September, a month that many of us feel signifies a new beginning, with classes starting, shorter daylight hours and crisp leaves underfoot. Often a new beginning brings about a change in circumstances - health, a move, new career, or a loss. It can also mean looking in a different direction, and not following the crowd, as the image above illustrates.
It was with an imminent sense of change that I decided not to commit to an August newsletter. Such was the case with the death of a longtime friend, to whom this Innisfree Moment is dedicated, resulting in a swift change of plans and travel to Ontario. The eulogies delivered at the celebration of his life spoke of a man who followed the direction of his dreams, through his multiple interests, vast service to others, and overcoming many challenges. His empty chair among the choir members was a poignant reminder that the role he held for many of us would now be in our memories.
What we learn and how we react when we experience any life change is personal for each of us. Two years ago, after a serious ankle break, I reversed a study course intention, looked in a different direction, and followed the idle thought of writing a book with whimsical short tales. After many hundreds of hours of research, writing and editing, the first copy was printed on July 27th, the day John died. While he didn't get to see the final copy he knew it was dedicated to the gift of him and saw an image of the cover - the fireplace of a mutual friend in Ireland. Returning home I mentally stepped back and reviewed my life, deciding that in future it would have more breathable space, with lighter pursuits and shorter computer time. But, first I needed to create that space! Now five weeks later, my website and files have been reduced, household / clothing items donated, and years of paperwork shredded. Lightly written, but many thoughtful hours in the doing!
Movies and songs often present messages at timely intervals. A few weeks back, urged to see the current movie, Christopher Robin, I felt that the lovable philosopher, Winnie-the-Pooh, was speaking directly to me: I always get to where I'm going by walking away from where I've been ... doing nothing often leads to the very best of something ... Consider checking it out for yourself. I found it to be a thoughtful and heart-warming rendition of A.A. Milne's classic 1926 book on Pooh Bear. And, my paper purging uncovered the words of Born to Live, by Canadian singer and songwriter, Ann Mortifee: We were born to live, not just survive ... born to trust ... that in every heart there's an outstretched hand ... to break down the walls and to know that life is to taste it all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IpOSzO5PA0
I invite you to check out Innisfree's updated website at www.innisfreespirit.com and the Books by Dorothy link to By the Fireside with Dorothy ... Into the Mystic©. If you choose to read it, hopefully it will bring a smile and trigger memories ... or have you rolling your eyes in amazement! Perhaps my sentiments this month will also trigger thoughts of your own. If so, consider capturing them in a journal or sharing them with a trusted source.
Life is never a solo act, so with deepest appreciation I acknowledge Eve Lees and the talented team whose support was invaluable in bringing my book to reality; Larry Moss for website edits and continuing newsletter distribution; Gary Toneguzzo in London, England, for being my dedicated chauffeur in Toronto, and for permission to use this month's perfect image. And you, dear reader, for your interest in these Innisfree Moments.
I attribute some last thoughtful words to Winnie-the-Pooh and the late Irish-American poet, Lola Ridge, respectively: The best day is today; and, You are laden with beginnings ... and so it is, and so we are!
Until we come together again, acknowledge yourself for the gift of you! Blessèd be!
Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada