Reflections

 

Seewirt Hotel, Bad Reichenhall, thumsee, bavaria, bavarian vacation, eagles nest, berctesgaden, lakes and mountains, austrian lakes and mountains, holidays,
Calm Stillness

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago in Thumsee when I went for a walk around the lake there. I love a photo that makes me see things differently.

It has been a strange old week in my old house. Well, strange is probably the wrong word. Fraught. That is the word. Life takes us on a journey and we never really know what will be revealed down each path. I arrived at a crossroads some time ago and chose a path that was far more overgrown than I imagined. I have spent many years attempting to cultivate the path, changing its direction, cutting back brambles to open up a new walkway, only for more brambles to spring up in a different place, treading in the shadows and basking in the sunlight. This week I think I emerged into a clearing, slap bang in the middle of a rainstorm. Still I believe that dancing in the rain is far more important than hiding under a shelter, who knows what you find when you step in puddles.

puddle art

 

Maybe the puddles will reveal a whole new direction.

It is hard to think of that at times but a couple of years ago I was in a restaurant celebrating a birthday and this poster was on the wall right next to where I sat. I photographed it and come back to it often.  I often think about the dream and if I truly owned it for myself or was I chasing somebody else’s dream. I have to remind myself that it is ok if I took the wrong path and, no matter how others think or feel, I have to be true to myself.

965389_10202099989593665_531653344_o

 

So, back to this last week and all the fraughtness and tension that have been building for some time finally came to a head. Not pleasant but evolving can only bring pain if you are to reach the giddy heights of pleasure. The best way I know to deal with pain is to recognise it, acknowledge it, and then READ.

I often find myself alone pottering around the house and this can be one of my greatest joys or biggest frustrations. Last Sunday being the latter of the two for many reasons but last week, rather than get upset, I  decided on a  diversionary tactic. It was the perfect opportunity to finish reading a book that I had started some time ago and so  lazing on the sofa  with Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella, a hot cup of mint tea and a great dane curled up at my feet I immersed myself in a fun and easy read. Staying there all day until the sun went down and not actually moving was pure luxury as Barney slept through after the excitement of visitors the week before had worn him to a frazzle.

sunday afternoon pursuits, sophie kinsella, bookclub, reading for fun,
a dog, a book and a comfy sofa. Bliss.

Life turned on it’s heel on Monday and the fraughtness began. I have stumbled through each and every day, walking Barney, journaling, cleaning and painting furniture. Life is all about change and I am sure that there are many changes coming I just need to work out how best to effect those changes in my life in a way that is positive and caring.

Yesterday I returned to Thumsee. The sun wasn’t shining so brightly and the reeds had grown tall. I sat on a bench with Barney laying beside me and thought about the numerous changes I have been through over the years and how I am still here, still standing and still ploughing on. So, maybe the reeds in my life will just be a protection from the winds of change, a place to rest and to prepare for the next big push.

Thumsee, Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria, Eagles Nest, Berchtesgaden,
Hidden by the reeds

 

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I believe

part 1 can be found here

 

“I’m starving Jean, what time is my next appointment?” I shout as I head through reception. “twenty minutes and you have a telephone consultation in fifteen” Jean called back. “Great, I can’t believe how behind I am. I’m just going to the garage next door for a sandwich”

As I reach the door it flies open catching me full on in the face sending me backwards crashing to floor. In rushes an old scruffy guy who steps over me as he shouts that he needs help urgently. Turning onto my knees and about to push myself up,   I catch sight of a jewelled buckle attached to a purple suede boot out of the corner of my eye just a second too late as it’s owner crashes through the door behind the guy. I duck but not fast enough, she hurtles straight into me and falls onto me then crashes onto the floor by my side. “Oh no, I don’t believe it. Not you again”

It seems to me that this woman is fast becoming the bain of my life. Not only does she have a habit of knocking me over but she is usually accompanied by some poor animal who she just happens to have found needing emergency care. I stand up quickly and hold my hand out to help her up. She shoves me away and scrabbles around on the floor attempting to push herself up. “Oh for goodness sake woman” I bellow as I bend over and pick her up by the arms. “Never mind her what about the bloody dog” screams the old guy at the counter as Jean reaches out to take the bundle from him.

Jim she calls, I think that you better take a look. I head over and lift the little guy from her and realise that it is Tinker who belongs to Jean, he had been missing for a few days after the last incident with Purple Boots woman and he was rather worse for wear. “Wait there the pair of you. DO NOT I repeat DO NOT go anywhere do you hear me” I shout as I point at Purple Boots. “I need to speak to you”.

After a quick examination and a cuddle from Jean I establish that Tinker is fine if not a little weary. No broken bones, which was more than could be said for the ginger tomcat. Just a little shocked and perhaps more than a little hungry after his adventures.

