Sunday, 21 June 2015

Resting Lightly

The silver leaves of this tree in the park seem to have alighted on the branches;
a flight of butterflies
 trembling on the brink of disappearing on the breeze.

Such lightness of touch.

My heart lifts
with their promise that I need not cling so tightly.

The roots of freedom are planted by resting lightly, and letting go.
Be Blessed

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

So, What's New?

I walked into my sitting room today and wondered what the sweet perfume could be.

It couldn't be the prunings from the garden
which I had stuffed into a vase rather than throw in the bin,
 because I knew they didn't have any scent.

 I have been around these flowers since I was a kid,
 when they grew in my parents garden over seventy years ago.
  My plants come from cuttings of theirs,
 and I have transplanted them,
 and weeded around them ever since.
My nose has been close to them more times than I could count
 as I have worked in the garden,
 so I would have known if they bore any perfume wouldn't I?

But guess what? 

 Bending over them I realized they do have a scent but I had never caught it before.
 I had never brought them indoors before either,
 so perhaps the scent was intensified by being in the enclosed space. 
 Whatever the reason, the perfume came as a surprise.

Something so familiar I thought I knew all about
 had an added dimension I never suspected.

The lesson is too obvious to spell out isn't it?

I can't help wondering what else I think I know all about,
and really don't.


Be Blessed

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Limping and Leaping Towards Wholeness

After far too many weeks away from my walk in the park
 I got there in the rain on Sunday.

Under the dark canopy of trees I was drawn to
the pure ebullience of the Queen Anne's Lace effervescing out of the gloom.
Oceans of refreshing purity emerging from among the dark roots.

It spoke volumes to me, as nature often does,
but more so, given the last few weeks
when all my batteries crashed at the same time.
Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually,
everything went flat.

Well of course it did
because we are a whole entity.
If we drive ourselves too hard in any direction
we feel that depletion in all other areas to one degree or another.
Our lives simply get out of balance.

(If you follow this blog at all you will know I've said this before in some way or another.
No apology about that .
 We need to hear it.)
The good news is that this hiatus can, and will,
 move us forward as nothing else can.

My life has so often followed this pattern of limping, and then leaping.

You may understand something of this in your own life.
Things conspire to bring us, limping to a halt.

We find we have to pay ourselves some attention.

We learn to trust that nothing happens by chance and that
even what seems so cruel, painful, and frightening at the time,
is part of the design to bring us to a greater wholeness;
especially so, if we are ready to learn why we have been brought to to this moment.

Each one of us has a re- ocurring pattern to our lives.
It is the thing which causes us to say
 " How come this is happening to me again?"

You will have your own personal spanner in the works.

If, for any reason, we fail to grasp each lesson as we are presented with the opportunity,
then the pattern continues until you begin to
hear the deeper wisdom in your life which is there to guide you.

You can cooperate in moving towards that leap forward once you recognise the pattern.

It is a good thing to find
a wise, loving, and faithful, friend,
a spiritual mentor, counselor or therapist, to help you find your way
and support you at such a time.

Failing this, trust the Holy Spirit to lead you as you yearn for light.
Ask that the ears of your heart be opened to the messages that will come.

Dreams, unlikely "coincidences",
stuff that suddenly speak into your situation out of left field.

The more you listen, the more adept you will become in finding the guidance you seek.

In everything, despite what you are being led to believe,
(and this is especially difficult, but crucial, if your problems are with relationships),
turn consistently towards the source which most leads you to a healthy love of yourself.

Turn away from all that accuses, encourages guilt, or brings you down;
perhaps particularly your own inner critic.
Never be hard on yourself.

To illustrate, briefly, from my latest situation,
physically I needed let go of an exciting (once in a life time), project,
 with a group  working with a director from the Royal Shakespeare Company,
which I'd invested a lot in, but was proving just too taxing.

Then I needed to follow through on a problem I had been putting up with,
to discover I needed a course of antibiotics.
(Yes, I am that daft!
But does this ring any bells with you?)

I have given myself permission
 to really rest and recover my depleted strength
 rather than keep limping on and forcing myself to do it,
so I have let go of preaching for a while.
Also being in the worship team.

