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30th June 2009


BarbaraG

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I'm snatching an opportunity to do a blog. So much has happened over the last two weeks that I have found it difficult to find the time. Even bedtime as found me hitting the pillow and crashing out immediately. At the moment it is 4.00 a.m. and I am having a wakeful period due partly to the sticky heat we have at the moment. The weather forecasters are giving it getting hotter in the UK this week. On the Island we won't reach the same temperatures thank goodness.

The last time I blogged I was going into work to meet my team leader and a friend. That went well and I went to see different teams that I had dealings within the past and talked happily with them all. I was really pleased that I'd made such an improvement and then as I went to bed that night, I felt such an overwhelming loneliness. The next day didn't improve and I cried most of the day. I don't know why it had such an effect on me whilst I am improving so much in other ways, but it did.

On the Sunday I went on one of my rambles with Anne my walking friend. We always try to do a different walk each time we go out and I have got all the books now that map the walks and distance. Anne left it to me to decide which we would do and only I could have picked not exactly the right walk for the weather we had at that time. We started our walk at 8 a.m. on the Sunday morning meeting in the car park out South Barrule plantation. It was a wet misty morning but still with some warmth. Before we even got started we were descended upon by a swarm of midges. So with walking shoes, our map, waterproof jackets and 2 dogs, we set off through the plantation. We left to the sound of the chaffinches and we were alone for the rest of the walk. It was raining as we left, but that wasn't going to deter us, and the forecast was for it stopping. There wasn't anything really significant that I can remember after such a few weeks to describe. Elizabeth from Milwaukee loves me to describe walks in my blog as like Tom, she is blind. I will try my best Elizabeth and I will certainly do better next time and do my blogs when it is fresh in my mind. That morning I remember the smells of the forest were strong in my memory. We followed the instructions in the book which were quite straightforward until it came to phrases like "continue on past a fire break". We had been steadily climbing and knew our ultimate aim was to walk through another forest and eventually we would be at the gate that leads us over South Barrule itself. I think this was when we had our first conundrum. We weren't sure what a firebreak was and thought it was some sort of contraption and then I realised it would be a clearing in the plantation. Whatever, two paths both seemed to have clearings, only one went downhill and the other maintained the height we had climbed. I plumped for staying high up and although the path became quite bad, at least I knew we would eventually come to the place where we would ascend South Barrule which was the case. When we found the gate I'd have to say that the mist was thick and we couldn't see very much ahead of us at all. This had made our ramble all the harder as after probably a few miles walking, we hadn't really been able to see very much at all and any references to "you will be able to see Langness from this point" were lost on us. Now we were climbing a 1565 foot hill that would have had magnificent views and we could only see a few feet ahead. The advantage was that neither could we see the peak and so we just kept going. Eventually we were at the top and what an achievement that felt. Yes I know it wasn't a mountain or anything but this was a 5 mile walk with a rather large hill thrown in and the terrain I brought us over, wasn't the best. All we had to do after that was descend the other side, but there wasn't an obvious path and so we ended up making the descent through the heather which was pretty thick in places. We did it though and after 3 hours we were back. Don't laugh! We did do a lot of discussion on which path, what was cuckoo spit, bird identification etc etc. As far as the paths were concerned, we'd decided early on that whatever happened, we were adopting a no blame culture. We sat in our cars at the end fully pleased with ourselves but also slightly embarrassed as that was the morning after a lot of hardy souls had done the parish walk. 86 miles of walking which took some nearly 24 hours. There is a joy and excitement in rambling like that though. Never knowing what you are going to meet next and feeling totally exhilarated afterwards. We didn't walk last Sunday as my mother was over and it was also my baptism day, but this Sunday we are going to do Slieau Whallian in St.Johns, down through Barnell, through Patrick to the Raggart and back down the old Railway track to St.Johns. There will be some climbing again, though nothing like the last walk and its 6.5 miles.

Last Sunday was my sea Baptism. It was a beautiful day and couldn't have been better really. There was a service on the beach first and then I and a few others had to walk down to the sea. I'd have to say I hung back to the very last, such was my fear of water. I cannot remember being above my ankles in the sea since I was very young and so besides it being a very public Baptism, for me it really was walking out in faith with a smile on my face. The Bishop is a lovely man and so approachable. It was an honour to be baptised by two lovely people, Bishop Robert as he is known, and the Vicar Norma who has become a Spiritual Sister in a way. In the past I have mentioned that she did the burial service for both Tom and his Father. She has so much love for people and through her own experiences of pain and suffering, she has empathy and understanding. Rather than explain, I will put the pictures on and I can only apologise for showing a bit too much flesh when I came out of the water. I was gasping for breath in panic and was rather dazed. I had lots of people supporting me along with others who were also being baptised and members of the church. Lots of people feel that the churches are dying and there is no-one in them, but on the Island, I and many others feel there is a revival happening. I also thougt the churches were empty until I actually visited some of them. It was a shock to see how many people do worship and it is only when you see it that you realise how misguided are those that don't go to church. Not long ago there were a lot more people in the pubs than appeared to be in the churches. The balance has now been addressed and there are definately more in the Churches. Its amazing how many young people are involved as well. Increasingly more people are having a public show of faith by being baptised in the sea and as well as the people in Port Erin at the weekend, it was also happening in Peel again with the Living Hope Church. I have no intention of preaching on my blog, but I did want to let people know that The Boss as Tom called him, is at work on the Island and I find it quite exciting.

