For the fact that I’m here. Living. Breathing. Experiencing. Loving. Working.
Last week, someone I knew eighteen years ago, died. It hit me surprisingly hard. He was a good man and a very dear friend to me. More like a surrogate father really.
We drifted apart and, now he’s gone, there will never be the chance to connect again. He leaves a loving and devoted wife, a son, two daughters and many grandchildren.
Christmas this year will be a sore time indeed and I shall be praying for them with my love on that day.
Today, I am thankful for my family.
My sweet adult children who have grown into the most wonderful adults. My beautiful granddaughter whom I adore so much, words simply can not express. I’m am blessed indeed.
Today, I am thankful for where I live.
I am blessed to have miles of countryside around my home. Just one house separates my us from the fields, which we walk the dogs through regularly.
On Saturday, I was returning from dropping my daughter at work just as the sun was rising. The sky was clear and the fog was rising above the fields. It was a beautiful sight so instead of going straight indoors when I got home, I felt compelled to go and stand in the fields and breathe in the fresh, crisp autumnal morning air. It was incredibly life affirming.
Goa. The little state in West India, famed for the long stretches of beaches, sweeping palms, full moon raves and the oldy woldy Portuguese charm.
For me, personally, though, itmeans so much more than that. I’ve been visiting Goa for 20 years and I love, love, love the place!
Here’s what makes me go crazy nuts with excitement every time I have a visit planned.
Family and Friends
Fifteen years ago, I rode my scooter down a gorgeous little leafy lane in search of rented accomodation. I was directed towards a beautiful house where I was met with a typically Goan warm welcome from the family who lives there.
All these years later and I’ve never stayed anywhere else! We have all watched each other’s children grow into teens and adults and seen marriages and new children born into the family.
The members of this beautiful family are amongst my closest friends in the world.
When Im there, I get so well cared for by my lovely Goan Mum. At home in the UK I am a carer and as a lone parent, everything is on my shoulders. As soon as I walk in those garden gates, I go from being full time carer to the ‘cared for’.
I love to play with the kids and I adore them all, including the neighbours children. We hang out together and do arts and crafts and play games. They’re all such beautiful kids.
I tend to put on a ton of weight when I’m staying as Mum feeds me enormous amounts everyday. Sometimes I just want to sit and chat in the kitchen but then the next thing I know I have a plate of food in front of me which, by the way, is magic. No matter how much I eat, that plate just refills!
I love hanging out with my ‘sisters’, chatting about stuff and putting the world to rights.
I live in a room in the treetops overlooking a field. Each morning, I look at my window and wait for the light to come. As soon as it does, I open my balcony door and am met with a sight which fills my heart with happiness and contentment; trees. Palm trees, teak trees, bamboo, banana trees and more. I step outside and look over at the field and listen to the sounds of my little neighbourhood waking up and feel blissful in my heart. What a way to rise in the morning! To be surrounded by tree energy almost as soon as Ive opened my eyes!
I love the sense of community in the little neighbourhood where I stay. People are very friendly and I’ve known a lot of them for many years and am good friends with one particular woman. We have such a laugh together. She’s a sweetie.
When I’m riding my scooter I love to watch people standing by the side of the road and just chatting. People always give a smile or a wave and more often than not, someone is shouting my name from a doorway, or as they too pass by on their scooters.
I know more people here than I do in my own village in England. More people take the time to stop and chat with me in one day here than in one week, or even one month at home!
Extended Families and Strong Family Ties
In India and Goa, when a marriage takes place, the woman leaves her own family home and goes to live with the husbands family. Im not going to pretend that this situation is always rosy. It’s not. Women all over India are suffering abuse at the hands of their husbands and his family. A mother is always going to support her son over the wife and this leaves her with little or no support.
However, this obviously isn’t always the case and millions of families live very happily together. My lovely Goan family included.