The team project, the preaching, worship group, had a three pronged hold.
I love each one of them.
  I hate letting people down,
and, the deepest hold,
they are each a way of connecting and communicating with others,
 which I badly need.

I wanted to keep going, but deep down knew I need to let go,
at least for now.
As soon as I did let them go,
I felt an almighty relief, and lightness.

Not being a masochist, I have kept my fortnightly choir,
 which is pure joy,
and anyway ends for the summer break later this month.

Emotionally, my weariness pointed me to a breakthrough
in integrating deep childhood wounds.

A weight I have carried all my life has been lifted.

What I am saying is,
unlikely as it seems this is a time of leaping!

If you limping along in any measure,
 take heart and believe you too are made to leap.

Look back if you can,
 discern a pattern in your own life a when a crisis has,
 in reality turned into a blessing.

For instance can you remember a change for the good
 you would never have made had you been left with a choice?

To thoroughly mix my metaphors,
the beautiful healing light of the God who loves you
is waiting in the dark place to break forth into
 new life
in you.
And maybe when you least expect it.

Be Blessed
limping or leaping,
 as you follow your path.

Thursday, 14 May 2015


There has been a lot doing these last weeks, and I haven't posted anything on my blog

I don't suppose I've been missed,
 and as I don't often feel any compulsion to post regularly,
 I can't complain if I haven't.

Sometimes I wonder who reads my ramblings,
or if there is anybody out there at all;
then I look at the stats, and of course there is.

I can't claim, as some folks do, that I only write for myself .
Like painting, it is something that needs to be shared.
and sometimes I yearn to have some come back,
then I put that down to an ego which needs stroking,
 and put it to one side.

Mainly I still want to share the wonder 
of this ordinary/extraordinary life we share,
and yes, I guess I do want to know if it resonates with you.
To know that we touch soul space for a second or two, and say
Hmm! Yes!
 making an

Well may be that isn't for me to know, so I'll just get on with it.

This evening we are going to a Mary Black concert at Warwick Art Centre.

The tour is her "Final Call", as she is "hanging up her touring boots".

Her pure voice has accompanied me for many hours in the studio.
If you have never heard her sing, do listen to these.
If you know her you will need no urging.

Be Blessed

Friday, 24 April 2015

Taking a Dive

I took a dive yesterday
. No, I don't mean I threw away a fight,
  or sprang into some gleaming pool from a distant spring board in the sky.

  What I did was reach up to the washing line to begin to peg out the clothes,
 stepping back as I did so,
  only to have my foot connect with an array of potted plants Hubby had put out
to harden off with a view to later plantings.

 Being thrown off balance, the next thing I knew I was falling backwards towards a tall, heavy, planter, and the paving slabs of the patio.

In the slowed down seconds of my fall I attempted to throw myself leftwards,
 towards the grass which seemed a softer option.

 I would like to think that if It had been a dive into a pool
 it was an elegant backward somersault, with twisted half pike.
  (I don't know what that means but it sounds about right, and so good).

  In reality of course it was a frantic Tom and Jerry style flailing of the arms,
 ending in a full length sprawl on my side, accompanied by a sort of screamy shriek.

   If the style left something to be desired though, the landing was pretty good,
 in as much as I did largely avoid the paving slabs of the patio,
 with only my ribs and side connecting with the edge,
  as the upper part of me came to rest on the grass.

.  To be honest this was not as soft an option as I had thought,
due to the fact the grass was growing in earth which felt
 like the same concrete the patio was resting on.

 Not being an experienced diver I think it was a pretty good outcome,
  as I was able to lie there for a while
  assessing if there was any real damage to the working parts.

   From my newly recumbent position I could see my glasses half a body's length away,
 where they seemed to be making close observation of a couple of daisies,
 all be it without me.

 Thankfully, as I scanned my neighbours bedroom windows
 I didn't see any of them observing me.
  (Embarrassment at my undignified dive had already kicked in.)

 Along with my relief at not being seen,
 I felt a slight discomfort at the thought I could let out such a shriek
and be lying prone in my garden,
 without at least one would-be helper emerging from somewhere.

Finding myself sound in wind and limb I gingerly got up,
 collected my specs, and roused hubby from his lair at the computer in the study upstairs.
In the end it took two calls from the foot of the stairs to get through to him.

