Be like a train; go in the rain,

go in the sun, go in the storm,

go in the dark tunnels!

Be like a train;

concentrate on your road

and go with no hesitation!
~Mehmet Murat ildan

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie

Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

***Unfold your own myth.***

I hope you will go out and let stories,

that is life, happen to you, and that

you will work with these stories . . .

water them with your blood &

tears & your laughter till they bloom,

till you yourself burst into bloom.

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Good Mates

The language of friendship is
not words but meanings.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Jack spent most of the winter in
his new, little, olde cottage in
Wales. When springtime came
it was time to go back to Oxford
though, and maybe see some 
old friends.

Sure enough on the 1st morning back,
there was Nash, one of Jack's best mates.
They're both 1/2 Jack Russell so it makes
them almost cousins... 
And great, good friends.

Hey! Haven't seen you around for awhile...
where've you been?!?!

Jack answered Nash, 

We have this new place in the country,
in a place called WALES, and one day
we just up and moved there.

Nash agreed,

Hey! Want to play!?


Jack said right away.


Look how high I can jump!


Look at our ears!!

Bet you can't catch me.... I can! 

And Jack did.


Ok, pant, I guess, pant,
they're done with whatever
it is they're doing, pant.
We're headed to the pond.....

...We're headed to the cricket
pitch so I can run in circles.



Good to see you mate.

You too, see you around.

And the two friends said goodbye until next time.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher
 you would learn things like: 

*When a loved ones come home, 
always run to greet them. 
*Never pass up the opportunity 
to go for a joyride. 
*Allow fresh air & the wind in
your face to be pure Ecstasy. 
*Take naps. 
*Stretch before rising. 
*Run, romp & play daily. 
*Thrive on attention &
let people touch you.
*Avoid biting when a 
simple growl will do. 
*On warm days, stop to lie 
on your back on the grass.
 *On hot days, drink lots of 
water and lie 
under a shady tree. 
*When you're happy, 
dance around & wag 
your entire body. 
*Delight in the simple joy
 of a long walk. 
*Be loyal. 
*Never pretend to be 
something you're not. 
*If what you want lies buried, 
dig until you find it. 
*When someone is having a bad day, 
be silent, sit close by, 
and nuzzle them gently.

Love, Jack

Monday, 21 May 2018

May So Far....

You will never be completely
at home again, because
part of your heart always
will be elsewhere.
That is the price you
pay for the richness of
loving and knowing people
in more than one place.
~Miriam Adene

Jack & I settled deeply into our cottage in
Wales over the winter, but with spring
Oxford was calling, and it was time to leave
it behind just for a little while.

It was difficult to pull myself away from Wales,
especially as spring was starting to make an
appearance, and I had just planted
forget-me-nots & lavender around the
bird bath. I really wanted to stay, lay on
the ground next to them, and
watch them take root and grow.

In my garden there is a large place
for sentiment. My garden of flowers
 is also my garden of thoughts & 
dreams. The thoughts grow
 as freely as the flowers,
 and the dreams are as beautiful.
~ Abram L. Urban

Instead we left them all in the able
hands of Finn, our garden gnome.

The hills were turning greener by the
hour and the sounds of nesting birds &
 bleating lambs filled the air....

...but it was time to leave my Welsh
garden behind and care for my Oxford
flowers, not to mention a list as long as
my arm of things that needed doing
back on the Holywell homestead.

It's difficult to leave our little Welsh
garden & terrace, especially when
the sun is shining and all is right
with the world.
So, after stalling & delaying as much as we
could, Stuart included, we made it back to
Oxford just in time for May Day Morning.

Be like a flower and 
turn your face to the sun.
~Kahlil Gibran

May Day Morning in Oxford is a centuries-
old tradition, which happens at sunrise on
the first day of May. The Magdalen College
choir stands on top of the college tower
 and sings a chorus as the sun rises over
the horizon. It's mystical, spiritual and
magical, with ties to the ancient Celtic
celebrations of Beltaine, the time of 
flowering, fertility and great celebration. It's
also much more tame then Beltaine ever was.

This is much more our speed.....

The very first morning we were back in
Oxford, the first order of business was
our walk to the University Parks.
I missed my tree friends there,
 and the fairy tale swans.

Even if it had been bucketing down with rain
we would have walked to the Parks that morning,
but no need for umbrellas and wax jackets that day.
The morning was all blues and pinks with the added
ice cream colours of the Harris Manchester houses.

When we left Wales. spring was still taking
tentative steps but in Oxford it was a full
blown May Day Party . . .

Spring is Nature's way of
saying, 'Let's party!'
~Robin Williams

Last year, just by chance, I was able to witness
the swans in their mating dance, but I missed it
this year. So, beside seeing my trees, I couldn't
wait to catch up with our swan friends and I
wasn't disappointed. They were nesting again,
right on cue.

If your heart is straight with
God, then every creature
will be to you a mirror of life 
and a book of holy doctrine.
~ Thomas à Kempis

Dad is out patrolling while mum sits,
and sits,
and sits.

Jack was happy to be back in the green
grass he's known since he was a puppy.
His little tongue comes out and his
ears go up. That's his happy.

Even if there is nothing to 
laugh about, laugh on credit.

An animal's eyes have the power 
to speak a great language.
~ Martin Buber

There isn't anything much better
in all creation than a field of
buttercups and bluebells.

Every blade of grass has it's Angel 
that bends over it and whispers, 
'grow, grow.
~ Talmud

And then there it was, my best friend in
Oxford, the sovereign beech by
the Rainbow Bridge, University Parks.

In Welsh, the phrase for coming back
into balance & peace of mind is . . .
*dewch yn ôl i'm coeden*
which translated literally
means *come back to my tree*.

I've known this since the first second
I stepped under *fy coeden ffawydd*
 *my beech tree*.

I frequently tramped eight or ten
miles through the deepest snow
 to keep an appointment with a
beech-tree, or a yellow birch,
or an old acquaintance
among the pines.
~ Henry David Thoreau, 
 1817 - 1862

When the time is ripe for certain
 things, these things appear in
different places in the manner
of violets coming to light in the
early spring.
~ F. Bolyai

As we walked, each small step of spring was
celebrated. Nothing says spring in Oxford
like cricket in the University Parks . . .

. . . and beyond the parks, all the happy faces
of students who've just finished one
or all of their exams.

A gentleman need not know Latin, 
but he should at least have forgotten it.
~ Brander Matthews

May so far has been a dream, after
a long, very long, extra long winter.
I hope the rest of the May days go
by slowly and then . . 
the next stop roses, and roses,
and more roses . . . in June. . .

But in the meantime there was a little
Royal Wedding . . . more about
that later.