PLACES

PLACES
It is said that travel broadens the mind.
However, although some have been lucky enough to be able to travel to many Places, time was when most did not leave the confines of their own village. Others, even in their own space with the help of wise women and men, then and now were and are still able to travel through time to when they were here before, often revealing why they are the way they are today, bringing forward talents and gifts in the here and now.

It is strange that although you could say I am not adventurous I have been to many Places in this life that have certainly not given me the kind of advantage that is expected from the Grand Tour of old, around Europe, for the wealthy and privileged not only to Europe but to many other Places around the UK, I have gone a bit further to America and Canada to the West, to Africa to the South and to India and Nepal in the East.

What travels I have enjoyed to many Places through business and holidays have given me an appreciation of the commonality of all spiritual traditions apart from the continuous adherence to the difference between religions, and the dissection of the human race into warring factions by most preachers in the religions and cults; claiming that their way is the only ‘one-and-only’ path to the Divine, to the point of issuing a Fatwah against one not even of their own faith for writings they did not agree with.

Whatever Place I have been to when speaking to the people in the street, in general there is nothing to argue about but much to celebrate in our difference. There were of course strange disappointments, such as a visit to Toronto and Orillia I found it odd that the only Totem Pole I could find was in a museum and so big it could only be accommodated in the stair well with the stairs winding around it.

In my house in Sussex one of the bedrooms was given over to the walls I painted as if looking out through the arches of a temple and through each arch was a picture of the different spiritual traditions, from the Tepee, Totem Pole and Messaging Fire in one, to the Golden Temple of Amritsar in another and so on round the room. An ideal place for meditation, enjoyed by visiting mediums; revelling in the all-encompassing spiritual traditions represented.

Reflection is good when you have time on your hands in your isolation, especially if on your own and not able to visit loved ones and Places both near and far that you love. Even if it takes a photo to open the memory cells to times of happiness in the past, remembering the good times even as far back as childhood. There is no limit especially if alone when looking back, rest assured you will not be interrupted.

This emerges from my Serene Reflection Meditation of Buddhist tradition which I can wholeheartedly recommend. Remembering as each thought comes into the mind to recognise but not to dwell on any one theme, just to let it drift away like the floating cork on a pond allowed to move away simply by the wind, leaving space for the next thought to come and go.

We are thankful that we are safe in our own home in the West Country of the UK but in this diverse world a new community spirit has emerged through this challenging time to bring hope to those left to fend for themselves locked in their own Places; with help on hand if they have the courage to ask of strangers in the past who could become great friends in the future.

Our calling has prompted us to follow the need wherever it may be from Sussex in the UK to Ayora followed by Monovar, both in Spain, then back to Devon in England because the grandchildren were missed. After only 3 years in the County of my birth the call came again as my daughter was diagnosed with a cruel condition.

So, we moved to Somerset to be nearer to help and she became vulnerable when Covid-19 arrived, which as I may have said meant that we could not interact even being as close as 5 minutes in the car rather than nearly 2 hours away from Devon.

In the future, since Covid-19 will be lurking in the background just like Flu or the Common Cold but with possibly still more dire consequences if contracted especially by the vulnerable and elderly, our lives are going to change whether we like it or not. Please God let a confirmedVaccine be found here in the UK very soon!

We love our new little home and although confined, following the guidance, staying alert, and using our common sense to live our new way of being as safely as possible in our own particularly placed circumstances, we wish the same for everyone.

Our faith leads us to pray, coming together from both sides of the Christian tradition, but we also understand that prayer only goes so far, as there are challenges we must face in this human state knowing that all possible help in the form of the healing energies of Well-Being are ours to accept 24/7. In fact, of course this applies to all faiths as they are all attuned to the same Divine Source of All There Is; so long as they accept that possibility.

We may be different in many ways including our understanding of the spiritual aspect of our faith as interpreted by our leaders but for us our own way, but I truly believe that there is strength in our difference, no matter in which Place we have chosen or was chosen for us to live and to practice our belief.

My fervent wish is that the current world challenge will bring all Nations together, just like the coming together at Community level, rather than to split us all apart which seems to be the current vogue. I voted to stay but the slim majority voted to split and what we got was isolation! As Michel Barnier said the option is still there to cancel article 50 and to resume our membership of the EU, which for me would seem to be the sensible option in view of the likelihood of reaching a less than favourable Trade Deal for the UK or no deal at all.

Perhaps we did not look carefully enough at the consequences of our choice before we voted. Still, from the religious intolerance in India which forced the coming into being of Pakistan and Bangladesh, when millions were murdered on both sides, to the insistence of Scotland wanting to become a separate country. It has been said many times, “The one lesson of history we never learn is the lesson of history”.

I also hope that the idea of sharing as the lockdown is released will continue in the minds and hearts of all of our communities, with a greater understanding of the values of our interactions and offers of help to all the members of our groups however large or small.

Wishing you Peace in your Place, with Love, Hanukah & the Angel

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COVID-19?

