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Long ago and Far Away

I found a box of old photo slides recently – the ones that one used to pop into a projector and view on a screen. Perhaps you have to be of a certain age to remember them! My father took hundreds of these slides over the years, and I can still remember the fun evenings we had looking at the many pictures we had accumulated, and eating supper from trays on our laps. We had our own mini cinema! Family weddings, Christmases, birthdays, and various stages of my sister’s and my growing – up years were all chronicled in my dad’s handwriting on the big box of slides.

As often happens, time moves on and the slides were left in the loft as new and more modern cameras provided us with more up-to-date methods of taking and storing pictures. Recently though, I came across the box again and spent several hours looking through the pictures on a view-finder I bought online. The slides had become very jumbled over the years and the selection was very random and hopped from year to year. My interest was piqued and soon I found an App that enabled me to edit my slides and see the pictures more clearly. My past opened up before me and days long forgotten came back into view.

For a while, I felt quite sad. I thought about time passing. I mourned days and people long gone. I wished I could remember all the sunny days of my childhood. I wish I knew where some of the friends were that I had lost touch with. I wished I had said ‘thank you’ more and noticed all the kind actions of my grandparents and older friends who called and were kind. But of course, we can’t remember everything that has gone before us. However, I can see myself standing under a sunny sky as a small girl. I can see our gardener standing with my mother and me, resting his hand on my shoulder. I remember him now as a kind and lovely man and his name with Mr Leaves….a wonderful name for a gardener! Some days and loved ones may be long gone, but even if we don’t know it, good memories and sunny, ordinary but nevertheless special days, stay with us and remain tucked away somewhere in our souls. These days are the ones that nudge us from time to time from our memory banks, the ones that give us feelings of deja vu and the ones that creep up announced and fill us with nostalgia.

Nothing good is ever lost.

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Chaos…but not..

Do you ask: ‘What is the world coming to?’ I do. I think we live in such turbulent times that it is hard to work out what or whom to believe in. So much of what we are faced with on a day-to-day basis – the politics and the rules we are made to abide by, seem to be made to suit some and not others. There seems to be so much unfairness and lack of consideration for others. Have those holding the reins ever experienced poverty or scarcity?

I find myself reading and listening to the news and then wondering why. There is a distinct feeling that we are only being fed what others wish us to hear and I ask myself if that is helpful.

However, it has always been my policy not to get too political on my blog, after all, it is all about pursuing the gentler path! What I will ponder on though, is this: what do we do in times of chaos? Who do we look to and where do we find the answers to our worries and fears for the world? Can we find it in ourselves to bring about change? Do we try and stand up and take action or do we try and make the world a better place with meditation and positive thinking? Perhaps it’s a bit of both. I know that getting outside always seems to calm the mind – nature has a way of giving us answers without having to say anything at all.

Thank you for reading and staying with me. If you enjoy my poetry, I can be found on Instagram at @littledovepoetry_ I’d love you to join me.

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Time to Breathe

October is here again, wearing its golden colours and giving us a gentle reminder that winter is just around the corner. It is a beautiful month, however much we miss the long summer days. Last night I smelled the woodsmoke outside and looked at the moon boldly shining on us, regardless of what is happening in our troubled lands. I came in and lit a candle, pulled the curtains across and settled early. Nature knows just what compensations to lay at our door.

For a moment, switch off the news, find a quiet corner and just breathe….

There is a time to take a breath,
To pause and be quiet
And avoid the scramble to the finish line.
Sometimes, being first
Is less important
Than enjoying the view.
Try, as you know you can,
To remember where your heart is
And where the small things live.
If you stay true to yourself
Time will be kind
And you will find your way
To where you belong
And there will be diamonds at your feet.

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Thank You Your Majesty

I wrote this simple poem at the time of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and thought I would share it again today. We will miss her.

Our faithful Queen,
The places you've been,
The hands you have shaken
The people you've seen!
Never a foot wrong
Nor a hair out of place
The best version of royal
We bow to your grace.
Thank you for wearing 
Your crown with style,
It must have been heavy
Once in a while.
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Encouragement For Today

Days of dull spirits…

I am aware that sometimes my blogs could be a bit more cheerful! I tend to be deep thinker and can let my mind run away with me at times. I have always made it my policy to write about positive viewpoints but that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally visit dark places. I wrote a blog at New Year about diet and food and added some poetry about my granny’s kitchen and words about my grandad’s delicious but simple bread and butter tea-time snack. It has been by far my most popular blog and made me realise that it’s often the simple things that lift our hearts. I have even started to wonder whether I should start writing a food blog as all things food-related brings us together in ways few other subjects do! Think of all the food programmes on television and how popular they are. Food seems to spark all sorts of emotions. I have seen people in bits when a cake doesn’t turn out well or a soufflé doesn’t rise, but also seen them jump for joy when a special dish turns out well. Food programmes may seem trivial in times of unrest but that is not the case because feeding people brings out the best in us. It helps us come together and it lifts the soul when we sit around a table together, eat together and try and put the world to rights.

