Photo © David Rice

Pictures for mindfulness


You see beauty when you’re about to die

thumbs_thumbs_thumbs_all-pix-for-blog-487-of-1303 In my book, Look and Grow Mindful, I quoted psychologist Rollo May: “When people are on the verge of death they think, strangely enough, about beauty. Many of  these thoughts are about how beautiful is this earth that they are about to leave.”

Well, I got wonderful confirmation of this in this week’s  Sunday Times. In an article by Bryan Appleyard  entitled “The Art of Dying”, he quotes TV dramatist Dennis  Potter,  dying of cancer in 1994, in a last interview he gave to Melvyn Bragg:. He looks out of his window and sees some apple blossom: “I see it is the whitest, frothiest, blossomist blossom that there ever could be, and I can see it… the nowness of everything is absolutely wondrous…the fact is, if you can see the present tense, boy. do you see it! And boy, can you celebrate it.”

To this Bryan Appleyard adds: “Nature is always ‘Now’ in ways that we, plagued by memory and foreboding, seldom are. Nature also continues in spite of us.”

Need I say more?

~ David

Footprints from 350 million years ago

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You’ll already know about those footprints from 350 million years ago, discovered on Ireland’s Valencia Island.  Well, to be aware is one thing, but actually see them is quite a different matter. I did just that a couple of days ago, and my feelings of wonder have not left me since.

The critter that tramped through that mud, which later hardened to stone, was a Tetrapod, one of the first to come out of the water and start moving across the land. The footprints are clear as the day they were made, and you can even see where his or her tail trailed along the mud. It’s eerie to be in some sort of touch with such a very early ancestor.

Here are couple of the photos I took. The footprints are on rocks by the sea, with a stunning background of sea and land.


~ David



The doggies as promised


Hi my friends

After my wonderful exploration of Lough Derg, I promised that I would introduce the doggies I met.

Well, here they are.


~ David

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A day of joy and discovery

Hi Everyone

Last Sunday the sun was shining and I just took off around nearby Lough Derg for the day. I only went about 30 miles through County Tipperary, but it was a day of  sheer joy and discovery. At one point I came down a hill road and saw the whole of Lough Derg stretched out before me. It was breathtaking. I came across all sorts of tiny coves with a few little fishing boats tied up. Then, in a quiet valley that no one seems to know, I discovered the ruins of a 12th century church, and it and the crosses around it were all dazzling white with lichen. The hedgerows were rich with ripened blackberries, and I feasted just as I did as a child. I found yellow lichen on an old stone wall. I saw the shadow of a celtic cross thrown on an  ancient tombstone. I felt I should stay at home at the computer, where there was lots to be done. If I had,  I’d have missed it all. The computer could wait, but the sun wouldn’t. I think maybe that’s the core of Mindfulness — grab hold of the Now when it’s offered. Oh, and by he way, I encountered numerous dogs, but I’ll tell you about them tomorrow. ~ David


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Those wonderful lines in the sky








Tonight I sat on my patio, overlooking the River Shannon, and I watched for two hours as the sun set. As often happens, I saw the needle point of a contrail (vapour trail), clearly coming up from the hills across from me. It was of course coming from across the Atlantic – much of the Atlantic air traffic passes over us, but about seven miles high, leaving only those contrails. But how magnificent they are. This one threaded its way across the sky, heading southeast, fine and elegant. But, as I said in my book about other such contrails, it soon lost its way, lost its pristine clarity and innocence, flirted with the winds, grew coarse and bloated, and quite lost its way. Just like ourselves. If there had been contrails in the time of Christ, thumbs_all-pix-for-blog-395-of-1303would we perhaps have had a parable about contrails instead of one about seed among thorns? ~ Davidthumbs_all-pix-for-blog-1237-of-1303

Rare bird again !

How about this incredible picture of that elusive kingfisher, taken again by Hong Kennedy-Bell, at Chiswick Park in London?

-1976173017365BC834That’s what comes of having wide-open mindful eyes…

Heartiest congrats, Hong. ~ David

39 k

hi folks

I’m not quite sure what this means, but tonight’s Amazon ranking puts Look And Grow Mindful at 39, 829. If this is a fact, given the millions of books up there, it means that the book is really taking off. Fingers crossed. But isn’t it bloody great?Thanks for all the support.   Best   ~ David

The Children of Lir

thumbs_all-pix-for-blog-121-of-1303Hi everyone

Some people, no matter how mindful, may never heard one of the most moving of ancient Irish legends – the story of The Children of Lir: a beautiful princess and her three brothers. A wicked stepmother turned them into swans, condemning them to spend 300 years on Lake Derravaragh, another 300 on the Sea of Moyle, between Scotland and Ireland, and the final 300 on the waters around Inish Glora.

As the last of the 900 years comes to an end, one morning the swans hear the sound of a church bell echoing across the water.  (more…)

We’ve got a new doggie

Kath-&-daisy---CopyHi Everyone –  Remember I told you how our little West Highland terrier Lily had to be put down, and how distressing it was? Well, Kathleen grieved so much, but kept saying she’d never get another dog. Then it changed to – “We’ll do nothing until after Christmas, and then we’ll make up our minds. And if we ever get one, it will b e a rescue dog.” Then it changed to,” I miss a doggie so much…”

Kaath kept sneaking a peep at the ads in the paper, especially about Westies up for rescue. Then one day she mousily admitted that she had found a doggie in the ads. A rescue doggie, probably nine years old or more. A Westie.

Well, to make a long story short, Daisy arrived. (more…)

Our magic sky

thumbs_joy-back-14 thumbs_all-pix-for-blog-911-of-1303 thumbs_joy-back-16Excuse me while I kiss the sky

~ Jimi Hendrix

I OFTEN think of the sky as a mighty canvas on which God or Nature (whichever you’re into) paints her abstract creations of blue and white and crimson and gold, then wipes them out and starts all over again. She rests only at night, leaving the stars to take over. I’m not just being poetic — quite literally, the sky above us is the greatest of all spectacles that the human eye can behold. We simply don’t notice it because it’s always there, and for that reason we are no longer mindful of it.

Although a sky can look so permanent, most clouds last only a few minutes, according to cloud expert Gavin Pretor-Pinney. In his astonishing book, The Cloudspotter’s Guide, he talks of a cloud reaching “the ripe old age of 10 minutes”. Take a look at Gavin’s website — You won’t regret it, and you’ll see clouds galore.

They talk of castles in the air — the reality is that you don’t really need much imagination to see things up there for yourself. I have recently seen a T-Rex right up there. As well as an old man in the sky. And a giant bird the size of a town. Take a look for yourself right here.

Back shortly.

All the best.  ~ David

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