The phone rings it about one thirty in the morning. I do not open my eyes; there is no need. The conversation is fairly short, Liz begins to cry. There is nothing I can do to help; this is the moment of ultimate truth; nothing is more certain. For a minute, we embrace, Liz gets […]
Memories – snapshots of moments stored in the deep recesses of our mind. When we recall a memory we recapture the feeling / experience even just for an instance.
Having lived for over half a century already, my mind’s recesses are chock full of memories which can be triggered by many different things. A song … a word, phrase or accent even … a smell … the title of a book … soundtrack to a film … So many triggers.
For me I think smell and music are the main keys to unlocking memories. For instance, there is a certain chain of hardware / homeware stores which, as soon as I walk in remind me of my Grandparents shop and warehouse. Its not a single scent, more a mix of bars of soap, firelighters, turps, polish, wooden brooms, and general household stuff… One whiff and I am whisked back in time to the age of about 7-9 years old, walking through the passage which joined the house to the warehouse and shop. The warehouse had all manner of items stacked on shelves, hanging on hooks – galvanised buckets, mops, watering cans, as well as tinned food stuffs, bags of tea, sugar and flour and the jars of sweets. The shop itself was a village general store – very reminiscent of the one which features in the TV sitcom “Open All Hours” – same counter, shelves around the shop stocked with groceries of all description, a cold counter with bacon, cooked meats, butter, cheese and milk, and my favourite, the sweet counter – liquorice pipes, strawberry laces, sherbet flying saucers, bonbons and chews.
Memories have lain dormant within my mind for many years – without a thought, until they are triggered into life. Perhaps its age which triggers memories?
We talk to elderly parents, relatives and realise their time on earth is drawing to a close. Perhaps its a way of preparing for the bereavement that we reminisce – remember good times, extract the memories and replay them to recapture the moments. Perhaps its our increasing years. We reach a stage in life where the days ahead will be fewer than those past, we think back and remember…
The arrival of children, grandchildren, new generations brings with it more than a hint of nostalgia and revives memories of our own childhood and those of our children.
Enjoy your memories, treasure the moments, remember the good times by all means – but don’t forget to live in the present, the here and now. Live – and by doing so create more memories for yourself and those around you.
The memories we leave with others are our legacy – their inheritance, some would argue that treasured memories are possibly more valuable than monetary riches?
words and pictures by Lizzy Clark
How does your garden grow?
What do you picture in your mind when you think of the word ‘garden’ ?
The typical suburban cultivated plot with a lawn in the centre of flower borders, shrubs and trees, perhaps surrounded by a neatly shaped hedge?
Large expanses of green such as one finds in our National Trust owned Stately homes of England – sweeping drives, tree lined avenues, the majesty of established mature oaks, sycamore, rowen, beech trees, manicured lawns, landscaped acres designed perhaps by Capability Brown with rose arbours, herb gardens, orangery?
Perhaps a cottage garden, roses around the door and flower beds full of colour from hollyhocks, delphiniums, cornflowers, snapdragons, red hot pokers, honeysuckle climbing up trelliswork, a brick path leading you from the gate through this sea of colour to the neat front door?
We all have different ideas of gardens, often shaped by memories of childhood. Our gardens take on different characters throughout the changing seasons. In the UK we see distinct seasonal changes – in the winter many plants lie dormant, no growth, as they reserve their energy, rest and await the warmth of the sun once more. Dark days, many trees and shrubs mere skeletons having shed their leaves, the earth hard and cold from frost and often snow. Springtime and the sun rises higher in the sky and stays for longer each day, warming the earth and triggering growth, we see young green leaves, blossoms on trees, hedges fill out, new shoots push through to soil to reach the light. Summertime and many gardens are alive with colour, long days, plenty of sunshine and a few showers produce the best blooms, bees are frequent visitors as are the butterflies and many other species of insects – the garden is literally bursting with life. And the days become shorter, the temperatures drop, as do leaves, growth slows down as autumn leads us once again into winter.
So how does your garden grow? do you feed your garden with fertiliser and nutrients? Tend it well, nurture shoots and young plants, provide support in the form of canes and trellis, water and feed regularly? If you do all of this you will have a garden to enjoy, flowers will attract bees, vegetables and fruits can be harvested for your nourishment, you will have created a pleasant environment enjoy, play and relax.
Neglect your garden and the rampant weeds spread and choke the plants, taking over and turning your garden into an unruly wilderness. But what is a weed? Simply a non native species – usually introduced by man. Take for example the Rhododendron – introduced into this country as its flowers and blooms were admired and it was thought to be ideal for large estates – it is however considered a weed, a pest, its rampant growth chokes trees and prevents the growth of native plants in the same environment.
What of the common Dandelion? how many kill these and remove from their gardens? Yet the dandelion roots make an efficacious tea which can be used as a diuretic, the young leaves are edible and tasty as a salad leaf providing valuable iron, and the yellow blooms are a source of nectar for bees, of vital importance as they are one of the early flowering plants. So is the Dandelion truly a weed?
I invite you to think about your life as a garden. Do you have some in your life who are like weeds – enter your life uninvited and outstay their welcome, imposing their way and stifling you, restricting your growth? Have you thought to cultivate your life garden to grow the right crop, keeping those within your garden that are beneficial, enjoyable, bear fruit and weeding out those that are no longer needed?
Something to think about while you’re mowing your lawn, watering the flowers, picking fruit, weeding under hedges, enjoy the result of your labours
and perhaps contemplate what work, if any, is needed for the cultivation of your life garden…
Hardly a day goes by without my being asked by a customer ‘what does this crystal do?’ or ‘what should i do about…?’
Indecision – procrastination
When it comes to decision making, many expect others to do it for them – thus avoiding the responsibility themselves. Whatever the choice that is to be made – it is your choice. We alone are responsible for our lives and our future – no one else. Always make the decision that is right for you – yes, you. When you can do this, only then are you truly ‘living your life’.
There is no need to worry about your choice and how it will affect others – why go through life trying to make others happy by doing what you think they would want you to do? or do as they tell you? We’ve all heard it haven’t we? If I were you I’d do x y and z… Well matey, you’re not me are you – so I’ll do a b and c instead because thats what I want to do and what I feel is the right choice for me.
Are you making yourself a life of happiness? In order to do this, you must make your own choices – for your own inner happiness – no room in life for discord.
Back to crystals. When people come to see me with a long list of ‘must have’ crystals, I ask, ‘how much do you want to spend?’ – the next question is always, ‘what is important to you at this time?’ Its important if you have a list of ‘have to have’ to contemplate what is important to you – have you considered the very fact that you have a list of ‘must haves’ the actual root of your problem? Think about which crystal or colour is most important to you – and instead of buying 6 or 7 different smaller stones, consider purchasing one single substantial piece that means something to you or you can use as a point of focus. So many customers have changed from having a box full of small stones to having shelves holding larger, interesting and visible specimens.
A bit like life really, if you focus your energies into being brilliant at one or two things, you will excel.
And when you excel and shine, you are in demand and people value you more, you will a valuable asset and this can be translated into financial reward for your efforts. Be decisive – Choose to be brilliant – like the exquisite mineral specimen – excel, shine and be valued. If you’re a pebble on a beach, you are one amongst many, and with so many to choose from, unlikely to be picked.