My flash is based on a true story. I visited my mother-in-law in Edinburgh, Scotland. She hadn’t been too well but made a miraculous recovery. At ninety-four she is an incredible woman! This tree and our conversation inspired me to write this piece of flash.
It was kind of eerie at the time… knowing what I know now. The wind was blowing lightly but I added a gust of ghostly wind to the flash fiction piece!
The Tree of Life I encouraged my mother-in-law to venture out for a walk. She hadn’t been out since a fall laid her low before lockdown. We sat by the wise old tree. I had no idea that just a few days ago this area had been the site of a funeral gathering. The family decorated the branches with colourful ribbons, dream catchers, pretty baubles and teddy bears. As we talked, a tremendous gust of wind blew the ribbons, twirling them in a whirl of colour as the baubles and teddies danced.
I heard leaves rustling; it was his last goodbye.
I didn’t know the man who died, or what he died of. His funeral happened at a time when people couldn’t gather in the usual way. So, touching and sad. His friends and family came together to say their last goodbye amongst nature, by that tree, in the area in which he had lived. Passersby who may, or may not have known him saw the reminder of the vibrancy of his life in the colour of the adorned tree.
I picked some purple flowers for my mother-in-law which she carries in the photo. Purple is her favourite colour. She always mentions our walk each time I speak to her. Somehow, that walk to the tree have given her confidence back. I believe she has now walked to the shop again. I’m glad I encouraged her to walk with me even though I was so worried that she might fall. Sometimes you have to be brave to make a special memory.
Today come and join me, take a seat on the tiny bench and let’s wander in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden…
The gardens are home to one of the most magnificent tree collections in the East of England. I am most fortunate to be able to spend time there during my lunch breaks from work, (except now we are on Lockdown in Cambridge.)
I would like to share with you a Champion Tree of Britain and Ireland.
(Owen 2003) lists Cambridge University Botanic Garden amongst the top 15 gardens in Britain and Ireland with 21 champions and I have a treat for you.
In the meantime remember to visit a forest, (lockdown permitting!) spend time in your garden, and hug a tree for me!
Do comment below about any nature walks you have enjoyed recently.
A reading suggestion… I hope you might like it:
Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Photography is in the genes! Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties. Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press. When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct. After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at 3 successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.
I love trees! I swear trees have magic. I live on the edge of a park in Cambridge surrounded by an incredible vista of trees and as a child I was no stranger to the mysterious aspect of the woods which were just a short walk away.
I’m going to share with you various trees which I have photographed some time ago. They have all captured my attention and are special and meaningful to me. I promise a diverse range, and a few giggles along the way.
What better choice to begin with, than this magnificent tree – a deciduous conifer, the Dawn Redwood, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, native to Lichuan county in Hubei province, China.
Local villagers refer to the original tree from which most others derive as Shui-sa, or “water fir”, which is part of a local shrine. Since its rediscovery in 1944, the dawn redwood has become a popular ornamental.
Strawberry Fields is a landscaped section in New York City’s Central Park dedicated to Beatle John Lennon. At the northern end of the lawns are three dawn redwood trees. The trees drop their needles each fall and regrow them each spring, a symbol of eternal renewal. The trees are expected to reach a height of 36 metres (118 ft), making them visible from great distances. Wikipedia
Even the name itself – Dawn Redwood – conjures up spell-binding magic. I discovered the redwood and many other beautiful trees on my lunchtime walks in the Botanical Gardens in Cambridge.
I think you will agree it is a wondrous tree. I love the warm, inviting orange colour in the bark and the beautiful, ferny foliage which was a delicate coppery shade when I photographed it in the autumn.
There is a distinct feeling of energy about this tree. It calls you to come and touch its bark.
And was interested to see what they had to say about Dawn Redwood.
Just some of the words that were mentioned to describe this tree:
A living fossil
Dates from prehistoric times
No wonder the Dawn Redwood captured my attention! I hope it will fascinate you too!
