Walking the riverbank with Suky was the only thing that kept me sane last week. Losing myself in nature, birdsong, the smell of freshly mown grass after heavy rain showers. Driving all the way to Manchester for a hug from my Mum, never under-estimate the power of a hug from your Mum.
Stopping to watch the river, high after heavy rains, thundering by and grabbing a photo to remind myself that just as the water rushes by, life does go on. Something good has to come out of all this ...
At the end of last week I felt it was necessary to take a step back to reassess all that I am, we are, doing. And all that came to mind was the need to carry on with the simplification of our lives. To carry on with the jettisoning of all that is excess, all that is surplus to living a smaller and simpler life.
We don't need things.
Things to dust, things to clean, things waiting to be read, queuing up in the back of your mind exerting their pressure whether you realise it or not. Things that take your time and sap your energy with their needs.
We need time.
Time to live, time to breathe, time to relish moments and time to love those that love us. Time to seek out those that want to know us, to share in our lives. We need to take the time to learn to understand and to make sense of all that happens to us. We need time to take a step back and see our lives from the outside, to see where changes, nips and tucks or expansions can be made.
We need time to see where the step down from this mad, mad consumerist society that we are being pulled into is ... and if we are brave enough, time to take it. To jump ship from all that we currently have and do and want.
If Bella's short, sweet and wonderful life taught me anything it is that you should take each day as it comes and live your life to the fullest. Enjoy all the little moments, those moments full of blowing leaves to watch and chase, birdsong to listen to, water to splash in or jump over. Say yes to adventures, always be willing to travel even if the destination is unknown. Trust in the world, your world ... and those that share it with you.
Like the photo above I have to let something good and hopeful grow out of something sad, it's the only way.