  Emergency treatment consisted of a hot cup of sweet tea of course,
 (well, I am British),
 a couple of paracetamol, hot shower,
  and analgesic spray to my ribs.

 Truth compels me to add there were a few tears,
 a bit of laughter as I visualised my diving technique,
 and a few well chosen words to hubby about where he had left the potted plants.

 I couldn't quite see the rationale behind his reply that
"They haven't been there long",
because, as I pointed out
 they were there long enough for one of us to have fallen over them!

The thing is, as with all accidents, my fall came out of a clear blue sky
. One minute everything was fine and dandy,
 and my day was planned out in front of me,
the next I was on the ground.
Life had been good.

Being laid low in the past has not always followed that pattern for me.
 Like many who suffer from chronic illness,
  when I was sick I struggled with depression and low self esteem.

 The conflict I had felt as I lay in the garden,
 on the one hand needing somebody to have known and responded,
 while at the same time feeling an uncalled for shame at my situation,
  are all too familiar to me.

 There was always this guilt attached to being less than one should be,
 either in ones body or ones mind.

All too often my heart's cry was
Ps. 42 :5  Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
 Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.

 Thankfully now, both in body, mind, and spirit, I walk a more even path.
I do not forget however, how despair, despondency, and fear,
 can seem to fall out of a clear blue sky.

I hope you know nothing of what it is to suffer from depression.
 I also hope if you do not, you are careful not to judge those who do.
 Careful not to say,
 "What have they got to be depressed about?"
 because believe me that is a question they will ask themselves,
  and beat themselves with, time and again.

 Of course, according to statistics,
 around 80% of us show some signs of clinical depression,
so it is far more likely you do understand what it means to suffer in some way.

 If you do, above all:-

  Do not be ashamed, or believe you are undeserving of help.
Learn to be your own best friend, and do seek help.
In be-friending yourself learn to spot what pushes you towards the dive in your mood.
Watch your energy. - What gives it.? What takes it way? 
Take exquisitely good care of yourself in the most wholesome way you know.
  Avoid like the plague those who do not accept you as you are.

Gosh I'm sorry.
 Didn't mean to give you yet another drain on your energy
  by making a list of does and don'ts.

  I know what it is not to have the mental energy for such things,
 or even to believe I would ever have that energy again.
 To believe absolutely that this is the very time from which I will never arise.

 If that is where you are today, I reach out to you,
 praying the heaviness will be broken, the prison bars shattered,
and light again return to your spirit.

If you are already standing tall, and strong. and positive,
why not join me in sending out the blessing of light, and healing,
 in your own way?

May this weekend see us all arise to a fuller way of being.

Be Blessed

P.S.  To hear the late Maya Angelou read her well known poem, I Will Arise
click on the link below.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

The View From The Top

I took these photos at British_Camp,
not quite at the top of the site of the Iron Age fort
 in the Malvern Hills, Worchestershire.

Hubby and I climb it once a year to prove we still can,
 and to look over at our beloved Wales from the summit.

This year we took our seven year old great grand son Zachary with us 
and he had a great time playing warrior spying out the enemy,
 as well as coming in handy carrying our picnic to the top on his back.

We were not all that sure we would make it to the top this year,
what with hubby's arthritic knees and seventy nine years beginning to take their toll.

In the event we all made it,
 enjoying our picnic in the unseasonably warm sunshine atop the fort.
For the first time I can remember, even the wind held it's breath,
 so the silence was unbroken.

We marvelled together at the magnificent panorama, 
and wondered at the amazing people who built this fortification so very long ago.

Now people are drawn here  
as a place apart from the struggles of everyday life.
Even Zach ventured the opinion 
it was so peaceful, he would like to live at the top.

When it was built of course
 it was a means of survival at the very centre of battle and strife.

Sitting in the sunshine I remembered a time nearing my mother's death 
when I was attempting to split myself between my home in Coventry,
 and my parents home in Wales. 
Both Mam and Dad were frail, my daughter was awaiting surgery,
 and my husband undergoing tests for a muscular problem 

I had been driving down to Wales, when against all the pressures of time,
 I succumbed to the need to pull off the motor way
 and take the detour to the Malverns.