On the bird front, my little moorhen is really coming on now. In the days I put it in the aviary and in the evening I let it follow me in the house and it sits cuddled up to me until it is time to go to its own little bed which is still heated for comfort. It can jump quite big heights and its feet are still growing at the rate of its body, so it never catches its feet up.

That's it for now folks. It is nearly 6 a.m. and I may have another hour before getting up. Today is my mother's last day before going home tomorrow. She came to support me at the baptism and also escape the thunderstorms in the UK. :D I should have more time to blog now the Baptism is done.

This is a sleepy Barbara on the banks of the Silverburn River.

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Hi Barbara,

 

I had so wanted to come down on Sunday to Port Erin to watch your swimming exploits :D, however I had done one of those 'you're actually supposed to be somewhere else' things and was one of the crispy ones on Peel beach with the Living Hope family.

 

Well done for Sunday, its a big step (even if you are not already a little shy of the water :unsure: ) so congratulations, you'll remember it for ages. :thumbsup:

 

I've not really met Vicar Norma, but totally agree with you about Bishop Robert, he is a sound, hardworking and approachable guy with an excellent sense of humour.

 

Brilliant 'photos by the way.

 

Maybe see you around someday.

 

Sandman

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Vicar Norma is led by the Spirit like Bishop Robert. Again, approachable, hardworking and sound with a sense of humour and great discernment. Baptised in a Pentecostal Church and felt led to be a Vicar in the Church of England. I would love to meet you Sandman, and may have done already, but then you would know wouldn't you? :D

 

As for "shy of water", that is an understatement. I literally can't breathe when the water comes up to my chest and it was my late husband that told me it was because I had a pobia. I told him it wasn't, I was just asthmatic and he said the symptoms were of a water phobia. I knew on Sunday he was right. I felt the pressure and couldn't breathe and had to take control of my breathing as I walked out of the sea. I cheated and didn't put the photo on of me coming up out of the water. The look would have been enough and told its own story but it wasn't very flattering.

 

Its nice for someone else to also show their faith on here as well. Thank you very much for that.

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Dear Barbara, you already know how I feel about this wonderful step of Faith that you have taken. Your blog is an inspiration to us who are Believers and perhaps an awakening to those who have not yet tested the waters. The Truth lies within all of us. It lies behind our thinking minds that clutter up our lives with all the chatter in our heads, this is just our human side showing. Deeper in the right side of our brains (from a scientific point of view) is the place where we all can find our Being, that eternal energy given to us from the Source of All, God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is the seat of our souls, the place of perfect Peace, Joy and Enlightenment. We all have it and all we have to do to find it is silence the chatter (left brain) and allow ourselves to stop 'doing' and just 'be'. Our fears and emotions control us as humans but it doesn't have to be that way. The Spirit lives inside us all and is accessable at anytime. The more we comune with others, share our beliefs, use tools such as the Bible or other spiritual writings that point the way and allow God into our conscious thoughts, silence the doubts and worldy cares... the closer we are to a glimpse of what God intended for us in our lives. We all say what a miserable world this is... yes it can be...however that was not God's intention that we live in misery. Jesus came to tell us of Hope, Faith and Love and Eternal Life. He came to simplify the message as we humans all tend to muddle things up with our own egos, hence the constant fighting and bickering over 'religion'. If we all just stopped and realized our lives are forever intertwined with each other and the universe, we can all live in peace and harmony... how easy is that? Each time one of us becomes more aware, more enlightened, lives a more conscious existance, we spread the message, we change the energy field in our own lives and those lives we touch... and we touch more than we come face to face with, each of us touches the universe as we are all a part of The One. There will be a time coming when The Truth is known to all. What is the purpose of our lives? To bring this light of inner being, the light of peace and consciousness into the world we now inhabit. No matter what we 'do' with our lives, who we are, what labels we become... our deeper purpose is to bring God's Light into the World, the Universe, to one another. Each time someone steps forward publicly and shows their Light, more awareness awakens somewhere in the universe. We are created in God's image, perhaps not physically but we are all created with His Spirit, part of the Whole, the Source. Your witness to this has spread already further than any of us can ever know. This is your Purpose! You have done well to bring your experiences, trials and testimony to so many here on the blog and in your life. Tom has done the same and continues to do so even from the Other Side. Another scientific fact; Energy cannot be dissolved, it can change form but can never 'die'. We are all proven to be 'energy fields' in a scientific way, our bodies operate with an electical sort of energy. This natural state of 'Being' is God given, it's full of Peace and Joy. Let us all remember when we meet one another that we meet God in that person as well. Let us treat each other as such. The word that best says this is the word 'Nemaste' it means (paraphrased) "The God within me acknowledges the God within you". Barbara, thank you for sharing your Baptism with all of us. It's an outward sign of a deeper Life within. Yes, the Churches are still Alive as it is we the Children of God who keep them so and it is the Will of God that we reach out and bring others into the Light. May the Lord Bless You and Keep You, May He Make His Face to Shine Upon You and Grant You Peace. Nemaste. With love and friendship always, Cheryl

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