Amaryllis

Full of promise

Such elegant lines

Ethereal

Daintiness against the light

Pure petal poetry

Beauty in every detail

and from all angles.


Amaryllis
in Greek 'amarysso'
means sparkling.

A flower name poetically used to mean
'a simple shepherdess or country girl'
A name often given to country girls in classic literary works
of Virgil and Ovid.

Every year before Christmas,
I choose one, sometimes two, beautiful Amaryllis bulbs
to flower in my home.
So far, this particular colouring, which flowered
for over a month on two stems, is my favourite.


A Life Well Remembered: A Story


When I was twelve and my brother six, my mother left to make a new life for herself,
without us.
My father became a single parent.
Every day of my adult life, I am thankful that my brother and I were brought up by my dad.
It wasn't always easy, especially during our teen years,
but dad did his best to be the best dad he could be.

I consider myself lucky as I have inherited my dad's positive and upbeat attitude,
his love and enthusiasm for life and his caring nature.
Dad was full of fun and was always there for me when I needed him.
When I became a mother to three lovely children, 
I realized the true value of my dad's upbringing.

There isn't a day goes by when I don't think of the father I was given,
how lucky I was and how I shall always be truly thankful.
I'll never forget all he did for me 
and I'll never forget that smile of his
and his wonderful twinkling blue eyes.

Photo:
Two photos of Dad, a book of poems he gave to me,
his Parker fountain pen, which I still use,
and a handkerchief with his initial, J for John, which he once left when he came to stay
and which I laundered and kept in memory of him.
His writing in a birthday card he sent to me.

***

Joining Sarah at Paisley Rain Boots and Lee at Sea Blue Lens
for Scene & Story

Happy New Year 2017!

On this first day of the New Year
I wish you Beauty

Confidence in what lies ahead
even when it's still shrouded in mystery

May there always be a light shining in the darkness, 
however small.

Remember
the sun also sets on the most difficult of days.

and a new day dawns at the break of day
which brings us all a new beginning.

Discover new paths
even when they go uphill
those are the most rewarding!

Delight in the sparkles that come our way

and take the time to linger as glorious colours and patterns
enter into our line of vision.

Let the light come into our homes and into our hearts

Remaining supple when the wind suddenly changes direction
Unexpected happenings in life allow us to really see the essential
and invite us to change our priorities and adapt.
We learn resilience.

But most of all,
just love life and it loves you right back!

***

Not only is a new year a total mystery, but it is also full of new energy
waiting to carry us forward to new adventures.
Let's live them!

Wishing you all a New Year full of peace in your hearts
and the capacity to rejoice in all the little and wonderful instances
that are given along the way.



Ding Dong Merrily on High

This is the week before Christmas
when the frenzy in the air is very tangible.
Sometimes, it's just good to find a quiet place to sit
and take the time to breathe...
maybe light a candle
a red one is so festive.

The presents are wrapped and the bows tied
I'm so glad I did everything early.

What about my new hand and arm cast?
Red for Christmas. What else?
Just to be a little silly, I'm going to wear a tinsel bracelet
on Christmas Day!

Since there won't be a Christmas tree this year,
I've bought some cheerful fairy lights to create
several luminous and festive corners around my home.

A sparkling butterfly in memory of a sweet loved-one
departed much too early.

A bowl of Christmas baubles on a small table

This glass container, containing tinsel and shiny baubles
will have added fairy lights in red and white 
to be the centre-piece on my Christmas table

I love my living room at night
all lit up
as pretty as any Christmas tree!

The Christmas elves are already in place in the entrance.
They have been a tradition for more than twenty years.

The homemade truffles will have to wait for the New Year
before I make them again.

I was just able to finish crocheting the front door wreath
on the last day of November.
That was lucky!

I am unable to make my usual Christmas crochet gifts and decorations this year,
but fortunately I have some snowflakes left over from previous years.

As soon as the afternoon light starts to fade
those little lights come on.

Scintillating evenings just for me and a good book!

Those little bells again, just because they're so joyful!
and the sweet sound of children's voices.
Please click below on the name of the Christmas Carol:

It just goes to show that we can still create a festive feeling with very little
and with just a bit of imagination!

I wish you all a very heartwarming and beautiful time with your families.
Sometimes, not all members of a family can get together, but we can phone and
exchange emails and have special thoughts for all those who have
other obligations or cannot be with us.

In the meantime, whatever you do, and whoever you're with, 
may you have a joyful heart to share!


I'll be taking a blog break over the holiday period until sometime in January.

Be well
Be happy
Remember to smile
to someone who may need it!



How Can We Define Impermanence?

Everything changes constantly.

Just going for a walk, I notice how the things around me change from day to day.
This lovely crinkly leaf was not against the railings when I passed this way
the day before.

The life cycle of a leaf is an example of impermanence.

Melting ice
illustrates how fast things can change in a matter of moments.

Not resisting change

Life is comparable to a river, or flowing water.
It is a progressive movement, a successive series of different moments,
joining together to give the impression of one continuous flow.
Going with the way things are rather than fighting the natural flow
and wanting things to be something else.
Non-resistance helps us to adapt to constant change and to accept it.

The impermanence of the seasons.
As one season celebrates its plenitude, another lies dormant,
waiting for the moment of rebirth.

Like crumpled tan gloves dropped on the earth, these fallen leaves
seem completely connected to the first snow fall
and in acceptance of their condition.

The fleetingness of shadows
and how their impermanent nature can charm and enthrall us

Their brief and changing presence makes me stop awhile
and enjoy them so much more!

Trusting change

Change can occur in different ways.
Sometimes we seek it out and other times it comes upon us unawares.
There are many crossroads throughout our lives
and important choices to make.
We ask ourselves: "Which ways shall I go? Should I turn left or right or
continue on the beaten track for fear of the unknown?

Whatever changes comes upon us without warning, as much as those
we specifically choose,
putting our trust in the long-term outcome
gives us newfound strength and the confidence to carry on,
come what may.

Slowing down and shifting priorities

Because of recent unexpected events. I have been forced to slow down considerably.
I have always enjoyed reading, but because of other much-loved creative activities,
and of dealing with the practicalities of life, 
I often put off reading-time till very late in the day
when I'm almost ready for bed.

These days, with a plaster cast on my right hand and arm,
I have had to review my priorities.
This has given me the opportunity to incorporate my reading times 
into new and different moments of the day.
I have created new spaces in my daily routine
which reminds me to continue to do this even when my right hand
is free again in five weeks' time.

***

Although I am not a Buddhist, I feel very much aligned to a great deal
of their philosophy.

"In Buddhism, the term 'annica' refers to the doctrine of impermanence
which asserts that all of conditioned existence, without exception,
is transient, evanescent, inconstant."
(Taken from Wikipedia)

Early Buddhism dealt with the question of impermanence
in a very rational manner.
According to 'annica', impermanence is an undeniable and inescapable fact
of human existence from which nothing that belongs to this earth is ever free.

So, however we feel about the impermanent nature of all things,
seizing the moment as it comes to us
to live it fully
just the way it is
seems like the very best thing we can do for ourselves and for others.

***
I know this blog entry is much wordier than a simple entry
on photography, but I'm currently following a workshop called:
"Celebrate Impermanence"
which has opened the door to new ways of observing life as it is
which is in a state of perpetual change
made up of
a multitude of moments.

If you are interested to read more about the workshop above.
You can find a link