Bluebells and Dreams

 

Whenever times get a bit challenging it’s good to get out and commune with nature. No matter what the weather, there is always something new to see this time of year;  new buds unfurling a little more each day on the horse-chestnut tree, in turn to grow into the tall white ‘candles’ that grace the tree in early summer; the rooks having a good time preparing their nests high in the lofty trees, anticipating the warmer days ahead.

 Have you ever noticed that the earliest Spring flowers are either white or yellow? Snowdrops, Celandine, Primrose, Anemone, Daffodil – all are golden or white. As Spring advances, the blue flowers follow in her footsteps. Violets take the place of Snowdrops and Primroses give way to sheets of Bluebells.

The country side around us here in Buckinghamshire is always spectacular but I particularly love this time of the year. But I do need to allow extra times for my journeys for I cannot pass the woods without stopping, finding my way in and walking through the damp earth (always with the wrong shoes on) to admire the scene. Here I see a wonderful carpet of Bluebells beneath my feet and inhale their delicate scent. Sometimes I take out my camera and take more pictures to add to my ever-increasing portfolio; usually I cannot resist, but sometimes it’s good just to be still.

 

Bluebells

The Bluebell wood is truly a magical place. I imagine little furry creatures leaving their winter quarters and creeping out to sniff the warm breeze. Nature’s children waking up to joyfully prepare for the joys and labours of Spring and Summer.

This is a place to reconnect with our roots and a place to dream….

Garden of Dreams

Once I dreamed I was in a magical wood;
A carpet of Bluebells where I stood.
The nightingale sang to the velvet night
And set a myriad of stars alight.
And the lofty trees bent their branches low
To fold me in their arms below,
In that peaceful land of sleep.

And alone amidst those scented flowers,
I felt the peace of the night-time hours
Settle around me like the softest cloth;
A tapestry woven with the spirit of love.
And I tumbled through a mystic land
Until daylight led me by the hand
Back from that peaceful land of sleep.

© Lyn Halvorsen

 

Blessings to you.

To me you are the world’s best bear..

I’m getting on a bit but the older I get the more I feel the importance of reconnecting with childish things. As I sit and watch the occasional children’s programme with my grandchildren I see the world through their eyes. The colours are brighter, you can say what you really feel, and all things are possible; even magic!

Recently I watched a programme about antiques. Here they featured a pair of elderly teddy bears. One was a similar age to my own dearly loved bear –  but this bear had glass eyes;  a good sign apparently, and had felt soles on the feet, also a good sign. The difference however, was that this bear was up for auction (no!!) and was in tip top condition because he had never been played with! What!? Who wants a bear in pristine condition? (Well someone did as they paid a thousand pounds for him, but that’s not the point.)

Part of a bear’s charm is surely found in his threadbare appearance, a sure sign he has been dragged up through the years; sometimes cuddled to within an inch of his life, taken to play-group, dressed up and wheeled about, sometimes abandoned through teenage years but always on standby to be picked up and cried on during broken romances etc.  He was always loved.

Here’s a poem about my own bear. (Who will never be sold.)teds

My faithful friend you look quite worn
You’ve been around since I was born.
Rough and tumble through the years
Has left you with some tatty ears.
Your beady eyes don’t quite match,
Your tummy has a threadbare patch.
I’m afraid your growl sounds rather weak-
Really just a timid squeak.
I often think if you were willing
I’d treat you to some brand new filling.
I would stitch up all your gaping seams
And comb your fur until it gleams.
But what’s a bit of wear and tear?
To me you are the worlds best bear.

  Lyn Halvorsen

Kindness Matters. Always.

Kindness Matters. Always.  

This is my mantra.

No matter who we are, whatever gifts life has or has not bestowed on us, we all benefit from kindness. Words of kindness can help our fears and anxieties disappear, like ice melting in the warmth of the sun.

Perhaps I can offer a few examples of kindness I have encountered.

