seasons

A Time for Everything

We've had a lovely weekend in Jersey, with lots of sunshine and the temperatures still warm. It's been glorious!

But last night, for the first time, it felt like there was a nip in the air ... and what with the leaves beginning to turn, it really feels like summer is turning to autumn.

I'm reminded at times like this that each season of the year brings with it challenges and joys. Autumn, or Fall, brings harvest and a reminder of what the world has to offer, so long as we take care of it. 

Autumn is also a time of preparation for winter, when we maybe hunker down a bit ... well I do anyway. A time to maybe not rush around quite so much as I have in the summer. A time to appreciate home.

Every season of the year, every time of our lives, brings with it responsibilities,  demands on our time, periods of rest and recuperation, work and life, family and fun. As we grow older, I am finding, life takes on new perspectives. The dreams I had as a young person are now no longer so 'essential'. The sky won't fall in if I don't get all I want! I no longer worry much about what people think of me. I find myself becoming aware of the need to use the time left to me wisely, rather than worrying about things I cannot change. 

Time is a precious thing. Every day I learn a little more about that. And although I still yearn for a bit of 'adventure' in life, these days good health and good friends, love and security are the things I find myself cherishing  ...

Oh ... and a good night's sleep! 

In the Bible, in the Old Testament, in the book of Ecclesiastes, there are some words which talk about there being 'A Time for Everything' ... it pertains not just to people but also to nations and nature. It reminds us to use time wisely. As I said before, to cherish the moments we have been given. 

The words are encouraging, and challenging, and worth reflecting on. And at the beginning of a new week, it's worth thinking about.

I love the poetry of passages like this ... glorious!

Not sure what 'season' this is for you ... but as you read this maybe you'd like to think about your dreams and wishes and wants, priorities and the passage of time.

Be blessed!

There is a seasonA Time for Everything

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

(Ecclesiastes Ch 3: verses 1-8)

 


October Blessings

It's the first day of October - time is flying!

The nights are drawing in, there's a bit of a chill in the air and the leaves are turning golden and brown and beginning to drop.

Another Autumn is with us!

I have to admit I'm a bit of a Summer person myself ... I love the warm weather and sunshine. I love swimming and walking in the fresh air, no need most of the time for bundling up! In summer-time I feel liberated! 

Seeing all this disappear can make me feel a bit depressed, I have to admit, but I'm reminded today, as I turn the page into October, that there are blessings to be discovered at any time of year. And finding something positive to experience is what I'm looking for.

So here goes ... October is one of those months when we celebrate the Harvest, and I'm reminded of all the wonderful things that our earth produces. It's a month when we often experience the beautiful colours of nature, and prepare ourselves for the winter. It's the transition into that dark time of the year and it can be exhilarating. Crunching through those fallen leaves, feeling the autumn breeze on my face. And yes, delving into the back of my cupboard to fish out those winter clothes, my colourful scarves and hats and gloves which I adore!

So today let's be reminded of the importance of staying focused, and appreciating everything that every day brings us!  Not looking back, but enjoying the present moment. Enjoying what we have been given and the people around us. Remembering to treat each moment like a gift.

I love these sentiments and I'm sure that if we follow this little list, we will surround ourselves with happiness and the warmth of human kindness, whatever the weather outside.

Have a great day everyone

Happy October!

 October Blessings


End of Summer

I love a bit of poetry ... I think I've said that before!

END OF SUMMER - STANLEY KUNITZSo today I just want to share a seasonal poem with you!

This is from the pen of the award winning American poet Stanley Kunitz, who twice in his lifetime held the post of  Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.

It's at times like this, when the weather is turning, when there's a definite sense of change in the air, that I wish I could write poetry like this.

That idea that the weather and the world around me is able to change my mood is something that I KNOW but ... can I write it like this? 

... and I knew that part of my life was over ....

What a sentiment!

It's something I think we've all experienced, that moment in time when we knew we were at the parting of the ways! 

But oh to be able to express it like this!

Maybe I should read more poetry like this to inspire me.

Maybe I should practice my poetry a bit more, but I promise ... unless I feel that it's worth sharing with the world, it will remain just mine own.

Instead, I'll just keep writing prose  ...  I think I can do that, anyway!

As summer disappears over the horizon and autumn creeps up on me, I am determined to continue to look around, breathe in the air of change and of life and nature, and be inspired to create words which mean something to me, if not to anyone else.

Have a great day everyone!


Welcome September

It's September! The start of a new month!

Time is flying by ... the summer is almost done and autumn is on the horizon.

I'm still hoping and praying for a few more weeks of good weather but then we know the chilly nights and frosts will reappear, and that can  be a bit depressing. especially if, like me, you prefer the warmer days of the year.

