What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

I was reading blogging prompts and ideas when I came across this one…What is the best gift you’ve ever received? The Oxford Dictionary defines the word gift as: “A thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present”, which I feel perfectly sets the tone of what to me is the best gift.

I could say my DSLR camera that has taken me on many personal journeys, both physically, mentally and spiritually. It assisted me with therapeutic photography, which in the last ten years since I was given it has in turn given me self acceptance and love. However, I put money towards it, and if I take the dictionary definition it does not fit.

Equally, the answer may be my exercise bike, which I have travelled 1000s of km on since I was given in Christmas 2017. It has given me the needed push to exercise more, even when it is cold and wet outside I can mount it, and put music on, to be taken to other places, as use my imagination to imagine where I am cycling that day.

However, for me the best gift is life itself. As someone that daily battles depression, and has had suicidal thoughts off and on for over twenty five years it may seem an odd choice. However, since 2008 when life froze for a few days, I no longer wanted to be part of it, I have grown to see it anew, returning to seeing it like I did as a child.

Why a child’s view you may ask yourself. A child lives in the moment, enjoying and noticing the changes around them. I let my imagination run wild, as I let my visual mind combined with all my senses try make sense of the world around me. Painting the world in colour, not the monochrome it had become, and shining light into the darkness of others.

There could be evil lurking round a corner determined to shatter everything around us into a thousand pieces. However, we cannot live through fear, and there is so much more good out there that needs to be seen and heard. Life is a gift, which we can unwrap daily to enjoy, big and small, and treasure the memories they bring us.

Gifts do not have to cost a lot of money, if any, to mean something special to us. It is often the person that gives us the gift that can transcend the thing we are given. With my chosen gift of life it is Tim I should thank for he was the one that saved me that weekend in 2008, and will never forget just how selfless and special that gift is.

© Fi S. J. Brown

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A Gift

I send you this gift from me to you; a letter filled with empathy, compassion and thoughtful wishes. Indeed this letter is from your inner self, the one that lies naked in the words which follow. It comes in a brown envelope baring your name; yes the one that taunts when you heard it said in full but smile when hear it in short but not the one of yesteryear that makes your body shiver from head to foot, for I would not be so cruel.
 
My dearest Fi,
I am writing you this letter to remind you that you: No matter what your past’s stories tell of your journey to today’s date, learn from them but do not dwell. Use today as the stepping stones to the hopes and dreams to the future that belong to you and give others a helping hand along the way. Choose your battles carefully but do not fight with yourself, for she is you, so please be gentle with her.
 
See through masks that hide a person’s true being but equally put down the ones you wear yourself in fear or self hate. Your sensitivity and empathy are gifts, not curses or spells from some wicked witch out of a fairy tale. Remember not all is visible at first, like the green that hides under a pistachio’s shell, and like the ugly duckling not all shine until they have experienced years of life’s adventures.
 
Remember, I love you, and you are me,
Fi x
 
© Fi S. J. Brown

Comfort and joy

Tills and bells ring to the tune of the festive season, mimicking the sound of Santa Claus’ sleigh on that night that make young and old rejoice. Yet every night in the sky the stars ring out but few stop to listen to them toll, as grown deaf to their gentle chimes. They bring comfort and joy wherever they ring, but many would rather the sound of a new iPhone 6 held in their hands.

Do not let the ransom notes of the advertisements tease and torment the soul, and fill it with nothing but greed and envy instead of glowing from inside out like the moon. A gift does not have to be bought to show the sounds of our heart when the recipient is near, for it echoes in our words and actions every day; feeling the most precious gifts of all – love, peace, hope and light.

© Fi S. J. Brown

The gift

Perhaps the greatest gift we can give to another is to be kind to them: not judging or putting them in boxes, expecting them to be like someone else, accepting their differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience if someone who has let us down, however, when it keeps happening then is the time to question, not to be offended or angry when someone does something their way that is not our own. When another is down, do not exploit that for fame, money or laughter at the other, but be there in spirit (if cannot be there in person) to reassure them they are not alone but loved and respected, even if live 100-1000s of miles away, the power of hope will reassure them as know it is meant with good heart and soul.

© Fi S. J. Brown

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Autumn – the multisensory season

Listening to the rain falling on autumnal leaves,
Like tears trickling down a clown’s tired cheek.
One a pulsating beat to dance long into the night,
The other ghost notes with no discernible pitch.

Watching the leaves turn from greens to reds,
Like traffic lights but few stop and wait a while.
One a sight of natural beauty for all the senses,
The other to warn of man made jungle dangers.

Seeing the leaves are individual shapes and sizes,
Like all human beings are all over Planet Earth.
One a mixture that few recognise the differences,
The other many want to change to look the same.

Look as well as listen, watch and see this autumn,
Like a child experiencing its magic for the first time.
One will awaken your senses to the whole world,
The other will bring you happiness outside and in.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Autumn in Pitlochry