ICE FLOWERS AND LEAVES

We woke this morning to an icy cold and beautiful sunny morning, yes it had frozen even here in usually mild West Cork. So I could not wait to get out and feast my eyes on all this frozen beauty, and I was not surprised to find that everything in the garden was gleaming in a sparkling white coat. Yes, old man winter had walked the land that was plain to see. The temperature was 4 degrees Celsius. But the sun had already come out and I could feel its warm rays on my skin, I had gone out without a coat or boots and soon my feet were freezing. The bright, beauty of the morning filled me with energy, it is such a change from all the rain.

This Rudbekia a plant which I sowed early last spring has finally flowered, and what a day to choose for it. Beautiful.
The leaves of the Calla lily (Zantedeschia aethopica) never fail to look good any day but especially this morning they looked wonderful!
I’ve been thinking what to do with all the many young Foxgloves plants coming up in the garden, now I am happy that I left them as the frost has decorated them so brilliantly.
This is the sort of photo that stops me starting to paint again, why would I paint if art is show me in nature just like that. How could I ever make it more beautiful.
And so another evening has arrived, and I made use of my extra energy to clean up the front garden as this was very overdue. The leaves of two smallish trees had nearly covered the cement tiles, and the Buddleia needed trimming. This was a rather slow job as the branches had overgrown and they all had to be cut and cut again in order to be brought through the house to the back garden for shredding. But recently I have found joy in doing jobs slowly, or rather in doing slow jobs, they are like a meditation and I know that I benefit from this. Also I have noticed this tendency in my reading habits, these days a really tick book does not put me off anymore, on the contrary I seek them out and relax into them for days, savouring the story. Same with cooking, I now very much prefer to cook totally from scratch, enjoying the extensive cutting up of vegetables, or shelling of peas.
I am grateful to have the time for all of this now that I am retired.

My dear readers and friends I hope that wherever you live, keep warm or cool as the case may be, and enjoy the moment.

A MORNING WITHOUT A CAMERA

This morning early I slipped quietly out of the house and drove down the town to the farmers market.  I had arranged to pick up some herbal tea and I thought it better to go early.  I parked a little out of the way and walked the rest over to the market place.  It was a fresh morning, a little autumn chill in the air.  Dark clouds were overhead and the wind was picking up, but other than that it was lovely and sunny.  A local woman walked the same way as I did and we started a conversation – about the weather, then about our blessings here in the little town in West Cork, and then about the market.  It was nice to have human contact out of the blue like that, I always love those unexpected conversations with strangers.

I had not brought my camera and my phone was dead, I nevertheless saw several interesting scenes which I took note of with my eyes and stored away.  There was the old pump surrounded by lovingly placed flowering plants.  There were the old houses and the little bridge that covers the caol stream which runs through the town.

After my walk around the market where the people were only setting up their stalls and struggling with the wind, I decided to have my morning coffee in the old O’Neill shop which opened during the summer as a little coffeeshop.  The coffee was delicious, reading the paper I sat peacefully in what used to be the backroom.  Some of the walls have been left distressed by different layers of earlier occupants’ paint jobs.  I really liked that idea.  The original counter stands.  A local man was sitting at the side reading his newspaper.  My thoughts turned to our departure which is coming close now and how I will be leaving West Cork behind me to embrace new adventures in the lovely island of Gozo for another winter.  Somehow I feel that going away for the winter and exploring a new place makes me fonder of the town which I adopted 30years ago, and that has got to be a good thing!   I see it’s beauty more and can appreciate it more.  We are so blessed in this part of Ireland, while it may be a little damp, after the summer that was in it for some countries I think many people might be very happy with ‘a little damp’.

While it seems that the earth and humankind is in chaos at the moment, it is good to be thankful for what we have and to feel and show empathy for those people that are having a hard time.  I’m not only thinking of the people in the US and Mexico, but also of all the millions that are displaced by the flooding in Asia.  I hope and pray that sanity may prevail on earth and that those that should be our leaders calm down and that peace may be reached in all areas.

DSCF4833

MEDITATIONS

“Your nature is absolute peace. You are not the mind. Silence your mind through concentration and meditation, and you will discover the peace of the Spirit that you are, and have always been.”
Anonymous

I’ve been walking the garden now every night to check on the slugs.  This has turned into a real meditation which I now look forward to.  Taking my time, I go out rain or not with my torch and a jar, I check all the vegetation for the little night creatures, the garden at that time of night is usually still, so still that I can hear the slugs move, or chew on a leaf.  The scents come out too, the sweetpeas, privet, and other more earthy scents, or just the fresh air give pleasure.  In the light of the torch things become more intensely focussed, things like plants or parts of plants that are normally barely noticed, strange that.

I treasure that time now, a good ending to the day.  I guess I owe a thank you to my slugs, by creating a problem for me they gave me a gift, and that sure is very much appreciated.
DSCF9578

DSCF9141     DSCF9526

DSCF2188

THE UNIVERSE

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”
Rachel Carson

DSCF9363

“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”
Alan W.Watts

DSCF9362