"In 1998 the community purchased 534 hectares of forest and open hill ground from Forest Enterprise. Since then, as a social enterprise, the Abriachan Forest Trust has managed this land to create local employment, improve the environment and encourage it's enjoyment by the public through a network of spectacular paths, family suited mountain bike trails and innovative education opportunities."
A wonderful project with such exciting teaching and learning opportunities for all.
It took me back to remembering. . .
childhood hours playing in the forest near grandma's house
the smell of damp earth, the feel of raindrops through the trees
and the memory of all things foresty x
in the hills in a tucked amongst the trees tiny log cabin
venturing out and exploring the wild & beautiful Scottish highlands
discovering the sights of Drumnadrochit & Abriachan forest,
the faerietale places of Glen Affrick and of course Loch Ness.
Under incredible skies, both sun tinted and stormy.
Such feasting for our eyes, so peaceful and unspoilt.
We have walked & talked, been rested & invigorated,
felt ourselves connecting back to nature & things that matter most.
Precious and much needed time out, the why is told below.
I noticed a recurring item on Facebook recently that intrigued me, folk posting "Depression is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign that you have been trying to be strong for too long. Put this on your status if you know someone who has or has had depression. . .” as I read more I was moved to see so many eloquent responses on this so misunderstood subject.
I used to think my "blues" (depression) was a huge sign of weakness, didn’t want a soul to know fearing I would be judged. I didn’t remember the stresses in my life that had pushed me into that dark place; I should have given myself a pat on the back but no, I though “weak” and fought hard against it, making things so very much worse.
Many years later, I have slowly learnt to stop fighting, and months can pass when I completely forget my "blueness”. It still creeps up on me from time to time, I land with a bump and realise I forgot to be on the lookout, hadn't noticed I was pushing myself to hard, the growing lethargy, disconnection, disinterest.
I am learning that this “blueness” makes me who I am. When I have a patch of "hyper" it is amazing! I overflow with inspiration, ideas & energy, my eyes are wide open, I am in a good place, the world shines.
I have learnt that when the bump happens I have to step aside, be quiet, still & small & slowly make my shape again, hence my "time out" such as the post above. I have learnt to recognise the things that keep me afloat; walking in nature, meditation, my “5 precious things a day”, writing and re-pacing myself. Remembering & accepting again my own boundaries, ( though this is frustrating at times for a stubborn soul like me) I always emerge finally, blinking into the sunlight , knowing that each step makes me stronger, as I re-assess & start to love life all over again.
In all its shapes & forms, depression is very real (though I have met many who would disagree), it is scary and it can be debilitating. I have written this post for all those out there who recognise this place, we need to remember we are not alone, not insane, just a little crazy at times. Hold your head up high and say this is me.
A bit of a serious post this, but a subject very near to my heart. I see and hear of so many friends & family who have found themselves at some time in this place. It affects 1 in 4 of us at some time, yet it is still so misunderstood. I am fighting the cause ;-)
ps: Whilst we were away "5 blog" passed its 3rd birthday . . . already! Wherever does time fly to! Thank you to all, it has truly been a wonderful, moving, unexpected journey and sharing it with such lovely folks as yourselves makes it even more precious. x x x
On travels to see my lovely eldest lass in Bristol
there was time to visit awe inspiring Gothic splendor
St Mary Redcliffe church, Bristol
with its intricate lace like patterns, carved in stone so long ago
We found glowing stained glass, the sun streaming through
throwing jewel colours onto stone floors, worn by many feet.
How many generations past have gazed at these windows
trying to conjure the ancient tales they may tell?
Green men & gargoyles were tucked away
waiting, silently, to be found again.
Unrecognisable beasts curled ever in waiting
guarding the entrance against long forgotten evils.
Tortured souls gazing sightlessly from their broken columns
for how many moons have they looked down upon the throngs?
and waiting to inspire; bright, medieval colours & patterns
in painted panels, vaulted ceilings & mosaic floors.
I pondered the lives of the folk who created these so long ago.
Inspired i was indeed, by the intricacy, the brightness, the detail.
Inspired enough to finish, at last, my stained glass inspired foxy painting.
Thinking on the passing of time, as i dipped my brush in deepest blues.
Remembering those treasures folk have left behind, shrouded in mystery.
As i added golden stars to my midnight skies, i gave thanks.