Wandering back into reception I find Purple Boots and Old Guy sitting patiently and looking rather perplexed. “So, what happened this time” I look square on at her and she slides down the chair looking sideways at the Old Guy.  “She was just making wishes on dandelions when she was interrupted by your girl’s dog there” says the Old Guy. I look from him to her and notice she has slumped further into her seat and is rather pink. “Wishes?  on dandelions? Really? And did it work?” I fire  the  questions at her. “It doesn’t happen that fast” she mutters under her breath  “and besides, even if it has worked I wouldnt be telling you now would I?”

“So who are you?” to the Old Guy

“Nobody special, My names Will I was crossiing the marsh when I spotted your friend here in a spot of bother and thought I should help her out”

“Look” she pleads, “I really don’t make a habit of finding injured animals.  Or of knocking over the only vet in town” she continues. “It’s just been one of those weeks”

“OK, I believe you. I am a bit busy this afternoon but I really do need to talk to you about the cat and what we are going to do about him. Can you come back at the end of the day and we can have a chat”

She seemed to blush again at that suggestion and got all fidgety but agreed to calling back later. Standing up she turned to Jean and apologised again for any trouble she had caused. Jean, understandng as ever waved away the apology and wiped away her tears. “Im just so pleased to have him back. Thank you”

She backed out of the surgery still apologising and narrowly missing knocking over Mrs O’Leary who was heading in with her guinea pig, Celia. “That woman is a liability” I mutter to Jean as I head back into the surgery with my belly rumbling. Through the window I spot Will skulking along behind Purple Boots in the direction of the park. No doubt they are off to make more wishes. Lets hope that I don’t get mixed up in them.

 

to be continued.

 

 

 

 

I believe.

dandelion, wish upon, blow

 

She didn’t really believe that wishes came true but it couldn’t hurt to give it  a go now could it? Sure what was the worst that could happen?

Closing her eyes and thinking on the current problem that was taking up her whole life right now she pondered on what she could wish for. She needed to be sure that whoever heard the wish and had the power to grant it would fully understand her need to find a way out of today’s latest disaster. After all, it isn’t like the powers that be could be fully akin to what was going on now could they?

After what seemed like a lifetime pondering, when in reality it was a mere few seconds, she took a deep breath, held it, thought of the words and then blew with all of her might as she spoke them in her head. Quickly opening her eyes she watched the dandelion flower heads scattering their minute florets on the breeze, drifting off to settle into the meadow and plant their seeds to help grow more wish enablers.

It occurred to her that her life had been much like the flower head of the dandelion for quite some time. Each decision she made had drifted on the breeze, settling, pollinating and creating yet another disaster.

Suddenly a shuffling noise caught her attention and she noticed a pair of deep dark brown eyes peering out of the azalea bush regarding her with trepidation. Clambering up from the grass where she had been sitting cross legged for way too long she limped slowly towards the bush looking around to see if she could see a wayward owner searching for their lost bundle of joy as she shoved her hand into her pocket looking for the biscuit that she had stuffed in there at the coffee shop earlier. Hoping that the treat may coax out the scared little dog.  All of a sudden the bush exploded and a golden ball of fluff hurtled itself towards her launching into the air and crashing full pelt into her legs. She felt her whole body lifting in the air and twisted in an attempt to make sure that she landed as softly as possible before finally feeling the pain searing through her body as she crashed to the ground and passed out.

“Hello, are you ok?” she heard a faint voice in the distance.

“I don’t know” she replied, slowly lifting her arms to her head to check for blood and then pushing herself up slowly. Blinking into the sunlight she gazed up at the old man bending over her. “I think I am ok, I can move my arms and my legs and my head seems to be in one piece” she muttered with an attempt to smile at him.

“Well, that is good ” he snapped, “pity the dog isn’t as resilient then isn’t it” pointing at her side.

Turning her head she noticed the bundle of fur whimpering and lying curled into a ball on the grass.

Oh no, this was not what she needed right now. A dog needing a vet was not how she expected her wish to be granted. Not at all how she imagined she would meet him again and try to explain.

 

To be continued…………

inspired by two Daily Post Word prompts Disaster and Breath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halfway Down the Stairs

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase; just take the first step.”

Martin Luther King

stairs, quotes, motivational quotes
One step at a time  – photo courtesy of quotesgram

I am on the “how to do it” stair right now.

As a child my Saturday morning chore was to sweep the stairs. I would be handed the wooden brush and asked (or rather told) to get on with the task. I hated it. I didn’t see why I had to be the one doing it.  Starting at the top of the stairs I would slowly and surely brush down the dirt of the week onto the next step,eyes filled with dust and feeling more and more grubby with each step I would try to focus on each individual step rather than the whole task. Once on the bottom step I would sweep all of the muck to the hall floor and, standing amidst it all, wonder how one week could generate so much mess and dirt. In the ensuing years I had forgotten how I used to feel when made to do this task, I had also avoided ever having to be the one who took up the brush to sweep down the stairs.

