“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Monday, 26 October 2015

Giving Thanks for Beauty

What a glorious morning for a walk. Blue sky and warm sunshine and a rainbow of wonderful Autumn colours - every shade of green, yellow, gold, copper, bronze, red and brown. I walked along the sunlit path into the forest and was reminded of a genius line by David Bowie, from Eight Line Poem "the sun that pins the branches to the sky."

Also that gorgeous part in The Lord of the Rings when Galadriel is singing about Lothlorien "I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew; I sang of wind, a wind there came, and in the branches blew." That wind was blowing the leaves from the trees into my path in a fine golden drizzle. When I got back, I noticed that one had lodged itself in my hair.

Through the hedge that lines the path I could see the yin and yang of ploughed and stubbled fields, dark brown and pale gold. The sails of the wind turbines a few miles away were turning lazily, and ahead of me, the path stretched into the distant forest, bathed in sunlight.

I stood awhile in silence, and thanked God for all this beauty, and for the privilege of being awake to witness it.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Reaching Out

Tomorrow, I am driving across to Cambridge, to meet seven people I've never met before, and one I've met once.We are all members of an online support network for women who no longer drink. I've been looking forward to meeting everyone for weeks, but now that it's upon me, I am feeling unaccountably nervous. Goodness knows why. Because on one level, I know these online friends much better, and on a deeper level, than many folk I know in the flesh. We support each other through thick and thin, and the network is a solid online community.

The arrangements for meeting up were getting a bit complicated. Which was making me feel a bit panicky. A whole platoon of "What if?" questions were springing up in my head, and I was on the edge of pulling out of the whole thing altogether, and having a quiet day at home.

Then I remembered something Brene Brown wrote about vulnerability, in her wonderful book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead:

"When it comes to vulnerability, connectivity means sharing our stories with people who have earned the right to hear them - people with whom we've cultivated relationships that can bear the weight of our story."

And I realised that these online friends of mine were such people. So I reached out and shared how panicky I was feeling, and asked to be met at the station. Straight away, two people got back to me, to let me know they would be there, waiting for me. So I will be going, after all.

Small kindnesses make big differences.