Posts Tagged 'fresh air'

Patience with the tides…..

This morning there was a sailboat heading out to sea. It took him a few hours to come up The Mersey as he battled the incoming tide and strong headwinds. He was under sail and at times his mast was almost parallel with the water. After this went on for at least two hours, a fellow sailboat came into view and with sails down, he was relying on his motor. Needless to say he sailed past the chap who was battling and I don’t need to be a psychic to sense the feelings flying around out there.

Yesterday, I took time out for a creative day and I am grateful for the space this created. I realised that I have ‘hung’ all sorts of expectations on a work situation coming into being and the pressure has got intense to say the least. I was building the pressure. What was I thinking? It will happen in it’s own good time and there is nothing practical I can do right now to move it along. It is as it is.

Today dawned without pressure and it brought a different level of calmness with it. I think a good buddy of mine would call it acceptance.

A few unexpected events dotted through the morning and I simply changed tack and did other things. One brought such simple joy into my day I have to share it. The ‘man of the house’ has put a whirly washing line up and out in the garden my freshly laundered sheets and towels are blowing in the ‘sunshiney’ breeze.

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Sparkles in a daily round…

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It’s my turn to polish this week in our loved home. I’m sitting here writing to you all with the scents of polish and a cooling, freshly baked cake wrapping round the rooms.

Each day I go out to breathe in the fresh air and re-charge my batteries. I am often seen heading down to the seashore to take my wellies out for a splash in the sea and they love it! A few days ago, it was late afternoon before I managed to break away from work and head out. As I pottered down the promenade there was a Mum holding her toddler son’s hand as they ambled along, and as I came beside them, he turned and grinned at me. I reached out my hand and he took it. We all walked along together playing ‘One, two, three, wheeeeee’ as he flew between us. As they headed back to their car, I stood and watched a man walking his dog on the beach. The man had one of those ball throwing sticks and he would pause with the dog at his feet, then he’d throw the ball along the seashore. His dear dog stayed exactly where he was and looked up at his human friend, wagging his tail as if to say ‘Gosh, that was a good throw’. They both set off to get the ball, then the man stood poised to throw it again and off it went sailing through the air. The dog stayed at his buddy’s feet and carried on wagging his tail, looking up at him saying something like ‘You’re getting really good at this’. They set off and retrieved the ball again. The man repeated the whole exercise several times and the dog stayed resolutely by his side. It was priceless and I got the giggles.

I have radically changed my diet and will no doubt be talking about that in future posts, but right now I am getting the hang of it all. It means that I am a frequent visitor in our local shops. As I was being served yesterday, the lady at the till asked if I needed a bag. I held mine up and replied ‘No thanks, I am fine as I remembered to bring mine’. She commented that she always forgot hers in the car. I told her that I walk everywhere now, so mine was attached to me. Her reply pulled me up short. ‘Oh, I’m lazy and I drive everywhere’. I straightened up from filling my bag and looked at her and spoke straight from my heart. ‘I am sure that’s not the case. You are probably short on time, rushing to get a million things done and very tired. Please be kind to yourself’. Her eyes filled with tears and we stood for a minute as she talked and all sorts poured out. The lady, who was standing by her trolley behind us, joined in too.

My buddy, who works on the service that I have returned to work for, and I nattered this morning online as we always do when we’re working. We are all linked online in a private group and it makes a huge difference to our daily working rounds that we can share together. I commented that it was her loving care that had brought me back to work on the service and I was grateful to her. Her reply was ‘We felt that we could care for you properly Jane if you were back in the fold’.

So many sparkles in my daily round and it’s love, everything sparkly comes from love.

Life’s twinkly, sparkly gifts….

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As I sit working on the support service this morning it is a mild Autumnal day in North Wales. My front door is wide open, and although the breeze is quite strong, it is lovely to just peacefully sit and reply to the messages asking for help coming in over the ether.

The front of my little place is all glass and right now I have a reflection in it from the kitchen window behind me. My kitchen window looks out onto the courtyard and trees and the image sparkling on my front glass is the sunlight coming through the leaves and twinkling right in front of me. In the afternoons these twinkles play out across my kitchen slate floor and it’s magic to watch.

Me being me, I see this beautiful display of nature as an analogy for life.

Time and time again on the service, I talk to our clients about seeing the gifts in every connection, especially when they are beating themselves up because something has ended badly. Life can be very messy indeed, but there are gifts within. It’s about gently helping people to gain confidence in their life steps. I do not see things as right or wrong, or as mistakes (good and evil are two different things entirely), but as life’s flow without labels, measurement or judgment. That’s loving and being loving to ourselves is right up there as an important thing to so. If we can be loving to ourselves, then we can flow love to others. Taking forward life’s gifts gives a self awareness that makes future decisions simpler. For it is all about awareness and common sense, rather than making decisions that are fear based. There is a huge difference. If you make a decision/action because you do not want a certain outcome, then that is fear based. If you make a decision/action, because something is not sitting right within you, then that is made from awareness, not fear. It allows life to flow along, because you are not trying to control it. You are just setting your boundaries on what does, or does not, sit right for you.

