In the beginning.

People ask where the name of my retreat here in Wales came from

Ravens Retreat.

Here is my story

Little black bird.

She was small tiny in fact.

Not one of them, not part of this tribe and so she didn’t belong.

Saul the king of the crows had said her mother had been a visitor a maverick laying her egg in a nest here in the woods then leaving it to be hatched by one of the king sauls female mates.

Little bird had emerged small scrawny and different she didn’t fit.

The only thing about her that was like the murder of crows she lived with was her colour. She was blacker than the night.

Every day she was reminded that she wasn’t like them smaller not good enough she lived there but she didn’t belong there.

Saul the king was big and mean she had learned not to upset him dodge the sharp elbow of his mighty wing his shrill caw and she had many scars from his sharp beak.

She would wait until everyone had eaten before she dared to look for what scraps were left she survived by living and blending into the shadows.

She lived roosted and nested on the edge of the woods in an old oak tree in a small hollow of a branch near to where she had been hatched.

She knew there was no room for weakness in the woods where she lived the fittest survived the weakest didn’t

The seasons changed the wheel of the year turned new eggs hatched young were born and raised their gathering grew but she was not to see her young born.
Saul would fly into a rage smash her eggs killing her young before her eyes they didn’t stand a chance.

She wondered what was beyond this place her oak tree these woods the stream she dreamed of another place where she could fly and be free.

Then one warm summers evening as she glided alone on a warm summer breeze she was startled by a whoosh of wind as a beautiful huge black bird flew past her.

She watched as he darted and glided this way and that his call was different louder deeper and his feathers though black like hers were darker she followed him as he landed stealthy on an old oak tree on the otherside of the woods.

‘Where do you come from?’ asked the little black bird across the ocean far from here he said preening himself

The sun shone as they spoke of other worlds green valleys and oceans and the little crows heart fluttered.
Could I go to this place she asked?

The beautiful Raven cawed ruffled his feathers and laughed. He tilted his head his eyes were brown and in them she saw a reflection looking back at her.

She let out a caw,

Yes he said seeing the surprise on her face.

You can go anywhere, you too are a Raven.

‘Me a Raven?’ ‘Yes you.’

Why are you nesting with the crows their king is not a good being. His heart is blacker than his feathers,

Fly from here fly south look for the purple topped mountains and green valley’s there are others like us.

Do not be afraid any longer you are brave and stronger than you think you are a warrior little Raven. You can live anywhere you choose.

She flew back to the woods cawing out thanks to the Black Raven.

The king crow was getting old now his eyes were failing and suddenly she realised he wasn’t bigger or stronger and the fear she had felt for all those years roosting in the woods began to leave her.

She puffed up her chest and cawed loudly as she flew down to the place by the river where her smashed eggs and young were buried.

Her heart banged in her Raven chest she was afraid to go but more afraid to stay.

Head tucked under her wing she slept knowing this was the last night in her oak tree in this small woodland that had been her home since she had hatched in the wrong nest.

Tomorrow she would fly

She wished only for good weather and then she slept.

The next morning the sun came up she drank from the stream and caught sight of her reflection again in the water a raven there was new determined look in her eye.

She was no longer the tiny bird the outcast who had taken so many beatings.

A proud strong Raven stared back at her.

She cawed loudly. ‘Goodbye woodland of my youth.’

Gentle winding stream and old oak tree thank you for my shelter and quenching my thirst.

She heard King Saul caw a cruel laugh behind her.

‘Little bird’ he jeered. ‘Who do you think you are?’ ‘Where do you think you are going?’

I am not little bird I am Raven Storm. I am mighty brave and strong a warrior that is who I truly am. Today I shall fly and find my own path far from here.

King sauls eyes flashed anger ‘you dare speak back to your king you defy my orders?’

‘You would choose solitude and loneliness this is your place.’

The other crows waited for her to answer no one ever left this gathering no one ever left this gathering.

Raven puffed out her chest and spread out her wings ‘I am not your little bird. I choose freedom’
Lonleyness and solitude are yours

There was a gasp from all who gathered as Raven circled for the last time above the small woodland that had been her roost.
As all the crows begin to caw loudly a last goodbye.

The warm winds carried her south. Warm sun shone on her feathers and hope beat a drum inside her brave Raven heart.

She was free.

http://www.ravensretreat.wales

Who knew. Birthday & Christmas without you.

So today is the second birthday you’ve been gone.

I miss you Donna.

Everyday there is some thing new to miss.

Last night I drempt of you.

We were in your old house in bay street.

Decorating the Christmas tree.

Well you were it had to be perfect.

Symmetrical 😂🌲

You were dancing to Pink

Who knew.

Glass of vodka and lemonade in your hand laughing long black hair shining

Happy eyes.

We sat together on your huge sofa

Guess what I’ve bought you.

I sigh roll my eyes.

Shall I give you a clue?

Tell you what it begins with?

Nooooo I laugh I’ll wait.

You loved Christmas.

Everything about it.

I woke up I could still.smell your perfume.

The rain battered at the window.

I heard your voice “raining on my birthday!”

Happy birthday I whisper.

I miss you.

Im working but plan to go to the cemetery on way .

