tree section

I’m fascinated by the ways in which we visualise time, especially the passage of time. Although we’re used to seeing circular clock faces, with the hands turning round, ending up back were they begin, I suspect that many of us think of time passing as a linear progression – from now to then will be a straight line moving away from the start point.

If we think about history – do we consider that events happened in the distance – further away from us the longer ago they happened?

If  we think about our lives, do we consider them to be linear progressions – and if we’re over fifty, do we think in terms of more behind than in front?

For ages now, I’ve been wondering about other ways to visualise time. The one that appeals to me is the circular progression.  Here, instead of imagining life moving forward, I see it turning, through the four seasons, coming back to the start point, but now enfolding the experience of the events lived through those seasons – the good, bad and ugly. In this way, each new turn in the season sees us having within us all that which has already gone before – just as a tree adds a ring with each year that passes, some rich thick rings, some meaner, thin rings – but with the whole tree growing wider as time turns, containing within it, all that it has experienced.

I like to think of myself like that – embracing the cycle of the seasons and the cycle of life, growing all the time and benefiting from everything that happens as I go round. And from this perspective, as we get older, we have more within to sustain us, who knows, maybe getting a bit wiser each cycle?

Of course if you take the analogy too literally, you see yourself getting fatter too – oh well…






Daily devotions…

The wonderful thing about having a dog, is that whatever the weather, you are duty bound to take it out for some exercise. Although it was a family decision to have a dog, and we all had our individual reasons for wanting one, my rationale, was that I wanted a proper excuse to go out every day.

I had tried to get out regularly, but I just couldn’t manage to be sufficiently disciplined. I knew it was something I wanted to do – perhaps needed to do – but there was a gulf between knowing and doing.

But now we have the hound and I have my excuse.

It’s marvellous.

I’ve been trying to work out what it is about outdoors that is so compelling and the beauty of a daily walk, is that you have the perfect opportunity to spend time thinking.

What I’ve realised, is that I missed the regular exposure to the weather and the changing seasons. When I was growing up, I walked outdoors pretty much every day – walking to and from school, walking our dog, going for walks with friends – there wasn’t much else to do where I grew up. Without really being conscious of it, I was seeing the changes in the weather and seeing the same environment pass from winter to spring to summer and to autumn – the eternal cycle.

It wasn’t until jobs and family life detached me from this pattern, that I understood how important it felt to be part of it.

We’ve had the dog since early summer, so I’ve now had nearly half a year to get back into the circle of the seasons. Already I feel so much more grounded.  Now, we’ve moved from early autumn, where the colours are all lush golds and greens, to the later period – bronzes and browns, no longer lush, now brittle and decaying, but no less beautiful for that.

Each day, I become aware of more going on around me. I feel as if the clouds are thinning in my mind and I’m finding my way back to a better place.

I’m also realising how very little I know about the nature around me. What for instance is this? (please do let me know).

So unexpected to find pink flowers blooming in early October.

It feels wonderful to be closer to nature again – here’s to daily devotions and the onset of winter.