One day last year I was sitting outside a cafe enjoying some coffee and the early Spring sunshine. All was quiet until a group of young men walked towards the cafe. They appeared to be in boisterous spirits, shouting and laughing. Swaggering along dressed in their hoodies, they gave off an air of arrogant confidence. They ordered drinks and sat down at a nearby table. They were loud. To be honest I felt slightly uncomfortable next to them and a little annoyed that my space had been invaded. I began to make assumptions about where they were from and wondered why they were out and about. Why weren’t they at work or college? But my thoughts were interrupted when an elderly lady walking across the road tripped and fell, scattering all her shopping in the street. Before I had chance to move, the young men next to me all stood up and dashed over to help. I followed over too, to see if there was anything I could do. Very gently one of them checked the lady over to see if she was badly hurt, and as a group they wondered whether an ambulance was needed.

It was decided that the lady was just shaken up. Getting slowly to her feet she insisted she was okay but was agitated about her groceries and handbag. No problem they said, and gathered up all her things, reassuring her everything was there. I took her over to the cafe and sat her down whilst one of the young men went inside to order her some tea.

We all sat outside the cafe together, our chairs pulled round one table in a companionable circle. Soon the lady was smiling and feeling better .

She looked up at one of the lads. “Why, I know you! You are Jenny’s son from the next block of flats to me! I haven’t seen you for a long time! It’s young David isn’t it?

‘Young’ David smiled and looked embarrassed. “Yes that’s me.”

“Well I’m blessed,” said the lady, who’s name was Molly. “How you’ve grown! I’m so pleased to see you.”

We all chatted for a while and then David offered to walk Molly home. Off they went arm in arm, the others following behind. David promised to tell his Mother he had spent time with Molly and suggested Molly came round to visit sometime. Molly smiled such a sweet smile as she waved goodbye to me. An upsetting fall had had a happy ending.

I went inside and ordered another coffee. I thought about the boys and their kindness to an old lady. I realised one thing. It was not my business to question how anyone passes the time of day. And it was the last time I ever made assumptions.

I remember having to start a new school when I was thirteen as my family had moved house. I was crippled with shyness and it was a very distressing time in my life. I joined the school at a time when everyone had been there a while and had settled into new friendships. They all had their allocated seats and knew the routine. Break-time was miserable. I lurked around in the changing rooms as I didn’t have friends to hang out with. Sometimes after my father had dropped me off at the school gates I would watch him drive off and then I would turn around and walk the three miles home again. My parents were worried about me but at a loss about what to do.

I knew somehow I had to get used to going to school. Gradually some of the other girls started to include me in their circle and the days started to improve. It would take a while until I felt that I belonged but the person who really helped me was my English teacher. Mr. Walker was a kind and thoughtful gentleman who took an interest in me. He made me welcome and took time to concentrate on my work. He taught us good values and good manners by example. He gave me good marks for my essays! He instilled in me a lifelong love of writing. He remembered my name, even when we met by chance years later. Mr. Walker had a class full of pupils but he took the time to be kind to a young, timid girl. He must be long gone now, but I have never forgotten him.

Kindness often comes at times when we least expect it. A random stranger smiling and opening a door for us. A passer by giving us change for the parking ticket machine, or, as happened to me recently, a waitress who was so kind to me after a rough day she brought tears to my eyes.

No matter who we are and whatever our circumstances, we all have times we feel alone. We struggle to understand what is going on around us, both in our own small world and the big wide world too. Most of us have times when we feel lonely in a crowd; days when we wonder literally what this world is all about. These are the days when a small act of kindness goes a long way. These are the days when we can go home and shut the door and smile because someone made a difference.

One last word.

Some days I can get out of the bed the wrong side and feel grumpy. We all can. These are the times when it may be harder to summon up a smile or be polite. After several cold calls interrupting me on the telephone I can feel exasperated. Or maybe it has taken what seems like hours to be served at the checkout. Or perhaps I have been stuck in a long queue of traffic. These are the times I take a deep breath. These are the times I remember life is good. These are the times I tell myself I have today. I am lucky to have today. I am lucky to be able to walk around freely. I am lucky to have a phone I can take a call on no matter how irritating. I am lucky to have some change in my purse. Therefore I will go about my day…and I will be kind.