October has become a month for reflection. My time in the garden is drawing to an end for another year, and as I stand here in the middle of the lawn after having cut the grass for hopefully the last time this year, I look around at what I have and haven’t achieved.
Of course, me being me means that I have a tendency to focus on what hasn’t been accomplished, like the area around one side of the house which continues to be a mix of grass and weeds. Oh I have grand plans for that bit of the garden, gravel and ornamental plants in interesting containers, but time, skill and money are sadly lacking and it’s a project that I will have to put off for another year.
What I should see as I look around the garden is a lawn that has now become more manageable, so it can be used during the summer months, and of course, the tidier flower beds that I am slowly filling with new plants, together with the 200 plus bulbs that I have buried around the garden which should bring some extra colour in the Spring. Something to look forward to as the garden slowly looses its colour and goes back to sleep while the winter creeps in.
As I view the world around me I see the leaves gradually change from green to yellow and for a short while until the winter winds blow them all away, I can revel in the golden tones of autumn. I look forward to those occasional sunny days that make the colours come alive, but now as the year creeps towards the end, there are fewer of these days and we have to content ourselves with the dull cloudy days that seem to be the norm. The silence of the autumn and the plain blank skies are interrupted by the occasional flock of migrating birds. The constant calling of the birds grabs my attention as they make their practice flights before they finally head off overseas for their winter sun. I lift my head and watch with fascination as they instinctively know their positions within the flocks and most importantly, where they are flying to. I sometimes wish that my instincts were that well honed, I sometimes feel that I have to think too much about my actual submission rather than letting it flow naturally and instinctively. Sometimes its feels like a steep hill to climb rather than the usual soft grass covered hillocks that allow me to progress along my journey more easily. I’m not saying that life shouldn’t be easy sailing all the time, it’s those periods of struggle, when acts of submission fail to come naturally and a more concerted effort has to be made, that make the smoother parts of this path so much more enjoyable and times to be cherished.
My reflections often drift beyond thoughts about the garden and nature, and with the shorter days, the focus ends up on the saddest part of life – when we are affected by someone dying. We are all affected by this occurrence at some point during our lives. Depending on how close we were to the person in question it can affect us in different ways. I remember the deaths of both my Grandmothers and a Grandfather, I don’t think I was much older than twelve and I did not have a particular strong link to these relatives, as we lived in a different part of the country to them and did not visit very often. All I can remember of the funeral is wandering around the cemetery with another younger relative trying to keep them quiet and occupied while the ceremony went on with the rest of the family. Not knowing my Grandparents is a sorrow I have carried through life, I have friends and other younger generations of my own family who have benefited so much from having that sort of special relationship. Yes, they get spoilt by their grandparents but what’s wrong with being treated sometimes, it does us all good! The main thing I miss is the fact that I never had the chance to talk to them and learn about what their lives were like, how they were as children and who they became as adults. Of course I hear stories from my older siblings, and I look at the old photos scratching my head wondering who all these people were. But it’s not the same as actually having spent time with them, and I suppose I am jealous of those that did. That part of my history has disappeared for me, and so it is with the loss I still feel for my Father. I miss the times we would sit and talk about his life, and in particular his experiences during WW2. As a child it was so uninteresting that I didn’t really listen, and unfortunately by the time it did become something of interest for me, his memory and recollections of past incidents were hard to understand, they had become blurred and confused with age and time. Oh how wise we are after the event, and how many times do I wish I had paid more attention, but that’s not something that can be resolved, it’s just something I have to live with. I wonder if that has made me a good listener, I do love to hear peoples stories, and somehow I manage to store most of them up in this brain of mine. Admittedly I do need an occasional prompt to recollect the details, but nevertheless they are still here, ready and waiting to be recounted for others to hear. How many people have we had contact with during our lifetime who had knowledge and life experience that we wished we had taken more interest in. Would listening to them have helped us broaden our own outlook on life and build our own knowledge base. Should we approach each new friendship with the thought of it being an opportunity of learning something new, together with the possibility of being able to share our own knowledge too. Sharing can be such a rewarding experience no matter how small it is.
This month I attended the funeral of someone from the local scene. I can’t say that he was a particularly close acquaintance, but he was always there with a smile and a hello whenever I saw him at a pubmunch. He was one of the few people (other than my close friends) who made a point of having a conversation with me, other than just the usual courtesies of “Hello” and “How are you?”, and he always made a point of making it something to do with the UK. He was one of the characters in the scene and I was sad to hear of his death even though he had been in hospital for most of the summer.
As I sat there in the small white chapel, surrounded by both his family and by people that he knew from the local scene, I allowed my mind to revel in the sadness associated with mourning process. I have attended the funerals of friends and close family members before and being an emotional person, I am moved to tears quite easily. I listened to the lyrics of the specially picked music, each one apt in their own way and also to the gentle sobs of those caught by their own emotions. My eyes drifted around the room which is quite striking architecturally, with small cut out windows high up that let the sunlight cast shadows across the white washed walls. Brief glimpses of clouds as they rolled across the blue sky caught my attention and I was struck by thoughts of passing time, the briefness of life and the impact that we all make through life.
How will people remember me? – as a good daughter, the devoted wife, as a half decent baker or amateur garden designer?, – lol!, or will I still be known within the scene and will people think well of me? I don’t know, I don’t have a crystal ball and I can’t predict what is going to happen next week never mind in the years ahead. All we can do is to try to live a life that is enjoyable and be happy with those closest to us. I do feel that this year marks a change for me, and I hope my efforts have made a difference to someone.
Unlike the other funeral that I attended since moving to Sweden (I know two funerals in two years – not a good sign), this time I didn’t feel unworthy of being there. I do feel part of the scene here now, not just by association with those who have been around for a long time, but because I think I have worked hard this year to promote and educate people about BDSM. I have put myself out there and allowed myself to be exposed in different ways. Most recently has been a series of workshops that I have presented with my Master, one about Fear Play and the other relating to our TPE relationship. We already have bookings to present these again in different parts of Sweden.
So I feel quite justified in thinking that I have done my bit to help expand and improve the scene here for everyone. I am also about to start a new project, it’s called “The Sharing Submissive”, and in its very basic form, it’s an informal discussion group for Submissives. I wanted to create an environment where we can talk freely and openly about the issues that affect us, without Dominants being present. There is always the possibility that it could extend to something else, but at least I have made a start and am looking forward to the first event. This isn’t the only new project in the pipeline, my Master and I have other ideas and perhaps some may appear before the end of the year. However time has a habit of running out, like sand in a glass timer, just like my shelved garden project. It’s not something to be disappointed by, rather its should be something to look forward to. Rather than rushing in with limited time and resources, how much better will it be if a little more time is used to plan, a little more money is saved to produce a more polished result, and a little more effort is put into researching the project. I’m always reminded of a saying from my brothers DIY, “Measure twice, cut once”. Proper preparation will always produce better results, even if it does take a little longer.