Thanks that we have these treasures still, linking back to the past,
to our ancestors, their skills, their imagination, their patience.
* * *
I am fleeing away far overseas, for a wee while to visit my precious niece,
Taking time out, my sister & I, to holiday together with our lovely Mom,
The last time we all were together like this i would have been 16/17?!
How time does fly!!
When i return my foxes shall be sitting in my shop.
Wishing you all happiness & peace x x
I have been away forever, for we have been a-settling into our newest wee home!
One with wide open spaces & views, space to breathe & breathtaking big skies. Such a feeling of peace & quiet we have discovered here away from it all. The loveliness of it all still hasn't quite sunk in yet
Surrounded by forest & the Galloway hills, the sea just a stones throw away,
we have been watching the weather rolling in across the distant hills, have been discovering faeries hidden in the woods, can you see above (whoever lived here before loved these wee folk too, they are dotted about).
Deer greet us as we drive up the lane & a woodpecker feeds in the garden,
So many butterflies & bees already & a huge big hare who lives in the field .
Several new hares have entered into our home too i want to share the work of 2 artists whom i greatly admire.
My wooden hare (below) was made by the lovely Karen Davies, who's work I 1st discovered in my early blogging days.
Her magical blog"Moonlight & Hares" is filled with lovely images, paintings & such soothing music.
A while ago, whilst looking for treasures for faerietale blog, I came across the amazing work of the "Hairy Growler". Lez lovingly fashions treasures from old silver coins & spoons, it is re-cycling at its very best & so much to choose from!
After much deciding I bought my Hare necklace (see above)
I love the added personal touches Lez includes, like Mr O & my initials engraved on the back of the hare.
There is so much more I have to share, like . . . all the new & exciting arty happenings but i shall save that till next time, I leave you with this photo, Mom has a hare that visits here beautiful garden often
and now tucked away there, "almost" out of sight is this tiny leverette. So lovely to be back x (ps: I was finally brave enough to upgrade to new blogger & now you can click on the images to view them larger)
I am ever late to the table ;-) but picking up the threads, i have belatedly, followed a tapestry of comments woven across the web recently, about blogging, the need & the reason. A fascinating subject, i found myself nodding in agreement most vigorously.
Words very much worth dipping in and out of from such wonderful folk as Rima at “the Hermitage”, Christina in her “mermaids attic” & Terri Windling at her “drawing board”. I am compelled to add my own voice, such an impact has it had. Blogging began for me as a way to record the journey of re-discovering my arty self.
I certainly did not expect to tumble, Alice like, right into the heart of a magical land.
A hitherto, hidden treasure, a web of creative folk, discussing, encouraging, sharing
Rima's blog being one of the very first i became spellbound by. This ethereal sharing is an altogether new & rewarding experience, a humbling thing;
it draws the world closer. As Christinasays, it is difficult in this “crazy busy world” to have regular conversation with like minded folk. I find it scarily difficult in the "real" world to "sell" my ideas, my work. Yet here, within this community of bloggers from far flung corners of the world, most of whom have never met, i have made wonderful connections, shared many varied passions & inspirations & found such vast encouragement that i have begun at last to find courage.
Blogging i believe requires its own kind of self belief & bravery, and as Terry Windling says in her post here, we have to decide where to draw our own line, how much or little of ourselves do we share. Non blogger friends gasp in horror at the thought of opening up to strangers, but blogging is to me essentially about being yourself, staying true. It has been said from reading my blog it seems I live “a wonderfully peaceful & perfect life”. Yet life is never as it seems & this comment set me a wondering, then i read Christina’s words on why we blog here& i remembered that i have draw my own line, why i share only the good bits & pieces, the smiley & precious thing in my life! As a lass whose muse at times dips her toes into the unexpected “blues”, i set myself ways to balance my days. This became the “5 precious things” I remember at the end of each day, in turn this became the name of my blog, a place for peace & calm & loveliness, for myself as well as folks who find themselves here. For me blogging has become another creative way to express myself, as Rima says another “art form” and one which i hope to long continue in. Through blogging i have explored & discovered a deeper sense of self, and a feeling of fitting in; making so many connections. Now as i work away in my little studio, i am reminded through these connections that we are all delicate stitches in the rich, detailed tapestry of creativity that this "blogging" connects us to.