What else lifts the soul on grey days? This week we took a walk through the bluebell wood near us. It wasn’t just the beauty of the stunning blue flowers dipping their heads as we walked along that filled our hearts with happiness, it was the peace that came from walking in a quiet corner of the world. We listened to the birdsong and watched a deer shyly walk past and disappear deep into the forest. We inhaled the subtle fragrance of the flowers. Nothing had changed in our world yet everything had shifted to a good place, at least for a while. When we lose ourselves in nature we can let ourselves relax, we can allow our imagination to take us to different realms – perhaps the White Rabbit frolics nearby!

For a while, we can leave our burdens on the forest floor…….

When the day is heavy with noise and the news I don’t want to hear comes bouncing into the room, I will remember the quiet of the forest…

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Take Your Time – and Pray

They say we are directed to where we need to be if our hearts are open. In the last few weeks, I have picked up several different books – novels, autobiographies and a book of essays and musings on the divine. Although they were looking at life from completely different angles, they seemed to have a familiar thread running through them, one that linked deeper thinking with simplicity. Yes, that sounds like a paradox, but I think enlightenment does come from a place of calm and contemplation in these times of intense social media and news bombardment.

It is easy for frustration to settle in our very being as we feel weighed down by events, both personal and in the wider world. Times are challenging. Yet times have always been challenging if we look back in history and will be in the future. What will help us along the way, along our journey through this life? What helped those before us and those that will come after us?

I have read somewhere that if you feel disturbed by something the wisest thing to do is to pray. For many of us, this may be something we have forgotten how to do, or perhaps we wonder how to pray and to who do we send our prayers? Again, simplicity is the key. A quiet place for some time out is all we need. If we calmly gather our thoughts and requests together, our feelings of love for others, our hopes for peace and love to prevail and send them to an all-loving being we can find the light. We don’t need to look for explanations because we cannot know the future. We can spread love though, and send out blessings for those who need them, and we will feel it return to us. And the prayers will know where to go. To God, to the Universe, Mother Earth – whoever waits and looks over you and knows your heart.

Prayer Changes Things

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Who Inspires Me?

I was recently asked to write a short piece about inspiration and who inspires me.

I started thinking about who I wanted to write about and found myself struggling to single out just one person. There are so many people both in the present day and those who have gone before us that have inspired us through selfless acts, scientific development, religion, philosophy and politics. There are giants who walk tall in our history books and have left us with lasting legacies and we in the world will always look up to them. On the very top of my list would be the names of Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, all three of them arguably the most important names of our time.

But that would be only the start of my list, which could indeed be very long, because, thankfully the world is full of very good people, though it’s easy to forget that at times. Especially now.

What always amazes me is that the greatest teachers we know focus or have focused, on lifting the hearts of those around them rather than extolling their own virtues. When an interviewer attempts to paint the Dalai Lama as something grand, a soul with a mighty preordained purpose, his response is typically, ‘I’m a monk, a simple monk.’ That made me think about all the people out there who quietly go about their business, whilst spreading some good feeling or intention to the world. The people who touch the hearts of others in small but significant ways.

And so I put my thoughts into this poem…

Who Inspires Me?


The person who smiled
When I was troubled
And kindly looked my way,
The selfless mother 
Who, though tired and afraid,
Held her children tightly today.
The angel at the food bank
Who couldn’t sleep,
Knowing others were hungry -
She came with love
And bread for them to eat.
The doctor who cared
And knew every person 
Waiting to be seen
Deserved love and attention.
The brave person who stood up to say
‘I’m different, but please look my way.’
The special one who said:
‘I know there are challenges we must all face
But it’s going to be okay,
I love you,
All will be well today.’


Lmh


I hope you will feel inspired by someone today - even better, maybe you will inspire someone, perhaps without even knowing it. How wonderful is the gift of a warm smile.

Namaste 





Here, no less beauty I am shown, than Cardinals or Kings…
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Dear World

I am not wise enough to comment on the shocking situation in the world today. I can only try and concentrate on anger somehow dissolving, reason taking the place of fighting and new life evolving in a way which at the moment we cannot see.

