Categories
A time to plough year of the ox

The Year of The Ox

Image of a red ox with Chinese symbol of ox in red taken from https://2021happynewyear.com/year-of-the-ox-2021-images/
From https://2021happynewyear.com/year-of-the-ox-2021-images/

This is personal to me because this year I am 60! And I must say I love being 60! I feel like the constraints of trying have fallen off and I am becoming me without worrying what other people think. And that doesn’t mean I’m being a horrid person which is sometimes what comes over when one hears people saying “I don’t care what other people think” and then do something hurtful, rude, selfish. For me ‘not worrying what other people think’ means that I don’t have to put up guards and defences, don’t have to fit my corner, can just go and run workshops, write, etc as I want without worrying if it is what anyone else wants.

Also, for those who know about Chinese horoscopes will know that this year is the year of the Ox but also being 60 means that I was born in the year of the Ox too. I am also a Taurean bull so I was definitely made to plough!! As followers of my blog will know I am also a Christian but can happily see that God uses all things to bring his truths into play so I don’t believe that being aware of star signs, etc stops you from following God.

So this brings me to why I want to talk about the Year of the Ox. I was pondering this the other day and asking “What is the bottom line for 2021?” As not just me, but many prophetic people, believed that even before it began 2020 was going to be the year of perfect vision. I still believe that all the crap that went on, and is still going on, is about helping us all to see clearly what our world is like. But I believe 2021, the year of the ox, is about ploughing and planting. It is not about growth or harvesting but about setting one’s face to the skyline and ploughing that furrow in a straight line and filling it with seed. There will be years to come when we will see the growth but not this year.

I was talking about this whole Year of the Ox and ploughing with a friend and she had been listening to an early morning Christian broadcast over the last week which talked of seeds that had been found near Jerusalem that were 2000 years old but that when put in the right soil germinated and grew into what was an extinct date palm.

Even though this story of the 2000 year old seeds is over 10 years old I feel that it is right to be hearing it now in the year of ploughing and planting. I have seeds in my life from my years of writing, living, working with various people that really do feel like they are getting ready to sprout. I am being asked to get involved with some youth-based creative writing projects that are much more about ploughing than about reaping. Each of the projects that are either have received funding and are starting or that are in the preparation stages are about preparing something for the future.

Also don’t ever say to me that 60 is the new whatever, generally a younger age. For me 60 is 60 and it feels like the best decade I’ve ever stepped into so I refuse to dishonour it by calling it by anything other than what it is!

Categories
100newwalks 2020 2020 goals 2021 kindness walking walking the dog

2020 Goals – #100walks

This was both our first walk for 2020 and our first walk for 2021. In 2020 we did this walk for the first time and then decided yesterday to repeat it.

At the start of 2020 I decided not to set any new year resolutions but to have goals which would challenge me but feel attainable. Little did I know!!

I walk every day, often twice or three times a day, with my little dog. It is usually the same route – down our street, into the park or along the beach, and sometimes up into the woods behind us. So I thought at the start of 2020 I would challenge myself to, at least once a week, look for a new walk myself and then on the weekends dog and I could go for a new walk with my husband. We even had a jar that we had filled with walk suggestions, and planned to add to during the year. Well then Covid-19 struck and lockdown and the five mile rule, where we couldn’t go further than 5 miles from home to exercise, and were encouraged to not drive at all. For over three months we walked lots but always over the six similar routes. Then come October I fell of the horse and bruised my ribs and wasn’t able to drive so, once I was able to get back walking, it was back to those same regular walks. So we did lose about half the year! Also I found that even when lockdowns lifted we were lethargic and didn’t pull out any of those suggested walks in the jar because we wanted to go back to tried and trusted ones that were not too far away.

But in fact we did add to our list of local walks, and explored new places on those three times we were able to get away, So even with all the disruptions we did manage to do 48 new walks, all recorded on Instagram. I am pleased with this because even though the goal was not achieved this year, in a “normal” year it would be doable.

But through it I have learned something – that when things are tough we do need the familiar because sometimes doing something new is too much to have to think and plan. And you know what? That is alright. So I will be kind to myself that I didn’t achieve this goal and will look forward to this year. Even though I have not set a walking goal I will still count the new walks I do and see what happens.

I suppose my biggest achievement I have learned from this walking goal challenge is a great understanding of myself – which is not a bad thing.

Categories
2020 blacklivesmatter change Change the world Covid-19 deeper lockdown pandemic racism

20/20 Perfect Vision

perfectvision-1024x413-1
Image taken from https://ubcrembert.org/perfect-vision-20-20/ 

2020 they said was the going to be the year of perfect vision – Twenty twenty vision! Then they panicked because suddenly we were all locked inside, unless we were key workers. Suddenly they were talking about how this lockdown/pandemic had been predicted before. Lots of prophecies bouncing out. But not once, at least on the ones I listened to, did I hear anything about this 20/20 vision.

Let me list the things I think this year of 2020 is revealing: (&these are in no particular order so apologies if some look like they are of more importance. That is not my intention)

  • who the key workers really are. Not just health and care workers but delivery drivers, both food and parcels, those who empty the bins, not just our household ones but the ones in the parks and streets, the takeaway food and coffee workers, those who work in food producing factories. I’m sure I’ve missed some.
  • the fragility of the world economy
  • poverty and how people teeter on the edge and losing 20% of their wages pushes them over the edge
  • the huge one that is causing riots and protests across the world – including social media infiltrations via K-Pop fans – is racism. Not just slurs and comments but institutionalised racism.
  • But this is also showing how connected the world is and how people don’t agree with all that is going on and will speak out, will do something. And perhaps it is because so many are at home and have time to do something about it. I am seeing websites starting gathering info, people doing things they would not have had the time or energy to do.
  • Not forgetting climate change
  • Domestic violence
  • Child abuse – interesting how during this time Police say they may have found the real abductor of Madeline McCann which happened so many years ago. Things coming into the light, things being truly seen
    mental health issues
  • the fragility and incompetence of our government and other governments around the world
  • the strange system in the USA where one man speaks for all no matter how sound he is

But you know what? All these issues have been raised before. It seems not so long ago another middle aged black man was crying out “I can’t breath” but things did not explode like they have done. It did not become a worldwide thing. Why now? Some say it is because people have less to do, but I would like to raise the issue of 20/20 vision, the prediction that this year we would see things clearly.

It looks too like I might not be the only one thinking this. Here is this great poem by Leslie Dwight going around which says
“What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for? ⁣
A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw —
that it finally forces us to grow,”
“⁣A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us
from our ignorant slumber.⁣
A year we finally accept the need for change.⁣
Declare change. Work for change. Become the change.”
“A year we finally band together, instead of⁣
pushing each other further apart.⁣⁣

2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather ⁣
the most important year of them all.”⁣

[accessed 5th June 2020 on https://www.instagram.com/p/CA_CXcBp7Rg/?utm_source=ig_embed and https://www.today.com/news/what-if-2020-isn-t-canceled-inspiring-poem-message-change-t183397%5D

 

What if we can look back on 2020 and say that things really did change, that we would not settle for what was again. I must say I am so proud of my daughter and others being brave and going out there and protesting. That takes courage. But they aren’t just doing that. They are reading, they are learning, they are looking, really looking with their eyes wide open.