The other day, out of nowhere, I decided to sweep my stairs with the handbrush. Taking my time and starting at the top I slowly worked my way down. The stairs in my house are on three seperate levels so there are quite a lot. Upon reaching the mezzanine level I stopped and sat on the stair. After a while I realised that I had been sat there for some time pondering life. It occured to me that sweeping the stairs was giving me the space to work out some of the things that have been bothering me. A mini meditation. I laughed to myself as I thought about the scene in the Karate Kid  “wipe on wipe off” and then out of nowhere the Martin Luther King quote popped into my head, followed swiftly by the words to one of my favourite songs.

It seems that sweeping the stairs clears up more than the dirt from the week, it clears my head and allows me to think more clearly. Now where did I leave that brush.

 

 

 

 

Snap Decisions and Photosnaps

 

hearts and flowers, beachcombing finds
beachcombing beauty.

Wandering along the seashore I spotted the pebble glistening in the tidepool, calling to me, urging me to pick it up and enjoy it’s smoothness. I have a penchant for finding heart shaped rocks and this was no exception. Sitting on the sand watching Max (my Great Dane) running  in and out of the surf I turned the stone over and over in my palm. Feeling it’s cool hard surface warm up and take on my energy. Beachcombing, for me, is a way to immerse myself in the here and now. To forget all the stresses of the day and to quieten my mind from all of the rushing thoughts and questions that it throws at me constantly. I have made some of my most important decisions sitting on a beach surrounded by my days gatherings. That heart helped me to make a decision that, sadly, I now recognise as being a mistake but still I’ve come a long way since making that decision and still I have new roads to travel and new decisions to make.

Normally I would cart my finds home with me and place them into a box waiting for their fate.  As I meandered my way along the beach I spied a  little nook of rocks where daisies were growing. Inspired by the daisies and the lichen covered boulder I placed the heart in amongst them and started to snap photos. The heart seemed so at home there among the weeds and moss, reflecting how I felt at that moment in time,  that I felt obliged to leave it and with that I took some photos to remind me of the rock and the feelings that it evoked that day. I have a box full of driftwood and a jar full of shells all waiting to be used in one creative way or another but to this day I have never been able to create something as beautiful or thought provoking (for me) as that photo of the heart.

 

IMG_0750

I live in landlocked Austria now but I found myself a very small beach by the river. The beachcombing is nowhere near as wonderful as in Wales but I still manage to ponder life and make decisions. Lets hope that the decisions I need to make over the coming days and weeks are far more reasoned than that snap decision in that snapped photograph. Still whatever decision I do make I will live with it (right or wrong) because it will take me down a new path to new adventures.

right decisions, wrong decisions

 

 

inspired by Daily Post Prompt SNAP

Weary Traveller

Standing on platform 5 at 9pm in the freezing night air with nothing but a dim lamp and the smell of urine emanating from the shelter, that I refuse to huddle into, has become my weekly routine. How has my life come to this? I used to have a wonderful home all of my own, two dogs and a parrot that amused and loved me in equal measure. A job that I liked and a group of friends to call on to invite for dinner at the drop of a hat.

Now, here I am standing on platform 5 for the 10th week in a row. My spirits are low. An empty packet of opal fruits blows along the platform and reminds me of how hungry I am. I still have an hour to travel before I reach my destination and can finally stop to eat whatever food my friend will provide for me as she does every Friday. If it wasn’t for her kindness and generosity I wonder what would have happened to me.

I stamp and  shuffle my feet to keep them from freezing and pull my collar up in an attempt to shut out the wind. I feel the tears rolling down my cheek but I am beyond caring enough to stem the flow. The homelesness and travel are beginning to take their toll. The tannoy on the platform crackles as the announcer prepares to break the news of a 30 minute delay, I am ready for the announcement, it is yet another weekly occurence that I have become resigned to.

I ponder my life and think about how I arrived here on platform 5. I used to spend Friday nights all wrapped up and cosy in front of the fire. Watching some kind of rubbish on tv and sipping a glass of red. I can’t remember the last time I did that. I had given it all up to follow my heart and now, three years on and two moves later I was standing here wishing that my I had listened to my head instead of my heart. Still I must keep moving forward.

A train pulls into the platform weary travellers spilling out as the doors open and more people begin to join me on the platform waiting for their connections.  I spot the girl with the shocking pink hair. We nod to each other. I wonder what her story is. Why is she always on this platform and where is she heading to.