The day had been grey, with a constant drenching drizzle falling
 as I climbed the steep path just high enough to feel myself drawn into the side of the hill.

Leaving the path I sank onto the damp ground and wept.

I cannot convey the sense of embrace, and peace, I experienced then,
as the earth itself seemed to mirror my pain and weariness,
and comfort me.

Now, here I was this time,
 having got to the top,
sitting on the lower slopes of the huge mound
 caressed by spring sunshine, with my husband by my side,
 and my great grand son playing photographer.

Although I am not carrying anything like the burden I was that day in the  rain,
 there are still painful, demanding, things
waiting for us when we return from our trip to the top.


There are few times in life, it seems to me,
when we are living with an un-interrupted view from the top,
where all is peace and radiant with beautiful horizons.

At the moment those closest to us are each caught up
 in difficult and uncertain circumstances.

 This week has been especially stressful.

It would be so easy to slip back into the fear that has so often bound me in the past,
and robbed me of peace.

Strangely the greatest temptation is to feel that I should be fearful and anxious
in the face of what is happening.

I remembered the word I had received for this year was
thinking ruefully how much that has already been tested,
 yet thankfully, wonderfully, held.

In the instant the thoughts and emotions formed, other words arose,

 from Ps. 31:14-17
But I trust in you, Lord;
    I say, “You are my God.”

 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
 Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.

The situation of my loved one had not, and has not, changed,
but the view from the top is to carry the peace of trust down
 into the testing place of faith
where the horizons are narrowed with threat of one sort or another.

Our times may not be in our own hands yet we may trust ourselves 
and each other to that higher, wider view,
obscured to us.


I pray that where you, like me, may be tempted to fear or despondency, 
you may be strengthened by the Spirit to
 hope and peace.

Be Blessed

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Creative Gear

Cabins in the Woods, Minnesota      Oil on Canvas                                                                    Hazel Price

When I drop my granddaughter and my two adorable great grand children off at their home,(redundant adjective.  All great grandchildren are adorable)
 I have developed the habit of driving straight on to the forecourt,
 and then twiddling the car around by means of the forward and reverse gears,
 (at least that's what they called it when I passed my test some fifty years ago),
 to enable me to drive straight out again.

The other evening, Zach, at seven the oldest of the two adorable great grand children asked, 
 "Nan.  Why do you always do this funny turn on the drive?" 

As I don't do it anywhere else, and would normally simply reverse in
 I was stumped for an answer.
 ( I have since wondered if it isn't so that I prolong our time together by a few minutes.)

But before I could come up with an answer he continued,
 " Oh!  I know!  It's because you are an artist and creative people always try different ways.
  There is no such thing as the wrong way to an artist is there Nan?"

To which I did answer,
"You are right!
 How would we ever find new things if we kept doing them the old ways?"

The point is, I don't know where he had heard that,
 or who had taught it to him,
but what a wonderful gift of knowledge to have; 
 not just at seven years of age but at any age.

It came as a gift to me I can tell  you.

Even after all these years the critical voice of "reason" still nags.
  It's the cold voice that breathes an icy blast on our creativity,
 whichever way we express it.

So, I hand the gift on.

You don't need an audience, (though one is nice).
It need not be a masterpiece.
It may only be a beginning,( because every minute of creating is just that).
But do it anyway!

May you be free to follow the sweet voice of intuition today;
(baking a cake, walking the dog, visiting a friend, giving that talk...)
free to strike out in the way that gives you joy,
to dance your dance, and sing your song,
so your spirit may grow in freedom,
and the voice of creation be heard through you today.

Be Blessed

P.S.    Can't remember if I've posted this painting before.  Memories of my time in the hermitage.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

More Stuff Bubbling Up...

This really is going to be brief.

It's just another take on those roses I sketched and painted
 a week ago.

I like it for the colours,
but hubby prefers the first drawing I did.

I wonder which one you prefer?

God Bless

P.S.  Not sure how this got posted. 
 It was a draft made in a series about drawing some time ago.

Saturday, 4 April 2015


Tomb Angel  by Arcabas

 Matt 28:6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.
 Come and see the place where he lay.

This wonderful painting by Arcabas gives us a new vision of the Easter morning.