I first published this some time ago but it seemed to hit the spot when looking at the way Covid has affected us all:

COVID-19

With arm raised and hand held high
Grasping nothing save greeting.
I stand alone.

Words tumble down the waterfall of mind
Soundless in silent tribute, moisture runs.
I stand still.

Mixed emotions choke the breath
Suspend the heart momentarily, shaking.
I stand by.

Elements have their say with instant light and black
Retinas and drums respond in shock.
I stand in awe.

Unwashed, showered naturally
Unable to move hemmed in by the multitude.
I stand together.

Distance is small but seems so vast
Seeing after not seeing, unable to touch after touching.
I stand anticipating.

Controllers of time and space take their time
I yearn for time to collapse, distance to disappear.
I stand impatient.

The moment arrives, movement at last
Sound so loud pains the eyes, the prize is taken.
I still stand but die inside.

With Love to persevere, Hanukah & the Angel

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EAST

The direction of New Beginnings.
In my last post I gave away the secret that I am not tech savvy and to prove it I took the following photo of Buddha highlighted in the early morning sunlight streaming into our conservatory, but try as I might I could not get it to sit upright!
Hope it turns up the right way this time.
(Whoops … sorry it did not work!)

The image of Buddha was given to me by my students as a large concrete statue which I painted to match the Buddha which I photographed in the Tibetan Temple at the birthplace of the Buddha at Lumbini in Nepal.
I hope you still got the message.

Our journey through India was guided by an Indian friend, with the proviso that we wanted to see India as it is, with no multi star hotels which was fine until we came to order a meal and instead of following our host with fried dhal we chose something which was closest to an English version.

The following day that choice proved to be our downfall with the most virulent strain of Delhi Belly, hitting us on a coach trip which proved to be our greatest Eastern Challenge of the whole 3 weeks in that amazing country keeping us in our room for a week and ruining our itinerary.

Although missing the place where Buddha passed to spirit, we fell in love with that fantastic place which seems to be impossible but nevertheless it somehow seems to work.

Strange as it may seem the directions and their meanings were brought home to me not by any visit to the East but in the opposite direction to the Americas and my lust for knowledge of the North American Nations came after my grandfather’s visit to that country in the mid-20th Century.

I went to an exhibition in a Corn Exchange near to Victoria in London and heard a sound from the far end of the crowded hall which I could not ignore. I followed the sound to a stall where the stall holder and prospective buyers were trying out some North American Drums.

One in particular, a deep sounding call just resonated with me which I still have and went to drumming classes which naturally guided me into the N.A. philosophy and of course, being totally smitten I had to have the flute to go with it. Sadly, Arthritis has so distorted my fingers that they no longer line up with the stops, however, it is still a pretty instrument which any visitor is free to play.

But I digress, the direction of the East.
As we say, it is the direction of New Beginnings, which is best begun with the direction of the rising sun. Just think how many revered that point on the compass and prayed to and placated the gods with all manner of sacrifices, to ensure that the sun would rise again the following day.

Luckily, we have our faith, which requires no one else at any Earthly level to keep us on the path knowing what we must do, using our knowledge and common sense to guide us and interpret guidance from those we have elected to help us through the challenge of Covid-19.

It is a most difficult challenge for those whose faith normally relies on the group gathering for prayer meetings. Perhaps we should all get used to having virtual meetings as much as possible in the future. Our lives and habits will definitely change and as a habit person I know how this will affect many folks like me.

We send our love and blessings to all who are facing challenges at this time of world pandemic and pray that we will all cope well with the changes that lie ahead.
With Love, Hanukah and the Angel.

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TIMING

There comes a time in the annals of our kind
When we appreciate, all begins in the mind.
It often takes a kick up the proverbial
To make us be a little anti-social.

Though the mass will stick to the media-social
I’ve never subscribed to sharing all from facial
To intimate details of family and self
I’d rather keep things on my mental shelf.

Time was when we knew all in our village
Which could be a refuge for those of my age
In this intimate world it’s not just neighbours
The whole world knows what secrets it harbours.

Something like the current virus challenge
Forcing us to stay away from our local Henge,
Keeping us confined to our own little hutch
Despite wanting to get out and about so much.

Some with a much more placid state of mind
Will manage this new way and know how to find
Peace in the new way and change with no fuss,
The rest see getting out and about as a must!

‘Who has the right to tell me how to behave?
I’ll do what I want, even if it leads to my grave.
Meeting my mates is down to us, no worries,
Pity we can’t get a few pints and some curries!’

Right now, the Timing couldn’t be worse,
So many are carted away in a hearse.
Many feel denied, their team must stay in,
Home is the gym to keep fit enough to win.

It’s difficult to tell some, this is no game
It’s a serious business whose only aim
Is, as many as possible to stay alive!
They’ll be fined when the cops arrive …

If found outside when they should be inside,
With all at home it should stem the tide
But it’s one time in the dark they can hide.
Take care at night and the Internet’s lies.

Of burglaries to all most vulnerable yet,
The most vile and evil are on the Internet,
Stealing your cash under the guise of legit
Convince you to hand over your safety net.

