I am standing on the beach
With waves washing my feet
This luminous threshold place
Where worlds mingle and meet
In a mystical magic of three
The earth the sky and the sea
Iona Jenkins, Midsummer, 2022
Now the wheel of the year has turned towards summer, I am spending more time outside, visiting parkland and green spaces on my way to the beach. The Celtic Ancestors, Druids and Shamans believe the shores and lakes of oceans to be thresholds, magical liminal places, where it was possible to glimpse the Otherworld and to receive messages. I can certainly see why, because after moving into an apartment overlooking the sea, my enthusiasm and inspiration to create through writing, has increased considerably. And it is true to say, that in this environment, I can experience spontaneous meditative states where pictures and words flood my imagination like the incoming tide, to be turned into poetry, philosophical meanderings, stories, or even simple life enhancing ideas, and truths I need to understand in my everyday reality.
We are influenced by the landscapes we live in as well as the landscapes we visit, but to really become aware of this, we may need to slow down a little and take the time to connect. My landscape gives me words, images and colours, inspiration that enables me to create vivid images with words rather than paint. People are creative in different ways. I paint word pictures, descriptive prose, which I hope may speak to the reader's own imagination and in turn help to awaken their personal creativity.
Summer Solstice Haiku
Sing in the sunrise
On Summer solstice Morning
The world glitters gold
Blessings of Midsummer to all,
"When I was a child, I knew how to take time out. Children don’t always walk in straight lines, they tend to meander about, following their imaginations.
A child’s life in Britain during the 1950’s and 60’s was very different without today’s technology. I developed a wild independence, because in those days it was safe to be out in the countryside around my village in Yorkshire without the constant supervision of adults. People talked to each other and took an interest, so someone always knew where we were. In addition, I always felt shielded in the woods and fields with a sense that nature herself was taking care of me. I loved the land and the land seemed to nourish and love me back, like a caring mother.
How exquisite and heady the wild rose with perfume fit for a queen. How full of life and bliss the summer in my heart, purple tinged with tufted vetch, red with clover and the pinkish white of tough stemmed yarrow. I would lie in green scented grass listening to bird calls and the nectar collecting bees buzzing. I was content, carefree, warmed by the smile of a golden sun in bright blue skies."
The magical child in all of us is creative and connected. Too often I forgot about her during the many years of my working life, except during leisure hours spent on weekend walks in city parks and gardens, or along the river bank. Then one day after I retired from my therapeutic work and moved to Wales, she turned up again, waved her wand and changed me into a writer. On this warm May afternoon, she found me sitting on the balcony of my small apartment, breathing in the stillness of the pale blue ocean reflecting the sky, my pen skimming across the page as I listened to the voice of the sea. Taking time out, slowing down and reconnecting to the natural world for even a short time can provide us with a soul soothing, magical, creative moment in eternity.
The Voice of the Sea
The Inspiration ripples and flows
as I listen to the voice of the sea
in this quiet slowing down of time
to a creative moment in eternity.
Iona Jenkins 16th May 2022
The Spring Equinox passed in warmer days of glorious sunshine, a promise of growing green and bright blossoms. After midnight on the 31st March, the air was colder and the sky an indigo velvet cloth strewn with stars as bright as jewels. And as I stood there facing the sea, breathing salt breezes blowing over the cliff, my heart filled with an impression of distant choral music that seemed to emanate from the stars themselves and the ocean reflecting their light. And then, I remembered the 'Oran Mor,’ which I included in my book 'To Sing with Bards and Angels'. It is a Gaelic expression which means The Great Song, The Melody of Life, The Song of Being, the Creative Spirit that sings everything into existence. The Celts opened their imaginations to this Song of Life, in resonance with the changing seasons, planting, growing, harvesting, birthing, living, dying. All of this was symbolised in the curve and flow of intricate knot-work patterns present in their art and spirituality Their awareness of this harmonic Creative Spirit, connecting everything in the world’s fabric, made nature sacred to them.
Slowing down and really listening, my mind becomes still and I am aware of the sound of the wind in the trees, the individual songs of birds, the calm lapping melody of waves washing over the shore, the roar of the tide when the weather is stormy, the buzz of insects, human voice tones, my own heartbeat. Humankind does not own nature, we are a part of her eco-system. Becoming harmonic with nature we are more likely to create with an intent to enhance life on our planet, which in turn enhances our own lives.
The “Oran Mor' is everything - a language of Angels, the Awen, a song of love and life, a heartfelt prayer which exists in us all. Feel free to substitute any words that ring true for you from your own faith or experience like the ethos of Chalice Well in Glastonbury which is “Many Paths One Source."
To understand life as an art is to create your own possibility
To understand life as an art is to create your own possibility
Your world shimmers with soul, bringing you close to nature.
Those who are close to nature celebrate colour and diversity
Those who are close to nature see wonder not weapons
Those who are close to nature walk lightly creating beauty.
Iona Jenkins Spring Equinox, 2022
The rising sun creates a gilded path across the sea from shore to shore
The Buddha once said, “with our minds we create the world.”
If these words of wisdom are true then it seems to me that what we hold in our minds really matters.
As I see it, our world is not some vast commercial enterprise for exploiting people and resources to create profit and power. This planet is a vision of breathtaking beauty, like a masterpiece created by a great artist. Sometimes when watching and connecting my awareness to light reflected on the ocean, I have a strange sense of standing in a landscape painting.
Inspiration flows into us through our awakened senses. Druids have a peace prayer, as well as invoking peace in the four directions. They call their inspiration ‘Awen,’ a flowing stream in which creativity and peace are connected for the benefit of all beings.
As the world hovers on a knife edge, it is all too easy for us ordinary folk just trying to get on with life, to be left feeling powerless by frightening world events, over which we have no control.
But what we can do, is seek the still centre inside ourselves, our creative heart, that haven of peace at the centre of a cyclone. We can blend mind and heart, becoming creative in life enhancing ways. We can invoke peace for ourselves and the world using any way or spiritual practice that feels right for us.
Who can say how much a single bright thread woven into the world’s fabric can change the overall pattern or how many ripples a single pebble thrown with positive intent, may create on the surface of a pool?
Author Iona Jenkins is delighted to reveal the cover of her latest book - To Sing with Bards and Angels, A Journey into the Creative Heart.
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