I marvel at the way the children are surrounded by adult relatives; aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother and grandfather. This is so good for them and it teaches them to get along with people of all ages. There is always someone around to attend to their needs so they never have to feel neglected and from this comes a sense of security. I think this must be where their strong sense of identity stems from, thus preventing them from ‘going off the rails’ in their teen angst years. All parents become stressed at times, that’s a given, but when you know you have someone else there to share the load with, life becomes a little easier. And I should know, having raised all my kids myself for the past 20 plus years!
The strong bonds between the family members is so apparent and I admire the way the kids have such respect for their elders.
Living together = sharing together, helping one another and respecting one another. And let’s face it, no one is going to get lonely in their old age!
Ahhh, the Arabian Sea! Be it wild with monsoonwinds or as calm as a lake in the dry season, sitting on the beach and staring out to the ocean is one of my favourite ‘go to’ places for quiet time.
During monsoon, the sea can be ferocious and when I hear the roar of it from my room in the treetops, I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame.
In dry season, sometimes the sea can be so calm that, save the slow, lazy slopping of the shoreline tide, it appears not to even be moving at all.
Whatever the weather, when I’m leaving the beach, I always have a quick glance backwards and silently say, ‘goodbye sea, Il see you soon’.
Flora and Scooters
One of my favourite pastimes is driving my scooter slowly down little back lanes lined with electric green leaves of all shapes and sizes. I just kinda meander lazily as the sun beats down on me, occasionally stopping to let some cows or water buffaloes traipse past me as they cross the road from one field to another. Or to pet a stray dog and maybe throw it some biscuits from my bag.
I drive past stunning displays of brightlycoloured flowers, all contrasted beautifully against the green of the leaves. So dazzling and striking in the sunlight!
Sometimes, I just stop. I want to sit quietly on my scooter and just breath in my surroundings. I marvel at the sheer size of some of the leaves. So tropical! The bright green paddy fields, the roaming pigs on their way to nowhere in particular, the distant barking of a dog or the quick beep of a passing scooter. But it’s the sound of the coconut trees leaves in the breeze which flirt with my heart the most. As the long, thin leaflets brush together, it makes the sound of gentle rain. This is the sound I take home with me, nestled in my heart like a cosy memory, a sound which nourishes me through the long days and lonely evenings until I can return again to my beloved Goa.
Hospitality and Friendliness
There’s no welcome like an Indian welcome!
No matter what caste or religion a person is, or whether they live in an mansion or a hut, I’ve never met anybody as friendly and welcoming as an Indian. I rarely make eye contact with someone without receiving a smile. People are just friendly. It’s that simple. Friendly, chatty, approachable and helpful. In fact, from my own personal experience, people go out of their way to assist me. Here are just a two examples of so, so many.
If I’m having problems starting my scooter, there will always be someone who notices and comes over to lend a helping hand. Let’s check the petrol levels. Is it a faulty starter motor? Let’s try and kick start it instead. I have honestly had this happen multiple times and each time the kind soul who is assisting me has not given up and gone on with their day until Im ready to drive away.
There was one occasion when I dropped my scooter key down a hole in the ground outside two shops in the local parade. It was a really tiny hole as well. Not much larger than the key! It landed on a platform far down below!
The pair of shop owners and their staff came to my aid. It was a real team effort! Someone disappeared and came back with some wire, someone else bent it into a hook shape, another person held the phone torch and finally some other guy, oh so very carefully, hooked the key right up out of the hole again! It took many attempts, however, but not one person gave up on the task. What a beautiful group of guys! I showed my heartfelt gratitude to them by buying goodies from both their shops.
Homes Past and Present
Following four centuries of Portuguese rule, in 1961, at the order of the Indian army, the Portuguese finally departed and Goa was awarded its freedom. However, remnants of a time-gone-by remain in the way of beautiful old world heritage houses.( the following photos of the old houses are taken from the web).
These gorgeous homes range in size from very modest to enormous mansions, from unkempt with faded and cracking paintwork and overgrown gardens to highly decorated with huge well maintained grounds.
Either way- I love them! In fact, I used to rent one from my Goan mum years ago, many moons before the room in the trees was built.
