It’s so amazing what springs to mind while walking the pup in foul weather. There we were, trudging head-long into a fierce cold wind, rain lashing my face when I had an idea for a meditation/visualisation.
Standing tall in the middle of a bridge over a small stream, allow any cares or worries you’ve been holding onto, to drop gently into the flow. (Lucky me, I was actually standing in exactly this spot.)
Watch, or in my case, walk beside them, as they make their way downstream. In your mind’s eye, picture the stream widening just before it joins a river, the cares and worries still bobbing along.
See your little trouble tumble over rapids, rest in eddies, before rejoining the main stream, as it widens, nearing it’s estuary.
As the river joins the sea, your care/worry becomes microscopic, almost transparent. It’s hard to spot it in the large body of water.
Far out to sea, away from land, the sun is shining, warming the surface and transforming your now tiny care/worry into a water droplet, light as a feather. Floating in the rising warmth, the droplet makes its way skyward to join a white, fluffy cloud.
Caught in a breeze, the cloud, cuddling your care/worry, drifts slowly back towards land. As the droplets make their long way back to earth, they are momentarily transformed into something wonderful. The sun, still shining, has brought out the hidden quality of each transparent droplet – a rainbow.
And so your care/worry has finished its journey, transformed, and you have a sign of hope.
Meanwhile… back in the real world, my journey home featured jumping in puddles, splashing an already mucky pup and a good hosing down before we were allowed back into our cosy house.
Nothing but the wind susurrating through the trees and me, welly-boot clad, scrunching and crunching through the fallen leaves.
The peace is momentarily shattred by a shrill squawk of a very surprised pheasant. Poor thing had no idea pup was sneaking up on him.
We’re enjoying the peace for now.
After sunset I expect it will be a differenct story, a noisy riot in the form of fireworks. Here in the UK it is Guy Fawkes Night which means the night skies will be alight with fireworks. Fortunately pup is not remotely disturbed by them so she and I will wrap up warmly and watch them together.
There’s something magical about the sight of glittering colours, the sounds you feel in your chest, and the smell of gunpowder. I can’t help it. I’ll be oooing and aaaahing like a small kid in a sweetshop.
After the emotional upheaval of last week I was more than ready to go for a good long walk in the countryside. I am blessed to live near the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and own a pup with endless energy (although this last blessing can be incredibly annoying when its energy overflows!).
The day dawned bright, sunny and a tad cool but the forecast was for milder temperatures later. Nice, but what to wear? As the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong choice of clothing. At this time of year it’s better to go equipped for all four seasons… layers are the key. You can add and subtract as needed.
By the time we arrived at our starting point the early morning chill had lifted and all the was needed was a gilet, a long-sleeved t-shirt, jeans, and stout walking boots. Oh, and sunglasses! Pup needed nothing more than her lead (sheep roaming in the area).
The first part of the walk is a steep and steady incline. My fitness levels have increased since I last walked here as my breathing and heart rate were nice and steady as I nimbly strode uphill.
The moors are changing from greens to predominantly coppers, reds, and golds. Coupled with the spectacular stone outcrops, weathered by the winds, the views are worth the effort to get there. Some of the weathering patterns are really cool!
By the time we’d finished the walk the lunchtime temperature was warm enough to enjoy a lakeside picnic before heading back home, very much refreshed.
I feed her top quality dog food and training treats and yet she seems to prefer crap. Yesterday she was in full on scavenge mode. Whilst I have a cast-iron stomach for the gruesome, I was pushed to the limit of endurance on yesterday’s walk.
Within seconds of being released from her lead, she was off like a shot, nose to the ground, tail wagging. Minutes later she strolled back, grinning (a cool trick of hers) and jaws occupied. Her revolting haul included a decaying rabbit, some dried cow poop, and flattened mouse. Removing each vile find from her vice-like grip took every bit of nerve I had.
Needless to say, I was not at home to Mrs LickMumsLegs or, even worse, Mrs GiveMumaCheekyFaceLick! Well not until I’d seen pup drink plenty of water. I was sorely tempted to rinse out her mouth with the garden hose!
By the evening my stomach had recovered its composure. Since the hot tub installation back in May, we usually end the day with a bit of a soak and a good chat… and it was while floating around that I told Mr D about pup’s revolting tastes. He laughed and pointed out that her revolting tastes seemed to include ‘human consommé!’
The little furry blighter had sneaked up the steps and was sampling the water!
Instead of telling her off, Mr D snapped this photo. Mind you, one look from me was enough to send her off to her bed. I do good “bad pup” stares. It’s quite similar to the “naughty child… time out!” stare. I’ve even been known to deploy “the look” at inconsiderate drivers.
I’m pleased to say today’s walk went off without an iota of yuk.
