Summer and Stuff


Had two helpings of pavlova for breakfast with fresh strawberries and raspberries. Could there be a more heavenly way to start the day? Another pleasurable experience this week was sitting in the back garden and literally soaking the sun right into my bones. A true miracle of sunshine. Experiencing that half hour of bliss was enough to put a reassuring smile back on my lips.
Remembering last August ‘s eternal rain was enough to send me reeling again. This summer we have got to go somewhere sunny. I’ve been told by the specialists not to fly so our options are pretty limited. I love the sun and last year was the first summer ever I didn’t get a tan on my arms or legs. Seeing the pasty white instead of rich brown was depressing, like looking at uncooked pastry.
We’ve talked about boating it to France but I worry that if it took me two whole weeks to recover from a recent trip to Dublin, how would I fare in a foreign land!
Been thinking lots too about last post and how to suffer well. Thich says happiness and suffering always go together like the lotus flower needs the mud to grow. Well and good and reassuring but in the thick of darkness what do you do? Light a candle and listen to your breathing he would probably answer. Lately, I’ve been giving thanks for my kids, husband, family, friends, home, love, support when I feel myself heading down. Hail Mary prayer in succession helpful too when I don’t know what to think or do. And in the evening when I get tired and obnoxious with Jonnie (the toughest part of my day) I’ve started acknowledging all I’ve done in the day which is usually a lot! Then with this realization in tow I feel much better.
Thanks everybody for the comments emails and texts. It makes me feel happy and aware of how I’m still very much linked to a wider community.


16 responses »

  1. Linked to the community !!! No way Emma you are the centre of it. Great to hear your voice again.
    Will write more tomorrow.
    Cal x

  2. Hi Emma ,
    Loved your post. I could really feel the pleasure of the pavlova and the warmth of the sun soaking into you.How divine that feels!
    I have been thinking about you and your last post all week-I have so much to learn- but I do see how incredible love is – how nurturing and healing it can be. Love is beautiful in the light and joyful times of life too but seems to expand and runs even deeper in times of suffering.
    I was trying to remember a quote Angela told me years ago- (cant recall who said it),
    ” The human spirit is capable of endless renewal.”
    Always thinking of how completely amazing you are.!
    Much love,
    Nick xxxxoo

  3. Loved your post, Em. Glad to hear I’m not the only one craving some sun. I actually sat in my own little garden yesterday – wrapped up like an onion in cardi, wool coat, huge scarf and boots – just to catch a few rays as the sun played peep from behind way too many clouds for my liking. As Ross was showing me his new football skills as well, I told myself I was multi tasking and not being lazy at all…. What I love about sitting in warm sunshine, apart from the restorative and cheering effect on mind and body, is the chance to reflect. My thoughts are calmer, probably due to the aforementioned cheering effect, and it is just so much easier to put a positive spin on life. I am likewise hoping for a ‘good summer’ – if only to be able to fire up the BBQ after work and enjoy an evening al fresco. Out with the candles, prayer beads and whatever gets the universe to listen and let’s start praying for a heatwave (gods, if you’re listening: that’s July & August please, NOT May and June when the kids are still in feckin’ school).

    When I’m feeling a bit freaked, I find a repletion of the old ‘oh sacred heart of jesus I place all my trust in thee’ calms me down. I don’t think it’s the words so much as the calming effect of reciting a mantra. It takes the energy out of your fear and gives you something to focus on. I laugh that that is my particular ‘calmer’ because I am not religious in the regular sense and feel organised religions have caused more harm than good in this world. But I guess the nuns did a very good job at drumming those words into us!

    And get YOU with your pavlova for brekkie……how very fabulous!

