Change through Nature
The Embroidered Questions, is a wonderful story by my friend Elinor Kapp, a retired psychiatrist who has experienced her own losses, and understands the difficulties others face dealing with them. The story, about a woman's journey from loss to acceptance, was in our book 'The Raven's Call', and is the story which accompanies 'Taking Flight', the last stage of 'The Year in Mind.' We hope you enjoy it. The story is also available as part of Elinor's own book, 'Tales From Turnaround Cottage, copies of which are available from amazon.
Life will always involve change. Some of us can progress through life and remain more or less untouched by it. But as we become older, change, particularly when it is combined with loss or trauma, can be something which affects us more and more. Some of those changes can literally be 'life-changing', stopping us quite literally in our tracks. As we continue to stumble about in the wake of such changes, imagine that there had been a natural form of help available all along. Imagine that it might be found in familiar things like nature, the countryside and the natural cycle of the year. Imagine no longer.
Change through Nature employs a method which uses the seasons and the natural world to help us to understand, anticipate, and finally to negotiate change when it occurs, so that we more ready to deal with it, particularly when that change is sudden and painful, devastating and dramatic.
Nowadays we can often ignore the quite natural way that people have always regarded life, through the seasons and their changes. They used to approach change in the same way, as part of the natural cycle of birth, growth, flourishing, death and rebirth, in the same way as they thought of their crops and animals. For nearly the entirety of our history, this has been the natural way to look on change, loss and especially the cycle of birth and death. But recently we have fallen out of step with the seasons and how our own lives relate to them.
The good news, however, is that all of this could not be easier to reclaim and we can start right now.
I wrote those words before the current crisis, but realise now how much more strongly they apply. For all the people investing their time more in screens, games and media, there are just as many enjoying their gardens and locality where they can, learning or regaining skills, and above all learning to be more socially responsible. This is of course quite simply how it used to be and what 'The Year in Mind' seeks to help people revive.
This project however, began with story and it is to those 24 stories on change and loss that I wrote in 2015-16 that we're turning now. One of the rules of stories is to help us make sense of the things we find difficult to talk about.
There are 24 stories altogether for junior/primary, secondary and us ;big 'uns. I will be putting up one every day and not in any particular order. These are tales of strength and understanding, as well as loss and change. And the change or loss may range from something which might seem slight to an actual bereavement. They all however deal with change, and wee need to understand that more than ever now. Thank you all.
The 'Year in Mind' log was especially created for our book 'The Raven's Call', and these workshops by Rose. The eight animals whose stories accompany our year in mind are included in their correct order of raven, swan, wren, hare, wolf, butterfly, seal and swallow.
The Story Of David's Butterfly is from the collection for Junior/Primary collection called 'Swallow Tales'. It's set at midsummer and is about a brother's mystery illness, and how his sister helps him.
Please leave comments on any of the stories on the contact page. We'd love to hear from you.
Below you'll find each group of stories, beginning with the ones for Junior/Primary age.
In this group you'll find characters dealing with all kinds of changes, from the death of a beloved pet in 'The Raven Calls', a friend moving far away in 'The Lonely Swan', A child has to understand the sadness of a relative in 'Granddad and the Wren' and a sister to-be is jealous over a new-born baby in Easter Bunny
In the remaining four we meet the brother who stopped wanting to go to school in 'David's Butterfly.', the two best mates who fall out in 'Lone Wolf', The tales are completed by the two children who learn that their parents intend to separate in 'The Seal's Gift.' , and end with a boy's sudden loss of his beloved grandfather in 'The Last Swallow.'
You will find that each of these eight tales contains some aspect of loss and change, as well as the means by which to help deal with it.