Let your eyes rest on something completely “ordinary” in the natural world. As you look, the beauty and delicacy of what you are seeing you will reveal itself to you. There is so much gloriously ordinary beauty in everyday life; seeing that, restores us to ourselves. Stephanie Dowrick
When the land you love shakes beneath your feet
suddenly can shift because of a greater force, you wonder what is certain about your life anymore.
and the tides come and go.
The sea air is still tangy and refreshing. The sun warm and the sky blue on days like this one.
A wave surge hits the sea wall and exhilarates you with delight as salt water splashes your face.
It is ironic that nature means earthquakes here in Aotearoa but it is nature that we return to for solace and restoration of spirit and hope.
I regularly use this phrase “I love to get the juice out of things.” But what do I mean by that?
For me it is about looking deeper, looking wider and looking again.
It might be “getting the juice” out of producing a good crop of garlic. It might be after I’ve seen a movie or attended a concert or meeting.
Sometimes the “juice” might be new learning; sometimes it might be new understanding: sometimes it might be more questions or puzzles to think on and other times new responses or feelings.
The endless possibilities that might arise from “getting the juice” are a really attractive part of this process for me and helps feed the naturally very curious part of me.
Saturday 2nd July: Friday wrap-up, a day late.
So here are a few things that have happened today. It has been a good one.
I realized that the very cold weather we have had this week is just the thing to stimulate my newly planted garlic bulbs.
The coffee was good and hot at the café this morning
A friend and I had a discussion about resilience which is a topic we are both interested in
I walked around the lake near our shopping centre and enjoyed the winter light, the water, the birds and some stunning colours that surprised me in the depths of a steely, raw winter’s day
Hot soup was just the right food for lunch
I completed my Garden Bird survey and was delighted by the number of chaffinchs in the count this year
I did a guided meditation as the light of the day faded
Everyone enjoyed their hot roast dinner
There was some humorous television to watch in the evening.
And I found a new blog which I will be following closely with great interest. I’d encourage you to have a look:-)
I have felt in need of some soothing today after a week so far that has been very challenging on many levels. I turned to my garden and took this photo of our Camellia “Quintessence”. The tag off the plant says “ Miniature single white blooms with white filaments and yellow anthers. Sweet musky fragrance. Early to mid season. Slow spreading bush.”
This is our second “Quintessence”. I checked the meaning of the word quintessence after we first purchased this delicately flowered shrub and knew our choice was an appropriate one.
The dictionary offered me two meanings: “ Fifth substance, apart from four elements, composing the heavenly bodies, entirely and latent in all things.”
“Most essential part of any substance, refined extract; purest and most perfect form, manifestation or embodiment of some quality or class.”
I needed the “fifth substance” after the four elements: water (floods in New South Wales), earth ( yet more earthquakes in Christchurch), air ( troubled by volcanic ash ) and fire ( a spate of arson attacks in the past week or more) have dominated lives. It was helpful to spend time looking at the flowers, enjoying their beauty and noting the new growth that has occurred despite something nibbling on the leaves. I felt more at peace.
A tip I used to pass on at parenting skills courses was to ensure that you made 6 positive comments to each child, each day and observe any changes that happened. Parents who tried this often reported back that their children’s behaviour had improved and that life in their house was generally much pleasanter.
Humans thrive in a positive environment where they get positive feedback to help them on their way. Try ensuring that you say at least 6 positive things to each person in your home, each day and let me know how you get on…
Yesterday I blogged about the importance of time to yourself after I witnessed a checkout operator describing her enjoyment of a morning to herself. I can see some hours today which are already labelled “time to myself” and I am really looking forward to those.
As I was thinking about the regenerative nature of a chunk of unpressured time to ourselves, I also thought about how all human beings, no matter their age need “regroup time”. A transition space where they allow time and often personal space to shift from one activity or focus to another. I am very aware of this in my own family as the adults come in from work and often settle with a newspaper or magazine while they regroup from the pressures of work, the drive home and a shift into more leisurely time in the evening.
School children benefit from regroup time as they shift from the demands of the school routine, learning, noisy groups of friends and any personal challenges of the day. A slow drift home on foot is ideal, some food and water when they arrive home, and time outdoors just mucking around allows them to restore so many aspects of their being.
I noticed my two year old grandson needed some regroup time when he woke up from his midday sleep recently. He was happy to sit on my knee and allow me to cuddle him but apart from that he just needed regroup time to shift back into full of energy and movement mode.
No doubt neuroscience could explain what happens to our brains and why we need regroup time but for now we simply need to care for ourselves and our children by providing this important part of being human.