It shows the women who came to the tomb in the early morning to anoint Jesus' dead body

 being greeted by an angel and an empty tomb.

 Jesus had come through crucifixion and was alive.

I pray if you have an area in your life that seems to offer little hope or expectancy, 

somewhere full of fear and trepidation,
you will look for Jesus as the women did,
 and find that place transformed and glowing with new life and promise.

That is what Jesus resurrection offers us,
right here and right now.

Be Blessed

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Inseparable - You and God

In our Lenten group at church on Sunday evening the talk encouraged us 
to think about how God looks at us, 
and then to take a few minutes to consider what God may want to say to us as 
He/She gazed at us.

If, in my tiredness, I was expecting little other than a warm silence
     I was pulled up short as something I thought I "knew"
 came at me in an unexpected way.

To my surprise I "heard" just one word.


Trying to get my head around this, I thought, 
"It's true I need to feel you near me Lord..."
but no that wasn't it.

The word just gently lay in my heart and mind as I leant in
 to accept the truth which seemed
 too strange and big.

We are inseparable.
God and I.

Without this being true, you, I, all things would not exist.
 Would not "hold together", as some translations of the first words of John's gospel put it.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[it.
(My highlighting).

And of course Romans 8: 38-39 tells us nothing can separate us from God's love in Christ Jesus.

But this is an after thought, (mine as I write now, not St. Paul's when he wrote Romans !)
from  the original one which tells us the mind boggling truth,
 that as much as God's creation would not be complete without us,
 in some wonderful way God, (however we understand that term) 
would not be complete without us.

You, me, all things.
We are inseparable from God,
One with God.
In God.

No matter how much distance we may FEEL there is between us.

No matter who or what we think we are, or are not,

We are inseparable,
(one with),
each other,
and all creation.

Perhaps you would like to take a moment of quiet to let this thought, and this word


sink into you.

Let images, or words,
arise as they will
out of that one word.

Let all other things,
and thoughts,
 flow off, and around you.
Pay them no mind.

They are not for this moment.

Rest now.

and live,
 and simply be, with this word 
for as long as it takes.

May a new truth break upon you today.

Be Blessed

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Spring Fever, or Lent, if You Will

photo - telegraph. u.k.

  I blame the local D.I.Y store for their winter sales on paint,
 but hubby has bought enough for all but two of the rooms in the house,
 plus hall, landing and stairway,
 and is tearing away at the job.

 We are now on room three.  Our bedroom.
 Given  that he's almost seventy nine, has horrendously bad and painful knees,
 and problem eyesight, we progress fairly well.

 For fairly well read, me constantly repeating my mantras,
 "You have missed a bit",
(He does, and I can't help being a critic!)
 " Why don't you take a break?!"
 (He pushes himself, and I can't help being concerned!)
and me cleaning blobs of paint from places paint should never be,
 whilst he works himself to a standstill.

It's not exactly spring fever, but something very like it.

I must admit, seeing the transformation he is making,
 even those rooms I didn't think needed touching
 really did need freshening after all.

Seeing the gleaming white window sill that has just been  painted
against the yellowing frames that haven't, are pretty convincing.

Watching his preparation before he applies the fresh paper and paint
have made me think about this season of spring in the church's calendar.

(Did you know that Lent is an old English word for spring?
No, I don't think I did either.)

It would be so easy to cover over what's only slightly shabby.
Camouflage is so tempting.
Just keep covering what is underneath with another coat.

But No!

Sometimes hubby judges a simple wash down is all that is needed,
but a lot of the time he rubs the paintwork down.
Cleans out the old filling that's shrunk back,
or stands too proud. (Ouch!)
Then he puts in new stuff, and smooths it down so the cracks are gone.
Then, and only then,
as he deems the preparation is complete can the finish be applied.

Of course when we say finish, we know
 at some point it will all need doing again.

I always enter Lent with thanksgiving that
 even though transformation is a continuing process,
hour by hour, and day by day,
 as we seek to live in Christ,
this special season gives us time to focus on a deeper co-operation
with the spirit's work of renewal.

All it takes is the humility, (or we could say the readiness),
 to see the shabbiness that may have crept in,
and the little spots that need to be uncovered,
or emptied out,
 in order to be refilled and renewed.

