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breathe tnhThis word peace has been troubling me lately. I’ve tried it out with lots of different verbs; I want peace (that wanting in itself doesn’t feel very peaceful) I’m searching for peace (ok, but do I have a map, and am I aware it doesn’t come wrapped with a label on so I know when I’ve found it?) I am peace (ok, that’s certainly not true right now, I don’t feel it leaking out of my every pore, I don’t notice people noticing how very peaceful I am ) or…peace is. OK, now we’re getting somewhere. Take out the ‘I’ and perhaps we’re getting somewhere closer to the truth.I went for a walk yesterday, in a small wood close to my mother’s home. It wasn’t long before I felt a huge feeling of presence and freedom, of breathing, of being very alive and in awe of the life around me. There was something very simple and nourishing about feeling like I needed nothing in that moment other than to be quiet, to observe, to breathe. It came on so quick I was surprised, not having been aware how long it’d been since I had had that chance to just take the time to rest my palm on the trunk of a tree and watch a tiny spider build a web in the cracks of the bark. My being was so hungry for this empty time it gulped at it voraciously and there were tears in my eyes as I sat on a tree stump to catch my breath. Surrounded by life and death and everything in between, I met wonder again. Wow, where’ve you been wonder –  I missed you:-)And then writer me showed how hungry she was too and images and phrases and thoughts ran at me full tilt making me laugh out loud and dive into my handbag where I had a pencil and a letter from a friend in my purse…yes!…she’d only written on one side. I began to write on the back in tiny writing, eventually turning over and writing in the spaces in between my friend’s loving lines…I used to have this idea that peace was something very quiet, gentle and still…and sure, that might still come into it, but now I’m beginning to get a sense of something else. Peace is something very momentary, and raw, and challenging, and courageous and…it’s a deliberate and conscious choice which has to be made again and again with every step and breath. It’s not a destination, and it’s not an aim, it’s not conditional on dispeace disappearing and it’s not guaranteed pain free…it’s about being so responsive and expansive that, and I can’t find the direct quote, but it’s something like, if life is throwing paint around it only makes a mess if you have walls for that paint to splatter against. If there are no walls, there is nothing for the paint to stick to…

Good Deeds Received

Received a lovely email from my ‘boss’ at the language school I’d been working at, updating me on some of the students and saying I was missed.

My dad cooked a wonderful meal, and my sister and her partner came over to join us. We played darts and backgammon and just generally, laughed, caught up and enjoyed each others company. It was a wonderful evening.

Dad and I went for a walk on the morning of the day I was to leave England. We found a beautiful abundance of blackberries and began to gather. Dad laughed and I asked him why. He replied that he was enjoying how happy I was. Thank you nature, and thank you Dad:-)

Mum picked me up from the station and brought me home to a house she’d filled with delicious things to eat and drink, leaving me to arrive and rest while she went to work.

A colleague and friend sent me an email, the day after I got back, inviting me to hold a creative writing session with a group she leads…what a welcome home:-)

A friend I haven’t heard from in a while sent me a lovely email catching me up on her life.

Was gifted one of those deep, nourishing conversations that affirm life and my place in it, which ended with lots of laugher as we went from profound philosophy to dancing stupidly to the salsa music that was playing in the background.


Good Deeds Done

I took three plastic bags full of stuff to recycle with me when I left where I’d been teaching, as I hadn’t found anywhere nearby to recycle them which I could get to without a car. I passed some of the students on my way out, who gave me some funny looks. It looked like I was traveling with all my rubbish. Truth is, it was merely symbolic I know, that amount wasn’t going to make a big difference, but I had to do it.

Sent a text massage to my niece, wishing her luck with, and later congratulating her on, her ‘A’ Level results.

Drove my mum to the airport and am covering her shifts at the cafe this weekend while she’s away visiting her brother for his 70th birthday.

Carefully chose and lovingly wrote a card for my Uncle, for Mum to take with her.

A man was paying for something and dropped a ten pound note on the floor, which I don’t think he’d noticed. I picked it up and gave it to him, and he smiled.

I held open the door for a mother with two young children, one of whom was crying. I caught his eye and started smiling and pulling silly faces and he immediately stopped crying. I kept this up for several minutes while we were all waiting there in the bank.

Helped two couples who were a little lost find there way to the campsite they were looking for.

OK folks, have a great week:-)