I read a cracking expression the other day…I love it. ‘If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck….it’s a duck!’ If something, or someone, is not sitting right within you, pay attention, it’s your twinkly lights from behind trying to tell you something.

Reflecting and capturing the gifts from what has passed is not looking backwards, it’s taking the twinkly, sparkly light of life’s gifts forward. It also helps you to live without fear, just simple awareness and that is a very loving thing to do.

An unplanned reunion holds magic with breathtaking scenery…

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Kate and I were neighbours over twenty years ago and have remained buddies ever since. The card giving her my news and latest address coincided with her holiday to my part of the world and texts flew as we arranged to meet.

Huge joyful hugs and much nattering over cups of tea gave us both time to pause for a day. We sat there on the balcony of a cafe, beside a river tumbling over rocks, and decided to spend the day together. ‘What do you fancy doing?’ queries were followed by Kate pulling out all sorts of local guide maps. My new home has so many areas to be explored and I had not really ‘twigged’ that Snowdonia National Park is less than an hour away from my front door.

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Kate, ever prepared, had spare walking boots and equipment in her car and with glee and happy hearts we set off to walk together in the mountains.

We were gifted magic that day…

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We met and talked with so many interesting people and no Kate, I don’t think I will marry the farmer who chatted to us with eyes ‘a twinkle’ as we ‘booted up’ for our walk. There were people from all over the world in those mountains and a sense of kindred spirits as we all left daily cares behind for a while.

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We paused and sat looking at breathtaking scenery and listened to the birds and the peace amoung those mountains.

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That ‘spec’ in the photo above is Kate paddling and yes, it was as cold as it looked. With my capacity to fall over randomly I wisely kept my bottom on the grassy ledge and called out encouragement instead.

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We shared confidences and talked, as only dear old friends can, and made quite a few discoveries about each other up there.

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There was a mountain rescue helicopter out on manoeuvres and a fair few jokes made about Kate’s red scarf and how we might, just might, fancy being rescued.

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We are getting together again before Kate goes back home to Somerset and today she texted me to say that she is going to climb Snowdon itself, with (wait for it…..) an ex.SAS Scotsman. My reply to her will remain private……

I love you Kate. Thank you for a magic day and your special friendship.

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Magic moments from atop my favourite hill in Gloucestershire….

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Dilly and Amy on a walk in the forest.

It is these dog’s special bond that brought me to Dilly’s five bar gate at the top of the hill back at Easter time. Love flowed and a friendship developed with Dilly’s Mum and Dad, Eddie and Elaine, and they have flowed care ever since. I have been tucked up in their magic home for the last few days.

Magic moments….

Dilly feels she has two main roles in her happy life; one is playing with tennis balls and the other is ‘herding’ the chickens. She can be found resting under trees throughout the day keeping watch over her flock. Every now and then her ministrations get a little too enthusiastic and the hens bat her back with their wings…then peace descends once more. I will hear a ball dropping at my feet as one of the abiding memories of being here. Each evening we all feel the effects of multiple ball throwing and one by one the balls get tucked away and Dilly settles down for an evening cuddle. You cannot say the word ‘balls’ within her hearing after this has happened and Eddie made us all laugh when he came in the other evening enquiring ‘Have the sphericals gone to bed yet?’. Dilly was fast asleep last night when I was heard to comment that I had spent the week sitting on balls.

Hepsibar is a poorly hen right now and giving her some tonic and vitamins is important. I usually find her in the silver birch tree memorial garden and we have a chat whilst she takes her ‘get well soon’ treats. This morning she pottered into the kitchen to say thank you.

I collected some things from my car the morning after I had arrived and felt him, before I saw him. It was Rocky, the lovely big boy of a horse, that I cared for at Easter. He was lunching in a neighbour’s field with Lizzie his buddy. I looked up to see him quietly watching me over the gate. I walked over and put my nose to his and wrapped my arms around his neck. We stood for ages breathing together.

Eddie is so talented as a musician and we are blessed to have him play the piano to ‘us girls’ as we go about our evening tasks. I was delighted to hear the Star Trek and Thunderbirds theme tunes. Another abiding memory will be Eddie bounding into the front room doorway late one night saying ‘I have just composed a new piece, do you want to come and listen?’ ‘You do don’t you? Yes, you do?’ He was bouncing from one foot to the other and Elaine, Dilly and I went down to his studio and were privileged to hear his latest piece for the flute. Beautiful.

Showering and looking out of the window onto the little lane and forest the other morning, I was surprised to see the postman in his van drive slowly past . Though not as surprised as he was….he’s young, he’ll recover!

