Goodness me, halfway through the year...what the heck! How are you all getting on?
The feature picture is the rose garden at Emstrey Crematorium in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Standing looking out at the grounds, surrounded by a kind funeral director and his team, we watched the wind catch the weeping willow branches and carry the scent of roses to us. No words were needed.
The sages among us have been warning for some time that a big shift is coming, and about our need to buckle up and flow with the scenarios that are playing out. Tim and I have felt, and witnessed, how much that was hidden, is now showing itself in full focus. It is not easy to acknowledge some of these patterns, situations and events, and to give each scenario time for us to see what we need to see. This is tricky, given how fast life can move nowadays.
We booked our car into the local garage and as we walked back from dropping her off, we discovered a loving way to soothe ourselves. The trees and shrubs on each side of the abandoned railway track running through the village have joined at the top and walking in there is like a soundbath of nature. The birds are singing, insects flit about and there is a calm noise as the breeze rustles the leaves. A perfect antidote to the noise of life.
Early one morning, I arrived for a service and it was peaceful around the chapels and in the cemetery. I sat quietly, watching, and a hare hopped into view. He paused and caught my gaze. Neither of us moved for a few minutes and then he turned and started hopping off through the gravestones. I had a feeling of speed like he was ready to take off in full flight. He felt like a sign. Within a few days, a scenario playing out in our inner circle turned and suddenly all the players were on the stage under full floodlights. It's taken a few weeks to absorb what happened, the patterns that were shown going way back over the years, and the messages and lessons to be drawn from it all, but we are getting there.
Similar scenarios are playing out in many people's lives and on the world stage. I have stood and listened to people talk about situations in their lives, as they try and make sense of what is happening. They're not asking for advice, they just need someone to listen, so they can hear their own thoughts spoken, and start to make sense of things and respond accordingly.
One evening, I sat with a lady who is deeply grieving and she was trying to remain calm and apologising in equal turn as her emotions and memories tumbled out. We talked about how staying calm is seen as 'coping' and that has been a mantle we have all tried to carry for a long time. I shared that many of us carry our situations privately and it is in times of deep loss that these stories bubble up and push us to give them a voice. In the sharing of our stories, we weave together. For it is not about fixing or trying to make things better, but in sharing and hearing each other that we feel truly seen.
It is all about connection and being seen, without agenda, not trying to tidy anything up, or make assumptions. As we listen to someone's story, it is not the time to share our own. That is not a loving connection, as someone battles to understand themselves, they don't need our story coming in on top and burying theirs.
We simply need to listen and in universal balance, we will have the opportunity to be heard in another moment. What goes around comes around.
This is how we weave together, creating a bond where love can rise up and bring solace.
I watched a young man, who had just lost his dad in tragic circumstances, reach out to a friend of his Dad's after the service. He held his hand and looked into his eyes.
'Please call me if you need to talk. I am here to listen.'
On the 29th of June 2023, Tim proposed and I happily accepted. A magical moment we now carry with us and weave into our story. We are busy renovating our workshop and gardens while making wedding plans. I am so grateful for the moment that Tim stood in Dad's workshop two and half years ago. As he checked over the last steam engine my Dad had built, we talked and he listened. Tim bought the engine and we loaded her onto his van, which was no mean feat. It was the first thing we did together. I remember waving him off on his long journey back to the South West, with a feeling of being seen properly for the first time in many years. Now here we are, buying and creating a home together in Wales (which is a special country), making wedding plans, and relishing the freedom to be ourselves as we flow through our days together.
Our love to you all, Jane & Tim Xx