Lunchtime dog walks are usually a quiet affair, unless Molly takes off in hot pursuit of partridges or pheasants, refusing to come back. Today’s walk started out as normal, Molly walking me at top speed as soon as she sees the entrance to the fields. She only stops long enough for me to unclasp her lead before rushing headlong into the waist-high meadow grasses.
Moments later I was aware of a high-pitched whine overhead. Squinting into the sky I could just pick out a red dot climbing rapidly, spiralling as it gained height.
Holding my breath, I watched in horror as the red dot grew bigger, plummeting to earth.
Had the engine stalled on the climb and not restarted? I know nothing about flying but this didn’t seem normal. My heart was hammering in my chest as I watch the plane dive. At the point where my mobile phone was in hand and poised to dial the emergency services, the engine roared into life and the bi-plane barrel-rolled. Shaking with relief, I guessed that this was a stunt plane and the pilot, oblivious to my panic, was probably having the time of his/her life! Phew!
The plane faded into the distance as my gaze scanned the sky a tree altitude. On the way earthward, I spotted a more natural aerial acrobat… a Red Kite. They were extinct in my neck of the woods until recently. I wasn’t so scared watching it dive to the ground after its lunch. At shoulder altitude a pair of partridges took flight, flushed out by Molly, their alert warning some lapwings to take to the skies. It certainly was all about flight this lunchtime.
Even the ground altitude was not clear of flying thingies. Butterflies, bees, and beetles filled the air in front of me. I counted at least five different types of butterfly and three types of bees. Don’t ask about the beetles as some of the flying bugs were a little too keen on biting me so I beat a hasty retreat… I suspect they were horseflies, not beetles.
Apart from the ground-dwelling birds, Molly was completely oblivious to the insect display. She didn’t even notice a butterfly landing on her head. It’s a shame I wasn’t quick enough to photograph her.
Lunchtime dog walks are climbing up the ranks of interesting and amusing chores round here. I wonder what I’ll see tomorrow? With final practices taking place across the UK for the RAF centenary fly-past later this month it could be anything from Tucanos to Spitfires, Hercules transporters to Hurricanes. I may need to swap my bird guide for a plane guide!
You know that expression “Be careful what you wish for…”? Well it more or less applies to my dog walking experience yesterday but my experience was breathtakingly beautiful
To give you some background, I am now nearly two years post-menopausal. If I thought the changes happening to me during perimenopause were disruptive, they’re nothing compared to the post-menopausal changes!
Some of these changes are well-known. Hot flushes and night sweats have me reaching for a fan and a change of clothing/bedding. Yoga helps with the worst of stiff and aching joints. But who knew about some of the other more obscure changes? Where’s the manual on this? Googling things is such a bad idea as the first set of results usually indicate one’s imminent demise.
Since February this year I developed some odd eye problems. My vision remained steady but occasionally I saw flashes of light, little crescent shapes, almost as like the after effects of flash photography. Incidentally, at the same time, I started taking a statin on the advice of my family doctor. She was concerned with my total cholesterol level and insisted on me starting these new tablets.
I don’t normally read the patient information leaflets. They are scary things and only to be read if something unusual happens. I considered the flashes as unusual, and on reading the leaflet, discovered that visual disturbances were on the list of side effects. Minutes later I had an appointment booked with the optician. My eyes were thoroughly checked inside and out. Every test came back normal. Phew. No signs of retinal detachment, burst blood vessels, low/high eyeball pressure. Everything was normal. So why was I seeing these blooming flashes?
I wondered if they were connected with the menopause and it turns out they are. Oh great! On the one hand, my eyes passed their exams with flying colours, on the other hand menopause has seen fit to bless me with another disturbing thing. Over the past months the occurrences have decreased to almost nothing but I’m left with a little floater and the impression of a gossamer web drifting when my eyes dart around.
More check-ups revealed my eyes are still tickety-boo but not one doc asked about my hormonal state? I have had to do all the research (medical and anecdotal). The answers are there in medical journals and the anecdotal evidence in there on menopause forums. Countless women, scared to death that they are losing their sight, all being checked by medical professionals, all fine, but not getting any answers. Grrrr!
So back to the dog walk. As some of you may know, the annual Hay House World Summit is on at the moment. I listened to an audio broadcast by Lorna Byrne on how our Guardian Angels help us. Mulling this over, I set off with Molly for our lunchtime walk. In the middle of her favourite field, I spoke out loud to my angel and asked for help with getting to grips with my eyes. Within minutes I was surrounded by butterflies. Orange-tips, brimstones, and tortoiseshells. Bumblebees joined the throng, and a robin sang its heart out.
I felt a peace I have not felt in months, and a sense of being looked after. Call it what you will, I know my angel was with me and my request for help has been answered. I don’t know what form the help will take, but it’s enough to know that it’s in hand.
To be clear, this post is simply about what happens to me. It is not medical or metaphysical advice, and if you are at all concerned with any signs and symptoms you have, you should do what feels right for you, whether that’s consulting a doctor or other practitioner. You have choices so use them wisely.