I sit here and look out of my window. A plethora of yellow flowers nods in greeting. I am in a room bathed in light. Upstairs there is a window looking out to sea. The pellucid light dances everywhere.
Inside the house, the atmosphere is one of deep welcome infused with joy. There are daily exploratory conversations which stimulate the senses. Everyone plays their part and serves one another.
Beauty is interwoven in the house. The beauty of family life, of careful design, using space, light and colour. There is thought behind every nook and cranny.
The welcome infuses itself into the love dishes prepared each evening. The meals are cooked with tender care and the food tastes of love. Eating the meals is a small touch of heaven.
Nothing is mediocre here, nothing is wasted. All is special and carefully done. This is how life can be lived.
This is my holiday home and I am truly deeply grateful to experience the glorious beauty of life here X
In my opinion life as I knew it in 2019 when I was flying back from an amazing visit to Australia, will never return. Covid is a mutating disease, possibly dodging the vaccines we throw at it like some kind of ‘Sticky Monster’ game.
But that being said, it is possible to still be happy and still enjoy life, albeit in a far simpler way. I thought I would list the things I no longer do and now do and if you have any thoughts then please share. Life is shifting and changing, never the same. And a pandemic shifts us; our persepctive, our focus and values.
Here are my no longers:
I no longer us public transport if possible
I no longer go clothes shopping unless essential
I no longer use restaurants
And my changes:
More outdoor exercise, walking etc
I enjoy sitting in the garden
More time reading and thinking
Much simpler lifestyle and less emphasis on spending money to have fun
What does your new normal look like? And why is that?
Most of all I refuse to let Covid ruin my life. Yes redefine but definitely not destroy
In my opinion, hope is inextricably linked with waiting. My dear friend Helen, creator of Lady D’s excellent blog, shared with me this year how she had always wanted to tell others how she had cared for her mother after a major stroke and this had taught her many valuable lessons. Years after doing this beautiful kindness, she guest posted some of these excellent tips on this site and now this has led to her own wonderful site. I think that was definitely worth the wait.
I have done a degree a Post Graduate Certificate and a Masters degree in my lifetime. This takes patience and you have to wait; wait for the assignments to be written and marked, attend the tutorials and so forth. And they are worth the wait.
Babies take nine months to be born. Definitely worth the wait. And relationships take time to form, weddings take time to plan. So many beautiful things in life don’t happen overnight.
This blog started with 0 followers and now it has 70. I remember looking at the figures when there were 49 following and thinking the fiftieth follower would never appear. And now I am looking towards my next milestone. I am waiting for that with expectancy and hope. I hoped at the start of the year to write every day about hope. And that is what I have done so far (with one slight mishap when I accidentally omitted to post). I will stop blogging daily at the end of the year because I will have reached my goal. I am going to think about what next over the next few months (all suggestions welcome).
Life unfolds and we sometimes have to be in a waiting room, especially when it comes to planning or working towards an event. Waiting is a good discipline because it teaches us patience. People who are impatient may sabotage their own happiness by avoiding waiting and that is not a positive outcome I feel.
If you are waiting, enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Don’t wish your life away. And it will come, eventually.
Today’s recipe of hope is to consider your attitude to waiting. If you are a patient person then give yourself a congratulatory pat on the back. If you are impatient, then maybe slow down a bit. Don’t rush through life. Slow down, take time to enjoy the little things. Make that ‘to do list’ a bit smaller and sometimes just sit and be in the moment.
Because we are in lockdown, I am feeling inspired by things around me, often songs. The words of songs are having a profound impact upon me, as are videos of people giving inspirational messages.
A song that has impacted me this week is from ‘The Jungle Book’. It talks about the ‘bare necessities of life’. As life has been pared right back for us all, I feel we are learning what the bare necessities mean. What do we need for life?
This very well known pyramid details our bare necessities of life in successive steps. The top of the pyramid is ‘self actualisation’, which occurs when all the other steps are in place. The most essential are physiological and safety needs. It is interesting that in this pandemic the physiological aspects of life i.e. health, food, water are paramount and then safety-keeping ourselves safe from harm and socially distancing are the next priority. Love and belonging are being fostered through using social media and the internet, so we can connect with our loved ones and wider community, in a new way.
