I spent a couple of hours gardening this afternoon and – at the end of a major weeding, pruning and watering session – it struck me how a garden is much like a body.
Bear with me – I know it sounds a bit far-fetched…
We all have a tendency over winter months to let ourselves go.
Bad habits creep in, we eat comfort food, and we don’t think about doing the best for ourselves.
As spring approaches, and the weather improves, something changes.
New thoughts and ideas flourish and blossom and it suddenly seems a good time to jettison the habits that are holding you back.
Are you beginning to see the metaphor here?
Over the past couple of months, I’ve pruned away a lot of dead/bad habits and hopefully given other things space to grow that were previously hidden or smothered.
Similarly I’m trying to weed out those niggly things that don’t seem significant, but given time can take over.
I’m not there by any means – I still have things to improve, seeds that hsve been planted haven’t quite yet come to fruition, but the signs are hopeful.
In other words (if you’ll allow me to stretch the metaphor to its limit), providing I tend to myself regularly and properly, I hope to re-flower later in 2019.
Ok, metaphor over. Essentially, though, I’m sure many of you will recognise how easy it is to forget to look after ourselves and it’s much easier to do a little bit regularly, rather than wait till we’re beyond repair.
Night-time was cold – with a capital C. Within minutes of the sun going down, the temperature plummeted. Obvious, you may think, but in comparison to the high-20s during the daytime, it can come as a shock.
And the stars! Oh my goodness, the stars. Living in industrialised countries, we forget quite how pervasive electricity is, even at 2am.
In the Sahara, there is barely any electricity. No streetlamps. No lightbulbs. No TVs. And no ambient light to ‘pollute’ the night sky.
I have almost never seen such a sky. The stars are always there, but we just never normally see them.
No trip of this kind would be complete without those who complete it with you.
The other trekkers were to a person wonderful. Walking with people who are living with a brain tumour, who are directly affected or who have lost someone is hugely humbling.
I laughed. I cried. I listened and I heard the most touching and moving stories.
And we all did it together. We all helped each other. Through the difficult moments. The blisters. The times when it felt as if it would be easier to stop.
And we did it all because we believed in a common goal. That we will find a cure for brain tumours and help those affected by this terrible disease.
Many of you will have heard of Hans Rosling. He was an eminent Swedish public health physician and lecturer who came to public attention through a number of TED talks he gave, explaining how little most of us (in the Western world, anyway) really know about the world.
As a book, its aim is very simple. To explain why the world is in a better place than you think and to emphasise that most of what you know is wrong. Rosling achieves this by asking a series of multiple-choice questions, most of which you fail miserably on. Continue reading “The most important book you’ll read this year”