We have to believe we are part of a bigger and better picture, even if we cannot see it, and part of an all-loving Universe even if we cannot feel it. We can be part of humanity where we see those who feel invisible rather than those who are in the limelight and part of a place where we don’t nurture our fears at the expense of others, or turn our backs when others weep. In the long quiet hours with the challenge of despair we long to find a place of hope and new life, for here is where all bad things are banished, no explanations are needed and yet we know everything we need to know.

Let us pray for broken hearts to mend, and that the hands of those in power let go of the reins and review the compass so that we can all find the right way.

In an all-loving Universe generous, kind hearts do their best for the common good.

How fiercely we must hope and pray for Ukraine and for all of us. We pray for peace.

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Insomnia and The Worry Monster

I have often tried meditating. I know all the gurus extol its virtues. So does my husband…(he’s quite a guru in his way). I am sure it’s a good thing to do. I will keep trying.

‘Quiet the mind and the soul will speak’.

Buddhists suggest that when one is meditating and random and unwelcome thoughts come into your mind uninvited, it is useful to look at these thoughts and name them. You might say: ‘Oh, here comes insecurity again’ or ‘here comes the money thing again’ – by naming the pesky worries you may be able to distance yourself from these visitors.

For me, the intrusive thoughts all belong to the visitor named ‘THE WORRY MONSTER’. I can be lying cosily in my warm, snug bed, feeling happy and content, in fact, feeling very lucky indeed, when the ‘WORRY MONSTER’ creeps up and casts his nasty spell. He then goes on full attack, troubling my psyche with a barrage of unwelcome worries, pointing me in the direction of self-destruction.

The darkest hour is just before dawn.

I think the ‘WORRY MONSTER’ carries his own alarm clock because he always knows the best time to strike. When his alarm goes off, he dashes over to my side and does what he can to rattle me. He also seems to carry a list of things for me to worry about which he gets out regularly. This he reads meanly in my ear and urges me to:

Worry about the future,

Worry about every mistake I’ve ever made, no matter how great or small,

Go over all the embarrassing moments from my past,

Worry about disasters that could befall me or my loved ones.

He drones on with an ever-increasing list, often accompanied by a very annoying and repetitive tune that adds to my discomfort.

How can I sleep? I sigh and toss and turn.

I don’t like this monster at all, he causes trouble and upsets me, but then a thought occurs to me. I realise that he can be dealt with because HE ISN’T REAL! Just like all the ugly monsters in our childrens’ story books, he is just a figment of my imagination. And that’s a revelation. I can close the page. My imagination might have been stimulated but that doesn’t mean the scary things he urges me to worry about are going to happen in real life.

It is time to try meditation again. Concentrate on my breathing and think only good thoughts, be grateful for what I have and look forward not back.

Life brings worries of course. None of us know what is around the corner, but the time to deal with problems is when they happen and not before.

The ‘WORRY MONSTER’ has left the building.

'It is dark' she said
To the wise man.
'I really feel afraid,
Everywhere I turn
The rules confound me;
What's more to learn?'
'Nothing,' said he.
'Just be sure to hang on tight,
For the stars are brightest
In the darkest night.'

Lmh.

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The Grass Isn’t Always Greener….

Do you sometimes lose focus and wonder about where or when you will be happy next? Life is beginning to move on again and we may find ourselves getting restless. Both my grandmothers married very young and lived in the same places their whole lives. They didn’t have careers and never went far for holidays. I don’t know if either of them ever dreamed of moving to another town or seeing the world, they may well have done, but they always seemed content to me. They were homemakers, and for me as a young girl, I loved the warm and loving welcome they always gave me on my regular visits.

My grandmothers certainly weren’t bombarded with technology and I don’t even remember them having a television when I was small. (Devon granny did get one eventually so that she could watch a royal wedding!). Of course, modern technology brings many advantages and gives us lots of opportunities and a wealth of choices, but does too much choice always serve us well?

Sometimes with so much choice, we can suffer from ‘the grass is always greener syndrome’. We think someone is having a better time elsewhere, or we find ourselves wondering about the ‘next big thing’.

There is nothing wrong with dreaming big of course! Sometimes a new path takes us in the right direction, but what about those days where we forget to be happy because we are fretting about where life is going? These are the days when it’s good to bring ourselves back to the present, look at what we already have and enjoy the moments that are happening right now.

My poem illustrates the fact that it is easy to overlook what is in front of us. The field of diamonds that is figuratively laid at our feet.