Spring is just around the corner and soon Winter will just be a fond memory – for some! The change of seasons is something that I love in nature. Although the cold frigidity of the Winter months can be slightly depressing. The hope that Spring followed by Summer is a assured makes it all the more tolerable.
It does seem, however, that the seasons are becoming less predictable and weather patterns more extreme. When I was little I remember there always was snow in Winter and at least some sunshine in Summer. Growing up in the south of England meant that it was never ever especially cold and rarely boiling hot. But, we had Summers. Like the majority of families, we also have our share of funny anecdotes.
I remember spending long hot sunny Summer holidays at the seaside or at the park. As young and adventurous children, we would spend hours climbing trees in the nearby woods or scouring the beaches for seashells. It was glorious.
One particular hot and sunny day, Mum and Dad packed us all on a train to Weston. For a eight year old girl, this was a real treat. I had been dying to ride the donkeys at Weston-Super-Mare and spend my hard earned pocket money in the amusement arcade at the end of the Grand Pier.
The train ride seemed to never end – even though I now know that it is little more than a twenty minute train ride. We raced towards the beach as soon as we spotted the water in the distance – leaving our parents and older siblings trundling along behind.
When they finally caught up with us, there would be stern looks. However the bad vibes didn’t last for long. It was simply too sunny for frowning. The donkey ride was a special treat – one that my Dad knew I would enjoy. After all, I grew up watching and loving Black Beauty on TV and for me a donkey ride at Weston was the next best thing.
After building many sandcastles and paddling in the water, it was time to go home. Of course, we tried our hardest to linger and dragged our feet as we headed back to the train station. The best bit about the ride home was sitting next to my Dad and being able to snooze, whilst resting my head against his arm.
Those Summer days are gone but the memories of this and many other family anecdotes remain. Spring is once again knocking on my door. Hopefully it leads the way to another Summer full of fond memories.
Several years ago I had a desire to wear my hair in a natural style. Many of those who have been following my blog will know that I am of Afro-Caribbean descent – hence the reference to “natural”! I have worn my hair in extensions, both braided and straight (sort of like Beyoncé or Rihanna) for decades. In January 2009, I decided to take the plunge and go sans-wigs, extensions or whatever you may call them.
It was literally like having a weigh lifted off me. My hair was really short and so it was quite a shock to be “hair-light” at first.
Eventually my hair just grew and grew. It began to develop a life all of its own and I experienced a bit of trepidation. I was uncertain of the reactions I would receive concerning my newly formed natural locks. Locks are somewhat synonymous with rebels and people on the fringe of society. I found it difficult to reconcile my corporate past with my wild and crazy hair!
It has taken time but I don’t believe that I could wear my hair any other way. I am actually a little perturbed that I did not start the “locking” process much earlier in life. Having said that, perhaps it was for the best. With age comes wisdom and the plethora of anecdotes that piece together to create a person’s past, will and often does determine how one copes with the future.
It has been a process of self-discovery – one that started on the outside but finished up on the inside with a lesson in self-awareness.
It’s time for another little anecdote from back home. When I was little my Mum would make my siblings and I drink this atrocious medicine every year around this time to make sure that we didn’t get sick, i.e. catch a cold.
The medicine was aptly called “Fisherman’s Friend” but don’t let the word “friend” in the title deceive you. This concoction was no child’s friend and I dare you to find any adult who wouldn’t gag slightly after this milky, fishy liquid made it’s way down your throat. As children we would hide under the stairs, as my Mum would call us into the kitchen one by one to face our ultimate fear. Still have nightmares about this bottle!
As I got older I refused to take this “devil’s honey” and eventually went my own way when it comes to medicines and more natural herbal remedies. However, I found that I would never get a cold and for years this continued to be true even after I moved to the States.
So do I recommend this evil tasting potion? Not really but I benefited from it’s strong immune boosting properties and for that I have to be grateful. Nowadays I eat my fresh fruit and veggies. Drink loads of water and get out into the cold at least once a day for a brisk walk. I try to get my full eight hours for sleep and stay away from coffee.
Whether it’s the remnants for my old “Fisherman’s Friend” or my healthier lifestyle I am still “cold free”. I think I’ve got Mum to thank for starting me on the right track.
No don’t worry I’m not going to start a bible thumping or anti-Christ post here! Anyway I am not “religious” in the traditional sense although I know quite a bit about Christianity.
My anecdote starts at the point when we are born. It’s a general assumption that we are all born clean and “free from sin”, if you want to call it that. We are all just tiny blank canvasses waiting to be scrawled upon by some talented and some not so talented artists.
Now what if that were not the case. What if we were born into Hell and our lives did not begin at birth, we were just being given another chance to prove ourselves worthy to get to Heaven. You see I just can’t get my head around the concept of a fiery abyss where “bad people” go to be tormented forever. However I can believe that we are all given this chance to learn and experience life on Earth as a precursor to attaining true happiness in Heaven.
Those of us who don’t not succeed are merely given a second chance to “make things right” by being born again into this world. Those of us who are chosen worthy may ascend to Heaven to live in a place where life is good for everyone.
This belief of mine has little to do with the bible or traditional religion. The terms Heaven and Hell could easily be substituted with Utopia and Suffering.
So in this “school of learning” on Earth, we should all try to contribute as much positivism as possible. After all the very future happiness of our souls depend on it.