To be Alive is to Change

Life and nature are always changing.

 Hardly a week ago, I went for a stroll through a nearby beech plantation. It was so beautiful. Most of the leaves had opened up, but not to full size. They were that wonderful translucent lime-yellow with a hint of silver at the edges. The whole area was full of colour and movement as the wind riffled through the new leaves setting them dancing against the blue sky. The effect was scintillating. Magical.

Now the leaves are almost full size, much thicker and darker, and the atmosphere of the wood has changed again. Everything seems more solid, more ‘grown up, settling down for the serious business of flowering and making seeds.

The memory of that youthful, joyful scintillation of spring will stay with me for ever.   

Pausing for a moment – not!

Gracious, judging by my lack of any posts for weeks, whatever else I’m doing I’m not pausing even for a nano-moment! I thought Lockdown was meant to be a quiet time when we can develop new hobbies and improve DIY skills? Not here it hasn’t been, though not sure, now, what I have been ‘busy’ doing. Better that way than sitting around with nothing to do, I guess.

Anyway, pausing for a moment now to enthuse about Batsford Arboretum near Moreton-in-the-Marsh. A beautiful park at any time of year, but just now it is looking splendid with lots of different flowering cherry trees – sparkling white, pale pink, green tinged, cream…, magnolias, Acers of all kinds unfurling wonderfully coloured new leaves in all shades from brilliant crimson and gold to lime green and copper.

If you love very large tall trees, this is the place to go. There are some magnificent specimens of conifers, beech, and Californian redwoods, even an enormous Tree of Heaven! (I was asked why it was called that. I saw how tall it had grown and thought it was because it looked as if it was trying to reach such celestial heights.) Plus, some orient inspired statues – a Buddha, a Japanese ‘Foo dog and some Sika deer, a Japanese rest house and pretty bridges, lacquered in bright red with black details, spanning pretty spring fed streams. 

There is a lovely café with a sunny terrace on which to enjoy a coffee and cake or a tasty lunch and a picnic area with a coffee shop selling a variety of coffees and cakes. 

I am just a member of the public who went there for the first time on Monday and enjoyed the spectacle of glorious blooms shining against a sapphire blue sky. There is a well-stocked garden sundries shop and an elegant plant sales area.

Everywhere is Covid safe with plenty of space in the extensive grounds to spread out. Free for RHS members.

A much-needed tonic for a tired ‘lockdown soul’.

The ‘Sunshine’ vitamin – D3

Vitamin D is not just necessary to prevent rickets developing in children as was once thought. There has been ongoing research into is potential and action in the body since it was identified in 1913.

It is unusual in that it is both a nutrient and a hormone. ‘This transformation from a vitamin to a hormone means it can bind its nuclear receptor, orchestrating a cascade of events’. It is known that it has beneficial effects on the liver, the parathyroid glands, heart, bones, intestine, pancreas, red blood cells, macrophages – thus influencing our immune system – cells in breast, colon and prostate cells and kidneys. Every major organ in fact. Obviously, something we need to take seriously.

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How important are our thoughts?

“If our circumstances tempt us to think thoughts such as, “I must not be good enough”, “I will never have another chance”, It will take forever for this to right itself”, or “I hate whoever is to blame for this”, then miracles, though they are programmed into the nature of the universe, cannot make their way into our awareness. With every thought we think we either summon or blocks miracle.

It is not our circumstances, then, but rather our thoughts about our circumstances that determine our power to transform them”.

From an excerpt from The Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson (available from Cygnus Books info@cygnusbooks.co.uk)

Pause for a Moment

Care of the Soul is an application of poetics to everyday life.

Pause for a Moment

How calm and tranquil to listen to the gentle tumbling of waves on pebbles as you watch Night draw her starry cloak over the western sea.

Some Days are Diamonds…

Those of a certain age will perhaps remember John Denver’s lovely song “Some days are diamonds, some days are stone” from his “Best of Country Songs” Album/CD?

“Some days are diamonds some days are stone, Sometimes the hard times won’t leave me alone..”

Diamond days usually take care of themselves.

I had a few ‘stone days’ last week. If and when you have such days, how do you manage them? Are you able to roll with it? Even turn them into diamond days?

Worth a bit of thought when the way forward can look very stony.

What do I do? Drink more water (hot water in winter). Sometimes I can go for a walk in the Forest, which always lifts my mood. If that is a step too far (stony days are often low energy days), I may put on a little make up and lipstick, some different clothes and my favourite perfume, usually reserved for going out. At least, I may look better than I feel, which helps!

Sometimes it is just resolutely stony. I have to ride it out and try to get more sleep.

Pause for a Moment

“Give back into your heart its song. Let it bring forth from its unfathomable depths such songs of love and adventure, legends and mysteries this work has never seen.” (Source unknown now)

More from Pause for a Moment

“Often when imagination twists the commonplace into a slightly new form, suddenly we see the soul where formerly it was hidden”.

I guess that is what Art in all its literary, poetic and canvas/paper variety does?

Pause a Moment

The act of entering into the mysteries of the soul without sentimentality or pessimism encourages life to blossom forth according to its own design, and with its own unpredictable beauty.

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