Thursday, 30 August 2012

... to Grieve

Remember the Good Times
I know loss is part of life. I know that coming to terms with a loss can make us stronger, whether it is the loss of a family member or friend; the end of a marriage, a job or a love affair; the acceptance that physical restraints may change the way we imagined our life would be. I know we need time to grieve, to work through the stages of grief. I know all that.
   But some days it all seems to be so darn hard.
   Our dog died today. He'd been part of the family for 15 years. The house is going to seem very empty tonight.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

... to Find Your Place of Peace

Peace at the Beach
I have a lot on my mind at the moment and needed some time out. So I went to the beach. I always feel peaceful when I am by the sea. The gentle lapping of the waves, the salt air, the sand between my toes and the beauty of nature combine to soothe my soul.
   It was high tide, bright sunshine and no wind, such a change from the gusty, blustery, wet weather we have had for weeks. The beach was deserted apart from an old lady walking her dog and me.
  I sat right on the edge of the water, closed my eyes and took the time to reflect on the things I needed to do. Then I let those thoughts go and relaxed into a deeper place of peace.
 The feeling stayed with me all day and I returned home refreshed and clearer in my thinking.
 Where do you go to find your place of peace?

Thursday, 16 August 2012

... to Remember Someone Special

Sweet Violets
A dear friend visited today and brought me a posy of violets from her garden. As soon as I saw them and smelt their perfume I was reminded of my grandmother. For her birthday in August we would always give her a bunch of violets. She died over 30 years ago but seeing those delicate purple flowers brought back wonderful memories for me.
   Napoleon Bonaparte and his Empress loved violets too. When they married, Josephine's wedding dress was embroidered with the flower and on their wedding anniversaries he would present her with a bouquet of violets.
  Napoleon divorced Josephine but when he returned to France from exile, he went to Malmaison, Josephine's estate near Paris. She had died over a year before. Napoleon picked a violet flower from her garden and put it in a locket. He wore this on a chain around his neck until he died.
  Sweet sentiments such as this touch my heart.

Monday, 13 August 2012

... to Read Something Heartwarming

Kylie Meets Rosie
I have a soft spot for donkeys. Ever since I was a little girl I had wanted one and that dream came true 18 years ago when we moved to a lifestyle block north of Auckland. Rosie was six months old when I bought her. She was fearless, feisty and funny, and best mates with our dog. The photo is of my daughter Kylie meeting Rosie for the first time.
   So it warmed my heart today to read an article in the Country Living magazine from December 2011. It was about donkeys in the village of Chalford in England.
   This historic village of stone houses, dry stone walls and narrow alleyways is built on a steep hill. The older residents were finding it difficult to get to the local shop. So in 2009, the community restarted an old Chalford tradition - using donkeys to deliver goods.
   Now villagers can phone their shopping list to the local store. Their grocery orders are loaded into the pannier baskets of the donkeys Teddy and Chester, who plod up the hills and along the alleys to deliver the provisions right to the people's front doors.
   How much nicer that must be than the way I shop, fighting the crowds at supermarket!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

... to Look for Happy Omens

Double Rainbows Today
Not one, but two rainbows this afternoon! Can you see the second one, faintly at the left of the photo?
   Seeing them, I was reminded of the words of one of New Zealand's early pioneers. The Reverend Vicesimus Lush ( what a great name that is!), his wife, four children and their maid servant left England in 1850 to emigrate to this country. After a long, trying sea voyage he spotted the north coast of New Zealand - and a rainbow!
  In his journal, he records his excitement and delight:

 I beheld it under favourable circumstances and accompanied with what I took as a happy omen: ...  an exceeding brilliant rainbow arched the canopy of heaven and embraced the Island in its gigantic arc.

Imagine how pleased he would have been if he had seen today's double rainbow. An extra happy omen!

Friday, 3 August 2012

... to Be Surprised

The First  Iris Flower at Iris Cottage
The day I look forward to every year has arrived & it took me by surprise! You see, we live in Iris Cottage and every year since we have been here we have planted more and more iris bulbs. Each year I look forward to the first bloom as a ray of light and hope for spring in the midst of winter. 
  And today, when I went out to the letter box to collect the mail, I saw it - the first iris flower looking so beautiful under the trees in the front garden.
  Now I can't wait for all the other iris bulbs to bloom. More beauty to look forward to!