My train rumbles into the end of the platform. People rush to the edge and I watch as they jostle and nudge each other to ensure that they get a seat. Wearily I pick up my suitcase and oversized bag filled with laptop, notebooks and work paraphanalia as the train pulls to a standstill. The doors open and, as always, a few people alight. The crowd that have gathered rush onto the carriages looking for seats and chattering to their companions. I climb up and plonk myself into the first available seat followed quickly by the girl with the pink hair. We smile and nod to each other. She is beautiful in an eccentric kind of fashion. I settle back into my seat, put in my headphones and close my eyes. Despite the sadness that sits with me I am grateful for that little piece of familairity and sense of belonging that the girl with the pink hair brings to me.

 

in response to the daily prompt suitcase

 

Perchance to Dream

 

sunrise in an industrial town
sunrise in an industrial town
To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

Not for the first time I have sat and watched the light slowly creep into the valley, wondering what it was that sat quite uncomfortably with me.

Awake since 3am and no chance of sleep returning I made my way down to the kitchen and watched the steam rise from the kettle as I waited patiently for it to boil. Standing at the countertop and longing to be under the duvet dreaming is becoming a regular occurence. Is it age? Is it lack of mental stimulation. Maybe it is a combination of both. It certainly isn’t a lack of physical activity as I am more active than I have been in many years.

Slowly sipping my chamomile tea I make my way to the windows and sit at the bench. Peering out into the blackness of the village I look up to the stars knowing that the sky is so vast and yet I feel confined, claustrophobic even,  here in this small village in the mountains. It irks me that I am feeling this way. This was supposed to be me stepping off, moving away from the chaos and noise that is inevitable as part of the corporate lifestyle, the hustle and bustle of the city, the lifeblood of everyday modern life. So why then do I feel so empty, so devoid of emotion and so very restricted?

I have too much time to think, not enough things to think about.Just space, empty space in my head allowing all of those emotions and thoughts that I have pushed away for so long  to crowd in and fill my head with questions. Why did I leave the world behind? What am I looking for? What do I want my life to be? Is it always going to be this way?

Slowly the light creeps over the mountains and down into the valley. At once I realise that I miss watching  the sunrise. The changing colours as the world wakes up, the beauty in the way that the light bathes the earth, making even the ugliest landscape beautiful and I decide,  I must seek out the place where the sun is visible as it rises and sets here in the mountains, it is the thing that I have missed. Here in the village surrounded by mountains that one simple pleasure is blocked out by the magnificence of the mountains.

All at once I remember the sunrises and sunsets in Wales, visible from the house in which I lived and the times that I sat on the beach waiting for the sun to rise or set. The times when I was leaving my home for work in London, Liverpool and Colchester and I watched the sun rise as I commuted from home to office. Be that on the train, standing at a bus stop or walking through the city. I always loved that time of day, the colours so vivid and the sound of the birds waking. I knew that I loved it and also appreciated it at the time but I had not consciously missed it . Today my conscience was pricked and I ache to see a sunrise in all it’s splendour.

Sitting by the window I look at the birds emerging from their resting place, the blue tits getting busy collecting materials for their nests, blackbirds searching the ground for the early worms. Crows swooping and landing on the rooftops as they squawk their greetings to each other. I breathe and enjoy the moment, every moment has it’ s own sweet joy.

Slowly the village begins to wake, I hear the cows in the sheds across the road as they prepae to be milked, the horses neighing as they are turned out into the fields and I spy the neighbours cat hanging onto the door knocker in her usual peculiar fashion as she begs to be let in. All happy to see a new day dawning.

Cars begin to move down the hill into the village and head on into the city or neighbouring towns to work, women make their way to the supermarket for the bread and cheese for breakfast and workmen appear to begin mowing lawns and planting flowers. Industrious as ever in a different way to that in which I grew up.

As I cast my eyes out across the activity I know that I am not ready for this world of quiet inaction, unstructured days, relaxation to the max. I need to have a structure, I need to be industrious, I want purpose in my life.

I realise, as I sit here in the early hours of the day, that I have been sleeping. Sleeping Furiously, while life goes on around me. 

I have been hibernating, hiding from the world. As spring nudges nature to do it’s thing  so it is waking me up too. Waking me to the endless possibilities in life, to the things that I have always loved but allowed myself to lose sight of. Depression and Anxiety has a way of stealing your life and shutting you down.  The Dawn today was waking me to what it is I love and miss in life. Whispering to me to find a balance and a logic. Urging me to find the strength to rekindle my love of life and find a way to bring those things I held dear back into the fold.

I am awake, it is time to set about creating (or recreating)a good life.  Finding a balance. Life doesn’t have to be one thing it can be many parts made into a whole.

 

in response to today’s wordprompt  Bedtime