I knelt down yesterday at the edge of the forest and chatted to a two year old toddler about all the leaves he had picked up and the shapes they made. His Mum took him home to help him make a picture with them all.

Friends I made at Easter have been hugged, new friends have been made as we have walked the dogs in the forest, special animals have been cuddled, fresh eggs have been collected and the house has been warmed with the smell of baking, the full moon has been watched, blue skies have been celebrated, sunshine has been welcomed and fresh air has been breathed. Magic moments have been tucked away in a heart that overflows.

Get down off the gas stove Jane, you’re too old to ride the range…mind you, it would help enormously if I could keep the blessed thing alight!

Forest views

I have landed in my next assignment and fallen under a spell.

This beautiful old deep stone walled home is way up a very high hill, looking down onto the valley below and across to the next hill. As I wound my way up here yesterday along a single track, a rare feeling came over me. I just knew that I was entering a different world and there were creative and loving souls living in the cottages dotted amoungst the trees. These hills are surrounded by an ancient forest and look out onto a wide river that is tidal.

I have come here for a week to care for a family’s brood whilst they take a well earned break abroad. We all got to spend some time together before they left at lunchtime today and loving bonds were formed very quickly. I am caring for a retired horse, a Shetland pony, hens, a timid rooster and a characterful fox terrier.

The forest is full of bluebells just coming out and to walk there with a dog that bounds joyously whilst I throw her sticks, is a very happy thing to do.

This little dog has many friends up here and on the way back from our walks she stops to greet her buddies at different gates. I have met the neighbours across these gates and invitations have been extended to stop for tea, cake and a natter whenever I feel the need. This hill is full of writers, musicians, artists, happy animals and love.

This morning I found myself grooming and mucking out my charges at 7am. The air is so clear and fresh up here, and there are trees left from an old orchard dotted across the fields and paddocks. It is an idyllic setting and I cannot think of a better way of starting the day. Mind you, two hours later I was more than ready for the cooked breakfast I was offered.

So far, I have managed to get to grips with some trails through the forest and finding my way back, the mucking out/grooming/feeding routine for my four legged friends, the hens needs and a few challenges.

The old kitchen range and I have yet to find a balance. I am sure there is a knack and so far I don’t have it, as she keeps going out. Thank goodness for the solar panels as this ensures me a much needed deep bath later in the luxury double ended hip bath…oh Yes! However, the challenge of making a hot drink still remains as I have a whistling kettle that does not recognise mains power.

Another interesting moment, was when my little furry companion took off as I gave the hens their lunchtime pellets. Mmmmmm, I suspected she may be making her way to the motorway to follow her family. We were in the paddock for goodness sake and it was supposed to be ‘escape’ proof. It wasn’t….I have nicknamed her ‘Houdini’ and I found her an hour later playing with her buddy, a Springer Spaniel, next door. This was just as I had started to ring round the neighbours, her family having left me a long list of phone numbers and contacts, so I take it that ‘Houdini’ has done this before.

I’m off outside now to water, feed, bed down, tidy and settle everyone before darkness falls. I am in my element, with a grin on my face a mile wide.

A new adventure starts, with much to be grateful for…

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David drove me to my first pet and house sitting assignment yesterday, and even though we are both heartsore, there are gifts in how we still look out for each other.

I sit here writing at a new kitchen table this morning and I give thanks for landing in this special place.

Before the couple left on holiday I was given a guided tour, with helpful instructions, and I was wrapped in their thought and care. Space had been cleared in wardrobes and cupboards, fluffy towels put out in my bathroom, with fresh candles placed in cosy corners, so I would feel at home. The lady of the house showed me where all her baking equipment and ingredients were, as she knows I love to create. The man of the house got his bike out and found me a rucksack to borrow, so I was mobile this week. Careful maps were drawn so I wouldn’t get lost when I explored. As I waved them off, I felt very blessed indeed.

Their beautiful home backs onto a wild park with a canal and yesterday afternoon I set off on my borrowed bike to find Tescos to buy supplies. The sunshine was out in all her glory as I cycled for ages down the towpath and felt the heartache and ‘busyness’ of the last few months start to lift off. Ducks quacked to each other, Canada geese honked and swans glided by. There is a thriving community on the canal, some relaxing and some living permanently on the water, so there were many ‘Hellos’ as I sailed past. The narrowboats have pots of bright spring flowers on their roofs and there was much ‘renovating’ happening.

Last night as I curled up on the sofa, their marmalade tabby cat settled down on my legs and as I looked outside twinkly solar lights came on in the trees.

I know there are some that wonder how this works without charging, but it has a special energy to it. I gift my care and time, and in turn, I am gifted time in a home, with the company and love of animals. It is all done on trust and I feel many loving connections will be made. In calm I can work and earn my pennies and write….

Peace is weaving in and as I chatted to their lovely cat this morning, and he chatted back, a sense of gratitude was all I could feel.

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Jane Sturgeon

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Jane Sturgeon Life Therapist

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