A moment of loving gratitude as pure as a rose …

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This beautiful painting is a commission that Emily has done recently.

Monday dawned as a day of much hustle and bustle. I dashed about Spring cleaning my place and with a brick ceiling trust me this needs doing every few weeks. It’s a good job I like spiders. Also, a trip into town was undertaken, and when all the list of errands were ticked off, I arrived back home just in time to log onto the system and start work on the support service.

Skype was turned on (as that is how HQ and I stay in touch when I’m working), I had a fresh coffee by my side next to my lip balm. I was ready for action.

I took a breath, looked outside and gratitude came in like a wave. The birds were singing and flitting between the feeders, the sun was dappled across the wooden planks of the barn, the herd were lowing, my lovely landlord and his oppo. were busy with tools in an apartment above me (there were a few serious discussions with hands in pockets between the two of them yesterday, but that is another story), neighbour’s dogs and cats were coming and going and bobbing in here to say ‘Hello’ and the balmy air was wafting in through my open door.

I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessings in being here, the work flowing in and the loving links of support from my colleagues on Skype. All love as pure as a rose.

Gratitude sparked magic….

I saw an email pop into my Inbox as a blogging friend in the States re-blogged a post of mine to all her followers. My Inbox was then filled with likes, kind comments and new followers within minutes and they are still rolling in today.

My love and gratitude to Barbara at Idealisticrebel as she recovers from being poorly and generously sends loving sparks of energy out. Pure love. Xx

An unplanned reunion holds magic with breathtaking scenery…

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Kate and I were neighbours over twenty years ago and have remained buddies ever since. The card giving her my news and latest address coincided with her holiday to my part of the world and texts flew as we arranged to meet.

Huge joyful hugs and much nattering over cups of tea gave us both time to pause for a day. We sat there on the balcony of a cafe, beside a river tumbling over rocks, and decided to spend the day together. ‘What do you fancy doing?’ queries were followed by Kate pulling out all sorts of local guide maps. My new home has so many areas to be explored and I had not really ‘twigged’ that Snowdonia National Park is less than an hour away from my front door.

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Kate, ever prepared, had spare walking boots and equipment in her car and with glee and happy hearts we set off to walk together in the mountains.

We were gifted magic that day…

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We met and talked with so many interesting people and no Kate, I don’t think I will marry the farmer who chatted to us with eyes ‘a twinkle’ as we ‘booted up’ for our walk. There were people from all over the world in those mountains and a sense of kindred spirits as we all left daily cares behind for a while.

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We paused and sat looking at breathtaking scenery and listened to the birds and the peace amoung those mountains.

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That ‘spec’ in the photo above is Kate paddling and yes, it was as cold as it looked. With my capacity to fall over randomly I wisely kept my bottom on the grassy ledge and called out encouragement instead.

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We shared confidences and talked, as only dear old friends can, and made quite a few discoveries about each other up there.

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There was a mountain rescue helicopter out on manoeuvres and a fair few jokes made about Kate’s red scarf and how we might, just might, fancy being rescued.

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We are getting together again before Kate goes back home to Somerset and today she texted me to say that she is going to climb Snowdon itself, with (wait for it…..) an ex.SAS Scotsman. My reply to her will remain private……

I love you Kate. Thank you for a magic day and your special friendship.

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Love on the walls…

Butterfly love

There are so many higgeldy-piggeldy apartments here that we have a rustic mail box set-up under the trees in the courtyard where we park. It works and I have learnt to be quick off the mark in collecting my post when it rains. I go up there first thing each morning and a few days ago there was a little package waiting for me. When I opened it there were all these butterflies nestling in pink tissue paper and a little note on top from Emily, my daughter, saying ‘These are to match your paintings Mum’.

I look around my home and Emily is everywhere and each creative piece evokes memories. From the paintings she created especially for here, to the ceramic tea-light church and bowl she made as a child. Some of her marbles are in a vase here and their buddies are in a hand decorated Kilner jar that she uses as a door stop at Uni. Loving links and memories are everywhere.

