This post is inspired by the February theme of ‘Pilgrimage’ on Carpe Diem
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
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
Poppies in my garden
Daffodils in the College grounds at Glos Uni
Hailes Abbey Ruins
Sheep in the ground of Hailes Abbey
Sheep in the grounds of Hailes Abbey
Sunflower in my garden
My daffodil plot and Easter flowers
Spring water gushing at Compton Abdale in the Cotswolds
Bird house made by my daughter
Lake in barcelona
Bakewell in Yorkshire
Autumn trees outside my home
A birds eye view of Lourdes
Our Lady of the Snows
My favourite flowers, vase and small stones
Icon of Madonna and child from the chapel at Taize
Angel of the North