I love to write about nature – My poetry, prose and photography collection Mr. Sagittarius is a light-hearted, magical story about fictional characters, twin brothers Harold and William, their sister Annette and the sibling’s connection to the beautiful botanical gardens in Cambridge.
Moreover, it celebrates many aspects of day-to-day life including: sibling relationships, beauty, nature, the seasons of the year, love and ultimately magic.
I love spending time in nature taking photos – my favourite photos in this collection are the robin, trees and the dragonfly that grace this little book.
Photography is in my genes – Both my uncle and grandfather were photographers. My grandfather A.G. Ingram was originally with the photography company Ingram, Gordon & Co in Haddington up until the mid thirties. Then he ventured on his own to form the Scottish Pictorial Press in Edinburgh supplying photos to the press. When war broke out Scottish Pictorial Press became defunct. After the war he started AG Ingram Ltd, Commercial Photographers, at three successive locations in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The photographic images in the book are all my own, apart from two images by Alex Marlowe – a talented photographer.
Who am I? Which spiritual sister am I? I have never had a sister, sigh, but now I have Colleen, Debby, Adele Marie, myself, and Annette. Isn’t that wonderful? We are the Spiritual Sisters.
I’ve always had a fascination with the alternative, a curiosity about the paranormal, an interest in the zodiac and the like. For a time I worked as an alternative therapist specialising in Aromatherapy and Reflexology. I even did a short course in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT.) It fascinated me, but in truth, I didn’t have a lot of clients. I hadn’t discovered the power of blogging or social media yet. Perhaps, if I had it might have been a different story.
During my time as a therapist, I became quite intuitive and I developed an interest in crystals, auras, and chakras. My first crystal purchase was a malachite.
I believe the malachite marked the beginning of my transformation!
In this new feature – Spiritual Sisters – which was originally posted on our collaborative blog The Sisters of The Fey, I hope to explore crystals and their properties, the paranormal, and perhaps drop in a few zodiac posts too (I have a particular interest in the Chinese zodiac.) I’ve partially written an MG story set in Edinburgh about a girl and a dragon at Chinese New Year, which I hope to publish in the future. I also hope to share with you my magical connection posts about the wonder of nature, trees and spirit animals.
For the moment I would also like to share with you a focus on protective stones as I believe there is an unexplained presence in our house. There have been some very strange happenings that the female members of our household have noticed. My husband seems to be oblivious!
A disturbing strange vision we saw in the garden.
A force (a powerful air draft) pressing against the front door when I leave or enter the house. This is even apparent on a still day with no wind.
When I am alone in the house I tend to hear loud noises such as doors slamming, or objects falling which can be very creepy. My daughters and other visitors to our house have noticed this too.
My daughter saw a strange ghostly image crouching on the stairs leading to the attic and heard whisperings.
There have been unexplained fingerprints on the windows and more disturbing, two bird wingspan marks an equal distance from each other on the back patio doors. I took this photo of one of the sides. Ok, I added some Instagram effects to show you how it made me feel…
The other day at work I noticed this black shadowed bird-like apparition on a tree… which a friend of mine said is a BOOBRIE – ‘a shape-shifting bird from the mythology and folklore of the Scottish Highlands’. I’m not sure if this is the case as I work far away from the Scottish Highlands and there are no lochs nearby, but…
I love trees, and enjoy my wanders in the Cambridge Botanical Gardens which is home to many champion trees. Just recently I came upon this beautiful Paperbark Maple, such a find for an author: a tree that peels it bark, like the well-worn pages of a book that has been read many times! So, I decided to grace its beauty by writing an Etheree poem which you can see below.
