Autumn Leaves are falling down

Autumn Sunrise with low fog
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My alarm goes off around 7.30 am, regardless of what day it is at the moment. I know mum does not get up for at least another hour, so this is MY time, time to reflect and time to enjoy the splendour of nature at my own pace.

 

It has been a hectic, sometimes stressful and confusing year for me so far. Hence why you have not seen much action here either. After a fairly uneventful Summer I travelled from Australia, into Spring in the Netherlands mid March, where my cousin was waiting for me to help her get organised, in case a bad situation would eventuate with my elderly mum, to be prepared for everything. We found a fitting nursing home with a large garden and arranged as much as I could fit in the 4 weeks I stayed, like meal deliveries, meetings with care staff, doctors etc., to keep her living independently as long as possible, along with spending time with mum as well.

Upon returning home in Australia late April I got a phone call the next day, still groggy from jet lag, after which I found myself working an extra 5 nights a week, while trying to catch up in my garden at home and get that ready for my absence during Winter and work in the nursery part time! Well, no rest over Winter either, with record snowfalls, more lodge guests than ever, and keeping my promise from last year to my manager then, of attending more ski training this season! I had to leave a week before closing of the lifts, to fly back to the Netherlands for mum, who had deteriorated badly over their unusually hot Summer.

So here I am, finding myself utterly confused after Summer followed by Spring, followed by Winter and now in Autumn, but thankfully healthy and well. Something I unfortunately cannot say about my mum, who is physically doing very well, but mentally in need of full time support.

 

I swiftly throw on my ‘trackies’, hoodie and sneakers, over my pyjamas to keep the chill of the early morning out and quietly sneak out of the door. I am so glad mum chose to live at the edge of a small town in the Netherlands, from where it only takes me a few minutes to walk the street that brings me to the paddocks showing the Sunrise in full glory. I savour the wide open space, still in peace and quiet this early in the morning, especially during the weekends when work traffic is absent.

When I walk I focus on my surrounds, nature waking up along with myself and my body. It is easy to get sidetracked during the day and fall into bad habits in regards to posture, but during the stillness of the morning it is easier to focus on walking with a straighter back and shoulders relaxed in the right spot, arms swinging loosely in harmony with my stride. It feels so good to take a deep breath full of life’s most important energy that somehow feels more rejuvenating at this hour than the rest of the day.

 

I take many deep breaths during the day as well, but most are for the purpose of keeping my sanity and composure while mum asks me the same question for the 30th time in an hour and still fails to understand my calm explanation. She easily gets upset when this happens and I find myself repeating to her many times that it is ok and that all is organised and will work out just fine.

I know she just hasn’t got the synapses to connect the dots any more as dementia is slowly stealing her mental abilities. I also know that giving her an answer calmly with love is important, despite the seeming pointlessness, because she will ask me again in a few minutes. Important, for it gives her a feeling of being heard, loved and respected. I am sure she feels that I care for her as she still treats me like her daughter, even though she gets confused and thinks I am still in Australia, and much younger than in reality, lol, if only… Occasionally she believes me, mostly she puts her ‘stubborn hat’ on and is convinced I am telling her fibs. Reality does not make the same sense to her as it used to.

The way I mentally deal with the current situation is reminding myself of the old quote a Buddhist monk told me, that if I CAN do something about it there is no need to worry and if I CANNOT, why worry? Another one that helps me mentally is from Wayne Dyer, that it is NOT the situation or circumstances that stress people out, but the thoughts created about it. I take one step at a time and file my upcoming responsibilities in my phone, which gives me a beep when something pops up that needs attention.

 

The one thing that still cheers her up and takes her away from her worries and suspicions that everyone is out to deceive her is Nature. She really calms down and comes home a different person. I am so glad about this, as it is so good to see her marvel at it’s beauty too when we go for an afternoon stroll in the nearby forests on the milder days. It is ‘nature therapy’ for both of us! We stop and look at the many mushrooms showing themselves and we walk the leaf covered paths surrounded by old deciduous trees in beautiful Autumn colours. Something I have not seen much of in the last 15 years when I have always visited around her birthday in Spring.

Autumn Trees

Autumn Trees

We pick up a few treasures to take home and arrange in a shallow pottery dish on the table, acorns, pine cones, a few leaves and a tiny feather she found with the most vibrant blues. I take photo’s of the mushrooms, better left in peace where they are. Besides, my knowledge of them is insufficient to know which ones are safe to pick, let alone any names.