One of my paintings

When Em was three I had a little business where I painted terracotta pots for garden centres. She’d stand by the understairs cupboard asking me what I needed ‘size wise’ and she learned to count with those pots. If I close my eyes I can see her doing it now. Often she would sit beside me painting her own. I used to leave them to dry on the kitchen windowsill and we had lovely neighbours Dave and Flo, aross the way. Dave would come up the garden path and kneel down to chat to Em. ‘What have you been making our Em?’ he used to say and she’d show him her pots. He would commission her to paint him some and she’d put the earnings into her moneybox. Dave always displayed her pots in his garden where she could see them when we walked past. We all adored him.

Both ‘us girls’ comfort, balance and work things out in life by creating. Emily has been creating lately and her paintings are on a whole new level.

Buttefly Heart

Vision

I sit here looking at her butterflies and remember the loving moment that breathed life into her latest creations. At her Dad’s there are some gorgeous new ‘grandchild’ members of her extended family. The little brothers were visiting recently and the toddler was bored, so Em got her paints out and started making pictures with him. They made a ‘handprint’ picture which he loved, so Em involved his baby brother and his Mum. There is a special video of Em holding the baby’s hands as she placed them on the canvas where he is chuckling and chatting away to her, with his little legs kicking out, and not once do his eyes leave her face. Those moments captured on film are very precious. The main canvas with all their handprints is a work of love and Em joined some of the hands as butterflies. I know their Mum will treasure those paintings and from this Em started to make butterflies and 3D paintings with hearts and butterflies.

Family Love Paintings

They are a work of love and I now have love flying on my walls. May you always create Em and flow with love Darling girl, for you will always have my love.

Butterflies

Letting go for new landscapes….

North Wales beach

A friend took this picture a few hours ago on a beach forty minutes drive away from here and it captures the essence of what I felt drawn to write about today. Life’s synchronicity flowing as ever…thank you Ivan.

I am back working on the telephone service, giving fresh perspectives and loving support to clients who call from around the world. The main thread throughout most of the calls is emotional difficulties and connections that are not balanced, be they relationship, family or work based. Love flows from the spirit world through me to those in need. I have not been working full time in this kind of way for nearly a year now and in the last few days I have found myself talking to some clients that are struggling with the same challenges we explored together before. We get so very stuck in this human world of ours and there are many reasons why we hold onto the familiar, but I think it can be broken down to two simple facets. We hold on through love or fear, or both.

I am very aware that each of us have our own paths to walk and journeys to explore and it is not for any other soul to dictate to another the perceived right or wrong way to do things, or the choices to be made. We all have freedom of choice.

My choice six months ago was to let go, walk away and float for a while. I was so lost, dis-spirited and lacking in confidence at the time, that I barely knew which way was up. I just knew that I needed to let go and allow things to unfold in their own way, so I could come back to myself, but in a different landscape. I had no idea how, or where, I just had faith that it would be alright. As you are all aware that took me on a chapter of house/pet/farm sitting adventures that may just make their way into a book….

In my new landscape there is a palpable peace surrounding us here in this rural setting and much comfort flows within it. I am communicating with clients interactively by typing, so I am easing myself back in and not using my voice. The love and support flows to them through my words on the internet. I can sit here at the open glass doors, at the front of my apartment, and soak up the atmosphere of the daily round that is ‘here’, without worrying about having silence for my clients.

My daily round is friendly voices and sounds floating on the sunny air; my lovely landlord and his sidekick working away on the latest apartment conversion and mending our outside lights (which are playing up), neighbour’s dogs and cats popping in to say ‘Hello’, sunshine dancing on wooden planks of the barn opposite with the herd giving the odd ‘Moo’ from inside, sheets flapping on washing lines, birds hopping across the branches of little fir trees against the barn wall and balancing on the feeders we have placed there, a Thrush singing her heart out, a gifted Lavender incense stick from Dylan Thomas’s birth place burning on my desk and the lovely sight of my patio rose, which has fifteen buds on it and nestles next to a huge potted pink Geranium from my Mum.

It is my hope that I can send the spark of life’s magic out to those in need, so they too can find the gifts woven into letting go for new landscapes.