Apparently there are no other buildings the same in the world. Not even Portugal!
So this post is about my personal loves of Goa and driving past these old heritage houses is definitely one of my favourite things to see. I need to take more photos….
The other houses which, at times, literally stop me in my tracks, are the majestic new builds. Huge and colourful, these houses come in many different designs, shapes, sizes and colours. Some are literally stunning beyond words. It’s very interesting to watch the building of them over time. It’s almost as if you can order this balcony, that doorway and different shape structures which eventually fit together like a jigsaw to make one huge house specifically according to your own personal design! If I had the money……..
They need no words…..
So, yeah, I could probably go on and on about what I love about Goa! Needless to say, I urge you to visit if you haven’t already. You won’t be disappointed.
I have recently read Autobiography of a Yogi and it is the most remarkable and spiritually moving book I have ever read. Here is an excerpt from this profound, life affirming book. There will be many more excerpts to come.
Taken from page 171.
The knowledge of ‘good and evil’ promised Eve by the ‘serpent, refers to the dualistic and oppositional experiences that mortals under maya ( illusion) must undergo. Falling into delusion through misuse of his feeling and reason, or Eve-and Adam- consciousness, man relinquishes his right to enter the heavenly garden of divine self sufficiency. The personal responsibility of every human is to restore his ‘parents’ or dual nature to a unified harmony or Eden.
“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed” – Genesis 3:23. ( Bible)
The divine man first made by God had his consciousness centred in the omnipotent single eye in the forehead ( eastward). The all creative powers of his will, focused at that spot, were lost to man when he began to “till the ground” of his physical nature.
The ‘Adam and Eve’ story of the Hindus is recounted in the hoary Puranas, Srimad Bhagavata. the first man and woman ( beings in physical form) are called Swayambhuva Manu ( ‘man born of the creator’) and his wife Satarupa (‘true image’). Their five children intermarried with Prajapatis ( perfect beings who could assume corporeal form); from these first divine families was born the human race.
Never in East or West have I heard anyone else expound the Christian scriptures with so deep a spiritual insight as Sri Yukteswar’s. “Theologians have misinterpreted Christ’s words, “Master said, in such passages as ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’ ( John 14:6, Bible).
Jesus meant, never that he was the sole Son of God, it that no man can attain the unqualified Absolute, the transcendent Father beyond creation, until he has first manifested the ‘Son’ or activating Christ Consciousness, identified himself with it inasmuch as his own ego had long since been dissolved”.
When Paul wrote: “God……created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:9, Bible), the sheer essence of the words is impersonality.
A form of spiritus, cowardice leads many worldly people to believe comfortably that only one man was the Son of God. “Christ was uniquely created,” they reason, “so how can I, a mere mortal, emulate Him?” But all men have been divinely created and must someday obey Christ’s command: “Be he therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” ( Matthew 5:48, Bible.)
Understanding of the law of karma and of its corollary reincarnation is displayed in numerous Biblical passages; e.g., “Whoso sheddeth mans’ blood, by man shall his blood be shed”( Genesis 9:6, Bible). If every murderer must himself be killed “by man,” the reactive process obviously requires m in many cases, more than one life-time. The contemporary police are just not quick enough!
The early Christian church accepted the doctrine of reincarnation, which was expounded by the Gnostics and by numerous church fathers, including Clement of Alexandria, the celebrated Origan (both 3rd century). The doctrine was first declared a heresay in A.D 553 by the Second Council of Constantinople. At that time many Christians thought the doctrine of reincarnation afforded man too simple a stage of time and space to encourage him to strive for immediate salvation. But truths suppressed lead disconcertingly to a host of errors. The millions have not utilised their ‘ one lifetime’ to seek God, but to enjoy this world – so uniquely won, and so shortly to be forever lost! The truth is that man reincarnated on earth until he has consciously regained his status as a son of God.
i have an Amazon affiliate account so I shall add a link here if you feel this book interests you and you would like to read more
Hello readers. I hope you’re all doing well .😊 I hope this account of my brief journey to another realm helps those whom are grieving for a loved one who has passed over.
