Spring in Bloom

16 Mar
Snow Drops and Sycamore  © Jess Bruce 2015 All Rights Reserved

Snow Drops and Sycamore © Jess Bruce 2015 All Rights Reserved

Spring definitely feels like it has finally sprung in recent weeks here in the UK. The days are longer, the mornings lighter, the air a fraction less fresh and the grey cloud is giving way to sunshine and blue skies. It is uplifting and energizing. It makes me feel alive and happy.

No Springtime would be complete with the bursts of flowers that brighten the world at this time of year. I love the beauty and delicacy of flowers. Each one so perfect and simple. My attention to flowers is not something that has always been there though.

Yellow Aconite  © Jess Bruce 2015

Yellow Aconite © Jess Bruce 2015 All Rights Reserved

I’ve written before about, how prior to becoming ill with ME/CFS, my life was hectic and busy. Or more importantly, my attitude and mentality were hectic and busy. I was rushing through time, always striving for the next thing, the next weekend, holiday, deal closing, deadline to be met. Looking back, I don’t think I engaged with each, or any, individual moment. I wasn’t mindful in any sense. I was plagued with worry about the future and the past, very rarely actually present.

Crocuses in my Mum and Dad's front garden  © Jess Bruce 2015. All rights reserved.

Crocuses in my Mum and Dad’s front garden © Jess Bruce 2015. All rights reserved.

Now, after life, rather drastically, forced me to slow down by throwing a chronic illness my way, and after a lot of relaxation and meditation practice, mindfulness is something I try to practice in all aspects of everyday life.  I should probably ‘fess up here. I do not pretend to be any kind of meditative zen master (masteress?? mistress??) who oozes mindful calmness 24/7, my loved ones are most likely laughing out loud at that idea. Wishful thinking they’re probably saying. And yes, whilst meditation is definitely a work in progress for me (isn’t it for everyone, really?), I am definitely more mindful now. And for that (and many other things) I am grateful to my illness.

Crocuses in full sunlight, one in full bloom, one nearly there, another just opening and one still a tiny tight bud © Jess Bruce 201

Crocuses in full sunlight, one in full bloom, one nearly there, another just opening and one still a tiny tight bud © Jess Bruce 2015 All Rights Reserved

Now I don’t just see a bunch of flowers and think they’re pretty and pass by (or as I think is so often the case in our crazy hectic world, not even notice the flowers). Now I see the colours, the shapes, the light, the contrast between the delicate softness of the petal and the stronger presence of the stem.

Photography helps me to mindfully notice and appreciate the little things. It helps me pause and slow down. It takes time to compose a photo. My photography is a work in progress too and whilst my pictures may not be technically perfect, it is all about the process, that’s what matters, that’s what helps me to be, at least a little, mindful and calm – I seem to have unintentionally touched on a deeper theme here, life is a work in a progress, life is a journey? We’re always learning?

Snowdrops from a few weeks ago, the end of winter © Jess Bruce 2015

Snowdrops from a few weeks ago, the end of winter © Jess Bruce 2015

I started this post thinking I’d write a few lines about how happy I am Spring has arrived and then just share some photos of flowers. But somehow it has become more than that. I apologize if it comes across as waffle. But for me this post celebrates the beauty of flowers, the warm joys of spring and the calm a few mindful moments may bring, if you are able to pause, however briefly, to let it in.


11 Responses to “Spring in Bloom”

  1. Chronic Pain Heroes March 16, 2015 at 9:30 am #

    Oh my goodness, you have nothing to apologize for! I could relate to every word, especially when you delved deeper than springtime and pretty flowers. I find it fascinating, and somehow comforting, to discover just how similar our experiences are (within the ME-CFS… and chronic pain, and Fibromyalgia, and etc, etc, communities). While we are so often treated like weird anomalies by the medical community, we can feel “normal” within our communities. I still remember the first time I attended a chronic pain conference. Medical professionals and patients sat together. We shared our stories, asked questions, and learned together – It was amazing! For the first time in two years, I didn’t feel like a freak of nature.
    We need blogs like this to help us feel “normal” and understood. That is the priceless gift of being part of a chronic illness community. I’m grateful to be a part of yours.

    • myjourneythrume March 16, 2015 at 10:17 am #

      Thank you so much for such a lovely comment. You’ve literally made my morning 😊 I totally relate to what you say about feeling normal in a chronic illness community especially through blogs. The online community gives me so much support, whilst I wish others weren’t suffering too, it is so comforting and reassuring knowing I’m not alone in this.

  2. thehomeschoolingdoctor March 16, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    What a great comment above! I definitely relate to your post and keep striving to get better each and every day at this. I don’t have time much for the mindful meditation, except before sleep, but I am working at least practicing it then. Until the baby grows and I have a little more time. Happy Spring!

    • myjourneythrume March 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

      Happy Spring to you too! It doesn’t feel like Spring today, it’s freezing cold and grey again!

  3. Sophie33 March 17, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

    Spring has arrived here too but it is still freezing in the nights though!

    • myjourneythrume March 19, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

      It’s back to being grey and freezing cold here today!

  4. eledacats March 18, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    loved your entry– you sound like– me– I have discovered mindfulness really helps and as you say mine also is a work in progress. The sun today really has made the little buds open on my patio and it is a joy to see the fresh new green and hopeful of lighter brighter days in every sense. I also find photography a really useful tool and by sharing my pics on flickr I have gained a lot more virtual friends. This is my first year on my ME/CFS journey and have been fortunate that my symptoms were recognised quickly. However its still been hard going from someone who works full time and teaching exercise classes in my spare time, walking and cycling etc– to me as I am today– going through the processes of getting early retirement from work and living at a lot slower pace. Thankfully I have a good husband and friends who have helped enormously, but a huge life stye shift. Thanks for your blog I find it very useful and reassuring — good to know I’m not alone– there are others out there.

  5. myjourneythrume March 19, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    You’re definitely not alone. I’m sorry to hear you’re ill and having to change the way you live, I know how hard that is but glad to hear you have support around you. I hadn’t thought about Flickr, that’s a really good idea, I might start doing that too. Thank you for reading and commenting, I really appreciate it ☺️

  6. friendofsnoopy March 23, 2015 at 2:33 am #

    I think you’re bang on there, I definitely notice the beauty in nature even more now than I did before FM/ME etc. I particularly enjoy spending a few minutes when I can, sat on the grass barefoot, eyes shut feeling those blades of lushness between my toes. I’m an odd bunny I know!

    Where I have my psychotherapy sessions I particularly notice how they’ve planted their garden to ALWAYS have something blooming. I think it’s hugely beneficial when we’re feeling low, anxious or stressed etc to stop and look around us to see that even in adversity nature battles on and is beautiful for it. Beautiful photos too btw, I now wish I owned a proper camera that was light enough to wear around my neck!

    • myjourneythrume March 23, 2015 at 11:57 am #

      I’ve always intended to try the barefoot grass thing so I don’t think you’re odd at all! I agree about the light camera, mine is pretty light but I still can’t have it around my neck for very long. Thank you for reading and commenting 😊

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