We do not need re-decoration as our rooms do,
but we all need opening to the deeper radiance
of an inner life that will shine through.
Well, I know I do.

So, away with any need for camouflage, or covering up.
I'm entering Lent with that touch of spring fever!

Wishing you a fruitful Spring,
 or Lent, if you will.

Be Blessed this Weekend.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

An Anchor of Hope

While the news from all over the world presses in with
so much suffering, sickness, and war,
 it becomes impossible to end
 the litany of prayer.

At the end of World War 11 words which have come to be known as
Inscription of Hope 
were found scratched onto a cellar wall in Cologne, Germany,
by an unknown Jew in hiding from the holocaust.

May the same vision of hope, and strength of heart,
be with all who seek peace at this time.

Inscription of Hope
I believe in the sun,
Even when it is not shining.
And I believe in love,
Even when there’s no one there.

And I believe in God,
Even when He is silent.
I believe though any trial,
There is always a way.

But sometimes in the suffering,
And hopeless despair.
My heart cries for shelter,
To know someone’s there.

But a voice rises within me,
Saying hold on my child.
I’ll give you strength I’ll give you hope,
Just stay a little while.

I believe in the sun, (Ooooo)
Even when it is not shining. (Ooooo)
And I believe in love, (Ooooo)
Even when there’s no one there. (Ooooo)

But I believe in God,
Even when He is silent.
I believe through any trial,
There is always a way.

To hear these words sung by New Jersey Honour choir click on the link below.
 as for some reason blogger is refusing to upload videos at the moment. 

Be Blessed

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Read and Learn?

Scrolls of silver birch bark manuscripts lie waiting to be read.

I wish I could fathom their secrets,
but they have already written magic on my day.

Be Blessed

Friday, 30 January 2015

Giving Peace A Chance

Having received the word
 peace for the year ahead
 I am accepting it as a loving,
 yet searching,
 part of my road to wholeness.

I am also committing to my co-operation on that road.

 Last year when the word that came alive for me was
 I found myself looking at fears
which most inhibited my Freedom of integrity ,
 and in seeing where I was most bound
 I could choose to accept the offer of the life of the Spirit
 rather than my old conditioned response,
 and gain release.

Obviously my pas de deux of Freedom in, and with the Spirit,
 has not finished because 2014 has ended;
 far from it.
  Indeed Freedom, and the new spot lit word of Peace,
 are very much partners in the dance of the Spirit.

Following the enhanced taste of inner/core peace
 I experienced as
A Grace of the heart
 the Spirit's down payment, (Eph.1:14)
I wasn't at all surprised to have my attention drawn to
 how often it is that my little heart goes

The explosion needn't be as big or as visible
as this wave breaking on the rocks,
 but the Holy Spirit,
 ever faithful,
has drawn my attention to how easily I lose my peace.

They may be small signs but
I notice my fists balling with impatience
 at mindless chatter,

my far from charitable thoughts to fellow drivers,
the fact even inanimate objects can make me angry at times...

I see how easily my irritation is aroused

 at countless mundane things.
How easily I can be saddened or maddened.

My mother used to remark on my explosions when I was a kid,
"No wonder there are wars!"
It's when the pot is jolted we discover what is really inside
by what spills out.

I know I'm more susceptible when I'm tired
or not very well,
 so I'm not merely being hard on myself.
Actually the Spirit is making me sensitive

 to how much my peace
can also depend on taking better care of myself.

Our emotional and spiritual well being
are not separate from our physical health,
 but all part of the one whole.

Even in the first weeks of living with this new openness
 to peace within
I have begun to recognise those things

which are taking too much out of me,
and what I need to avoid, and what cultivate.

I have become more conscious of the choice

 to live out of the quiet lake within,
rather than the roar of my heart hitting the rocks.
Not to say I have mastered the art of

letting my life be so centred:
but I am travelling hopefully

towards that grace.

And really, I'm wondering as I write
 if you might have a reason right now

to be pursuing a deeper heart peace yourself.

Firstly, starting on the outside,

 do you need to let yourself off the hook

 regarding some commitment, or pastime

 that isn't fuelled from a true heart desire,

 but rather some idea of yourself you need not follow. 