My patio rose

Spirit, character and the blessing of unconditional love….

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Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. No? Oh well nevermind then, life carries on regardless.

On Monday I walked down the long and winding driveway between showers to meet my Mum and Dad in the country lane, so I could show them the way to my new little home. It is such a treat for us all to be able to get together and spend time like this. There has been so many years where we have lived thousands of miles apart, reliant in the early days on telex machines with ticker tape to keep in touch, right through to now when mobiles and emails link us.

Lately we have the joy of face to face visits.

They love my new home and we had a special time together. Mum tucked all sorts into my cupboards and a lovingly homemade Shepherd’s Pie was popped into my oven for us all to have lunch.

There have been many times when plans went upside down and they have had to invent new dance steps to unexpected songs being played out in their lives. That spirit and character from each of them has forged a bond that positively hums with energy and has given them the wisdom of ‘knowing’ the unspoken. New dances have been invented with love, grace, dignity and sheer hard work.

‘It’s like a retreat here’ said Dad finally after lunch. ‘Yes, it is’ I replied ‘that is exactly what it is. I can make a new life here Dad.’ We all smiled at each other. Then we headed off to sample the delights of the little medieval town that I am blessed to live near.

Mum and Dad ‘get’ why having the barn so near to my home matters to me.

‘Our’ farmer is a gentle soul and I often watch him leading the cows around here. He silently walks a few paces before them and they all drop into single file and follow him wherever he leads. I like him. As a backdrop to this week there has been much activity in the barn and it culminated with the equipment that was used being transported away today. You could feel the peace re-settle again. There were strangers in the mix during the working days and one is particular could be heard above the other men. There was anger in his voice and I picked it up instantly, as did the herd. I could ‘feel’ and hear him being rough and sharp with the animals in the barn and all week there has been a spiralling circle of distressed noises, smells and fear emanating from the hubbub.

As the sun was setting tonight, I walked out for a breath of fresh air. Down at the far gate I took pictures of the sunset and stood listening, in the cold evening air, to the kestrels on the hillside and the crows calling back from the trees. I heard a hoof on wood and looked up to see the herd going past my ‘usual’ gate and one was waiting there for me. I walked across to stand before a lovely gentle, about two years old, heifer. We stood together under the trees in the evening gloom and nattered for a while. I was asking her what on earth had happened to them all this week and she was snorting her replies. Her companions gathered around her for a little while, adding their comments. As they all started to move away she gave my hand a ‘raspy’ kiss with her tongue and with a dip of her head she headed off. A young steer, just behind her, stepped forward to rest his head on my outstretched hand, then he too walked off with his buddies. They have all stuck together and whatever they faced this week, they have retained their love, grace and dignity.

I love you Mum and Dad. <3

Feel the peace of a moment and breathe….

St Meugan's

Just over the end of the lane from where I live there is a little church called St. Meugan’s. There has been a church on this site since the sixth century, and after repair and restoration in the 1800’s, she still stands today re-built in stone. I was on the way back from town on Friday and as I passed by there was a sign fluttering in the breeze on her walls ‘Church open’. I turned back and parked up. Stepping inside I was enveloped in a deep peace and I sat inside for a good long while, alone with my thoughts and the feeling of many centuries of prayers emanating from the walls.

