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If I summed up my life in one word at the minute, the word would be ‘contrasts’. So many contrasts, so many diverse experiences: temperatures, travel, people, locations, meals, seasons, time alone, time with others, visuals and words.

I’m living and working away temporarily at present, so life is different; taken out of my usual surroundings and contacts. I’m in the same organisation, but in a different role, a different town, a different climate and working with new and different people.

It tests you, being out of that familiar zone of the constants of your workplace, away from the home you are accustomed to returning to each evening and all the people you are used to seeing in your daily routines. In a strange and contradictory way, it brings you back in touch with yourself as you become the constant in a swirl of change and contrast.

In the past two weeks, I have:

  • had my feet in both the  city and country, moving back and forward between them
  • seen snow, sunshine, warm days and sleeting wild winds, some days experiencing a 25 degrees (C) difference in temperature
  • felt the beginnings of spring in a cold climate and a town where the trees are still mostly bare
  • enjoyed a full garden of spring flowers in the city in a warmer climate where the season is more established
  • spent many hours on my own as well as meeting dozens of new people through my job role
  • focused on visuals more than words generally; this is the ‘August Break‘ influence and I have been seeing more, stopping to see the contrasts, reading and writing less, and taking more photographs
  • savoured beautiful regional wines and food whilst other times eating woefully boring meals at the end of a busy work day when there is not much energy left for cooking

And today, spring breaks through from winter’s grasp here and the day is gloriously (relatively) warm and full of a sense of blossoming.

So what’s settling me in the midst of all this contrast and change:

  • the anchors of my loved ones
  • the daphne bush in the garden here and the sprigs of daphne in the house shooting their fragrance through the air
  • the pieces of home I carry with me: a ‘French Pear’ candle, my jewellery, my scarves, my music
  • the electronic devices which connect me wherever I am
  • the cameras I am one way or another carrying with me and using to stop and record the contrasts
  • the beautiful wines of the region accompanied by the freshest produce: apples, pears, asparagus, cheese
  • the freshly roasted coffee in the cappuccino that I pick up on the way to work
  • the books, sudoku and blogs I enjoy that keep me grounded
  • my online friends from ‘Blogging from the Heart’ who keep me inspired and committed here as I weave blogging in and out of my busy life

What contrasts are you enjoying and how are you keeping settled in between it all?

I’m breaking through,
I’m bending spoons,
I’m keeping flowers in full bloom,
I’m looking for answers from the great beyond.

from U2 ‘The Great Beyond’