The Dark In the Light

the pool

the pool

“When the sun rises and shines,
Not all the lotus buds in the lakes and ponds bloom,
Only those that are ready, do.
The rest have to bide their time,
But all are destined to bloom,
All have to fulfill that destiny.
There is no need to despair.”

~ Sathya Sai Baba

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This is the dark time before the light. The light of Spring  hovers but not quite here yet.  We are now through the month of the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day when the North Pole is tilted farthest from the sun. Our ancient ancestors observed this event by watching the stars and the shortening days carefully  chronicling the movement of the sun. They learned that the darkest day is followed by a little more light and warmth when a new cycle of life struggles to emerge into the fullness of the new season.

When we are left to our own devices, our thinking mind tends towards a certain pessimism that all will be dark forever. The light will never return, our minds tells us; it is always darkest before it is pitch black: that is the kind of doom and gloom prediction that often dominate us most during the grimness of the winter months. A perpetual  gloom that descends and refuses to let go.  Our minds are that way. We see only the dark and the cold. Educated as we may be, we are wired to a reptile mind that wants to flee from the gloom and freeze and to return to the light and the warmth. When we imagine only the dark, nothing anyone can tell us will make it otherwise. It is not until we enter the world of fresh observations, sensations and possibilities, that there is a shift in thought. When we sit down to meditate or spend time in nature, or just taking photographs as I have done here, that we rejoin the living world.

Early Spring Primroses

growing in an old stone pot

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Under the Weeping Ash Tree

Under the Weeping Ash Tree

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Wandering Though Brittany, France – Children Of Light

 

Hybiscus from the florist shop

Hybiscus from the florist shop

 

 

Geraniums in the sunset

Geraniums in the sunset

We discover or re-discover ourselves only through our  travels and unplanned travel is the most exhilarating experience. Getting lost on the journey and refinding our path again is all part of the bigger journey called life. I truly believe that not all those who wander are lost even though we may think so. But for the ones who are lost, wandering is the only way to find themselves. So each little journey we embark upon and each adventure we take, is a smaller part of the whole – that bigger adventure that becomes us. We are our journey.    Eve

 

 

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The bridge spanning Pontivvy

 

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pink lilly

 

Rochefort en terre the village of flowers

Rochefort en terre
the village of flowers

 

 

centre of Josselyn

centre of Josselyn

 

Pontivvy - down by the river.

Pontivvy – down by the river.

 

the bridge that spans the town of Pontivvy, Fr.

the bridge that spans the town of Pontivvy, Fr.

 

Josselyn Castle Gult of Morbihan

Josselyn Castle – Gulf of Morbihan

 

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Josselin the Bridge into the Town

Josselin the Bridge into the Town

 

 

Josselyn, the high street

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“Stop ye travellers as you pass by
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now, soon you shall be –
Prepare yourself to follow me.

Graffiti response:

To follow you
I am not content —
How do I know which way you went?”

~ Tombstone Epitaph In Tasmania Australia.

Old Widow In Her Weeds And Other Poems – Love And Friendship

from the wild garden - this month

from the wild garden – this month

 

Shy Marigold

Shy Marigold

Photographs from the summer garden. This year I grew my wild-flowers from seeds. They survived the driving rain and gusty winds of Springtime, the cold and dull days of early Summer now in August, they bloom and grow as if to reach the sky. So magical to behold. I have taken many photos of them all, especially the Marilgolds although I have only posted a few.  Eve

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“A poor old Widow in her weeds
Sowed her garden with wild-flower seeds;
Not too shallow, and not too deep,
And down came April — drip — drip — drip.
Up shone May, like gold, and soon
Green as an arbour grew leafy June.
And now all summer she sits and sews
Where willow herb, comfrey, bugloss blows,
Teasle and pansy, meadowsweet,
Campion, toadflax, and rough hawksbit;
Brown bee orchis, and Peals of Bells;
Clover, burnet, and thyme she smells;
Like Oberon’s meadows her garden is
Drowsy from dawn to dusk with bees.
Weeps she never, but sometimes sighs,
And peeps at her garden with bright brown eyes;
And all she has is all she needs –
A poor Old Widow in her weeds.”  – Walter de la Mare, Peacock Pie

 

Funny Faces

Funny Faces

 

 

Marigolds

Marigolds

 

LONELINESS  is the doorway to unspecified desire. In the bodily pain of aloneness
is the first step to understanding how far we are from a real
friendship, from a proper work or a long sought love. Loneliness can
be a prison, a place from which we look out at a world we cannot
inhabit; loneliness can be a bodily ache and a penance, but loneliness
fully inhabited also becomes the voice that asks and calls for that
great, unknown someone or something else we want to call our own.
Loneliness is the very state that births the courage to continue
calling, and when fully lived can undergo its own beautiful reversal,
becoming in its consummation, the far horizon that answers back.

