like night and day, sun and rain, one will follow the other and its our response and attitude that helps us survive
I love the drama of this tree. Its, been striped of leaves, its provided shelter, its been battered and bent, twisted and straight. Its reaching up and dancing in the rain… Its survived and continues to grow…. Gotta respect resilience and endurance…
Death, of course, is part of life. When it comes to our door, it is very hard to navigate through the pain and loss, but grieving means they were loved, as were we.
When a flower, a tree or person dies it doesn’t do so, without leaving its mark, its stamp, its impact or its seed behind. It may be un-living, but it leaves something behind that keeps it alive.
Nine days ago, my father died. It was a sudden passing, unexpected. It has shaken us, his family and left us unsteady on our feet. I am still grieving the loss of my very dear friend, who passed, Seven months ago.
What I have come to know in this grief, is that I must go through this process, feel this pain, navigate a way forward through the fog and learn to live with the fact that I will not see them again.
What I also know, is that, even though I won’t see them again, does not mean that they are not with me or near me. I think about them both, every minute of the day. I talk about them both several times a day and I talk to them both, every day too.
My grief and pain for my dad is still very raw and I guess, I have had a trial run at grief, when I lost my friend, so I know what to expect.
I also know I have to be thankful, for the time that we had, grateful for the good times and blessed to know that I was loved by them and happy in the knowledge that I loved them both dearly.
It is never easy to lose a parent and even though my dad was 81, we still hoped for more time with him. There is never a good time to die, I guess. Having said that, I am glad he did get to 81, because so many people do not, including my friend.
Those of us left behind, are the seeds, the impact, the mark and we have been stamped by them, with their love and affection and it is that, which will carry us through the pain and gravity of the loss. We must hold on to the good times, remember them fondly and know that we were loved.
R.I.P Dad, til we meet again……
Voices, noise, placed on hands
Staring ahead, nodding
Wetted cheeks, can’t stem the flow
The oak box raised on the
Shoulders of black suits
Slow uniformed steps, synchronised
And I am there, following
Disbelieving somehow, that the patriarch
No longer will walk beside me, hold me, comfort me
And as he is lowered into the dark deep hole
My heart breaks open
And his love, his spirit, his soul is stored deeper in it
Sometimes I still pinch myself that I made it through motherhood with everyone pretty much unscathed. I have raised my own and other people’s children, being a mother and foster mother and at times, it was the hardest job EVER, but the most rewarding, so now, it’s ‘me’ time and I am loving it!
Today I’m having a fat day, a lazy day
A day where I can loll around
In my dressing gown
I love having a fat day
It is full bodied, full of self- love and indulgence
It starts with a lay in bed, reading
Eating breakfast and not minding if the crumbs fall onto the sheets
After a while I nod off for another snooze
I awake again, put on my dressing gown and head downstairs
I have a cuppa and maybe a biscuit or two
And wrap my hands around the warmth of the cup and my dressing gown
Tightly around me
I read some more of my book, curled up on the sofa and put the fire on
Cosy in my living room, soaking up the fullness of just ‘being’…
Later I will turn on the TV and flick through the channels until something
Grabs my attention. I may watch it for an hour or two or for the rest
Of the day until it is time, to go to bed again
In between, I will head into the kitchen and eat and nibble and pick at
Whatever I choose to eat, whatever, takes my fancy
And I won’t feel one bit guilty
I won’t feel guilty because I have spent my days, working, fetching and carrying
Raising children, keeping house, putting other people first, putting myself to the back of the queue
Except for the occasional treat.
Mums, all over the world are on the marathon of motherhood and it is exhausting, exhilarating, heartfelt and heart breaking. We fight, we fix, we do. We just do. We get on with it and we get lost in it. The girl you were, that carefree girl, before motherhood, she is gone. She is hiding in the body of the mad woman working from morning ‘til night, full of sleep deprivation, spinning plates and trying to please EVERYONE and in the process there is no time or very very little time, for her to please herself.
So now, now that my nest is empty, 33 years later, of getting lost in motherhood, I can, without guilt or remorse, please myself and have a great big fat day to myself and enjoy it wrapped up in the warmth of my dressing gown, and in the knowledge, that the job I did of being mother, was a success. My Children are a success, they are wonderful human beings getting on in the world on their own journeys, full of their own adventures, and I couldn’t be happier for them….. or me!
When the downpour comes it may change how we feel….but it doesn’t have to be bad
I don’t like the rain. It makes me feel cold and miserable. I don’t want to go out when it is raining. I hear it lashing off the windows and it makes me shiver and shudder at the thoughts of having to go out in it.
