I get by with a little help …from friends, flowers and family

I have been in a rough place since my last post. Almost a month ago, I wrote that I wanted to feast on life, not fear.  And I really meant it. I really did. But Fear, with its fiendish companion Anxiety, decided it was time to make a meal out of me. They set their teeth into me, tore me apart in their jaws, and tried to devour me chunk by chunk. Most unpleasant. ( I hope they got indigestion.)

Friends and family rallied round and helped me prise loose those nasty jaws, and patched me up.  But the struggle has left me tired and short on creativity. Yesterday was the first time in nearly a month that I felt energetic enough to take some photos.

They are not particularly good photos but I am posting them as a way of saying thank you to friends everywhere, and to family, for keeping me steady and upright in recovery.

You are the flowers around me,

The flowers that surround me

The flowers that surround me

you are  perfect companions,

Buckwheat, a perfect companion

Buckwheat, a perfect companion

and help to keep my pathway blooming.

The pathway blooms

The pathway blooms

And, just for fun, let’s lighten the mood with my song of the day

Postscript

The reasons behind my rough patch are multiple; some are earthquake related stresses, and some are family-related. For privacy reasons I am not able to discuss all of the family-related issues.

© silkannthreades

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235 thoughts on “I get by with a little help …from friends, flowers and family

  1. melissabluefineart

    No matter how hard I try to stay in a state of acceptance, sometimes I just get mired in fear. Right now my shoulder is in great pain which I strongly suspect is from emotional stress, hanging on too tightly, whatever. Friends really do make such a difference, don’t they? Your kind comments, although we don’t know each other, help fill my mental neighborhood with gentler vibes than I can muster on my own. Thank you for that, and I hope that your rough patch recedes and leaves peace and creative energy.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Melissa. Peace is returning. I love the idea of a mental neighbourhood filled with gentle vibes, (instead of rough, gang warfare. 😉 ) Warm, healing vibes to your shoulder.

      Reply
  2. Kate Johnston

    Britt sent me here as we’re sharing blog posts from our favorite bloggers. (That means you’re one of her fave bloggers!) I am sorry about your troubles, and I know of what you speak as I’m a frequent victim of anxiety and depression. I’m glad to hear you have loads of family and friends…and flowers! to help you get through this rough time.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Kate for coming by and leaving some words of cheer. Britt is so kind to put me on her list of favourite bloggers. I will be coming over to check things out as soon as I can. 🙂

      Reply
  3. kurtnemes

    Hey friend. I’m sorry to hear that you have been struggling. Last fall here (in DC) I went through a deep depression and it was only because of love and friends (and some therapy and readings of some really good teachers–books, shrink, wife) that I was able to shake it. Let me know if you’d like to talk about it off line. Best

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      What a kind offer of help. Thank you Kurt. I probably lack the energy to talk offline, at the moment. I am glad you have managed to shake your depression. I am feeling much better. Strangely, although I had trouble reading for awhile, I eventually found that a detailed, complex book, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, was marvelously distracting for my mind. I have had it on my bookshelf for over a year waiting for the right time to read it. Apparently this was the right time. Enjoy the DC blossoms which must be almost out by now. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Sheryl

    My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. The photos are lovely! Spending a little time with nature can be very healing–and I’m glad you shared the beauty of these beautiful flowers with us.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Sheryl. Today we had warm autumnal weather, so we went for a picnic. It was lovely sitting by the lake watching the birds, and resting our eyes on the greenery.

      Reply
  5. tableofcolors

    It is so true as you wrote in a previous post, that sometimes we do not want to remember the past, but it makes it’s way into our thoughts and take control. I think I may be able to envision some of the anxiety you have been through…but only some…as it is always a personal journey but fortunately for friends, it may be eased a bit and perhaps they can help carry the load maybe in the smallest yet possibly in a very significant way. Many hugs and positive thoughts coming your way.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Dear Laila, so pleased to have your positive thoughts, and hugs. It’s so true that even the smallest gestures have a huge impact. I am sure your little ones prove that to you every day. Hugs to you, too.

      Reply
  6. pleisbilongtumi

    I thought you were taking another holiday Galivanta. Warmest wishes from me and so happy to see you write the post again. Ops, Hold on,.. I think I saw some plants that are very familiar to me but unfortunately I don’t have any in my garden.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I was away for a short time on a visit to my uncle and aunt. The rest of the time I was at home. There are lots of things in your garden that I recognise but don’t have in my garden, ;), so it’s good we can share our photos.