I needed the peace…

I returned from the south of England a few weeks ago, having finished my last farm sit, and courtesy of my Dad’s trailer I brought all my stuff back with me. On the Monday I had an interview in Chester and landed a role as a community carer for disabled adults living in their own homes. I hit the ground running with it on Tuesday and bonded very quickly with the souls we flow care to. Dashing between homes across Chester, and dealing with all sorts of situations and circumstances, I had a ‘baptism of fire’, but I loved being with the patients. It took a few days to realise that my printed rotas/timesheets were not adding up and I made the discovery that in the care profession we are not paid for our travelling time. So last Saturday I completed a 14.5 hour shift which equates to 8.5 hours of actual pay. The pay was modest anyway, but with this balance I was virtually working for nothing and doing it in my own vehicle. A clear and pithy conversation with the owner of the agency I was working for, resulted in a boardroom discussion later with the directors and me exiting stage left. As I recall I was heard to comment ‘Do I look like I came down in the last shower of rain?’ as I glanced outside at the owner’s new upmarket vehicle with personalised number plates! The actual payment terms are not made clear on induction and their huge staff turnover is an indication of this. My leaving caused upset to the patients they care for and certainly distressed me. How can we care for those that are vulnerable, if we are not cared for in a basic way? It is not a profession one enters into for the pay, as this is far more vocational than working, but goodness me what a ‘eye opener’ this has been. As a society we are marginalising those who are so very vulnerable and reliant on those who are physically able to do right by them. This includes our government, but that is another topic.

So I stood back in my apartment, with tight finances, a poorly car, a need for new options and a weariness that seemed to go right through to my soul, as I thought ‘What do I do now?’. It was upon returning from my local town, chasing down work opportunites the next day, that I found St. Meugan’s.

I met an elderly gentleman as I was leaving the church, who was visiting his wife’s grave with flowers. We stood there chatting in the wind, looking up at the mountains and finding out a little about each other. I did not mention my current challenges, but he did ask me what kind of work I was doing and I said I was currently looking. I touched upon a few of the different things I could do and he made a suggestion that may not come into being, but he sparked a spirited feeling in me. I have always been better off paddling my own canoe and I came home to think about the different things I could do. I have now ordered a broadband service for my little place and I will go back to the telephone service work. There are a number of other self-employed irons in the fire and I am sure it will all flow in as it is meant to.

I am meant to be here, that much I am sure of.

To give myself a break today, I am painting artwork onto a wooden pine chest and writing. Sometimes it is good to do what soothes a weary soul and as I write I can hear the kestrels on the mountainside and the cows in the barn nearby.

It is also good to stop in a peaceful place and breathe…..bless St. Meugan’s.

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Magic moments threaded into the flow that we call everyday….

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Laura and I having a loving catch-up in the garden under the morning sunshine. Bird song mingling with our loving laughter and shared confidences.

Opening each package to reveal a set of paintings created by Em. She wanted me to have her love on the walls of my new home, for my fresh start as she calls it. When I opened a set of two with mirrored heart images I dissolved.

Joy as Em and I watched Otis start to put weight onto his poorly leg, as the last rays of sun left the sky and Em stroked him. The look on her face is branded on my heart.

Each idea and job application hitting a blank wall so far and being seen as guidance by me, rather than rejection. Gratitude as these tweaks created space for me to have an idea in the peace of the early morning hours today. Life was breathed into that idea with a phone call first thing and I have let it go to see if it has wings.

Pepper waiting at the gate for me, (no.5 in the herd), so I could stroke her and chat as she walked with me while I did my morning head count. All present and correct. Unlike Sunday morning when they had gone walkabout because some unthinking soul had left a gate open! I eventually found them, but not before I had walked across numerous fields and telephoned a neighbouring farmer and his wife alerting them to the herd’s plight with these lines….

Me:’Good morning, I am so sorry to call you this early, but I have a slight hiccup here as the river gate was left open and the cows are missing’.

Farmer’s wife: ‘How many Jane?’

Me: ‘The whole herd.’

Farmer’s wife: ‘The WHOLE herd??’

Me: ‘Yes!’…..

Bless them for being so kind on the phone. We all laughed with relief as I carried on talking to them as I searched and spotted the herd calmly tucking into the delights of a new corner in a hitherto unreachable distant field! As I approached talking to my charges, they looked up as if to say ‘Gotcha!’ The farmer thanked me for getting him dressed, albeit in haste, and they made absolutely sure that I knew I could call them at any time, for whatever reason. Loving kindness from strangers and a growing desire in me for a quad bike.

Laughter and clucking as I shared my morning museli with happy hens.

Peace to sit and write to you all.

I dwell in gratitude knowing that everything is exactly as it is meant to be. Dreaming with hope, and without expectation, I am free to flow with the magic of life and love.


Jane Thorne

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