky too. There is a brightness that wasn’t there before. We live in such a negative world that a storm clears away the feelings of negativity and leaves everything sparkling like new. I feel that storms should give us hope for the future. After devastating damage done by storms in the past, people have got together in communities and supported and helped each other to rebuild. But should we need a storm to make us do that? Why can’t we work together and learn to live together so that the world is a better place? Your thoughts on this are appreciated.

autumn