Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Going Away

An unusual hellebore

at the Sub Tropical Botanical Gardens at Abbotsbury in Dorset today for birthday girls' treat.

My favourite rhododendron....

and magnificent giant Magnolia,

although the spectacular Magnolia Walk, above the sea cliffs, was closed off due to slippery paths.

I'm getting ready to go away for 2 weeks.  At this time in March for the last few years Robin and I used to go to our time-share apartment in Portugal. I cancelled it last year.

 It will be a first for me - 2 weeks on my own.
 I'm apprehensive but I want it..........time to rest and heal.

So this is my last blog for a while.

 Thanks for hanging in there with me all this time.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

An Invitation To Kindness

The daffodils are beautiful everywhere this year. I especially love seeing them in the park, in the hedgerows, in people's gardens, as all mine have come up blind in their pots - lots of leaves and very few flowers. Also I didn't have any free attention for planting bulbs last year....or this year.

This afternoon I lie on a massage couch in a small bright room.

The lovely Kinesologist asks my body what I need.

My body replies  that my Vital Force is weakened.

By suppressed 
and grief
and regret?


It takes such a force of energy to hold on to the fear 
of being drowned
 and overwhelmed
 if I let go.

I hold it in 
my gut.

So this is why
I am 

But my body also says
I will listen
to the 
invitation to
learn about a  new way 
to breathe
start to 
let go.

A little bit 
at a time.
Just 7 minutes 
at a time.

Just an invitation 
not a demand.

I am hungry for it.

An invitation 
to kindness.

And this quote from the Dalai Lama helped me tonight to bear the horrors of the nightly news....

Peace is not brought about through conflict, but through compassion—creating peace of mind within ourselves. We all need compassion and women can take a lead role in encouraging others to let it flower within them. My own first teacher of kindness and compassion was my mother.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Muddy, hilly, boggy, beachy.

In the Sunday Times this weekend Exeter is named one of  20 best places to live in the country....." glorious gateway to the West".

I'm sad that it may also mean the loss of some of our wild places. As I walk round my city I notice more and more inroads into the peacefulness of the parks, the fields, the water meadows ....more building, more tarmac, more concrete......fewer ancient trees.

On Sunday I walk with a dear friend round the edges of

Seaton in East Devon where the Polar Express tram runs to and from Colyton through the Axe valley and through this wild nature reserve where we watch a family of pheasants feeding in the mud of the estuary. I say a family but it's  actually one brightly colourful male and his hareem of beautiful females.

And in the town,  along the sea front, we catch the finish line of 'The Grizzly' -

a fun run -  " twentyish muddy, hilly, boggy, beachy miles of multi-terrain running experience".

The runners were certainly extremely muddy and looked very grateful to the firemen and women who hosed them down at the end of their ordeal.

Today I feel tested by the multi-terrain shaping my new existence. 

 I'm mostly just doing my normal domestic life but nothing feels normal about it. It's the thing about  doing it alone. Without the context of me and Robin.

I don't even mind that much about being alone. After all I sometimes felt alone in my marriage - especially in the last years. And sometimes lonely. But now I don't feel alone in the sense of being isolated or cut off  - in fact I feel deeply connected and loved by the dear people in my life - so I'm not lonely. 

When I was looking after Robin 24/7 I was always trying to get some temporary respite.

Now I have permanent 24/7 respite.

 I don't know how to describe it....I can't find words that fit this feeling of having time and space that I can fill up with just me....without the taking-it-for-granted state of coupledom....the 'an other' to colour and give grist and purpose to my days.

Maybe the words are  unfamiliar, lost and sad. Maybe that's the texture of my new normal.

 Maybe it's only temporary. I do feel there is an undiscovered me.....waiting in the wings the finish line when I've run the ordeal of muddy, hilly, boggy and beachy.

Meanwhile, for now I just need to walk the terrain of unfamiliar, lost and sad...blessing each step of the way with as much love and compassion for myself as I can muster....

Friday, 10 March 2017

Learning to walk alone...

It's  muddy, mossy and moist down by the river Dart at New Bridge ( re-built in 1942)  on Dartmoor this afternoon. 

 I've only ever walked here with Robin. Today it's totally deserted except for a few brave canoeists, and this curious pony, sticking his nose through my car window, hoping for apples.

  I'm learning to walk alone in places imprinted with memories....his footsteps on paths knobbly with roots, his voice echoing over rushing water, his hand holding mine, the other one dangling loose by his side.

 In spite of a movie - actually some fascinating Pathe News clips from the 1960s in an unusual bus -  The Reel Cinema  at Dartington -  and lunch with a dear friend, a seam of tiredness has been dogging me all day. Almost too weary to go to bed now....