Self-actualisation is at the top of the pyramid but this is only achievable when all the other conditions are met. And although a good aim, it is not considered essential. Some people arguably, are not in a position to consider self actualisation, because they are strugling to meet their physiological and safety needs.
Although Maslow is not definitive, his proposed hierachy of needs is extremely interesting. It makes us reflect on those ‘bare necessities of life’. It helps us to review what needs are most important and what are non-essential. And makes us appreciate the small things, which I have spoken of before.
Today’s recipe of hope is to listen to this song and think about the ‘bare necessities’ and what these look like to you. And give some thought to your needs being met-my family has had some lovely gifts of food from others brought to our door. And I am truly grateful for those acts of kindness.
As the days go by I am more and more aware that life is a gift and to be valued. I am so aware with every breath, that my lungs are functioning normally and I do not have a temperature or a cough. I am hopeful that life will continue for me.
I take each day at a time. I hope for every day that I will be able to use my time wisely and be a gift to the world and those around me. I hope that others I know will live. I pray for the world, my family and friends. One thing I am aware of is that if death comes, I am convinced that I will have a heavenly home prepared for me, where there will be no more pain and suffering.
My hope journey has helped sustain me through these dark and dangerous days. Hope has been my comfort and held a light up for me. I see hope in the tiniest things and she holds a candle to guide me forward.
This time when we are at home is a time to re-assess and re-evaluate things. It is time to review what is truly important and to leave aside those things which are worthless and futile. It is time to redefine.
So today’s recipe of hope is to review and redefine. What is important and what is not? Do not get caught up with trivia that doesn’t matter. What really matters at this time is other humans. Let us be kind to them and put aside differences. Let us go forward as a human race. Today remember those who live alone. Give them a call, or a text.
Bill Keane: ‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present’
Let us reflect
Reflections today comprise whether Bill Keane is correct in his view of the present moment. Having travelled a journey of hope for the past thirteen days, I believe that he is indeed accurate. Today is, in my opinion, a gift. Many have lost their lives over recent weeks, in the Australian bushfires and I am certain that their family members would do anything to have their loved ones return to share a day with them.
I have been exploring hope and hopefulness as never before and this has led me to see that each day comprises many ingredients; thoughts, choices, time, other people. It also comprises ingredients we can choose to combine to make up a daily recipe. In my selecting various hopeful ingredients, this has really helped me to create a much better life than I have ever lived before. No longer do I feel entrapped by negative thoughts dominating my day, but rather I am choosing a different focus.
I have been living through an incredible period of history during my short month’s stay in Australia. I am hopeful today for the money that has been poured into the protection of wildlife. The figures of those killed is staggering and horrific-30,000 koalas on kangaroo island. However I am still hopeful that the $50,000 promised by the Australian government will lead to species being kept alive, especially koalas. I am also very touched by the outpouring of generosity and kindness from celebrities and fellow Australians.
Today I am beginning to contemplate a return to the UK. I do not want to leave Australia, but I need to accept the things I cannot change. I experience Australia as a place of healing and refreshing-there is something about the beauty of the landscape and seas that instils me with joy.
I am hoping to be able to spend a little money here, to continue to support the shaky tourist industry. I would like to visit Batemans Bay and support the rebuilding of that community. There is a spirit of optimism arising, in spite of the deastation caused by the horrific fires.
I am ever grateful for the appearing of rain as we drove along the Hume Motorway towards Sydney yesterday. These precious drops and the cooler air signify less fire danger which is simply a gift. The smoke is also dissipating somewhat in New South Wales. My hope and dream is that the situation in Victoria will improve. The air quality there is very poor and especially in Canberra.
So today my hope recipes are that I will continue on the journey I have embarked upon and build a year based on the many ingredients I have discovered thus far.
In closing, I believe it is important to view each day as a gift and whatever transpires, it is important to keep a perspective of hope. This is in my recent experience the best antidote for despair.