A True Volunteer

The sun came out this afternoon! It has been unremitting grey days since I returned to Eastern Cumbria so I took the opportunity to take a good walk. The going has been muddy under foot but with the light breeze and a break in the unremitting rain the paths were shoe friendly. The possibility of more  rain is ever present though. I remarked to a couple of chaps as I passed, Wonder what that navy blue sky to the East is going to do to us! We smiled wryly together. Thankfully the navy blue over the Pennines turned to grey and dissipated.

The path I walk quite regularly had suffered over the winter. Leaves and debris litter the way and the washing of rain had carried gravel and stones down onto the path. And what do I see? A lone man, an older man, clearing the path with a shovel and making a really neat job of it too. What a pleasure to walk along the newly cleared path. Stopping to chat with him I asked him if this was his job. No it isn’t. he responded and continued,  I walk this path every day and saw it had dried out so brought my shovel up to clear it. He had dug out channels to drain future rainfall off the path. He is a true volunteer. If a spade had been handed to me I’d have joined him in the work right there and then. There is something inspiring about such efforts. One person, on their own with no trumpets sounding, can ignite that true volunteer in many. It did so in me.

Proclivity For The Positive

Well lets just have a positivity fest. It’s too easy to enter a new year filled with good intentions and then by about the third day, today, those good intentions, vows and promises give way under the weight of habit. Brain Pickings published this list of seven books about optimism to help lift the weight. The weight that has us looking down, when up is better.

Every once in a while, we all get burned out. Sometimes, charred. And while a healthy dose of cynicism and skepticism may help us get by, it’s in those times that we need nothing more than to embrace life’s promise of positivity with open arms. Here are seven wonderful books that help do just that with an arsenal ranging from the light visceral stimulation of optimistic design to the serious neuroscience findings about our proclivity for the positive.

Brain Pickings: 7 Essential Books on Optimism.
I particularly like the sound of The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain by Tali Sharot

All Is Given


The bell rings
108 times in the
clear north night
Here a flame
A light for you.

Go peacefully
into the
New dawn.

With thoughts for Buster dog who passed on not yet 24 hours ago.