      Reply
  7. Su Leslie

    Sending hugs and positive thoughts. I hope the family issues can be resolved in ways that heal not harm, and that every day the earthquakes’ emotional damage is lessened. I know you won’t forget, and that is probably good, but I also hope that many, many good memories are overlaid on the bad. xx Su.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Su. Everything does usually resolve one way or another. I suppose what has been worrying me recently (one of the worries 🙂 ) is that my resilience seems to be decreasing with age, rather than increasing with time. And that is not good and a sign I need to take better care of myself.

      Reply
      1. Su Leslie

        Any sign that you should take better care of yourself is one to be heeded. It’s so easy (and so typically female) to put everyone else’s needs first.

        Reply
  8. cindy knoke

    The three f’s work for me too! I missed you and am so glad you are back! I am also in great admiration for the honesty of this post. When you tell us what’s happening, we can tell you how much we love you. We do! Lots of us! Big bunches! I have some idea what might be going on. All the years in my job you know, unfortunately rubbed off. Life can be a kicker and a stinker and a heartbreaker, all at the same time.But you know you are a beloved child of God. Loved for yourself, exactly as you are. When family members falter or suffer, we must take better care of ourselves and remember our own vlaue, although it is often a major and truly serious challenge. All we can do is our best, even though it often is not enough to change events . But it is enough .
    Much love, admiration, prayers and empathy flying your way. Wish you lived near, you’d get Holler flowers, honey and some sweet baked things too~

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Kicker, stinker, heartbreaker….yep, yep, yep…..and, then, like many women, I am excellent at saying, “well, my troubles are nothing compared to……”, which maybe true but doesn’t give value to my own worth. I have organised a retreat/respite for myself in late June which I am looking forward to; a chance to reclaim energy. Anxiety is so tiring.. blah. Of course, a visit to the Holler would be as good as a cure-all. Thanks for your support Cindy. 🙂

      Reply
      1. cindy knoke

        Oh you have an open invitation to Hollerdom anytime. You would be a blessing to us! I am so glad you are taking time for a respite and retreat. Soooo necessary when life is stressful! Hugs & friendship~

        Reply
  9. Daniela

    Sending you warmest wishes! Ray of warm autumn sunshine, smile across the straight … there are such days when all one needs is to sit quietly in the garden, remembering that this too shall pass.

    Reply
  10. Zambian Lady

    One needs friends and family in times of adversity. I hope those jaws let you go completely. I am glad you did not write about your family – not only for their privacy but because you may need them sooner than later.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am free of the jaws for now but I know they lurk in the background. 😉 Apart from the privacy issues, I find it exhausting to recount my troubles and worries in detail. Some people benefit from talking out their fears/anxieties, but I do better with distraction and something to laugh about. We all have our different ways, don’t we? 🙂

      Reply
  11. Marylin Warner

    These are wonderful, Gallivanta. They bring back so many memories of my grandmother’s flower field out beyond her garden. Especially the buckwheat; I haven’t seen any in so long, and this was a delight. Wishing you the very best.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh, what a beautiful sight that must have been. If I had more space I would definitely plant more buckwheat. Did she sell the buckwheat or harvest it for her own use?

      Reply
      1. Marylin Warner

        She never sold any of the flowers or the fruits or vegetables from her big yard and gardens. She shared them with others. If a neighbor needed cheering up, my grandmother would “go for a visit” and take along food for the stomach and flowers for the soul.
        I remember some of her buckwheat with other flowers on the altar at church.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          What a wonderful grandmother. What a wonderful person. I would have loved being her neighbor. 🙂 Next buckwheat season I must remember to bring some of the buckwheat inside for my vases.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Aww, Britt, you are kind. I get myself into such unpleasant states of being sometimes. And days start to look like that difficult Misery Trail you challenged recently but without the pleasant view at the top. 😦 I am looking forward to the return of my full sunny self. I am doing well but there’s still a lingering eclipse effect going on. 😉

      Reply
  12. Brenda Davis Harsham

    I have missed you, and was happy to see your comment today. I am sad to read that you’re having tough times. I hope that what is going on with your family comes to a resolution that helps everyone find peace. I hope that you find strength in the beauty around you. I loved your photos. Even the smallest flower can bring a smile. 🙂 Blessings!

    Reply
      1. Brenda Davis Harsham

        Unfortunately yes, I do understand tough times, and I wouldn’t intrude on your family’s privacy, but I did want to offer what support I could. Wherever we may live, people have similar concerns. We are all one under the skin, has always been my belief. I will wish you magic, too. 🙂

        Reply
  13. Mary Mageau

    A big hug, Gallivanta, for this heart warming piece. Yes, friends and flowers can help us move through those bare patches that life serves up now and again. I send on my loving thoughts and best wishes as always.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Mary. Friends and flowers help the characters in your books. 🙂 Speaking of gardens and stories, have you given any thought to seeing “A Little Chaos” ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENSjt4naxlE I have not seen the film but reading the reviews I was reminded of your story about Noumea and the young convict with his Versailles connections.

