Monday, 10 March 2014

Pictures From The Week and The Virtues Of Simplicty

Apologies if I've missed some of your posts over the last few days. As the weather improves it's too nice to be indoors, so I've spent most of the last few days either out in the garden or walking through the fields and woods. 

I needed to free up some time. I needed to have my hands in the soil, to be planting things, breathing fresh air and running my eyes over natural landscapes that weren't peppered with human sights and invaded by human sounds. I needed some stillness and some peace.

I think it's true that for all of us, from time to time, life demands more than it is healthy to give. As a society, we tend to expect a lot of ourselves and each other and we are not always good at responding positively to a need to slow down and simplify, both in ourselves and in others.

These demands often come in the shape of, or from, other people. Sometimes they are made with good reason and motives, sometimes less so. When I was younger I wasn't good at being aware of this and being careful with what I chose to do- it was easy to say yes to everything and crush it all in and run around with boundless energy not wanting to miss anything. That's fine when you're in your twenties: it is less useful in your forties. One of the joys of getting older for me has been the increasing ability to stand back, appraise and decide what to do without needing to agree to everything. 

Heavens, I think it might be called discernment.

Having a family also educates you as nothing else does. It  changes your perception and it teaches you balance and so, being both older and having a family, I have got better at slowing down before I fall down. 
Being a healer has also taught me a great deal. It has brought me into contact with a wide range of different people I am unlikely to have met otherwise. It has shown me hugely varying aspects of humanity, and the widest possible range of problems and traumas that people carry and endure and seek freedom from. What my seventeen years working with people in need of help has taught me, more than anything else, is that it is the simple things in life that keep you healthy, hale, hearty and happy. 

For me, that translates as not being too busy to breath, or to notice the weather, or what time it gets light, or dark; it is having time to notice bees waking up and feeding on the Daphne, or when the Peacock butterfly hibernating in the garage wakes up. It is about knowing how my children are, and having space and attention to listen to them when they want to tell me their thoughts, ask me a question or talk to me about how their day has been. It is about spending time with my friends and listening when they talk; knowing what is going on in their lives and being present for them when they need me. It is making sure I see my wider family and know how they all are too. It is not working in the evening and therefore missing a glass of wine and a meal and a laugh and a chat by the fire with my husband. It also means spending time outside, and having time to stop and think and to look at things properly. It means, having the stillness and peace and solitude to make my choices calmly, wisely and unhurriedly.

When I have those things I have perspective, and then I can respond properly to the demands that are coming in, which, sometimes, is as much about declining as accepting. That way, for me, peace lies.

Here are a selection of photos from the last few days....




















CT :-)

22 comments:

  1. It sounds as though you are doing much better at finding balance than I am!! xx

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    1. Life is like that sometimes isn't it? A bit of a roller coaster. If you can hang on long enough, it calms down eventually I always think. x

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  2. Some gorgeous spring photos here CT, especially all the lovely flowers, spring blossom and butterflies. The photo of the Brimstone is simply superb :-)

    I share your sentiments entirely as regards slowing down as taking time to appreciate and absorb the natural world around us is so important if we are to remain sane in this ever more hectic world !

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    1. Thank you David :-) Praise indeed coming from you, whose photos are always so good :-)
      Being outdoors is such a good way to de-stress, isn't it? Especially in this recent beautiful warm weather.

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  3. The 'leaf' butterfly on the Daphne is beautiful, fantastic camouflage!

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    1. A freshly hatched Brimstone- beautiful and perfect.

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  4. We all need time to stand and stare..and just listen
    who would think that such a beautiful song could be sung by a Dunnock such a drab little bird ..but so full of joy!
    Thea xx

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    1. I agree about Dunnocks and Wrens are the same - such an enormous, joyful voice from such a tiny wee person!

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  5. A lovely thoughtful post, CT and some beautiful photos of spring. I love the singing dunnock, and the bees and butterflies. I saw a Brimstone yesterday, but it didn't settle unfortunately - unlike the Peacock close to it that was definitely sunbathing!

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    1. It's been a wonderful weekend for butterflies here too- I've seen so many already. Just hope it continues all summer long.

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  6. Love the photos of the Comma especially and the Brimstone-which we don't get here. A lovely reflective post which I enjoyed reading-thank you CT.

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    1. The Comma looked freshly hatched and was very beautiful- perfect. x

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  7. What lovely photos.. I especially like the birds, bees and butterflies.. oh and the deer... and those pretty flowers & blossom.. Hmmm I think I especially like them all.. hehe :o) I love it when I take the dog for a walk across the fields.. no body else about, just me the dog and nature..bliss :o)

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    1. Thanks Julie :-)

      I love walking across the empty fields with the dogs too- so peaceful.

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  8. Love the butterfly photos - the warm sunny weather at the weekend certainly brought them out :) A lovely reflective post CT. I find to cope with life and its many demands I just have to take time out and get close to nature :)

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    1. I'm starting my transects soon which should be both fun and interesting- I'm determined to improve my butterfly ID skills this summer.
      Nature is such a great way to unwind and re-balance x

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  9. I agree with you and often crave for a slower time when I can do things well and get pleasure out of it rather than rushing around. Your pictures made me smile as they represent all the things I have witnessed in the last week too! Sarah x

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    1. I've just read your last post and thought: aha! we must have been on the same wavelength when writing them! x

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  10. Lovely spring photos CT - in't it lovely to get outside. Completely agree with your sentiments regarding getting older! xx

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    1. The sunshine this week has been a real tonic. Everything feels better when it's sunny doesn't it? xx

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  11. I call it "touching base" and at the busiest times of my life, I have felt a desperate need to just get away to somewhere solitary in the countryside and get back in touch with those things which really matter to me and underpin my life and beliefs.

    I have been busy out in the garden in the past week and is is so satisfying and healing.

    Lovely photos.

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    1. The countryside is definitely where my roots are- I would be someone else if I lived in a town. The quality of energy is different in the country- busy, but less frenetic somehow, more peaceful. It's been my place of healing for years.

      Looking forward to another weekend in the garden here too- we have plans to tackle some areas that have been left for ten years or more! I'll take some photos to record it all. A good excuse to think of some new shrubs to put in! :-)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x