From upcoming The Reader’s Circle essay; LONELINESS
(c) David Whyte

 

Patunia growing in a window box

Patunia growing in a window box

 

Wild Rose - from the vase in the kitchen

Wild Rose – from the vase in the kitchen

Eye To Eye – Story From the Buddha – Myths and Legends

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 photo from Eve’s flower collection – England 2016

 

The Buddha was visiting a small village in India. Several  people brought a blind man to him and said,

 

“This man is blind and we are his closest friends. Although we try in every way to convince him that there is light, he is not ready to accept such a fact. His arguments are such that we are at a loss. Even though we know that there is light, we have to admit defeat. The man tells us that he wants to touch the light. Now how do we make it possible for him to touch the light? Then the man says, ‘Ok, if it cannot be touched then I want to hear it. I have ears. Make the sound of light so that I can hear it. If this is also not possible then I want to taste it, or if the light has a fragrance I want to smell it.'”

There is no way to convince the man. Light can only be seen if one has eyes – and he has no eyes. He complained to the village people that they were unnecessarily talking about light just to prove that he was blind. He felt that they had invented the story of light just to prove him blind.

So the people asked Buddha if, as he was in the village for a while, perhaps he could make their blind man understand.

Buddha said, “I am not mad enough to try to convince him! Mankind’s problems have been created by people who have tried to explain things to those who cannot see. Preachers are a plague to humanity. They tell people things which they cannot understand.”

So he said, “I won’t make this mistake. I will not explain to this blind man that there is light. You have brought him to the wrong person. There was no need to bring him to me, take him instead to a physician who can treat his eyes. He does not need preaching, he needs treatment. This is not a question of explanations, or of him believing in things you tell him, it is a question of treatment for his eyes. If his eyes get cured then there will be no need for you to explain; he himself will be able to see, he himself will be able to know.”

Buddha was saying that he didn’t consider religion to be just a philosophical teaching – it should be a practical cure. So he recommended that the blind man be taken to a physician.

The villagers liked what Buddha said so they took the blind man to a physician for treatment and fortunately he was cured after a few months. By that time Buddha had gone to another village so the blind man followed him. He bowed to Buddha, touched his feet and said, “I was wrong. There is such a thing as light but I couldn’t see it.”

Buddha answered, “You were certainly wrong, but your eyes got cured because you refused to believe what others told you unless you experienced it for yourself. If you had accepted what your friends had told you then the matter would have ended there and no question of treatment for your eyes would have arisen.”

One should search for one’s own understanding because one cannot attain anything by worshipping the insights of another. In fact, the search for one’s own understanding can only begin when one drops the idea of the other. As long as there is any outer substitute, as long as something is being supplied from the outside, the search cannot begin.

Nobody can reach anywhere in somebody else’s boat. And nobody can see with another’s eye – nobody ever has and nobody ever will. One has to walk on one’s own feet, one has to see with one’s own eyes, one has to live by one’s own heart beat. One has to live by oneself and one has to die by oneself. Nobody can live in another’s place; nobody can die in another’s place. Nobody can take another’s place; neither can one take anybody else’s place. If there is anything totally impossible in this world, it is the fact that no one can take anyone else’s place.

OSHO

Indescribable Presence – Flowers For The Soul

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

 

 

“God is without form, without quality as well as with form and quality.
Watch and see with what endless variety of beautiful forms
He plays the play of his maya with Himself alone.
The lila of the all pervading One goes on and on in this way in infinite diversity.
He is without beginning and without end.
He is the whole and also the part.
The whole and part together make up real Perfection.”