  4. I was reading what you wrote about Thich and suffering and I have been thinking a lot about it. Here is my stab at trying to make sense of it. In writing this I am aware that you are challenged so much in your life at the moment this attempt to make sense of Thich is just a drop in an ocean of mud.
    According to Thich mindfulness is the result of living with awareness. To live with awareness is to live in non-judgement of ourselves. To live with awareness is to let the pain be, not to get tangled up with it. So many of us are not even aware of this pain. We amble about as best we can through the day aware, maybe, that we are somewhat under stress. But when we really stop with awareness we realise that we have been carrying around a huge load for many years. We realise that we are weighed down with suffering that we had no notion of. This is the pain that he is talking about. This pain which so often goes unnoticed but which drives us nonetheless.
    Becoming aware means meeting that pain with non-judgement.
    There is no struggle involved, no effort. We let ourselves be. Thus the lotus flower in the mud is the pain being transformed.
    The pain of loneliness, of depression or of dealing with a terrible illness is no different. Just because we are more aware of this pain makes no difference. For all pain has its roots in the same deeper pain, deeper struggle. The point is to simply be aware of it. Not to try and change it but to let it be in non-judgement. The theory of the lotus flower is that it too will be transformed. I notice you doing this all the time hon. You are a transformer of pain and of struggle. So often you are a lotus flower in our day. Thank you for that. These thoughts are just to encourage you on…
    lol xxx

  5. All beautiful heart felt comments above to your very heartfelt real blog Em. Yes when the dark moments threaten with the fear and anger and whatever else, its important to know what helps. I love the sky in all its moods and the song of the birds – so especially strong and serenading us these weeks. I love the flowers and just being out in nature – yes feeling the healing warmth of the sun on my skin. I love music that uplifts me. I find too that to focus on words like love, happiness, peace, tranquillity and take time to feel these really helps me.
    It is a real challenge to be even minded as Buddha puts it. I suppose allowing myself to feel the love right through me, in every part of me, is most wonderful – to be still and feel that stillness and connect with the feeling of love that I am that each of us is. I find being in nature – in the presence of mother earth makes it easier to evoke this stillness and feel the love – in me, around me, filling me.
    Lots of love xxx

  6. Hello my lovely friend. So long since I have seen you. Many wise words here to reflect on. I always take a new thought away from your blog and the comments. Please don’t stop sharing your perspective. I see what thich says about happiness and suffering together in fact I wrote about it recently – how for me the sadness or the suffering makes the happy moments richer, happier if you like. I can’t really explain but for the moment I am choosing to be happy and it is working. That’s not to say that the simplest thing can send any of us into a complete pit of despair. I guess the beauty for me is the ability of the human spirit in all of us to climb out of the pit, feel the sun on our bones and eat pavlova for breakfast. Sending huge massive enormous hugs and rays of sunshine from Bristol way…
    Ps your husband totally rocks!!!

  7. Great post, Emma. I like to offer thanks too, but so often forget. So gave decided to dedicate today to gratitude. Nothing onerous. Just a background thing. Am in kylemore McDonald’s, and its a bright breezy morning. So thanked my parents for recent developments in my work.
    Watched ur favourite graham norton last night with Pedro almond oval and others… He really is good at his job, and funny. The guy in red on the red chair… ‘If ur watching in HD u will be able to see a person in the chair, otherwise it’s just a head…’

  8. Happy birthday beautiful!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Tons of love from New Jersey ❤

  9. Happy birthday, dearest Emmu! Hope you’re having lots more Pavlova on this special day. Lots of love from me, Ed & Ross xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  10. Happy belated Birthday Emma! Loving reading your blog. I hope the sun shines for you and that you get a lovely tan (you always do!) Ireland is finally set for a long hot summer, according to weather guru Ken Ring (New Zealand forecaster – Simon might know him!) I’ll believe it when I see it says you. email on the way to you. lots of love and hugs xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Swiss

  11. Hi Emma.

    Belated birthday greetings. Hope you had a good one. I went to a French campsite one year in July and it rained and rained. I felt like Graham Norton stuck in the caravan with Dougal and Father Ted and the cracked folk choir. So stay in Ireland instead.

    About the pain and suffering , I dont know what to say ! Bad days make us see good days I suppose. I know life would be a lot easier if we were just more pleasent to each other . Emma you know too well what pain and suffering is about. But you are also surrounded by the love of your family children and friends.

    At times you must feel crazy because your limbs dont move. But Emma you will and can never be alone.Its impossible ! You are always loved.
    Keep writing. We are all waiting to hear from you. And good luck to Rowan on Saturday . Dont over do it but enjoy the day.
    Cal x

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