Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Autumn has come around again, the strange spells of warmth in this September - now replaced by a biting chill in the air. Leaves turning from green to golden shades of yellow, orange and some even tinged with red like this beautiful rowan tree standing in front of the iconic Edinburgh Castle. Autumn, a latter stage in the cycle of life, yet no less beautiful - all stages of life containing their own beauty and contributing to Nature's bigger picture of a world where things that are born will eventually pass away as a new generation follows on.

Walking through any woodland in Autumn - what fun it is to kick up the newly fallen leaves. As a child with my friends - the fun to "scrunch" through the leaves. What an adventure life can be when young but that excitement for life can be retained by people of any age - I trully believing that age is more of a state of mind than from a number on a birth certificate. In life their is always the potential to benefit from new learning and continuing development for education and learning opens up a person's world to give them a view beyond the horizon of the position in which they stand.

From dawn to dusk - our world (wherever it is we live) is a place that can be full of potential and with a wee bit of effort there is so much around us to be seen, to be appreciated and enjoyed.

When I was a child I remember my mum reading to me a favourite poem "IF" by Rudyard Kipling and that poem came in to my mind today when I received an email from a friend who said to me once - I never want to look back on my life and wonder "What IF". Lessons in the poem and in my friend's comment (which certainly touched me) are there for anyone to consider and to benefit from.

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Autumn - a time when leaves fall, Greylag geese migrate and the ever moving cycle of life, death and regeneration moves on.

Success and happiness in life could be to look back on life and never feel regret at "What if". How glad I am and how much I appreciate the family and friends who have stepped forward (at times) to give me advice and to guide me on my own journey through life.

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