Sunday, 25 March 2012


Twilight is such a great time to go out walking with the dog, stuff is happening in the hedgerows, you hear scuffling noises and the snap of twigs. 

The moon is up.  There was a tease of a crescent and a handful of bright stars scattered around.

Gradually as the walking continues more stars announce themselves and sometimes as I gaze upwards they appear to pop into existence in front of my eyes. Such an amazing experience when that happens

Not for nothing is twilight considered a magical time. The shadows are still present but barely - whisps.

Tonight as we walked along a tree line we could hear the brook, that has woken up with the recent rains, trickling along. Something buzzed above my head. Looking up I saw a bat, fast flying about above my head. Turning faster than a bird, with the lightness that reminds of a butterfly but more substantial. 

Turning I saw others. I stopped transfixed and became aware that about 5 of them were wheeling around about my head, I could hear small dull clicks which I assume was their echo location. Their range was about 100 yards but the centre of this range seemed for the moment, to be me, wherever I was. This place near the trees is replete with midges no doubt a superb snacking site. 

Primo stopped and then headed away, up the muddy lane, patrolling his territory, at his steady tail up trot. Above him all the way was his very own bat. It looked amazing and like something from a fairy story, well beyond the capability of my camera. 

He returned and noticed I was still stationary and puzzled he looked up. He jumped back in surprise as he became aware of them and his ears lifted as he absorbed what he had been hearing. 

The bats continued to swirl around us and then whether bored by us, or concerned to follow the midges, they went along the tree line and out of sight.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

graciousness and gratitude -- how do you score?

These two people are hard to find in the world. Which two? 
The one who is first to do a kindness, and
 one who is grateful and thankful for any kindness done.
Anguttara Nikāya 2.118

I think Graciousness is undervalued in life. I think Graciousness at work, at home and at play could make everything more sustainable, and more fun. If you can remain gracious, if you can respond graciously, you keep an open mind. You look at something you might reject easily for longer and in doing so have the open mind that perhaps you might have missed something. Because you are gracious you can hold on to what has been offered and explore it for usefulness and then from a position of exploration rather than arrogant prejudice decide how much to keep and how much to reject. Being Gracious does not subject you to accepting things or situations you don't want, like or believe in It gives you space to decide how or if to make best use of them

You accept the intention of the other - who or what ever other that might be - in giving you a gift that perhaps in the end you don't want but still honour that it was given to you anyway. Which in turn sets up more opportunity for unexpected gifts to decide about.

Gratitude runs on from this. If you are able to be gracious in the moment, perhaps you can have gratitide for the unexpected and unplanned things that come your way, look back and see how this has affected you life. And so sustain the ability to remain open to new information, new objections, new intentions, new situations, new people.

I am ranting a little in writing this here.. But I am not forcing you to read it. That would be ungracious.

I like Mr Jagger in his sentiment and ( slightly misused words) You won't always get what you thought you wanted, but you might just get what you need.

I need to hang on to this thought though, as fiercely in debate I can forget it. I am not a Buddhist either, but loved the quote.