Any joker will say it’s all down to timing
Space has its place in music and rhyming
Use your space, small though it may be
To pause and reflect how to be happy.

You’ll get used to this new timing way
It’s a case of finding a new way to play.
You’ll do it I know, with your inventive mind,
It’s where all is created of the personal kind.

Health, Happiness and Safety to All, Hanukah & the Angelfety to All, Hanukah & the Angel

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CELEBRATION

CELEBRATION

This month was meant to be a gathering of the clans when we could celebrate together the momentous occurrence of the two zeros in the same month of April.

My 80th and my eldest daughter’s 50th.

When our family was living in Norfolk back in the mid 1970’s a friend gave both of us an astrological reading and when placed one over the other they were identical, line for line, even though we were 30 years and a week apart in age.

Being so alike in many ways we had to be careful of each other, not to upset, cross think, talk or act without good reason. Having spent many years apart in Spain, but for five minutes in the car, we are now together again to help one another, until that is, Corona Virus hit the world and because of health conditions we must both keep our distance. Such challenges were not foreseen.

In the book I am writing “Children of the Light” two of the heroes in the story, yes there are more than one, go to the Orkney Islands on holiday and find the Ring of Brodgar. While standing in meditation they witnessed a vision of the ring as it used to be, with a full complement of standing stones and one of its uses was shown to them in their joint vision:

The celebration of tying a young couple together in matrimony, with a wreath of heather around their linked wrists. The man was given a knife to provide for and protect his family and the young girl was given a hazel wand to be used as a tally stick to record each celebration of the growing family.

We are fortunate that there are now ways and means for us to connect and see each other in the family without physically being in contact, unlike so many who are having to self-isolate being senior citizens, literally alone or with underlying health conditions making them vulnerable like my two daughters.

Thankfully there are many in our community who are willing to help with shopping for essentials and the rest we are hoping to find to be delivered via the Internet, although trying to find a slot with major food stores to deliver is impossible unless we can wait for a month!

My saving grace is the garden which we found overgrown on arrival almost a year ago and naturally I had to make changes, like moving roses planted in the middle of the lawn and cutting back the hedge reaching over the fence to make itself known, but with wild roses, honeysuckle blackthorn and hawthorn within in it there was definitely potential.

The previous owner had done what I did at our last house and saved all the labels of the plants he had put in the garden so I have been able to construct a catalogue of the existing and new plants added by me with their Latin names and position in the Garden which wraps around the house from the wild front to cultivated at the rear with a wild avenue of arches joining the two. It is a celebration every time I open the file. Well, I do love my garden and I did say there was potential!

With bird feeders dotted around it brings a mini celebration each time I look out of the windows to see my feathered friends who bless us with their presence, now that I know their favourite foods; and come the spring I’ve no doubt that Mrs Tiggy-Winkle the hedgehog will wander through the garden when she wakes up from her winter sleep, like last year, when we arrived at the end of May, she welcomed us as if she knew us.

If you have no garden or window box you will be gazing out of your windows with yearning for the great outdoors, denied to all of us for the duration of this huge Challenge, except for one daily exercise, shopping for food, medications, to see the doctor or to get fuel and MOT.

There are a few essential workers who can still travel to work like doctors, nurses, those helping to maintain the NHS and those manning the food stores and garages, although ours is card only and the food stores now allow a shop of up to £45 instead of the previous £30 limit, which is helpful and the rest is online.

The rest of us should stay indoors. If we do have to go out for the necessities of life or a daily exercise, we must practise social distancing by keeping at least 2 metres away from other humans, and wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands. I have always been a bit fastidious in that regard almost Lady Macbeth-ish, so no difficulty for me but I can understand that others might find that a bit irksome, depending to a great extent on their occupation which may also be on hold for the moment!

They did say it would be hard and that our lifestyle would change radically and that sure is proving to be true. Being an Island nation I believe there is something built into our psyche that enables us to cope with situations like this and if some are having a hard time it is heartening to see that our communities are rallying round to support each other, proof is in the pudding they say and with over half a million volunteers to help the NHS, what further proof would anyone want?
God bless them all.

I trust that all those who would try to take advantage of this challenging time will think twice before over charging, robbing the lonely and vulnerable or scamming others.

As for those who have been stripping churches of the roof lead; may they see the light behind their misdeeds and may those who would receive their stolen goods recognise the metal for what it is and refuse to turn the lead into gold.

There is nothing to celebrate in that endeavour and may those who know the perpetrators be able to convince them to turn their talents to other more compassionate ways.

They should understand that whatever we send out will be returned to us in subtle ways: Send out love and you will receive love and become more loving. Send out hurt and you will be hurt in such subtle ways in return; to teach you a better way. It all begins with thought just to think of robbing, you will be robbed of something you would not have thought of. Think about it.

We send our love and blessings to all who are facing Celebrations alone at this challenging time, hoping that you will be able to connect to loved ones by one remote means or another. The telephone is a good way … It’s good to talk!
With Love, Hanukah and the Angel.

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