As the days get shorter and the weather colder we begin to reflect back on the year that has past as well as think a little about the year to come. We have decided to have a number of days next year specifically for healing, and they will be publicised as “Days of Healing”. They will follow on from the official opening of our Healing Clinic which is set for May next year. It is also the time for us to venture out to other groups who are interested to hear us speak about what we have been taught, and these we will try and do when we can throughout the year.
During the past few months since last writing we have been quite busy with a Retreat Day taken by Patrick on the subject of “Our Universe and all it contains”, quite a big subject which was well tackled, with a lot of interesting discussion. We also held a Food & Health Day in October and this was also very interesting because there were a number of speakers throughout the day with a different angle on how we should feed ourselves and approach our food so that we keep as healthy as we can. Food and health, we believe, are an important part of the future and so we plan to have one of these events each year.
Also in October, on the 31st, we held our first Peace & Light Day workshop for children which went very well. Our Friday evening meetings will continue as they are currently, with a Tutorial from Paddina, or one of our other tutors, twice a month, and then 10 minute talks from students which are a good opportunity to share our knowledge and learn from each other, as well as good practice in public speaking.
The new driveway is making good progress but will not be complete until January because Christmas is getting in the way of the company that is laying the block pavers; they want to do the job with as little interruption as possible and as we will not be ready for this work until mid December it will now start in the new year. Mike and his father are currently laying the granite kerb stones to make a good edge to the existing driveway and there will also be enough kerbs to make an edge to the new driveway as well.
Hedley is starting to build the brick pillars at the entrance which will support a new iron front gate and there is also more brickwork to be done at the back of the Clinic car park. The new parking area at the back of the workshops is already in use, albeit you have to drive round the top of the Dutch barn to reach it. Once the bridge across into the paddock is ready, visitors will reach the parking area this way and it will then be a short walk to the Healing Clinic or the Meeting Rooms.
Once the driveway itself is complete there is quite a bit of work with the landscaping of the front garden and surrounding area, and as we now have the month of May to aim for to be ready for the opening, there will be little slack in our efforts to make everything ready for the big day. In our spring issue we will be able to confirm the exact date.
Other work that has been going on is that Tony is busy repairing the two stable blocks. So far he has concentrated on the new stable doors to replace the ones that are now quite rotten. At some point he, Poppa and Suzy will give the stables a coat of paint, but this may have to wait until the spring when the cold of winter is behind us.
Hedley has completed the building of a new wall and gates in front of the horses’ paddock. It is looking very smart with one gate being the public footpath access into the paddock, and the other gate leading round the herb garden, work that is still on-going and not likely to make much progress now until next year after the landscaping of the front garden.
We have some new additions to our animal family to tell you about. First, Denis found us some wonderful new chickens which have settled in very happily and have recently started laying small brown eggs. The chickens are a different breed from before and vary in colour from grey to red. At this time of year they will remain in their chicken house and will not venture out until we have repaired the outside run which needs solid sides so that rabbits and foxes are not a threat in the future.
The other new addition is a beautiful kitten who we have called Nano, a shortened version of his spirit name, which is Nansatchmo. We found him on the last day of September with his head stuck in a rat poison box where he was trying to reach a dead mouse that he had obviously smelt inside. Julia saw him and picked him up with box attached. Hedley then had to phone Denis for the key to unlock the box and then had to carefully cut with secateurs through to the hole that was surrounding the kitten’s head. Once free, Nano promptly bit Julia’s thumb, so strongly that he was actually hanging from it! He released the thumb and promptly ran into one of the dog’s cages where he was left for the morning to get over his experience (the dogs were well out of the way outside in the garden). Julia then spent the morning driving to Beccles Hospital for a tetanus injection and some antibiotics!
It was only a couple of weeks before we were able to open the bedroom door where we had placed Nano so that he could get used to us and realise that he was loved and well fed. He is much more courageous than Mega was when we first took her in and didn’t take long to venture downstairs and explore the whole house. He is a wonderful cat and Hedley is particularly happy because a few years ago we were told that the spirit of the cat that was with Hedley for 18 years, whose name was Maquesa, wanted to come back to be with him and we were told to look out for a tan coloured cat, with long hair, and here he is!
As you will see from the photo, we knew straight away that this was the cat that had been mentioned. We were told he was about 8 weeks old. It hasn’t taken him long to put on weight, in fact he is quite a foodie and we have to put plates on top of the food of the other two cats! Slowly Brushka and Mega are getting used to Nano, and Mega and Nano sometimes play together round the house which is great to see.
One other event that has just happened here was the planting of two lime trees in the horses paddock as part of National Tree Week. Hedley had managed to obtain a grant for the two trees from the Tree Council and with the help of some pupils from All Saints Primary School in Laxfield, the holes for the two trees were dug, the trees planted and – the following day – the wooden supports were put in place to protect the trees from the horses. The idea was that these trees, as they mature, will give shade to any animals we may have in the future. Hedley also went to the school to give a cartoon drawing workshop, explaining the benefits of planting a variety of new trees on a regular basis and how nature and wildlife will benefit from the lime trees that they helped to plant.
Our thoughts are turning to the time of year when we come together to share in each other’s company over some good food and wine, remembering our friends and other family members as well as our world and all those who share it with us, many of whom face great challenges and traumas at this time. Our thoughts are with you all, and with our world, for more strength and peace on our journey.