In 1993, my partner, my best friend and my love, died.
His name was Julian. Jay, for short. He was a troubled guy but had a very good heart.
For the rest of my life, I will never forget the day that I learned of Jay’s death.
I returned from the forest close by to my house and where I had been collecting firewood. My friend Mark and his partner, Ian, were sitting on my doorstep awaiting my return. Baring in mind, this was 25 years ago and mobile phones hadn’t been invented, they hadn’t been able to let me know quickly of their visit and I also didn’t have a landline phone either!
I saw them and wondered why they were there. As I approached, they both stood up and I saw immediately the grave look on their faces. Despite that though, I was very happy to see them. They treated me very gently and refused at first to explain their reasons for being at my house. They just said for me to come inside and they’d explain everything.
They sat me down and told me that Jay had died.
I went into shock and then stood up and tried to start cleaning my house, but they stopped me and asked me, very gently, to look for his families phone numbers as they needed to be informed.
I did this, phone calls were made, a funeral was arranged and my sister came down to stay with me.
At the funeral, I was so distressed, family and friends were afraid that I would tried to throw myself into the grave hole and people had to hold me back. I realise that sounds very dramatic. But it was a very dramatic time.
My beautiful sisters wouldn’t hear of me being alone to care for my two children and so they stepped in as best they could. Firstly, we went to stay at my sisters house in London for a week and then the children and I flew to America to stay with my eldest sister for six weeks.
Whilst I was staying in London, I experienced a divinely beautiful visit to heaven. The world of death. The after life. And I met Jay.
It wasn’t a dream. I had been alive on this planet for 23 years by this time and I know what a dream is. And besides, I experienced many, many grief fraught dreams in the months following Jay’s death and, believe me, this wasn’t a dream.
Here is the account of my beautiful experience.
I was sat in pure whiteness. A pure light so bright that in ordinary circumstances it would be too blinding for the naked human eye. When I say I sat, I mean just that. I was sitting with my legs tucked underneath me. There was no floor, nor ceiling, no walls. Just whiteness, everywhere.
The feeling of love, everywhere, was sublime. There was no feeling of anything bad, it was just purely and simply pure, unconditional love. Nothing was wrong in that moment. Or any moment. All was just as it was. Unless one has experienced this feeling of sublime love, it literally cannot be explained by writing. It is beyond any vocabulary. It is not of this physical, 3D realm.
I sat in this pure love whiteness and ahead of me I saw a figure emerging out of nowhere but from a very long way away, all at the same time. It was Jay. He walked towards me in his usual jeans and t- shirt. In this physical realm my heart ached for him, uncontrollably, day and night. But in this beautiful spiritual realm, there was no longing. No heartache. We were both shrouded in this beautiful, unconditional love light and I felt happy.
Jay walked toward me and sat directly opposite me. We stared at one another and smiled. We stayed like that, just sitting and smiling and then he ‘spoke’ to me, telepathically. He told me that he was fine. That he was now safe, that everything was beautiful and that I had nothing to be worried about.
It was sublime.
And then he stood up and without a backwards glance, he walked away. As I say, in the months following Jay’s return to Source, I experienced many horrific dreams where I would wake up crying and searching for him in my mind and feeling hopeless and desperate that he was gone. But as I watched Jay walk away in the light, I felt no urge to jump up and run after him and tell him not to go, to please stay. I felt nothing but love and purity of spirit. I felt happy.
When I awoke the following morning, I immediately remembered our beautiful experience and was filled with peace. I said to myself, ‘I saw Jay last night. I actually met with Jay’. And I knew this to be true.
Over the past 25 years, I have told this story to quite a few people. There are those who are skeptical and question wether it was just a dream. A dream filled by a deep, grief filled desire to see Jay again. And there are those who believe also that I had indeed met Jay in his spirit dimension and that he had spoken with me.
I feel very blessed to have experienced many moments of grace in my life and now that I have the time to write, I look forward to sharing many more of those experiences with you.