You may have realised from my recent poems that my friend Graham committed suicide recently – well actually February last year but I didn’t know until recently. And I didn’t even know he suffered from depression (as do I) and had I known I would have liked to think I might have reached out – but I thought he was ‘normal’ – one of those people who don’t suffer from depression – can you sense my shame, my lack of confidence, my lack of joyousness, my lack of ‘hey, let’s sit and chat’ ness?
I’ve been a little bullied over the past few years and I am not the person I was in 2010/2011 – when I had more belief in myself than I do today; when I believed what I thought was true – before I realised that I wasn’t the girl I used to be; before I realised that people could ignore me and actually that mattered to me…
I have learnt that life is not what it seemed it was and I am not who I thought I was – and that it’s ok to be happy with today, to be grateful for today’s blessings, to be excited by little things, little joys, little accomplishments. Expectations are adjusted accordingly and little triumphs can be wonderful.
I have learnt the art of gratitude. And that is such a gift.
And I have learnt to find pleasure in small and simple things, to find joy in the ordinary, to be grateful for whatever today brings. Every day is a gift. I was arrogant before I knew this. But I have learnt my truths for myself. It is what it is – and I am grateful for what is.
Life has had it’s ups and downs – but through it all God has been there – holding out His hand and watching and hoping, and cheering for me and wanting the best for me – even when I wasn’t capable of wanting this for myself, let alone acknowledging what He offered.
And I am grateful. I am grateful for the learnings.
And I have learnt the art of gratitude.
Ans there is something wonderful in finding joy in the ordinary – taking pleasure in the mundane, the basic, the banal – and finding joy in these things … can be really precious.
For all of this I am grateful.
When I returned to the valley – my private gateway to another world
Sudden bombarding of the senses:
Heat and humidity press against the skin with palpable force
Cicadas form a wall of sound: an assault on the ears
The scent of jasmine and honeysuckle, of forest and dogs and bar-b-ques
Sometimes the distant scent of rain is carried on the breeze – smell connects with the touch of the wind, and a change in the barometer spells the knowledge, the taste of showers to come
Sometimes the welcome relief of a quiet shaded forest, cool and calm this hidden treasure
A sea of divergent greens, lush tree-lined valley walls: radiance of colour, the work a combination of nature and man
Ceiling of the deepest blues: a spectrum of azure, cerulean and cyan mixed with hues of ultramarine and thalo form a vivid mural, a thousand shades of blue line this pristine expanse of untroubled sky
Sights and sounds, the feel and smells at times combine to overwhelm the senses
Other times: the quiet beauty, the stillness, the calm, refreshing my soul
These hills, these trees, this sky, this valley and river- my pocket of the world
My quiet haven, my secret enclave, my sanctuary 5014.
I awoke to the most gentle of touches on my cheek
like being kissed by a velvet petal
or butterfly wings against my face
a caress so soft it was almost unrecognized by my senses.
A secret invitation whispered on a gentle zephyr
“Come dance with us, come dance”
and how they danced –
so tender, so quiet but sheer joy
barely movement – absolute beauty – pure grace
the fluid motion of individual beings: separate and united
I watched, astounded, my eyes drinking in the vision
my body paralyzed and mute
so beautiful I cried when it was over
not understanding why I was chosen
not understanding the reason for this –
the gift of being a silent witness
watching angels dance
I took this photo this afternoon while standing in a friend’s garden. He wasn’t at home at the time! Not sure what his neighbours might have thought had they seen me. Several days ago he and I were chatting and discussing our gardens and he was telling me about how lovely and vibrant his blue hydrangeas were. I asked if I could pop down one day to photograph them and he said “of course, come over any time”- so I did. And he was right, they were really lovely and so vibrant! I often play with colour (along with clarity, light, tone, etc) when I’m looking at my photos but in this case I haven’t altered the colour of the flowers at all. So in a way, this is a photo of my friend’s hydrangeas being authentically themselves – this is simply how they were. And I guess that’s the point of this saying – about being yourself over and above, and before anything else.
And my steps may be slow but I think I’m getting the hang of this ‘being yourself’ business. And this is today’s reminder to myself.
I really love how empowering this quote is. It makes me smile. It says to me ‘It’s ok that you see life differently – you’re allowed. And if you take pleasure in the little things, the tiny specks of beauty that no-one else appreciates, that’s great!’ Which is how I feel about grasses and weeds – I love finding beauty in weeds, or a clump of grasses, or in a tiny flower growing up through a crack in the driveway, a shell I found on the beach or a feather. And I really enjoy living outside the stereotypical bounds that the world defines as ‘beauty’ – so I guess I’m embracing that part of myself that sees life (and beauty) a little differently. And I’m proud of that part of me!
One of my aims this year is to embrace self love – something I’ve really battled with in the past. In terms of how I see myself in regards to my perspective on beauty – I think I’m doing OK!
Dappled light through trees this morning
Filters many shades of green,
Multiple tiny creations arranged,
Portrait of light and shadow play –
It’s just Nature playing with her toys.
I’m really proud of this photo. I got down and lay on the grass a few days ago in order to take it. Wasn’t sure, but just hoped that it would work – and it did! And I even got the insect climbing up the stem. I love the clarity, the definition.
I showed this to my husband and he said “So you took a photo of a weed!” – I said “Yes, I did, but it’s a beautiful photo” to which he said “It’s still a weed!”
More often than not, his attempt is to wind me up, to get me to respond – but what he forgets is that he’s also been teaching me (inadvertently perhaps) that I should never care about what anyone else says. He’s been teaching me quite well (in my humble opinion) and I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that more and more often I choose to ignore what he says (especially when he’s trying to wind me up) and I stick to whatever my gut feel is. And while he wouldn’t admit it, I think that deep down inside he’s actually proud of the progress I’m making in not caring about what other people think – even if that other person is him!!
I could be wrong in my assumptions – and I’m sure he’ll let me know in due course (being the opinionated bloke that he is) but whatever he thinks, and regardless of what he says, I’m proud of this photo. I love a good silhouette and I think this meets my good silhouette criteria – so it works for me, and I’m sharing it with you.
And maybe its proof of the saying – about being at peace with yourself, and in so doing (in my case at least) I will ignore the drama (“it’s still a weed”) and go with my own opinion that is: for me – this is a great photo, and I’m proud of it!