I’ve bought you a happy feet penguin it’s so heavy

Concrete it’s a garden ornament.

I know you’ll love it.

I ring your daughter tell her I’ll meet her by the cemetery gates at 11.30 after I pick up flowers

Drive over to supermarket to pick up sun flowers for you.

As I’m driving pink comes on the radio.

Who knew.

I smile your everywhere I know your by my side.

There are no sunflower left I stand there and something catches my eye.

A Christmas tree a potted one with roots.

I think of my dream

Pick up the tree and a pack of baubles

Ten mins later I meet Sarah and Chloe and after I decorate the tree as symmetrically I can whist sat in a car in the rain

I take it to you.

Happy birthday love I say as we all get out of the car .

Sarah puts the star on top

Chloe ties a balloon to the little fence we put up in summer .

The dancing penguin and tree are just you Donna.

The rain has stopped .

Hope you like the tree I say

She would love it Sarah says

I know you do.

If someone said three years from now
You’d be long gone
I’d stand up and punch them out
‘Cause they’re all wrong
I know better
‘Cause you said forever
And ever
Who knew

Happy birthday Donna ❤️

.

Sat chatting around my kitchen table
A throw away comment from a friend
she or I had commented on the amount of certificates and qualifications we both have.
in different therapies and healing modalities.
I’d been thinking of doing yet another course.
I do like to learn and be busy.
yes she smiled we do it to be good enough, to be worthwhile.
She said it in such an accepting way.
such a thoughtful look on her face.
I smiled
I did not answer
her simple comment
was a huge realisation I felt the truth of it spear me in my soul.

As I breathed in a simple truth
I have stepped away from the college brochure.

Mental Health Crisis

Psychosis, psychics, self harm, bi polar, scizophrenia , personality disorder,
Melting pot acute ward where there is no pecking order.
Underpaid over worked staff juggle back to back cefn coed hospital disorder
Meds trolleys doles out pills but they can’t numb the pain
Discharge sheets and promises of Oh! you won’t see me on this ward again.
Visitors checked for meow meow speed and weed
For untreated drug habits that the valium can’t feed
Drinks machine spews watery hot chocolate to visiting kids
Mam will be home soon
Mental health part of a broken system no way to live.
Talking therapies please.. your having a joke
ask your consultant again
But his eyes tell a tale of a NHS beyond broke
We are luckier than some views over Swansea bay
Other are shipping off to bridgend
There has to be another way
Cefn coed the big hotel on the hill
Looking over Swansea
Big red bricked Welsh dragon watching out for the vunerable bekoning them inside it’s walls there are beds to fill.

Over active mind.

Inside my head is where they rush.

Demanding to know

What was the name of the hand cream used by my mam when I was a kid

In a green tub, remember it had a tight lid?

It smelled of earth and was greasy too.

And if penguins had feet not flippers would they need shoes?

What was the name of the lad at school?

42 years ago the one who.broke all off the rules

Do I have a pen? I forgot to write

The recipe for curry Mike asked me for it, you know mam the one that I like..

Did I turn off the light the one in the yard?

What was the name of the film. with bridges that Clint Eastwood stared?

Is there palm oil in the vegan buscuits I bought?

Is that the cat banging the flap with a mouse that she’s caught?

Did I remember to shut down the damper on the coal fire?

If this rain doesn’t stop soon the river will get higher.

My hubby can sleep on an old washing line.

I might as well get up it’s almost quarter to five!

I wish I could banish the thoughts in my head

Or leave them downstairs with the cat.

While I sneak off to bed.

Knight in a v.w van.

Save me from the mundane

Pull me back into your world.

Make me feel alive again.

Remind me that I’m your girl.

Burst my irredesent bubble of invisibility.

Wake the passion within me.

Tell me that you still see.

The wild and untamed rebel

The one who stole your heart.

She calls to the world from deep within me.

Finding it hard to play her part.

I know that I have wondered

Far away from your side..

I’ve been lost in barren places

Where my past and demons hide.

Many times you’ve come to my rescue.

Carried my soul back to our door.

Wrapped me in a cocoon of unconditional love

Keet my monsters behind a steel door.

Social Media

I’m toying with removing myself from all social media.

Yes all of it.

The distraction addiction

I love technology I love the ease of writing on a laptop.

Old enough as I am to remember typing lessons at school. On ancient type writers

Ribbons of ink.

Stiff keys

Snarling teachers with knuckle rapping rulers.

Office studies.

Now touch screen I pads

The digital age.

Kids stare at screens to talk to friends

Skype, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat.

But where will it end

Ways to connect ..

Then physically disconnect.

Real people trapped in a cyber prison.

Eyes looking at a screen.

Google maps,

Maps where we have been.

Google history logs all we have seen.

Inbox messages

Birthday reminders,

Millions reasons to stay

Trapped in the cell of our own making.

Forgetting where we we’re heading.

Forgetting where we have been.

Phone in our hand

Ever glancing.

Status writing,

Liking, loving, sad face, angry.

Emotional tiny faces express themselves so we don’t have too.

Photos of holiday, views from around the world

Addictive disconnection

A fear of being alone.

Unsocial Social media.

Little blue button you have been removed from my phone.

No more chain messages

Or threats of being cloned!