I’m a contributing author in the Plaisted Publishing House Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018 with my story Ghostly Goodbye. Ghostly Goodbye by M J Mallon Ghostly Goodbye is a paranormal love story about a young woman called Iris who can’t get over her husband’s death. She is mourning him so much that she feels dead inside. Her husband Ed sends her a ghostly message from beyond the grave via an old forgotten garment in her wardrobe. She responds by dragging herself from her tomb-like bed and he draws back the curtain of death to visit her in a most unusual way.
Available on Amazon, Apple, Nook, Kobo, Scribd, 24S, Playster, Indigo, Angus & Robertson, Mondadori Store: Universal Buying Link
This week Colleen has given us total freedom with a free choice of words so I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to explore a new form of poetry too. Etheree poem…
Etheree The Etheree poem consists of ten lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The trick is to create a memorable message within the required format. Poets can get creative and write an Etheree with more than one verse, but the idea is to follow suit with an inverted syllable count. Reversed Etheree Syllable Count: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Double Etheree Syllable Count: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
I had a wonderful walk in the Botanic Gardens in Cambridge during my lunch break and came across this beautiful tree. It was so beautiful and magical that I struggled to part with it! This Etheree is in its honour.
Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!
I have an important announcement to make Kyrosmagica is now taking its first delicate steps into the …… unknown …. new civilisations … space dock….. no only kidding, I’m partaking in the delights of Instagram. You will probably have noticed by now that I love taking photos. All sorts of weird and wonderful things catch my eye, even fabulous ceilings like the one above, so I will be posting my favourite inspiring images and sharing them with you.
There will be something for everyone, I hope!
Whether that might be pretty trees, colourful flowers, tasty food, (I love my grub,) lovely places, candles, clocks, crystals, and of course bookish/blog related posts. Stolen cats (yes, I might need to pinch some as I don’t own one, a serious setback to an Instagram user. Any cats free for a sitting? You know who to contact, details below.
So please do follow me on Instagram too, this is a new endeavour and this empty handed lover of cats needs all the support she can get, help me crank up my follower notch a little if you can. If you do I promise I will purr….. I can’t wait to connect with new followers on Instagram and see all your lovely photos from all over the world. Already I’ve discovered some wonderful photos locally here in Cambridge, and further afield in exotic faraway places.
So do join me on this journey.
Yesterday with this in mind I went out on my first Instagram specific photography jaunt, the weather wasn’t what I’d call optimum, it was a bit of a grey day, it could have been sunnier but nevertheless I managed to get a few photos without being rained upon.
I have lots of ideas planned for my Instagram page and I am very excited about this!!!
Funnily enough I saw another person taking a close up photo of tree bark, I reckon she must be a keen Instagram enthusiast too! Either that or she is studying botany. At about the same time I nearly took a photo of my feet walking but I saved that gem of wonderment for next time!! Don’t laugh, people do this on Instagram all the time!
One particular image that caught my eye was a simple blue balloon that had floated up to the top of the ceiling in the shopping centre in Cambridge, and was trapped there. Can you imagine what that child’s reaction must have been when it floated away? No doubt tears were shed. I guess it might have been a birthday balloon, it looked shiny and fancy. I loved the contrast of the round, blue balloon, against the crisp lines of the ceiling structure.
Here’s the rest of my selection from yesterday, which you can see on my Instagram too, most of which have an Autumnal/Halloween theme:
Starting off with some candles on display in a shop, I love candles, tea lights, and aromatic delights so it’s not surprising that these featured.
Some Lush Halloween Bath Bombs perhaps, I love my smellies!
This colourful tree by the colleges and other pretty spots in the park on the way to Cambridge town centre caught my eye too:
It does look kind of deserted doesn’t it? There were people around but they kindly moved out of the way for my photography stint!
And did I mention that I like to eat? I think I did. This window display at Patisserie Valerie made me halt in my tracks. It’s enough to make anyone’s mouth water!! So have a cake or two on me ………………
Hope you like them!!! Napkin anyone?
Thanks so much to all my lovely followers for continuing to support me in all that I do here in this blog, on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Goodreads, and now on Instagram. It means so much.