A healthy, intimate relationship spells health for our mind and our body. Having someone to share those amazing moments with. To support us when life kicks us in the teeth, reduces our stress and makes us less likely to ever experience depression.
In the past few weeks, I've been lucky enough to attend the weddings of two couples who mean the world to me. Emotional stuff. To see them take those vows of lifelong love, in spite of all the things life may throw at them.
And reflecting on these happy memories reminded me of these quotes on finding "the one" which I thought I'd share:
"If we do not know how to take care of ourselves and to love ourselves, we cannot take care of the people we love. Loving oneself is the foundation for loving another person" Thich Nhat Hanh
And I love this stunning quote on the subject by Galway Kinnell which I found in a post by Dr Ben Kim:
“We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.”
Only when we unconditionally accept ourselves and feel whole, even when alone, are we truly ready to love another. Because love means meeting their needs instead of looking for them to heal us instead.
Only then will we attract the right wrong person for us in that moment.
So although nobody's perfect, then a relationship can be ...
I'm sitting by the computer and, even with the windows closed, I can hear the nightingales singing outside. I so look forward to this time of year - first it's the frogs and not long after we get the crickets and then the nightingales, as well as all the other birds, warbling their little hearts out.
But it's that nightingale song gets me deeper than the rest. Right down, into my heart. There's just something about it.
I have friends who hate the sound because it keeps them awake at night, but I'm mesmerized by it's tone and variability. I love the whistley parts best. It actually sends me to sleep at night. Doesn't disturb me at all. To me it's a hopeful and positive song, not grating or annoying in any way. In fact, I open the window wider at night to hear it even more clearly. It says to me "don't worry, everything's fine, sleep well".
If you'd like a reminder of the wonderful song of this special bird, then click on the video on this RSPB page. That's exactly what I can hear right now. And it's LOUD!
There's one thing that does slightly concern me. How does this little bird keep singing 24/7, for what must be well over a week now, without getting a sore throat?
They're real stayers, these nightingales and I, for one, love them all.
Have you read this most wonderful Derek Walcott poem "Love after Love" on those mindful moments when you stop that mind chatter, engage directly with your senses and rediscover yourself for a while?
My most favourite poem! Ever!
It's like a warm hug.
And it feels even more powerful when I read it aloud.
Wonderful, wonderful words........
He likes to sleep on his back and, if it's too light for him, he hides his eyes behind his paws.
Big bear's paws.
He is the biggest cat I've ever seen and he turned up at our house one day and decided to stay. He'd sleep under our van and used to eat Spot's leftovers.
At first, we used to shoo him away, because our cat, Spot, has a very nervous nature.
But we noticed that Spot quite liked Tommy. They would sit together outside.
Never seen her act like that before.
We'd joke that he was like Kevin Costner to her Whitney Houston in "The Bodyguard". He became her rock and she felt safe outside when he was around.
She even started chasing after intruding cats herself - finally got herself some brazen courage!
We put an advert on the internet in case someone was missing Tommy. We even had a lady come round to see if he was her lost cat "Vega", but Tommy legged it down the road and hid until she left.
We were worried that we'd never see him again, but he came right back as soon as her car turned the corner.
He wasn't going anywhere.
So Tommy joined our family and now another 3 stray cats have adopted us at our new home in the countryside - it's a crazy cat-filled life!
Spot & Tommy - sleeping like two book-ends!
Having a companion animal can also ensure we live longer and reduce stress - see this article about the health and even social life benefits!
And if we can adopt a homeless animal, then we're doing something really amazing.
Here's a short, but unforgettably wonderful clip about the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of a stray, blind dog they named "Fiona".
Brings a happy, hopeful tear every time I watch it.
Us humans can be amazing animals too, can't we?
The full moon is my favourite time.
It has been so beautiful this past week.
I find its light quite mesmerising and very calming.
One of the most amazing natural phenomena I've ever seen was when I was driving home, one night, on the M5 motorway.
There was a full moon and a bright, cloudless sky ahead, but there must've been a rain shower somewhere, because a rainbow appeared!
It was just like a normal rainbow, but totally without colour. Just different shades of grey. It was beautiful. A rainbow of shadows. Unexpected and absolutely awe-inspiring.
I couldn't really believe what I was seeing. And, being on the motorway, I couldn't stop to gaze at it. I was alone too, so I couldn't even share it with anyone.
I've never seen one since and never met anyone who's seen one either. If it wasn't for the internet, I might now think I'd imagined it.
But they DO happen - I wasn't dreaming!
They're called Lunar Rainbows or (my preferred name) ......... Moonbows!
Here's a link to a photograph of one. They've used a filter to show the colour but it also shows the uncoloured view, like I saw it.
How cool is that?
A while ago I posted about how the sky is normally such a small part of our busy, hectic world until we take the time to really notice it. Then, suddenly, we see it and it's just so big!
I wanted to share a few of my favourite big sky photos I've taken around my home without filters or any editing.
I'm always amazed by the colours that sky can turn into and the myriad shapes of clouds that appear. My husband and I often remark that if someone painted these skyscapes, we'd criticize them for being unrealistic!
The sky here really does look like this.
But first we need to stop and take a breath, for just a second and look up....
Janet Echelman designs and makes the most amazingly beautiful fluid sculptures and then puts them in the sky where everyone can enjoy them.
See some of her work and her talk about how she creates them here. It's quite a story from someone who was rejected by art school.
So she went ahead and made her art anyway.
I grew up living right by the sea in South-West Engand.
And I remember being woken up, at about midnight, by my Dad, when I was only 10 or so. He'd just got back from walking the dog and had come upstairs to tell me and my sister to get dressed. He wanted to take us back up to the seafront to show us something amazing.
Now we were NEVER allowed up late on a schoolnight, so we were pretty bewildered and a little scared. Despite our questions, he refused to tell us what the surprise was and just told us to hurry up. So we threw on some clothes and, still rather groggy with sleep, we tried to match Dad's stride as he quickly walked us up to the sea front.
Then he sat us on the sea wall and told us to look up at the sky.
At first we saw nothing, but then, as our eyes adjusted to the darkness, we saw what he was pointing to. A faint greeny-yellow curtain, floating and undulating right across the bay, fading in and out.
The northern lights!
The cold night air forgotten, we just stared wide-eyed and open-mouthed as Dad explained to us, in a whispered voice, what they were and how they were formed. It was a magical moment, seeing such a rare event so far south.
But the best thing was Dad chose to share it with us.
I was reminded of this amazing night when I saw the news of the strong solar wind this week. So I stood out on the back porch and scoured the northern sky on Thursday night around midnight.
Took me right back to 10 again.
This photo was taken as few weeks ago from our balcony, just as the snow clouds were lifting and the sunshine returned.
A very welcome moment captured.......frozen!
I took this picture the other day on a walk along the hill road near our house.
And it reminded me of something a friend once said to me, when over here on holiday.
"I love France - there always seems to be so much sky"
And I know what she means. That day the sky was an almost impossible blue and it went on forever, the fading vapour trails only enhancing it's breadth and depth.
Maybe it's because there is so much more space here in France, that we notice the sky more or maybe it's the light. But I don't think so.
I think it's just that we only really see it when we're relaxed and more aware of the world around us. Maybe when we're on holiday and a million miles away from the grindstone. Or in a quiet moment at home, when we can stare out of the window and just be - letting it sink in and stay a while.
Wherever you are in the world, may your sky be big today..........
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