She still walks unaided and really well for her 87 years, but I am carefully monitoring her gait to see whether we should keep going, or returning to the car soon. Surprisingly she generally knows her way around quite well, despite being bad in many other ways. It is a blessing now that she moved back to the area where she grew up when dad was still with us, because she retained a lot of her older memories so far.

Mushroom coming up among Autumn leaves

Mushroom coming up among Autumn leaves

I am always fascinated with these little surprises of nature, here one day, gone the next. Perhaps it is the shortening days and decay all around that makes me feel melancholic. For a moment I think about the issues at hand and cannot help but see the fleetingness of all we take for granted. A hint to make the most of, and be grateful for each day we are blessed to experience.

Mushroom covered tree trunk

Mushroom covered tree trunk, found off the beaten track

Red and white mushrooms

Spotted these red and white ones only on passing a second time, surprisingly, as they are quite striking

I ponder about memories, which are not much different. As we walk along our lives we collect and grow them, we treasure and share them, but when decay sets in with old age, they are like the falling leaves of Autumn, we drop them slowly one by one on still days, or many at once when a storm hits….

I am so GLAD that my own ‘tree’ still has many leaves that, for now, are securely attached.

Leaf covered road

Leaf covered road

Feel free to comment ūüėČ

With Gratitude,

PollyEsther

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The Emerging Butterfly

Blue Butterfly
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l used to be a caterpillar small and insecure,
eating away at yummy green leaves so pure.

I did not feel so well and was not growing like l should…
Wondering how to make it better and if l possibly could?

Then one day a book fell in my hands,
that taught me which leaves were in bad lands.

l read and read some more,
like I’ve never read before.

Started eating the right leaves from then,
finally knowing what to eat and when.

I felt a whole lot better indeed,
and grew fatter and fatter with rapid speed.

Started having a real good time,
rolling along with a great big smile.

Then wore myself out after all,
got tired from eating, felt like curling into a ball.

I felt different and a little strange…
Were there some special leaves in the last range?

I spun a little hammock out of silk and laid myself down to rest.
It only seemed like moments when l woke back up in my little nest.

Who has washed it for me while l slept?
cos l am sure it was less tight, last time l checked…

I stretched out my stiff limbs, oh no, broke my comfy cocoon!
I don’t know if I was quite ready yet, to get up so soon?

Loving the safety of what I now knew,
but also a little curious as to how l just grew…

Into this beautiful creature l see in the reflection of the puddle below.
With an aura that just beams with this wonderful magical glow.

Topped off with some wings, how incredible!
just by eating the right foods that were eatable…

Instead of poisons like so many of my dear friends,
who perished long ago and came to sad and sorry ends.

I was the lucky one indeed,
finding the right kind of feed.

So l could be reborn into a different phase of life so free and light.
The day has never before looked so bright!

Oh the ecstasy of flying off with my special man,
and doing what only a butterfly can.

I wish to share what I learned with all the caterpillars yet to be born,
but sadly know I will not witness my offspring and if they have ever flown.

It is the task of my genes to pass that on for me,
and my task is to let them be.

Let them be free to find their own path at their own pace.
May they all grow into butterflies and live happily in their own space!

 

With Gratitude,

PollyEsther

 

PS: Something a bit different to normal, but after all the lovely comments on my last poem, I could not resist posting this one too. I wrote it to enter into an on-line ‘Burning Man’ event¬†display, which has a theme of growth and transformation.

The recent multitude of butterflies in nature, as well as my attention being drawn to them a lot lately in different situations, inspired me to put the two together. There is a lot of symbolism woven into this piece that is very close to my heart and I am pleased with how it turned out, GLAD my muse tapped me on my shoulder again yesterday!

What do you think?

The sneaky flower

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Last Summer one of my larger cacti was about to flower just before we left on a mini trip over the holidays. I asked my watering friend to keep an eye on it and snap a picture when it opened. She forgot…

This Summer that same variety again had a flower bud just before our annual mini holiday of 5 days. I have many pots and am still unsure how often they all flower, but not every year! I had never seen the flower and owned this cactus variety for at least 3 years!

Again I asked my (other) watering friend to keep an eye out, urging to check every day because it is no more than a 24 hour event! I made sure my camera was easy to find and charged up.