      Reply
  14. Robbie

    I am so sorry you are having in a “rough patch”….I have not been on my computer much lately:-( I just stopped by and read your post. I do understand “anxiety” issues, I suffered for years + have found “holy basil( tulsi)” to help me deal with my anxiety. You are in my thoughts, I am so sorry….I hope you feel better + from the list of people here that posted, you are greatly loved + admired. I had to scroll down several times to get to the bottom-what a loved person you are:-)
    Amazing how our blogs can give us comfort:-)
    This note is sent with great hope that you will be feeling better….I enjoyed your photos + like our gardens-friends grow and bloom to give us joy:-)

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, Robbie. Do you make a tea with the holy basil? I find regular tea with a pinch of sugar and a dash of milk very soothing but that is probably an association with comfort rather than the tea itself. I am sorry to hear that you, too, have been through the anxiety mill. However look what you do now. It would seem that you have put anxiety in its place, at the bottom of the heap.:)

      Reply
      1. Robbie

        I use “tulsi” tea or “holy basil” tea. I buy it from an organic grower.
        http://www.pacificbotanicals.com/store/Tulsi-Basil-(Rama).htm
        They grow it in USA only the (Rama) which is Ocimum sanctum
        I always drink this tea on a full stomach, It will lower blood sugar.

        http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report-top-10-health-benefits-of-tulsi-1876745

        It has helped me deal with my anxiety issues over the years. They also have become less as I get older and ‘stress” is not as abundant in my life:-)
        I drink a cup in the morning, mid afternoon + sometimes at night to help get to sleep. It does relax you:-) Some people do not like it, but I have found it helpful.
        Keep trying, don’t give up-we are all different and you will find what works for you:-)

        Reply
  15. Letizia

    Your photos are so lovely, thank you for sharing those with us. I hope your beautiful garden gives you some moments of peace and brings you restorative energy in the coming weeks. Thinking of you.

    Reply
  16. Steve Schwartzman

    I followed your “perfect companions” link and emailed the Flowerdays (what a great name) to find out what species of buckwheat they use in their vineyard. I just got a reply saying it’s the Shinano Natsu cultivar of Fagopyrum esculentum. I looked up the basic species to confirm that it’s the plant I know from my family history. Here’s what Wikipedia says:

    “Buckwheat groats are commonly used in western Asia and eastern Europe. The porridge was common, and is often considered the definitive peasant dish. It is made from roasted groats that are cooked with broth to a texture similar to rice or bulgur. The dish was brought to America by Ukrainian, Russian and Polish immigrants who called it kasha, and they mixed it with pasta or used it as a filling for cabbage rolls, knishes and blintzes, and hence buckwheat prepared in this fashion is most commonly called ‘kasha’ in America.”

    My father, whose 103rd birthday would have been today (it’s still March 22nd here), was always fond of eating kasha, as was my grandmother. I never developed a taste for kasha, but whenever my father would visit Austin, I (and later Eve) would make kasha for him.

    What a tangent your picture of buckwheat has taken me on.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Well, blow me down, that is a great tangent to be taken on. I am now wondering if I should attempt to harvest my tiny patch of buckwheat. I am sure I would like kasha as I like bulgur and also barley as rice alternatives. As I discussed with Eve, it’s a joy to have access to food we grew up with. I can imagine how much your father loved his kasha.

      Reply
      1. Steve Schwartzman

        I’d try harvesting your buckwheat to see if you like it, or perhaps you can find the groats in a health food store or a specialty grocery store. I’ve always liked barley and bulgur, but somehow buckwheat still eludes me. Let’s see if you end up liking all three.

        Yes, there’s a special relationship to the foods we grew up with. Eve has gotten more acclimatized to American foods than many other Filipinos here, but she still enjoys going to Asian markets from time to time and buying some of the foods she grew up with (many others still aren’t available here). She did that once in Auckland, too, and she and her niece had a good time preparing some dishes for themselves.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          The man who helps me with the garden is an ex-chef. He is keen to harvest the buckwheat if I don’t. I expect we would only get a handful of buckwheat. So a trip to the health food store would probably be necessary to supplement the harvest. We shall see. Must not count my wheat till it’s roasted.

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