Sri Anandamayi Ma

 

All photos taken with a Lumix XL7 camera on macro setting. Click on each image to enlarge for details. thanks.

 

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Divine Mother,  “When flowers are brought to you, how do you give them a significance?
By entering into contact with the nature of the flower, its inner truth. Then one knows what it represents. ( The Divine Mother, from her timeless words on nature and flowers. Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, India.)

Gentle and lovely, flowers share their beauty with us and bring us a touch of eternal things. According to the Mother, each variety of flower has its own special quality and meaning. By establishing an inner contact with the flower, this meaning can be known. “Flowers speak to us when we know how to listen to them,” The Mother said. “It is a subtle and fragrant language.” As if to provide a key to this language. She identified the significances of almost nine hundred flowers.

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“It is intended by the word Presence to indicate the sense and perception of the Divine as a Being, felt as present in one’s existence and consciousness or in relation with it, without the necessity of any further qualification or description. Thus, of the “ineffable Presence” it can only be said that it is there and nothing more can or need be said about it, although at the same time one knows that all is there, personality and impersonality, Power and Light and Ananda and everything else, and that all these flow from that indescribable Presence. That is always the fundamental significance, — the essential perception of the essential Presence supporting everything else.” ~ SRI AUROBINDO

 

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Take A Crocus – Rumi Inspirational Poems

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The beauty of the heart
is the lasting beauty:
its lips give to drink
of the water of life.

Truly it is the water,
that which pours,
and the one who drinks.

All three become one when
your talisman is shattered.
That oneness you can’t know
by reasoning.

 

– Rumi, From: Mathnawi II, 716-718

 

Photos taken today with a lumix Camera on Macro setting – please click to enlarge for details. I am having a lot of difficulty with Word Press technology and especially with photos. I hope whatever you are using, ipad or iphone, lap-top or  desk-top, this is okay. 🙂

 

 

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from the top of the fridge

from the top of the fridge

Flower Wisdom – Sathya Sai Baba

 

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A few word to my fellow Word Press  bloggers. I am so sorry not to be around to read your blogs. I have had a sprained wrist for awhile now which is still painful. I have also developed Repetitive strain injury too.

At the moment, I am using an ipad instead to help rest my wrist/arm from getting any worse. I must admit to finding an ipad almost impossible to use. For the moment I am not doing the usual of blogging rounds. Again most sorry. Eve   

 

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Darshans were a wonderful experience, especially in those early days in the ashram. The vitality and energy that flowed from Baba seemed to permeate the entire surrounding area and the village. Whatever that energy was it seemed to wash our souls. Reactions differed depending on  people and their character. Some people were joyous and radiant, while others acted excitable and even anxious.  Others seem to get rather cantankerous. Yet, others cried. I am sure whatever  and wherever His energy reached, there would be a short charge to the “chakra system”, if only temporary. I remember one American lady described her darshan as an  “extreme close embrace,” might add she was not alone in her interpretation. Whatever the person’s mood, it seemed to surface during darshan and afterwards for many hours. Another distinct feature of darshan, was a need to sleep afterwards or to be alone and silent. Baba, himself, shone from the inside out. There was never a time when he did not appear extremely beautiful. Often He seemed to glide rather than walk across the darshan sands. On several occasions during darshan when it rained, He just turned his palm upward and the rain stopped. Of course it  began again the moment He stepped inside the temple’s veranda. Eve

 

 

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Once an individual moves away from the worldly desires, all dharmas are one and the same. God resides in all living beings. He is in everything.  One should not peal of the outer skin of the wound before it is healed. Once dry the dead skin falls off by itself. If the skin is forcibly pulled, the wound bleeds and the healing has to continue.  In the same way, it is impossible for man to understand nishkaamakarma (actions without expectation of its fruits) before he realizes his true nature. To perceive this truth, is mans primary purpose. His varnaashrana dharma (The duties of man as per his level of consciousness); his gruhasta dharma (the duites of a householder) facilitate in unraveling this mystic secret. Once these dharmas are conquered, every thing becomes one and the same. -Baba  From Sathya Sai Sath Sambhashana

 

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Floral Park, Haute Bretagne – Travel Logue and Photos

House Ivy -photo from a week ago.

House Ivy -photo from a week ago.

