I’ve recognised a small sanctuary nearby, after several months of living in a semi-urban area. Thank goodness and I feel relieved. I’ve just returned from this place, and feel rested.

It’s not a place that takes my breath away. It’s without big vistas and the dynamics of clouds and rivers. Neither is it as vital as the sea. But it’s quiet and verdant, enclosed by a canopy, leaf buds near to bursting. And there’s water; always a draw for me.

Yesterday, by a railway bridge covered in graffiti, my dog Ben was shot at whilst we were watching dippers nesting by the river. A grown man appeared, out with two small children; a girl, and a boy carrying a bb gun, or something similar. The adult sought not to intercept the boy’s spirited targeting until after several rounds had been fired and ricocheted off the metal fence behind Ben and myself. Thankfully, we were not harmed. I reported the incident to the police this morning.

I am recovering from a severe spell of anxiety, suicidal thoughts and visions, which descended on me very quickly in January and through much of February after a stressful period. I’m attending lectures on ‘Acceptance and Commitment Therapy’ recommended by the local Mental Health team. But I’m not under the care of any therapist. I’m having to find my own way, because the waiting lists are too long.

I have a friend with severe depression, suicidal also, in hospital a long way away, about to commence ECT. It’s not been easy, in terms of communication.

I lost my mother to depression-induced suicide eight years ago, after she checked out of inpatient care, and I suffered PTSD as a consequence of finding her. I myself was later an inpatient for quite a spell, but determinedly not at the same hospital. You might imagine.

When my Dad was diagnosed with cancer three years later, I went down again, with severe anxiety, genetic fears of following my mother, and only just made it through.

There are other stresses and strains, which most would recognise. I don’t stand apart from anyone else. We all have our stories. This all seems part of the modern way of life. What a mess.

But I have the ponds now. They aren’t a cure. They aren’t going to unravel the complexities of life and fix my problems. But they are a retreat, where I can take Ben and sit quietly, feeling every moment without future or past. Today, the sun shone down through the trees with a novel fury. There was a light breeze, and I filled my lungs with fresher air than I ever expected. Ben snoozed among the lesser celandines, buzzing with the first flight of solitary bees this Spring.

Thank you, whoever protected them, thank you for the ponds.




13 thoughts on “Ponds

  1. Thanks for your post Ginny. I also adore ponds, the signs of the seasons and the times of quiet.

    I think its the compexities of what modern life is said to expect of us that cause us grief.

  2. Paula Peeters

    Dear Ginny, I am very sorry to hear of the rough times you’ve been having. But it’s good that you’ve had the courage to write about it. I’m glad you’ve found the ponds, and I like how you say ‘feeling every moment without future or past’. For that is part of the secret for surviving in this crazy world I think. Are you familiar with the writing of Eckhart Tolle? I found his book ‘The Power of Now’ very helpful for easing my anxiety. Hang in there, and best wishes, from Paula

    1. Thank you so much Paula, I’ve not read this book, but will seek it out, for sure. Yes, it can seem a very crazy world at times, and mindfulness can bring us back to the moment during stressful times. I’m better already and feel really touched by your comment here. I hope your anxiety is very much kept at bay. Thank you for sharing this. These things serve us well at times, at other times they are a huge struggle. The very best wishes to you also. Ginny x

  3. Alexi

    I’m glad you’ve found a pond that’s a peaceful place to be away from the urban turbulance. When I left work from burnout etc I retreated to my local urban woods and they gave me much needed tranquility. These accessible places are so important. Wishing you healing.

  4. The natural world can be so restorative, especially as the world seems to get more crowded and crazy…Parks and places people can easily get to in urban centers are so important for quiet moments such as those you and Ben enjoy by the pond. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings, and in such an eloquent manner…I hope you continue to be resilient and gather strength as you overcome the difficult times. As E.M. Forster said, ‘Only Connect’. We so need to connect with one another, and realize our common bonds. One of my parents passed last summer, under very problematic circumstances, and I can very much relate to some of what you’ve been going through. Best wishes and peaceful moments to you : ) x Jo

    1. Thank you so much Jo, and for reading. Connection is all. Love, compassion, healing. We are all part of a unique and astonishingly complex biosphere and each connection counts. Understanding this gives life meaning, and hope. We can find our way through together. I really hope you reach some resolution and peace also, despite the pain. Very best wishes to you also. Ginny x

      1. Very much my pleasure…Life of course has it’s difficulties and challenges, but it seems irrefutable that the entire world, of nature, and all it contains, (including us) is all connected…We need one another and are linked to nature in ways we don’t even understand. It certainly does offer hope, as do the scores of people trying to heal this poor embattled planet we inhabit. Thanks also for your kind wishes…Grief is a new territory for me, and I’m navigating as best I can, as we all do. So glad I discovered your post today. Shout out to @Haggeswood for that : ) All best, and have a great day… Jo