The inspiring gratefulness.org (link) is always worth a visit. Today I came across a ‘daily question’ that I came away thinking I ought to be asking everyday:
How can I be a source of joyful surprise for someone today?
What a great question for bringing one’s attention into the present – right in the here and now. At least two lives might be changed if I could come up with a good answer – but probably more. Joyful surprises are susceptible to the snowball effect!
And my pondering today has often led me back to a conversation with someone dear last night, who told me: ‘I like simple things …’
Now here’s a paradox – I sort of know, in hundreds of ways, why. Alongside a kind of not knowing! I only really know, Edinburgh, as I wander home in the course of these long summer evenings, that you did – and that you have opened my heart to the possibilities in a host of other such life-giving paradoxes.
Among the ‘goodies’ I came away from the fabulous Royal Highland Show with yesterday are Sea Salt and Sicilian Olive Oil. Add a little good bread and some salad stuff and one can quickly conjure a simple, nutritious and delicious banquet …
6.45am – Morning sun streaming through my window. The words ‘World Awakening’ have been echoing in the dreams I’ve woken from, clearly remembering. Little gestures and gratefulness, hopes and dreams, love and light, wide smiles, you and me, friends, can and will change the perspectives of all our days. And now I’m off, in great company, to the Royal Highland Show, so today’s post is likely to be updated further – Watch this space!
Among the lovely things about living under Salisbury Crags are the soft sounds of laughter and conversation sometimes carried down on the wind; and seagulls glide and occasionally greet each other, and I reflect upon the greetings and conversations I’ve enjoyed … thankful, towards the close of the day ✨
Dark only in so far as a little international company were close-gathered beneath the firmament – huddled – half way up a volcano that last erupted here 350 million years ago.
Dark only in so far as midnight arrived before any of us expected her to, amid the silent music of the sun’s solstice-reluctance to leave us through the hours of our night.
Dark only in so far as we needed to scrunch our eyes a bit to focus in the twilight, taking care not to spill hot herbal tea or sit on a plate of grapes or another of fresh mango.
All else was light. Is light. Will be light. The light that – come what may – is irrepressibly present within, and in life-dancing … sometimes silent, sometimes heard(link), as though on a slight breeze …
Arthur’s Seat, Holyrood, Edinburgh. Wednesday 22 June 2022
While together at the coast the other day, one of my friends gave me this tiny, beautiful piece of lapis lazuli – blue stone – as ‘an offering to the sea.’
Etymologically, by way of Arabic lāzaward, Persian lājevard and Medieval Latin lazulum, we have ‘sky’ or ‘heaven’ : the Spanish and Portuguese azul comes from the root lazulum – so this is ‘a blue stone of or from the sky,’ or ‘stone from heaven’ – which is a rather special gift to receive from a friend.
We all swam – freezing for a while, but there was huge laughter, too. Warming – even before we gathered around a little fire. And in a quiet moment some day I will indeed offer this beauty to the shining ocean in sunlight. But, for a space, this little reminder of the firmament of our loving connections will stay with and close to me – and I will whisper a stream of thanks in every happy remembering.
This bright and sunny day is exactly the right sort for some photos of my immediate neighbourhood here in Holyrood – which I think, with its close juxtaposition of very old and modern, is wonderfully photogenic …
I have a favourite bench in Abbey Strand just in front of the Palace of Holyroodhouse. I often sit here, where poems begin to take form, and raise a metaphorical glass to another writer, to whom this bench is dedicated:
Johnnie J Kerr, Poet, Songwriter, Entertainer, Citizen and Lover of Edinburgh
This afternoon a lovely companion on the Abbey Strand bench told me of how she had recently completed a bit of writing herself. Now 98 years old, Mrs Hilda M had once hosted HRH the Duke of Edinburgh on a visit to the little community where she lives not far away, and about how she thinks she must have loved Edinburgh quite a lot really as she has spent her whole life here. And sunlight created a sparkle upon and around her head.
Mid-day ‘til sunset – and then late-night supper on the Green (with Edinburgh Sauce) from Gullane’s fabulous chippy! Sometimes we just wind up among beautiful people, fully alive, in the midst of a pure gift of a day. And maybe dance and eat and laugh and swim and talk and walk and sing 😊🌱