I have to go out. I need to go to work, or to the shops or to do some other errand. I grab my rain coat, pull my hood up over my head and run to the car, holding onto my hood and keeping my head in the downward position.
Quickly, I hop into the car and start the engine. The windows are all steamed up and I turn on the fan and the heater to demist them and warm up the car. Wipers come on, by themselves, smart car! As the rain gets heavier, the wipers get quicker and I wish,more and more that I was back home, in the house, in the warm, cuddled up on the sofa, with the fire on, listening to the rain instead of being out in it, or driving in it.
When I am in the rain, I try everything to keep it from hitting me. I have a rain coat. I have an umbrella. I wear a hat and sometimes gloves. I wear my boots to keep my legs dry and free from the rain touching them.
Sometimes, I get caught out in the rain and am not ready or prepared for it and then, it falls, on my head, my body, my legs, my face and then I remember…..
I remember when I was young, a child, and I loved the rain, especially if it was really really lashing down hard and pounding off the ground. That would mean my friends and I could stay in and play and dress up, pretend to be like ‘grownups’ wearing our mother’s clothes and shoes, clippedy clopping around on the lino floor, face full of make up and a couple of oranges shoved up our tops to give us our ‘bossom’. It was hilarious. There was lots of laughter.
I also remember the feeling of the rain on my face, because sometimes I would run out into it, arms outstretched, mouth open and I would let it soak me to the skin and drink it in until I was completely drenched. Then, after dancing in the rain, I would go back into the house, shimmy the wet clothes off my squeaky wet skin and step into a nice warm bath and soak in the luxury of the bubbles, feeling like the Queen of Sheeba.
It’s funny how the rain can make us feel.
It’s funny how we view the rain.
It’s funny that we forget how much fun we can have if we learn to dance in the rain…..
Sometimes we have just got to trust in the signs and take them for what they are…. believe in the magic……
So many signs in our daily lives, we can either ignore them , act on them or have faith in them….
It’s a matter of choice or a matter of chance….
They say that the Robin, little red breasted bird is a symbol of good luck, happiness and rebirth. They also say it’s a sign that a loved one is near and so it can bring lots of comfort to those grieving.
The same can be said for feathers. They are a sign that the angels are near, looking out for you and that loved ones, who have passed over are near.
We get comfort from these sightings and read them how we will and they may instill a level of calm within us and though we will forever miss our loved ones, it brings pleasure to think about them being so close.
I know I feel comfort and calm seeing such things and I openly talk to my friend who passed, too young and too soon from this mortal life. I chat to her as if she is there.
Today is quite a significant day, being her 6 month anniversary. My husband and I went for a nice lovely stroll nearby where we live and walked down to the lake. Just before we got there a feather appeared, floating down from the sky and fell at my feet.
As soon as I saw it, I said to my husband,’here she is, letting me know she is here, coming on the walk with us’.
We used to have such a laugh. We had known each other since our school days and were a pair of gigglers.
As we continued on the walk we went right down to the edge of the lake and my husband decided to skim stones on it as it was so still and perfect for skimming stones. The ripple affect was just lovely.
As I was busy taking photos, and openly talking to my friend saying how beautiful it was here, down at the edge of the lake, I heard a yelp! I looked back and as if in slow motion I saw my poor husband slip on a rock and go down, into the water.
He was literally in the water for about 2 seconds, a quick dunk, as it were before getting himself out.
I just stood there in disbelief and as he quickly scrambled out of the water and walked towards me, and I knew that he was OK, I burst out laughing. It was actually hilarious. I laughed so much I almost wet myself, and as if by magic, the mood was a whole lot lighter.
My husband also laughed, pleased that no real damage was done, and as we walked (he squelshed) back towards home we both agreed that it was probably Jackie, giving him a little nudge in, as she would find it so funny and she knows how much I would laugh too.
I took it as a real sign that indeed, she was there, by my side letting me know that she was there and that she was OK.
Thank you my dear, for the sign, the company and the laugh…. He is truly fine…
When you fancy a piece of heaven, take my advice and go do the Cuilcagh Mountain walk, A.K.A the Stairway to heaven. It is spectacular….
It’s commonly referred to as the stairway to heaven and it is on the border of County Cavan and County Fermanagh. It is about an hours drive from where I live in South Leitrim, and the day we went, at the end of February was a day of four seasons… We had it all, sun, rain and snow.
We packed our back pack, had water, a snack and some waterproof trousers, ‘just in case’ it rained. As we left Mohill, the sun was shining, but alot can happen in an hour. Alot can happen in a few minutes!
After we parked the car at the entrance to the walk, we were greeted by a man collecting the parking fee either 5 pound sterling or 6 euro. The sun was shining and there were a good few cars in the car park. We had only been walking about 5 minutes when the heavens opened, so on went the waterproofs, to keep us dry.
It is quite a bit of a walk before you even get to the board walk, with lovely craggy trees and a number of sheep to keep you amused along the way. The scenery was great.
We passed a little river to the right and some frogs to the left. They were protecting and moving about their spawn.
The path was gravel and easy under foot, the incline was gradual. The space was open and dramatic and along the way, we would stop, so many times to take in the magesticness of it. Of course, it was great to catch our breath from walking, only for our breath to be taken away by the sheer beauty of the landscape rolling out before us and behind us. It really is quite awesome!
We met people as they were on their way back down, and all said the same thing ‘keep going, it is worth it’.
After about an hour of walking, I began to wonder if indeed, it was would be worth it or indeed, if we would be able to keep going.
We did keep going and over and over again, we would say WOW, look at that, pointing in each direction. No matter where you looked, it was stunning.
The board walk itself, when you finally get to it, is good and sturdy and as it rolls out in front of you, leading you the way to the actual stairs, it highlights all the beauty it is creeping through.
I am not going to lie, climbing up the actual stairs, to the top, was hard and we stopped many times to slow down the heart rate and just take in the sheer magnitude of it all.
As we were walking up the stairs we noticed the dark clouds coming, and as we got to the very top, in came the snow and hail and poured down on us like a welcomed shower as we were sweating from the steep incline. We both felt our hearts were going to burst!
It was spectacular from the top. The view needs to be seen with your own eyes to appreciate it, so my advice is go, go do the stairway to heaven, keep going, it will be worth it!
a little stroll does the heart good in more ways than one….. making and remembering memories
Today we decided to do the canal walk beginning in Drumshanbo at Acres Lake, walking down to Battlebridge Lock and back again to where we started.
I had walked a piece of this walk a few years ago whilst visiting Leitrim, but I remember it was raining that day.
Today, the weather was fine, dry and sunny and we met a few other people along the way, getting their steps in and enjoying the stroll.
It is a nice flat walk and not too taxing at all. Along the walk we pass through Drumleague Lock, and the sight of it brought me right back to October 1979, when I was still a girl, living in the UK.
I was on a barge trip with the school for our school tour over the course of a week, from Coventry Canal basin to Birmingham. I remember it being such great fun and my best friend, Jackie, and I had aches in our tummy from laughing. We would hop on and off of the barge at times, as it was moving and run to the Lock to open it.
One evening Jackie was washing her hair over the the side of the barge and I went to fetch clean hot water from the stove to rinse it. I also picked up another empty saucepan and unbeknown to I leaned over the side, filled it with icy cold canal water and proceeded to pour it over her head…….Well, the screams and effing and blinding were enough to wake the dead, as she ran holding her poor cold head running the length of the barge, while I was bend over double laughing and pleading with her that I was sorry and had some lovely warm fresh water to clean her hair with.
Of course she forgave me and we often used to laugh about it. Those were the days…..
Today was about making new memories with my hubby, but I love it when the ordinary things in everyday can transport us back to another time and we can relive that again and talk about it, and smile at the thoughts of it. It brings everything alive and gives a warm heartfelt feeling.
Continuing on from the lock, a bit further down the pathway was a lovely house nestled into the landscape making great use with their big windows out across the canal. To our surprise part of the walkway is also used by cars, not many, thankfully as it would be a very tight squeeze if there was two way traffic with either the car or the walkers ending up in the canal!
We came to the road at Battlebridge Lock and to the right of it was the river Shannon running fast under the bridge. Beside the bridge, a lovely quaint but welcoming pub, called Beirnes of Battlebridge sits to the right. We called in here and had a bowl of delicious homemade soup served with guinness bread and rested a little after the 8km walk, before heading back.
We finally made our way back around the loop and and now with the canal to the right of us the expanse of open fields to the left giving rise to a beautiful mountain straight ahead.
We talked and chatted and took a leisurely walk back to Acres Lake, where we started and were planning where we should go next on our discovery of this area.
The sounds of the birds singing on this journey was a joy to hear. We saw blackbirds, finches, a little wren and the beautiful Robin. The Robin always makes me smile and I am always pleased to see it, because it lets me know that my beautiful friend, Jackie, is there with me on the walk and on this journey of discovery.
We saw lots of frogs spawn in the little pools branching off along the sides of the walkway, but alas, my hubby was disappointed to not see any other wildlife or frogs taking care of their spawn….. Perhaps they were hiding away from our chitter chatter.
All in all, I would recommend this walk to everyone, young and old. It is even great for cycling or for children if they have a scooter. It is a bit gravelly, a little muddy in places, but good under foot and nice and flat.