Rock rose

Ephemeral beauty,

tomorrow just

a pile of petals.


I love these pink rock rose flowers. In the morning they are closed and covered in dewdrops. As the day warms up they open and face the sun. By evening the petals are starting to fall and by the following morning petals lie like crumpled pink tissue paper on the soil. Luckily there are plenty more flowers waiting to open.

Morning routines

 I sip my first cup of tea
surrounded by birdsong
as bees breakfast on the columbines.

Now that warmer weather has arrived, I have started having breakfast outside in the garden instead of mindlessly slumping on the sofa in front of breakfast TV news.

We’ve had a run of lovely mornings; blue sky, sunshine, fresh cool morning air.

I find this so calming. The immersion in nature relaxing my body and mind. The felt sense of my belonging, my need for this outdoor world.

I resolve, even when the weather is bad and I have breakfast indoors, to stay away from the morning TV news with all its negativity and trivia, telling me things I don’t need to know, ignoring the things I consider to be important. It gives me the impression that the world is a dangerous place, when just outside my window the world itself is telling me a different story. It sends me into my day with a sense of unease.

There is news in the garden too, much of it in a language I barely understand, passed on in song or bee-dance. Some of it is every bit as sensational as the TV news, tales of life and death. Did the baby blackbirds in the nest in the hedge make it through the night? (its awfully quiet in there). Did the deer eat my broad bean plants? There are stories of growth, news of the flowers most ripe with nectar and pollen, of turf wars between the robins.

Out here there is no clock in the corner of the screen hurrying along the minutes, so I linger, then sit down to work a little later than I planned. I take indoors with me a sense of calm that permeates my day.


What are your morning routines? Do they make you happy?


More like this:

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Jealousy

Jealousy strikes,

irritates,

illuminates,

reveals the path

I wish to travel.


Jealousy. It gets a bad press, but it can be really useful. It can point the way to what we really want.

I don’t often feel jealous, but when I do, it’s usually because someone else is doing something that I want to do. Something I have told myself is impossible, or too hard, or not for the likes of me, for someone older, or younger, more talented, better educated….the list goes on.

This morning, while I was reading an article about a writer and explorer, jealousy bit hard. I read about one of the ideas in his new book, something I remember thinking about years ago. ‘It’s not fair’, I thought. ‘I could have written that’. But I didn’t.

Jealousy showed me that writing about these ideas, and writing a book, is important to me.

Then came the excuses. ‘Oh but he’s probably a much better writer than me. He probably studied literature and writing. He’s probably rich and can afford to be a writer and not need a real job.’

This may, or may not, be true. The point is, he did it, I didn’t. The point is, more clarity on what is important to me, what it is that I want.

Jealousy is not a pleasant feeling, but it gave me a little nudge into action. I could choose to take what I want seriously. I could take some writing courses. I could start redrafting the novel that I wrote a few years ago.


What do you think? Has jealousy ever made you stop and think? Pointed the way to a new direction, adventure or creative project?

At the frontier

Ancient tongues

from distant lands

mingle

on this windswept hillside,

the smell of exotic food

wafting in the breeze,

the sound of feet

marching into the distance.

Out of the corner of my eye

the glint of sun on metal.

Two thousand year old memories

uncovered, displayed,

brought to life

in my imagination.

I turn, and all I hear

is the wind, sighing

through the stones,

all I see is the wall

marching off

into the distance.

The past is close here,

there are stories

still buried beneath this land,

waiting to be heard.


Another visit to Hadrian’s Wall yesterday. The wall, forts, Roman towns, landscape and excellent museums always combine to fire up my imagination. I just find it remarkable that the Romans got this far north at all (actually they got further, to the north of Scotland). Some of the soldiers at Hadrian’s Wall were from modern day Syria. And they would have marched all the way from there to the north of England. The weather must have come as a shock.