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Crisp and clear

Posted: 8 December 2015

awoke to snow capped mountains, the Apennines at their most splendid. Blue skies and white puffy clouds. Yesterday the festival of La Madonna delle Concezione  and the lights of Gubbio switched on to form a Christmas tree of the mountain behind, reaching up to a star at the peak. Roasted chestnuts on our fires and bowls of vegetable soup

the bottom meadow…

Posted: 26 October 2015

…hiked out to the bottom meadow this morning to collect some of the thousands of small creamy coloured  wild flowers – they smell like jasmine – that are still blooming and beautiful purple and red berries for an arrangement  for the top of the Mongolian chest in the Chiesa  bedroom…and found too some truly magnificent teasels along the stream…choosing one of the Japanese porcelain pots for my wildfowers was a delight because of the many memories they evoke of the miles of china sales every Springtime on the southern island of Kyushu, Japan…such beautiful sake cups and pots and rice bowls and such abundance that each Spring the gomi piles were simply full of lovely china simply discarded because of the new…along with lovely dishes discovered in Japan I also had a marvelous Ikebana teacher…one of the many things she said to me was, ” Janice, space and empty are not the same thing…”…Ikebana classes are also on the menu at Vaccaria level one of the Sogetsu school,,,the arrangement today though was created western style…abundance…though I also recall Thich Nhat Han saying that each flower needs its own space…there is glorious space to exhale here… Vaccaria….

…fast flowing gurgles…

Posted: 5 October 2015

…a beautiful morning and so we decided to hike through the woods across the front lane down to the river that has been sending up its powerful voice since the heavy rains not so long ago…scrambling through the oaks and chestnuts, and what look like alders, and sliding sometimes on the gorgeous thick leaf layer, it was pure delight to be rewarded with a truly fabulous view of the lime stone built cascades…this is an area of outstanding natural beauty as well and John and I consider ourselves deeply blessed to have the stewardship here…when you find the pearl of great price  you sell everything in order to gain the privilege for responsibility of it…lots of lichen and mosses and the odd white lipped slug shell with its pretty whorls and colours…lots of wild mint in the meadows and a lovely emerald green shade of water weeds where the stream runs the fastest below the cascades…and some wonderful views of Vaccaria sitting so benevolently above the newly cleared old stone wall…and home again for some warming mushroom soup…homemade of course…bliss!

Over The Top

Posted: 20 March 2015

…its  an astonishing thing when one thinks about all those soldiers ordered “over the top” time and time again to walk straight into machine gun fire, artillery fire…and they went…so very many killed ” in action”…and it is there that “action ” that one must weigh very, very wisely…each action must be ours…not something that we are only compelled to do…Mordecai told Queen Esther that she was come to the earth for such a time as this and so are we…and so we each have the responsibility to find out what our work is…we are accountable for our lives…each thought has shape and energy aka it is a creation of ours and as such has power…how much of our lives is about going over the top simply because we have been conditioned to it through parents who in their turn were conditioned by theirs and at the bottom of most of the traditions of the fathers and mothers is culture…why do so many continue to go to cultural medicine when bits are slowly being shot off because there is the continual ordering of “c’mon boys over the top” over and over again…but the Generals who give the orders are nowhere near the trenches…( and they don’t give their children the vaccinations either…)…and to support the game of thrones???…to ” fight” to maintain such butchery is pure stupidity…we don’t need artificial limbs…and it will be a bit painful as we re-learn to use our own again…using atrophied limbs is always hard at the beginning but it will be worth it…no healer will ever say over the top into machine gun fire and ask you to sacrifice your parts…you need them all to do the work you were sent to do…I weep when I think of the yes, senseless slaughter in WWI…the horrible victimisation of it…and I use that word deliberately…we are not slaves begging for our rights we are citizens demanding them…we do not need to obey the whistle anymore….come and rest at Vaccaria.

Swift Ignorance

Posted: 10 March 2015

…there used to be four types of woodpeckers in Somerset, England and now  there is only one…there are hardly any cuckoos nor spotted fly catchers…these used to be common birds for our grandparents…the English countryside is called a sterile green by Stephen Moss writer of Wild Hares and Hummingbirds…Swifts he said can travel one million miles in  their lifetime eating 100,000 insects in a day…and they can stay airborne for as long as four years he added…I have heard that the cingiales have moved on from Vaccarias wild valley tired of the hunters who can buy all the meat their inflated and very rotund bellies still hunger for at the local supermarket as they ignore all the healthy bounty, much of it free as yet, that grows wild around them much as the swifts get ignored as well these days…with swifts being the natural bug eaters who needs round up ready?…and by the way keep abreast of the latest “government” legislation…they have been passing laws to regulate what you can grow in your back garden and what you may not…Monsanto already owns ninety three percent of the US soy crop,  1,676 of seed, plant and other “patents” ( Zack Kaldveer ) and the swifts continuing to be ignored and then forgotten will continue to vanish…your consciousness, your awareness creates your reality…and ignorance is the cause of all suffering ( Yoga Sutras )…come to the genius retreat called Vaccaria!…see you soon…many blessings.