The Treasures in my Neighbourhood

This early morning scene takes my breath away!

Continuing my slow and mindful walks in my neighbourhood,
I was thrilled to see this beautiful clear sky on Saturday.
The crescent moon was just lovely
and the branches seemed to want to retain it a little longer.
It was around 7.30 am and the horizon behind the mountains,
was taking on a pink hue.
I had decided to walk downtown and have breakfast out, always such a treat,
before doing my marketing!

An afternoon stroll up the hill towards some fields,
made me notice these curly seedpods.
The trapped red-brown leaf, caught in their tendrils,
matched the colour of the pods.

Just a little further up the steep hill, I noticed the delicate details of this mossy branch.

This morning, the sky was a little hazy and had taken on an orange pink colour.
The street lights were still lit up.
Although I live in the upper part of town, I can still enjoy the beauty of nature.
I stood in the middle of the road to eliminate all buildings!

When we really look for it, there can be so much beauty wherever we live,
even in a town environment.
It all depends which way we look.
My goal this year is to seek out all the loveliness I can find
and as close to home as possible! 

Scene & Story: December 2017

My neighbourhood

Now when you live in the town, 
you have to look that little bit harder to find beauty
away from all the buildings and busy streets.

So I decided to make that my mission, I would look out the beauty
in my own neighbourhood!

I started off by walking more slowly and seeking out nooks and crannies
which I had never thought interesting before.

I chose different times of the day for my walks, so that I may see things in different lighting.
I started to look at things from another point of view,
as if seeing them all for the very first time.

The winter months had revealed all sorts of new things to notice
because hedges and trees were without their leaves
and there was simply more to see!

One day, I came across this partially hidden garden,
I had never taken the time to really notice it before -
maybe I was always walking too fast to get somewhere else?

I took lots of different shots, from different angles and on different days.
This is the image I finally chose because it perfectly captured the atmosphere
I wanted to convey.

The little lantern seemed to be the main subject.
enhanced by the red berries which acted as an embellishment
and the lines of the branches seem to bring it all together
as a whole.

Although I first discovered this garden in December 2017,
I know that it has encouraged me, in this New Year,
to continue seeking out the hidden beauty in unusual places 
and what better place to start than in my very own neighbourhood?

***

Linking up for Scene & Story
for the very last time.

This has been the wonderful project of Sarah and Lee
who had the grand idea of starting these monthly gatherings.

I shall miss these gatherings very much,
but I know I shall continue writing stories!

***


I Sometimes Wonder


I do sometimes wonder what all the fuss is about
as we leave one year and enter a new one.
I have always preferred it to slip in gently overnight when I'm asleep!

I do like to feel though, the gradual return to light, which I spoke about in December,
not so very long ago!

My daughter gave me this very pretty tree hanging in December.
I filled it with golden tinsel as a further symbol of light.
I thought it was perfect to wish you a beautiful start to your own year!

This second photo, is the first page of my new calendar for the year.
I found it so dainty and refreshing to represent these sweet peas
for the month of January, much more colourful and inventive
than a snow scene, don't you think?

For the time being,
I just like this first month of this year to unfold in harmony
and then it can be seen which paths to take
and how to take them.
There is no rush.


The Return of Light


Whatever you seek
Is already within you
Waiting to wake up.

***

The winter solstice, which was on December 21st,
marks the shortest day of the year and the official beginning of winter.
But from this time on, we shall be getting a little more daylight each day until the month of June.

In different countries all over the world,
there are different ways of celebrating the return of light.

Just one of them is from Persia which I find very lovely.
In keeping with ancient tradition, Persians celebrate Shab-e-Yalda
to honour the victory of Mithra, the Sun God,
 who symbolizes light, goodness and strength.

Shab-e Yalda is still celebrated by Iranians all over the world today.
Friends and families unite to feast and read poetry, especially the Sufi poet, Hafiz.
Fires are burnt all night to defeat the darkness.
With the return to light, after the winter solstice,
transformation occurs and goodness triumphs.

***

"Awake my dear.
Be kind to your sleeping heart.
Take it out into the vast fields of Light
and let it breathe."
Hafiz.

***

Links for you to follow if you wish to know more:



Boxing Day

When my brother and I were younger.
Boxing Day was the day we had to write our thank-you letters
for the Christmas presents we had received.

It was also a day to relax with no hassle in the kitchen
as there were always enough delicious leftovers to see us through the day.

Today, my daughter and grandson came over for lunch
and to exchange presents.
I seemed to spend the whole morning in the kitchen
but the meal was good  and  made all the work worthwhile.

It's traditional to make mince pies over Christmas
and they are served warm, fresh out of the oven.

When I was on my own again,
there was all the washing up to see to.
I do not own a dishwasher.
That job seemed to go on for a long time.

Now I'm getting used to the contrast of having visitors over
and getting back into routine of being on my own again.
I don't dislike the solitude
as it enables me to really be me
to get in touch with who I really am at my core.

However, I do enjoy the company of other folk too
and sometimes it's really nice to be invited 
and not always be the hostess!

I do notice that many people prefer to be invited rather than invite,
have you noticed that too?

So on this Boxing Day,
I shall put up my feet, pick up some handiwork
and look at a recorded film.
I also have a new book to start
which is waiting for me on my bedside table!

I hope that you are enjoying a more peaceful aftermath of Christmas.
It feels so good, doesn't it?