Nothing else does quite as much for most people, not even the other arts. We are a wordy species. Words are the wings both intellect and imagination fly on. Music, dance, visual arts, crafts of all kinds, all are central to human development and well-being, and no art or skill is ever useless learning; but to train the mind to take off from immediate reality and return to it with new understanding and new strength, nothing quite equals poem and story
Ursula K. Le Guin
It is difficult to put into words ‘inspiration’, but this quote jumped out of me from a blog post talking about the importance of imagination in her book Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000–2016, with a Journal of a Writers Week. It inspired me to keep reading and writing and being imaginative. I instantly experienced flashbacks of being read to as a child and my Dad doing all the voices for different characters. My imagination is now important to me as a means of meditation and reflection.
I love this statement.
Being outdoors in nature is where I belong. Soft grass beneath my feet damp from the morning dew, the wild flowers flowing in the breeze and bee buzzing around them pollinating as they go. Wild animals poking the heads out of dens or burrows. Birdsong overhead from dusk til dawn. Trees standing high above us, giving us cleaner air to breath and fruits to eat. Bats flying at dusk swirling the eco-energy around us and clearing up the midges. Owls out hunting and hooting from their guard. Living wildly and freely is where I feel most natural and calm.
Family are imperative, they are my rock bed of support and encouragement, giving it to me frankly and honestly. More than my parents my family are special. I do not get on with some of them and occasionally it is a blessing I live far enough away not to worry about them or what they are doing. But others who I do get along with, it is special spending time with them. Talking about anything and everything, shopping with them, sharing a meal with them or afternoon tea. Growing up away from them meant the time spent with them was all the more enjoyable and special.
Friendships come and go, I don’t have any friends I grew up with or went to school with. I have friends in chapters of my life but each friendship has been important and valued. Some have lasted years now and it remains precious to have them to talk to. Forming a group of common friends feels like being part of a tribe – those one my wavelength who just understand what I’m going through and where I want to go as they are either travelling with me or guiding me through life. A tribe to make noise with (we have drums!) and chant with and laugh with (we certainly do laugh a lot). The best thing about friendships is that age is never a barrier to form an understanding and bond.
When I began lent this year I agreed with myself to give up one habit that needs breaking and take up a new positive habit in its place. The positive habit I chose is to record 10 things every day on a post-it note what I am grateful for. My top 3 things today:
- Waking up to Meg snuggled up against me so I was warm. She enjoyed the tummy rub
- Music. My day does not start without music on my way to work. Today it was a beautiful piano concerto followed by an thought provoking cello solo.
- Sunrises. With the frost hanging low over the fields the mist rising slowly from the ground, the pink and yellow haze of sunrise cast a beautiful, almost unreal, land before me. With the music playing over the scene it was as if Angels were lighting the path of my journey to work.
In childhood traditional Church of England encompassed it. Sunday service was a time spent with grandparents and family, reciting psalms as poetry and signing to the hearts contentment. As time went past, cherished loved ones passed and traditions faded. The songs felt limp and no longer burst from the breast. Wars continued, based on religious facades, and Christianity grew tiresome.
Slowly a belief whispered. It did not knock loudly, it did not demand attention. It did not creep either. It was always there, quietly in the background, waiting patiently. As time rolled by understanding grew. Childhood silliness replaced by everyday appreciation of what it all means, what it symbolises, how it makes absolute sense. Everyday thankfulness for being alive and acknowledging what is present in life rather than what is missing has built a great spirituality within. Using the fruits of nature to remain healthy and to cleanse has become common place; using divination to bring into being what is desired has become routine; meditation and reflection has erased fear, stress and anxiety. Peacefulness is felt within instead of being longed for. Judgement no longer exists, respect for everyone and their individual paths prevails. Poetry is amplified from every living thing, every time a door is opened and a step taken outside.
I am Pagan, hear me roar!