“The earth laughs in flowers.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Yes indeed! and the trees whisper in our ears. I love to take photos of both. Nature to me has more gems than the Crown Jewels and yet they do not cost a thing. Today, and in my future posts, I plan to write about my visits here and there and to post photos. There’s little else I can offer in the way of spiritual stories. I’ve done with that for now. I offer instead, a short peek into our visit to Haute Bretagne Floral gardens, Fr.   
Floral gardan -the lake

Floral garden – The Lake

I don’t think we left soon enough for the trip to Normandy, Fr. It took over three hours from where we live and by the time we arrived it was late afternoon. The weather was fine when we left home, but dark clouds loomed by the time we reached Caen, then they lifted and then the sky turned dark again. After we left Nantes behind, a drizzling rain threatened to spoil the visit. Oppsie! Bloggers are not suppose to mention weather in the first paragraph. Sorry, I’ve broken the golden rule!

Finding the small turning  off the highway, for the town of  Fougères on the way to Normandy was more than difficult. There were a few signs as we left the highway for the back lanes but no real clear directions. Loads of pastures and fields of wheat and corn, clearly we were off the beaten track. Never mind, the villages were quaint and worth a visit. I love this part of Brittany, it is prettier than where we live and offers a lot to visitors. There are many visitors too, for the U.S. Cemeteries are located in Fougères and all along the coast, all the way to Le Harve.

Finally after a few wrong turnings we found a small town, not sure of its name. A town though filled of flowers. Another excuse to stop for another camera opportunity. Luckily we found a sign for the Park Floral. We eventually found it tucked away behind a field of cows.

The park sparkled in the late afternoon sunshine.The clouds had drifted and parted and a brilliant blue sky shone through for the rest of the afternoon. The other good thing – the park appeared to be uninhabited. There was absolutely no one there, other than the park’s gardeners, hidden away behind the shrubs. The down-side of that scenario – the small cafe was “ferme.” Nothing new there, I can tell you. “Ferme” is part of life in France. We can never leave home without water bottles and sandwiches. A cup of tea or coffee is out of the question, unless lucky enough to find a roadside stop-off. They are rare in this part of France. It would be another six hours before I had a cup of cafe.’  We just happened to return through Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, where an excellent roadside Cafe is located. It was  “ouvert.”

The Floral park was more than amazing. It’s silence made me stand still for a moment to surrender to its peace. The birds chirped but there was nothing else. France does have an absence of wildlife in this area.(I put that down to overuse of chemicals on the crops.) I did not see a butterfly or bee the whole time there. Maybe it was too late in the year, or they just were not around.

Amazing that a park full of the most beautiful plants on earth can be so sterile. I was not able to capture the beauty of the park on camera. Not sure why not. I have managed the odd whimsical shot – but mostly, I feel, the park was too formal, so didn’t photograph too well.


Small stone watch tower,overlooking the Japanese gardens.

Small stone watch tower,overlooking the Japanese gardens.

Magical lookout over the pond and gardens. A breath-taking view!

Magical lookout over the pond and gardens. A breath-taking view!

The Japanese garden, one of 15 gardens, is huge! I cannot express my feelings about this colourful vista. Just walking through the tiny pathways that meander through the garden is an adventure in Paradise. This garden definitely is not of the Earthy type. I felt I’d died and gone to heaven. The colours so vibrant with vines and huge trees all intertwined, provides the visitor with a feeling of Eden.  I wandered through all the paths and with every twist and turn, something more sublime met my eyes. The small rope bridge with its wobbly wood surface, appeared unsafe but I was not to be fooled. I crossed without incident.

Rope Bridge across the stream

Rope Bridge across the stream

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stone steps

stone steps, small pathways, and small rocky waterfalls. pathway8

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My last photograph posted below is of a very unusual Hydrangea. It’s growing with other foliage up against the  stone wall that forms the garden entrance. I had to smile when taking the photo, because like all the other plants and shrubs in this exquisite floral garden, it grew in a stylish French way. Look at the way the small flowers tumble!  Rather like Paris fashion models wearing their finest and latest “Mode.”  Je dois vous revoir! Viva la belle France!

Lacy Hydrangea growing against the old stone wall. floral Park

Lacy Hydrangea growing against the old stone wall. floral Park