Read this fantastic submission from Rose Best. Rose has also submitted some amazing images to compliment this wonderful and inspiring work:

Ever since a child I loved being out in nature, exploring, pushing the boundaries, getting lost, getting into trouble, I always wanted to see what was around the next corner and to some extent still do. My mother always said “you will come to no good”.

What does that really mean? Stay safe, stay in a box, do as you are told, upset no one and so on and so on? But is that life? A natural curiosity often leads us into danger and we fall. We pick ourselves up, rub our wounds better and very often, also our pride, then we continue our journey.

Some would say they are destined to live the life they lead, they were pushed into it, persuaded maybe or lucky enough to have landed on their feet. Some apparently have the ideal life born with a silver spoon in their mouth, sadly more often than not, it is the other extreme. 

So what is the reality?

Life is an illusion; we are presented with a blank canvas at birth for a few precious moments but it’s not long before our blank canvas begins to become a road map. There are things we must learn we cry and we are fed, we smile and we are smiled back at with love and affection if we are lucky, we gurgle and explore sound, we are encouraged to shape words. Words shape meanings which we don’t always understand, this results in boundaries some good, some so tight they almost choke us. We push back the boundaries and we are faced with morals, values, laws which must be obeyed. We are shaped and moulded into what is expected of us within the particular society in which we live. Some of us fit some definitely do not.

So, I wonder what it would be like to have the opportunity to start again, to explore new paths right now, in the middle of this pandemic? Just imagine you wake up tomorrow to a silence and stillness you have never experienced before, If you step out of your safety zone, fear creeps in, what you have learnt we may not be good enough, it may not help you, in fact it may be detrimental, you may not have the qualifications, skills…… and so it goes on, you are stuck in the that moment of time and space, trapped!! 

You don’t have to stay there, it’s an illusion of outdated beliefs that no longer serve you.  Now is the time to re build. What has fallen must be replaced but not necessarily the same as before. Now you have the wisdom of hindsight, you have learned what has and hasn’t worked, if you are wise you can make new more informed choices. It may be possible to come through this to a life of your dreams without the illusion instead illuminated.

Use this time to hibernate, plan prepare, gather who and what is important to you for the next part of your journey. Take time out to walk in nature, explore your thoughts, they are free and belong to you, have dreams, imagine, play, yes play, children find out about themselves through roleplay. You are now the adult explore creativity, sing dance, paint write, find out who you really are, shake off the old mould……celebrate it’s the beginning of the new you. The new you will emerge into something that could be so much better. Its your life, your gift, now is the time to grasp it.

In reality you could chose to walk along any path, you may walk and walk and walk. You might meet a river and fear to swim, so choose not to swim and walk round. You might have to climb a mountain, phew much too hard, so are you going to give up or gain the skills to learn how to climb it? The choice is always yours; the path never runs out; it goes on and on all round the world. It may present obstacles, difficulties, obstructions but the path is always there!

At this most difficult time we are all facing a new way forward, for many of us it is the unknown with many struggles to come. We don’t know if they will be as hard as we imagined or perhaps a totally new exciting life changing experience. One thing for sure is as long as we live, we have to keep on the path, keep going, keep living, give ourself the sustenance mentally and physical to strive forward. No one gave us the promise life was going to be simple, but we have been given the gift of life, to make of it what we will.

When I write, I write from bitter sweet experience, not from a text book but from facing a very difficult life which I feel extremely fortunate to have come through. I know from the bottom of my heart that when life gets bad sometimes you may not feel like living it but you will because until you have fully lived your life you are still the holder of that gift, to make it what you will.

Believe me I have known hard times, many which I sincerely did not think I would survive but some how a new day breaks, the sun shines and you come out of the dark. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t or won’t or that you’re the “rotten apple” who deserves what you get because no human being or animal for that matter deserves that. 

You have been given the gift of life to make of it what you will. The path will always be there, as sure as day turns to night, the new day will dawn and you will find your way. Plan Prepare Enjoy this time, have dreams and visions. I can’t make promises all will be well but hang on and enjoy the ride, with the right attitude it could be fun.

May your life be filled with the joy of living.

Rose Best

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