Butterflies remind me of Spring and Summer. It’s too early for them yet and too cold and wet so here’s a watercolour to brighten things up
Each month Kozo from Everyday Gurus creates a peace challenge. This month’s challenge is “We are Family” and asks us to consider a letter to a family member we don’t fully embrace, confessions we’ve been withholding from someone close or a love letter to someone in the family we find it hard to connect with.
My family is small. Those of us who remain are scattered to the four corners of the Earth. It isn’t because we don’t like each other; work, relationships and the opportunity to escape the cold and wet UK all played a part in these migrations. Although we are far apart, we’re also together. We use technology to bridge the gap for those who are far away.
Our family ought to be larger but many have been taken from us too soon. These are the gaps that can grow wider, the scars that run deeper, the souls that linger in our hearts but no longer hold our hands. It would be easy for those of us still present to feel resentful, to be angry about the unfairness of it all, to wallow in self-pity, endless grief and perpetual melancholy. Being devoid of all emotion would be easier than piecing back together our hearts and dreams to climb back from the edge of despair. Yet we are still here, we find joy in the memory of those who’ve been lost and we are thankful for every moment with those here today. So this letter for peace takes two forms; to those I no longer see but think of every day and to those who are with me and mean so much.
Your presence whether near or far brings great comfort. I feel fortunate to know and have known you and I know the life we share cannot be bound by the confines of time or space. Death steals only our physical presence, it cannot steal our love or memories or dreams. There has never been any shortage of love in this family and I know there never will be, just as I know our paths will always be entwined. Though we have experienced the most difficult of times we have also experienced joy, true friendship and wonder. For those things I am extremely grateful.
We learn an important lesson when loved ones leave this realm before their time and that is to cherish and make the most of life whatever form it might take. We are all different, we all have different hopes and aspirations for our lives. The hardest lessons teach us to appreciate one another from beginning to end, to be supportive, loving and kind, to praise and encourage not chastise, blame, punish or judge. There is no resentment here, no outliers or poor connections. What some might call devastating and for a time was, has not broken our spirit or extinguished our joy in the simple acts of being, loving or remembering. Adversity brought us together rather than tearing us apart and I am thankful for that too.
In quiet reflection, favourite melodies, bluebell woods and starlit skies I am here with you and you are always here with me. My thoughts are filled with love for those here on Earth and those who have gone ahead of us to whatever comes next. Living members may be few but as souls we are many; physical presence or blithe spirits we are family, we always will be and that’s all that ever matters. The kindness, love, respect and connectedness that entwines us knows no borders, has no life span and never leaves.
With love and thanks
For more monthly peace challenges see:
Electronic Bag Lady… http://electronicbaglady.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/b4peace-family/
Appleton Avenue… http://appletonavenue.com/2013/07/17/bad-dreams/
Walenty Pytel created this sculpture of three mallard ducks for South Herefordshire council. It stands at the edge of the river Wye on the outskirts of Ross-on-Wye. Walenty was commissioned for a number of sculptures in the UK and also created the steel eagles that adorn the stadium of Portuguese football team Benfica.
The Stanton Drew Toll House was built in the late 1700′s when turnpikes operated on the roads between Stanton Drew and Chew Magna. It’s a quaint hexagonal gothic-style building with a thick thatched roof making it look reminiscent of a mushroom. Turnpikes (or tolls) we’re abolished in the late 1800′s and the building then became a house, albeit a very small one!
Mid winter sunset over Monmouthshire, Wales