Very recently I was speaking to someone who feels that we are all extraordinary beings and I don’t disagree. So, I thought some more about it and it comes to mind that I am very ordinary but I’ve had a life full of the extraordinary and that has had a huge impact on me.
Taken by Louise on Di’s camera!
Here am I sitting very comfortably in my late 50’s and behind me is the most enormous panorama of events, occasions, memories and feelings.
High Force, Teesdale
To be brought up in the north east of England in the 1950’s and 60’s meant I was surrounded by pit heaps. For those of you too young to know they were large piles, and I mean huge, of black spoil from the coal mines dotting my landscape at that time. Beauty wasn’t a word you thought of in their midst… but then travel a few miles and beauty was all around. Teesdale so magnificent with its vast spaces, green hills and forests and through it all the lovely Tees river. Weardale just next door, so to speak and different again. Here the River Wear travels down through Stanhope and Wolsingham and then on through beautiful Durham City to the North Sea. Even today these places fill me with a sense of having come home… I recognise and know this landscape.
Cow Green Resevoir, Teesdale
The day we visited it was silent and so still.
I studied at a college in Ripon, North Yorkshire; another beautiful city and county. My childhood and early adult years were steeped in history and landscapes that seemed vast. And I took them somewhat for granted!
Tessdale..so much space and beauty.
Life and marriage took me to Kenya and how amazing is that when you are only twenty four years old. In fact my birthday began somewhere above the Sudan! Five years of East Africa; three completely different locations and so many experiences of the people, places and game parks. We went for two years and time just kept on trooping along. We went on safari often, visiting as much of country as we could, Mombasa and the Indian Ocean, Lake Turkana in the far north where the heat simply soaks into every cell, Lake Victoria to the west so vast and the snow-capped Mt Kenya visible from our first verandah in Meru. I taught, John was involved in road building.
Then Zimbabwe and trying so hard to live in the heat of the Lowfeld and be a good mum to Katie. We recently watched cine film (that’s all we had so long ago!) of our time there and what a delight to see how free our daughter was growing up with so much space and freedom, wandering about barefoot collecting baobab pods and chewing on flying ants that had been caught by Elizabeth. She who washed everything by hand, swept and kept the wildlife of Africa at bay. The ants were to fry and eat as a delicacy….the children didn’t bother with the cooking phase they simply popped them in and…crunch. I know it seems disgusting but they are rich in fat and regarded as a treat!
Living afloat the Mekong!
Metres of vibrant colour and texture.
Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang, Laos.
We returned to the UK stopping off on the way home in Mauritius and the then Yugoslavia. The years that followed are written about in my background. I’ve had the joy of returning to Africa and immediately felt comfortable in my skin and at home in the warmth and sunlight. A trip out to south east Asia to meet our daughter in Thailand filled me with delight as we travelled to the north and journeyed on the mighty Mekong in a vessel euphemistically called a speed boat. Journey’s end was the gentle, delightful city of Luang Prabang in Laos. Then, there was Angkor Wat, somewhere I had read about as a teenager in a Sunday paper supplement…a place of mystery, silence and beauty and who would have believed that I would get to wander through the jungle and gaze upon what remains of the ancient Khymer city.
Angkor Wat..so, so hot.
An amazing place.
So much to look at!
As I muse gently on all that is my life I realise that I have done much to enable and empower myself. I have undertaken a diversity of trainings leaving me with an understanding of many modalities. It has taken me all of my life to get to now. A now where I feel confident in what I do and what I offer to others in the world…it has cost me money, time and lots of energy but I have never felt so strong and happy with me! Please do understand there are still moments, days and even longer when I
struggle and wonder how to be me and what to do with all I know.
From the Amber Palace, Jaipur.
The Jain Temple, a place of such peace…
What else do I need to say…….we all probably have opportunities to do extraordinary things and it depends so much on whether we recognise those times. We must then make the choice and know there may be a risk to actually giving it a go. As I look out on life it seems it’s worth taking a breath and stepping forward into a new space.
I still can’t do that handstand without support but maybe that support is the different way for me. I have dealt with flea infestations, food shortages, no water, power cuts, being six hours away from the nearest hospital and all the other things that are fairly normal for folk living in Africa.
I have looked upon views that are simply awe-inspiring and that lead you to believe there must be a being or god after all and I have met many wonderful people on my journey.
By chance I was standing against a barrier in Trafalgar Square as Nelson Mandela walked by smiling and laughing. Again, by chance, my daughter and I pottered in to the temple in McLeod Gange and moments later the Dalai Lama walked by, smiling and greeting people!
Ordinary or not I am happy to be me and married to John, mother to Katie and big sister to Sue.
There is more to do and see, so watch out for more musings from me and step into your own power and as my teacher Ana Forrest says, “May you all walk in beauty, Aho!”