But we know that autumn - or Fall - also brings the harvest and beautiful colours, like nature is having a last glorious celebration before the dark and colder days of winter.

I think the dawn of every new month is always exciting. It's a new chapter, a new page in our book of life! New opportunities! And the first of any month is a reminder that time passes quickly, and we need to grasp life, enjoy it and make the most of each moment that is given to us.

So here's a thought to inspire us, to make us smile and encourage us to make the most of this new month!

Have a great day everyone!

And have a FABULOUS September

 

First day of September

 


New Dreams

On this final day of August, I guess it's a time to be a bit reflective.

Although I'm hoping that there are still a few weeks of summer weather left, it is a time when the seasons are changing. 

Schools will go back soon here in Jersey, changes are in the air, lots of us are thinking about the months ahead and how we might spend our time.

Some of us might be contemplating a change. Maybe time to start thinking about moving, or changing our jobs.  Although we know that the New Year can often be the catalyst for transformation of some kind, I believe that actually autumn time is when some of the thinking might begin. It feels like change is in the air, and that can affect our psyche and maybe make us a bit restless, and yearn for the 'different'. Maybe it's a time to reassess what we may want in life and to set new goals for ourselves. That could be not just to progress our careers and ADD to our workload but it could mean to think again about HOW we are spending the precious time we are given.

With that in mind, today I just want to share this inspiring thought from one of my favourite authors.

New dreamCS Lewis is best known for the Narnia Chronicles series of stories and books for children... that's how I first got to know him.

But CS Lewis was also a Christian and wrote loads of books about faith... including another of my favourite books, The Screwtape Letters, which is the fictional correspondence between the Devil and an apostle or minor devil. It's a very clever and weirdly sideways look at Christian faith. It's challenging and thought provoking but also quite fun actually. 

By the way, you may not know this, but CS Lewis was good friends with JRR Tolkien, author of  The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series of books. The  Screwtape Letters is dedicated to Tolkien, who was also a Christian, a Roman Catholic actually whose faith apparently was a significant factor in Lewis's conversion from atheism to Christianity,

CS Lewis wasn't afraid of change, or to dream  of a better life. You only have to read the Narnia Books to see a glimpse of that... so I'm very happy to take a bit of advice from him when it comes to my own 'dreams'. 

Life for me in the past six months or so has a bit changeful and I'm still waiting really to see what might lie ahead. It's easy to think as you get older that it may not be possible to change one's life, set new goals and go after our dreams... but these wise words from Lewis really encourage me to think out of that box.

As you step into these final few months of 2021, if you have unfulfilled dreams maybe now is an opportunity to really contemplate what the future may look like!

Be inspired!

Keep Dreaming!

 


Breathe in The Extra Day

Today is a public holiday here in Jersey in the Channel Islands - a 'bank holiday'.

It's also an extra holiday day in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but not in Scotland. I'll tell you why in a few moments time.

But why do we have the 'August Bank Holiday' on the last Monday of the month?

Those of you who are old enough may remember when it wasn't always on that day... following a trial period which began in 1965, the last Monday of August was fixed as a public holiday in 1971. Not so long ago really.

In Scotland - here comes that fact I promised - today is NOT a bank holiday because they have their late summer holiday weekend earlier in the month. This year the Scottish had their bank holiday on Monday August 2nd because THEIRS always falls on the FIRST Monday of the month.

The chosen dates sort of also fit in well with the school year in the various nations. Scottish schools go back to class in August, whereas schools in the rest of the UK and in the British islands like Jersey don't return to school until early September. The long bank holiday weekend is supposed to be a way of helping us all enjoy the last moments of summer.

In fact, the August bank holiday was first introduced as a way to give us ALL a chance to make the most of the summer and ... interesting point here ... all four nations used to enjoy August bank holiday on the same date, actually on that first Monday of the month. However, in the early 1970s it was moved in most of the British nations, because apparently it clashed with the 'traditional' two week shut down that many companies went through in the summer... no point having an extra day off if people were already on holidays!

We need to go further back in history to discover where all this began. It was in 1871 that the Bank Holidays Act was passed by the British parliament and that formalised days like this. But if we wind the clock back even more, we discover that up until 1834 apparently there were 33 public holidays in the UK consisting of saint’s days and religious festivals. 

Now THAT'S nice!

Then some party pooper thought people were having too much time off and the public holidays were reduced to just four!

Actually the clue as to why these public holidays eventually became known as 'Bank' holidays is that the law was introduced into parliament and promoted by the Liberal Politician Sir John Lubbock, who was a banker as well as a parliamentarian. He was also apparently cricket-mad, and rumours abounded that Sir John actually chose his bank holiday dates to fit in with cricket matches in his home county!

