This post is inspired by the February theme of ‘Pilgrimage’ on  Carpe Diem

Seeking solitude
I journey into my soul
A Prayerful Pilgrim

I have written about my idea of pilgrimage before and have posted links to these posts so you can read them again if you wish. I am aware that a number of my readers have no faith or a different faith from myself. I respect that and hope you will read with an open heart and mind, and enjoy the photographs

Inner Journey http://wp.me/p2gGsd-Lv
Pilgrimage to Lourdes ~ http://wp.me/p2gGsd-i

Inner Journey

The lion and the rabbit  ~ like a lamb to the slaughter

The lion and the rabbit ~ like a lamb to the slaughter

This morning I read an excellent post http://merlinspielen.com/2013/02/20/count-down-26-days-left/ which got me thinking.  Why do I write what I write?

I realised that for me it is, and has been for many years, an important part of coping with my journey through life.  Like everyone I have had ups and downs, good experiences and bad.  Probably the worst time of my life was when I was only 5 years old in the early 1950s.  After a serious illness and a long spell in hospital I was considered too weak to go home, so was sent to a convalescent home miles away from the city in which I lived.  It was in the depths of the countryside during the worst case of Myxomatosis this country has ever seen.  There were dead rabbits everywhere with their eyes bulging.  A terrifying sight for a 5 year old on our daily compulsory constitutional walks in the forest.  In those days it was not considered a good idea for parents to visit their children in case it distressed them, so I was effectively abandoned for months on end to what I considered to be hell on earth.

I am sure the staff were only doing their jobs; but some were quite sadistic and the cruel discipline and force feeding I endured there will stay with me forever, and is still the stuff of my nightmares.  I had to develop an alternative, inner life in order to stay sane and survive.  So I became adept at switching my feelings off and pretending to be somewhere else as I went through those long winter months.    When I eventually was taken home I discovered that my mother had a new baby, my adored grandmother had died, and I was a totally different person to the child I had been before my illness and convalescence.  I felt as if I didn’t fit in to the family any longer, and I have felt pretty much like a fish out of water ever since.

As an adult I started going on pilgrimages to find healing and peace, which I did.  But I also found a great deal more.  I found acceptance from the people I met, and I learned how to find deep joy in the simplest of things.  This has been my salvation and is the reason I call my blog “heavenhappens”.   It really does!  I look for the sacred in the everyday things around me and I find it; I wonder at the variety and beauty in all the different parts of the world; I look for and believe in, the essential goodness at the heart of most people.  Then I write poems, stories, haiku, or make drawings or collages about it.  They give my life meaning and purpose now that I am retired, and bring me a great deal of pleasure.

This is the closest I have ever got to explaining myself to the world and I don’t think it will happen again so thank you merlinspielen for the opportunity!

Just today I have been given the opportunity to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, if I am meant to go I will be there in May this year.  Maybe I will write another post about some of the places I have been on Pilgrimage but for now I will finish with some photos which to me show that heavenhappens x