Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Changing seasons

A friend of mine has got a tattoo on her arm , it's a verse from a poem by Dorothy Frances Gurney (1858 - 1932), it means a lot to her because it reminds her of her mum. We can all understand that, I'm sure we all know what it means to be reminded of your mum, especially if she is no longer here. It's a poem about a garden,

the kiss of the sun for pardon
the song of the birds for mirth
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

It is nice isn't it? You can feel the warmth of forgiveness and the sounds of a happy heart and love.

I haven't got a garden I've got a balcony and as I was snipping and pruning my plants to prepare them for Autumn I was thinking about this poem. I love the changing seasons, and I have rituals that I really enjoy and cherish for moving from one season to the next. My summer plants, the geraniums, plumbago and bourgainville are still beautiful but they are now sitting alongside a few pots of purple heather and cyclamens that I know will pass the test of the winter months and flourish through to spring.
Even though the sun is still warm the signs of Autumn are around us all day long, from the colour of the falling leaves, the sunset moving slowly across the sky, the fading flowers, the shortening days, the flock of birds getting ready to move south, the feel that all is preparing to face the colder weather.

Gardens, parks, woods and forests and yes even balconies are changing. Just like us, they need to adapt and prepare. We need to boost our immune system to ward off colds and flu, we need to cut and prune and discard all the excess, we're like plants, we need constant care and attention, every day all year round if we want to be able to give our best.

Here is a song to accompany this mood of changing seasons and the passing of time by Joni Mitchell.

A vase of heather says Autumn is here

Summer flowers are still bright and cheerful

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Magic Words

Parents and teachers spend a lot of time reminding children to say please and thank you. Please, thank you and sorry all can have a profound affect on a person. They can have the power to open your heart and heal your wounds.
Many languages do not stop at please or thank you. In German after you have said Danke you will receive a smile and a Bitte. In French, Merci will elicit je vous en prie, in Italian Grazie will get a prego. Americans will follow thank you with you're welcome.
Let's face all these expressions and polite words make life better, they make us feel better about each other.
We don't always practice what we preach though and yesterday I was reminded of this by the sweetest three year old in the world.
We were both engrossed in the quest of Dory to find his mum and dad and I absently mindedly lent over to take some popcorn from her carton. Her little voice was low in the darkness of the cinema,
'You can have some of my popcorn, help yourself', well it wasn't meant as a reproach, quite the opposite, it was an invitation to help myself, but it made me aware that I hadn't asked.

From then on bits of popcorn were pushed gently into my mouth at regular intervals, what more can I say, total bliss.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

My Top Summer Sunsets

The days are getting noticeably shorter. The sun sets two minutes earlier each day, a quarter of an hour a week. It now sets where it did in April. there is something so wonderful about the sunset, while you watch it you know you are a part of something magnificent. We all are, while we watch the sun go down and the sky change colour, every day different colours and hues, every day that magical, wondrous feeling.
So here are my favourite summer sunsets, just to stay awhile longer in summer and linger with the warmth of the sun and listen to the last of the crickets.

Here is a verse from  'Tintern Abbey', written by William Wordsworth in 1789 to read while watching the sun go down.

 And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit that impels,
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.

Sunset over the sea, watching the last ferry of the day

Sunset over the mountains

Sunset over the countryside

Sunset on the river

Sunset on the lake

Sunset in a pine wood

Sunset from a terrace