It was his Bank Holidays Act of 1871 that made the four public holidays official. In fact, people were so grateful that for a while after that law was passed public holidays were called “St Lubbock's Days”.  That didn't stick, obviously! 

These days we in the British Isles and the UK have eight public or bank holidays in total - New Year, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day, late May bank holiday (originally to coincide with the Christian festival of Whitsun ... it's the Monday after Pentecost)  ... August Bank holiday, of course ... and then Christmas Day and Boxing Day!

These are days to enjoy and celebrate with the family, days to rest and relax during busy periods of the year, and in the case of today - the August Bank Holiday - a day hopefully to enjoy one final glorious day of summer before we all tuck ourselves back into the routine of life come September.

Bank Holiday mondayActually, some might say that we're a little hard done by because other countries do have more public holidays, Apparently India enjoys 21 public holidays and only Mexico has fewer than us here in the UK / Great Britain, with just seven.

I know, I know, lots of people especially those who employ others and run businesses feel a bit hard done by because they have to pay people for eight days they don't work on, as well as their statutory annual leave! And if people DO have to work the Bank Holiday they are entitled to a day off in lieu. But ... life is not all about profit ... is it?

Today ...  let's put all that aside and enjoy today. It's the last Bank Holiday here for months and months... next stop Christmas!

So ... time to just relax and give thanks.

Let's be grateful for those who have gone before,  who pioneered the extra days we now enjoy. Back in the day many people got NO holidays at all so those four original public holidays must have been very welcomed as a day to rest.

If we are in work, maybe it's time to give thanks for that employment - not everyone is gainfully employed and many can't find the work they would love to do. Let's give thanks for our employers and the work we do have.

And let's just take a deep breath, enjoy the space were are afforded, and....

Have a wonderful Monday!! 

 

Oh - by the way, if you want to find out more about all this stuff you could start, as I did, with this  website link - Nine things you might not know about bank holidays!


Beautiful Day

Just a quick thought for this Tuesday!

Here in Jersey. this lovely island in the Channel Islands, it's the height of summer and it's glorious. 

I have a busy day ahead but that's good too. 

But I will have time, I hope, to give thanks for what I have and just enjoy every minute. To take in the beauty of the world around me - the sun and the sea, and the landscapes - and to appreciate the people in my life.

As it says here ... Have a Beautiful Day everyone!

Have a Beautiful Day


Peace Presence & Perspective

It's the final day of July.

So today I'm taking a little time to look back at the month which is about to close and to give thanks for all the experiences I've had in the past 30 days and the lessons I've learned.

And I'm looking ahead in faith to August. I'm excited!

I found this prayer online and I think it's appropriate for today.

Whatever it is you are needing guidance for right now, I trust you will receive it.

Whatever it is you pray for, I pray you will feel God's presence and assurance that you are not alone.

If you need Peace and Perspective in life, I trust you will find it.

And that you will see and feel God in all you do.

Be Blessed!

MONTH-END-PRAYER


Dance in the Rain!

The summer in Jersey so far has been a bit disappointing, to say the least.

We had some days of warmth and sunshine, but the past few weeks have, to be honest, been very 'un-summerlike'.

For someone who loves long weeks of beach, and swimming, and warm nights and enjoying the feel of the sun on her skin, this summer hasn't really come good.

Not yet, anyway.

Glass half full - it's still only early July and we could still enjoy weeks and months of lovely weather well into the autumn, if we're fortunate.

We can hope, anyway.

When I saw this quote on a big wooden canvas in a local charity shop recently (yes, I did take a picture of it - it was too large to bring home) it reminded me, however, that if I wait for the 'perfect conditions' in life, I risk missing out on so much!

If I wait for the sunshine to come out, so to speak, I might not experience wonderful things while the rain is falling.

And, of course, I'm not just talking about the weather.

So - metaphorically and literally speaking - maybe I need to start dancing in the rain!

 

Dance in the rain

 


First of the Month

'Pinch Punch ... first of the month!'

Ever heard that saying?

When I was at school we used to say that to each other on the first day of the month ... and today of course is July 1st ... so appropriate to share this greeting with you I think?

But where does it come from?

Well, some stories say that it has its origins with George Washington, one of the founding fathers and the first president of the United States of America.

Apparently, during his time as president, on the first day of each month Washington would meet with Indian tribes and supply fruit punch with an added pinch of salt.

This became known as ‘pinch punch on the first of the month’.

How this developed to the childish tradition of actually punching and pinching someone while chanting that little ditty is beyond me ... but hey... it's interesting. Well I think it is.

And appropriate to share it this month in particular because in a couple of days - July 4th - the USA will celebrate Independence Day, after which Washington took up his presidency.

SO ... a new month lies ahead ... and here's something inspiring to set us on our way!

Have a great July everyone!

 

First day of July