Coming back I was eager to see the pictures, but my friend was convinced the flower had not happened yet and was still to come out. The bud did look a little sad to me and proved me right as days went on and it only shrivelled more…

sad flower

sad flower

Fortunately, this year seemed a good one for flowering cacti and I was treated to another bud coming out. This time I checked it two, three times a day! Surely I was not going to miss seeing this what looked like a promising magnificent event again! The previous ones from another variety were the size of an outstretched hand. The stem of the bud started stretching faster and longer on Friday, but surely the weather change was going to put a spanner in the works, I thought. Serious thunderstorms forecast for that night.

It was indeed a good, well needed downpour for the garden creating pleasant cooler temperatures in the morning along with some fascinating lightning.

I woke up early and refreshed and walked as per usual straight outside into my garden to wake up to the day and let the dog out. Of course my lemon tree check to gather the newly fallen ones for my morning juice and wander past my cacti…

Cactus flower after overnight rain

Cactus flower after overnight rain

It did not look like it had fully opened yet, so I resolved to come back with the camera after breakfast when the sun might be closer to lighting it up a little more for me.

This one does not like the sun!

This one does not like the sun!

Now it all started to make sense, how my watering friends and myself had never seen this cactus flower. It likes to do it in the dark, overnight! It has a beautiful sweet fragrance that to me comes close¬†to jasmine or frangipani. And another bud underneath…

Budding Cactus

Budding Cactus

A week later it opened up at night after I gave it an extra drink to ensure this flower coming out. It was the first one I saw this close to opening!

Cactus flower opening just before dark

Cactus flower opening just before dark

I made sure to take plenty of photo’s and even though the night time ones are not good enough to publish, I¬†did get some very early morning beauties!

It is so easy to feel gratitude for being witness to this special, just 12 hour flower that is not only beautiful, but smelled like heaven too!

Finally fully flowering!

Finally fully flowering!

Cactus flower in full glory

Cactus flower in full glory

With gratitude,

PollyEsther

Be water, my friend

Pansy in my garden after rain
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The flower looks up at the sky where dark clouds are gathering. She is feeling a little limp and tired after the hot sun dried out the soil around her. It gave her a lot of warm energy and growth for a while, but now all the moisture has gone, her energy is vanishing quickly with it, her leaves shriveling.

A loud thunder crashes the silence of the moment, followed by a rain drop falling on one of her petals. She breathes a sigh of relief. More drops are now refreshing her leaves. As she enjoys the cooling water she once again feels alive and stretches up to the sky. The dust is washing off her and with that taking away her weakness. She can breathe fully now and quickly regains her strength and readiness for another bud to develop.

So often I get inspired on a rainy weekend day to write another blog post. I love rainy days now, for they allow me to relax and contemplate. No need to worry about doing the washing or watering the garden today! I am glad to have some time out! This morning we got 15 millimeters of rain with some thunderstorms and the above scene came into my mind, creating a feeling of awe and wonder about how a thirsty, limp plant can spring back up and stand tall and strong, by just absorbing water! It made me think about the amazing power of water, commonly taken for granted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4n-rw6vq-4 The mystery of water

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS0d5gyE7PE The healing power of water H2O – the memory of water

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59iuelCL0MQ The mystery of water, scientific proof

Just in case you are pressed for time and don’t want to watch these links, they all point to findings that there is an unexpected powerful energetic factor to H2O that is a little trickier to scientifically¬†explain besides the chemical composition we can measure. It appears water¬†gets affected by¬†our thoughts and feelings as well as the rest of the environment it comes in contact with.

Whether these videos and their claims are true or not, they serve to make us think about it and appreciate this substance for what it undeniably is, LIFE SUSTAINING and ESSENTIAL. What if we took our thoughts a step further and look from different angles? What if water is¬†showing us OUR potential? Is it possible that¬†by expecting we have an energetic influence on water,¬†WE¬†ARE actually¬†CREATING the results¬†that these experiments are showing us? From the video’s I get the impression that it is a two way street with us affecting water and in return water affecting us. Is this a¬†clue in the mysterious dance¬†of life and consciousness,¬†showing us that it does not matter if we consider a substance organic or inorganic, everything containing water is infused with it? What if we are¬†water?

Bruce Lee quote

Are we mere drops in ONE ocean of infinite life and if so, what kind of ocean do we want it to be?

What are your thoughts on this?