 Is there something you have taken on that,

 no matter how good it looks,

 has become burdensome
and would be a relief to let go?
(Relief could well be another word for peace
 in this instance.)

 Of course I don't mean something has just got difficult,

 but something that seems to suck the life out of you.

  Pray about letting it go if you discover something. 

 Perhaps ask a wise friend to help you decide
it's significance, and come to a decision.

Secondly, find a way to

 discover your own inner place of heart peace

if you haven't already done so,

by finding a meditation practice which suits you,

  There are so many on offer on the web and elsewhere.

Until you find a more permanent meditative practice

you might like to start by

at the very least finding a place
 for a few moments quiet for yourself this weekend.

Broom cupboards, toilet cubicles,
 hiding behind a newspaper on a train...

the options are endless so be imaginative!

Once you have found your place,

 breathe deeply,
swimming down to the bottom of your breath,

 to your own secret place below your heart,

 and allow every breath to assure you,

 you are loved

A few minutes, and

 You will have made a good start!

Be Blessed

this weekend.

P.S. Apologies for strange lay out and line spacing in places. 
 Blogger has gone wonky.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

A Grace of the Heart

I'm not sure if what I'm going to say will make sense to anybody other than an introvert, but here goes...

I have lifted all the following pictures from
where you can find them, and many other treasures.

I guess it is not unusual 
to feel a little tug of excitement at the first sight of falling snow.

Even when we know the inconvenience, 
and sometimes sheer misery it is going to cause,
 the beauty of the transformation being wrought 
has an inevitable fairy tale charm.
(At least in those first moments).

Here in the U.K. we usually have so little of it,
 novelty value alone is worth something.

As a child in the hills of Wales,
winters seemed more severe than they are now.

We would quickly get snowed in,
 and my poor mother would fight desperately
 to keep a way out open.

As soon as the way was opened I remember 
it would freeze again at nightfall,
 and often Mam would tug the drawn curtains aside 
to watch the swirling flakes hurrying through the blackness
 to fill the way she had so recently cleared

I  knew the work and worry it caused her
 just to keep us in the basics of food and fuel,
walking icy miles around the drifts 
to get what  supplies she could carry.

I knew the sheep on my uncles farm 
would need to be searched out of what ever winter fastness they had found for themselves away from the safety of the farm,
and that men, dogs,
 and the beasts themselves would be at risk.

I knew the attendant difficulties and anxieties all too well,
 so I had no excuse for the continuing song in my heart asking the snow to close in around us 
as tight as my mother's nursing shawl.

As simple as it sounds it was the thought we were shut in 
which thrilled me so much.

For me there was a wonderful freedom
 in being held in the silent heart of the snow. 

The whole world,
(as far as I could reach it),
smelt different, with a clean, sweet smell.

The silence too was sweet,
bound as it was by the mourning of the wind in the chimneys,
or sloughing around the sides of the house,
 carrying flurries of snow on it's breath.

I knew all too soon the drip, drip,
 of the thaw would break through, 
with it's dirty grey weals 
wounding the purity of the crisp white skin
that had appeared impregnable while the cold held.

Life would return to normal,
 and the ordinary day to day comings and goings,
noise and disruption would ensue.

Snow or no snow,
strange kid that I was,
I truly preferred it the other way.

I have been reminded of all this in the weeks of Advent.

As I tried to keep an inner silence in my wait
 for the coming of the Christ Child,
I often became aware of a silence of the heart,
like the fastness of my early snowbound home.

I puzzled over the sensation,
trying to tease a meaning from the sense memory,
so sweet, and fresh, and pure;
so other than than my own heart.

I am left with the sense that a new word for 2015 was forming, (unrecognized 'til now),
for my prayerful focus.

I believe my new word is

For so long I have yearned for
 the inner sanctuary of my heart to be a place, 
not only to withdraw and know God's peace
 when I am disposed to be peaceable,
 but for there to be at the core of my being
 an engine room of peace,
 so badly needed by my volatile disposition.

I am so truly grateful for tastes of the deep tranquility
I feel I have been shown
 through these memories of the silent holding
 of the pure mantle of the snow, 
with the warm lamp of home burning love at the centre.

May He be our Home and our Hearth,
Our Peace and Our sweet Keeping.

Be Blessed