I’ve been rushing again. Not covering much ground, because most of my rushing is done at home and much of it doesn’t even require movement – it’s as much as anything a helter-skelter of the mind. Slowing down has become a much overdue necessity.

I’ve been unexpectedly helped in this by a companion of many years to whom I’ve given too little attention lately. He’s been with me since I was around the age of two, and apart from a lengthy leave of absence some years back when he went on extended loan to my mother as a teaching assistant, he’s never been too far from my side.

Treacle, my bear, outside the glasshouses

Treacle is taking part in a photographic project I’ve initiated that involves going out on location, and because he is a bear of diminutive stature this means that I find myself as often as not crouching down or even sitting on the ground.

There’s something about doing this – connecting with the ground more closely than I normally do when standing up – that is immediately calming. It’s also true that working with Treacle is always a reassuring and balancing thing to do, partly because he’s an old and trusted friend but also because of his expression which is subtle but encouraging. As my sister observed, it’s not always easy to tell what he’s thinking – but certainly he looks out at the world with a mixture of curiosity, interest and wonder, and an unfailing sense of optimism.

Treacle discovers a pair of antique binoculars bigger than himself

These pictures were taken in the Glasshouses at Cliffe Castle. Outside when it’s not frosty it’s muddy, but there are still places where we can find stone or other dry surfaces to sit on, or clamber over.

Treacle sitting on the rock he's climbed, admiring the fountain

And when the ground is frozen, there’s nothing better than getting down close among the leaves…….

Frosted leaves on the ground, sprinkling of snow

It turns out that this is the two hundredth post I’ve published on this blog. I’d not been counting, but WordPress tells you these sort of things, and I can’t think of a nicer way to celebrate than with my small and constant friend.

A big thank you to all of you who’ve been with me along the way, and the wonderful people I’ve met and feel I know as friends in the blogging world of WordPress.

17 thoughts on “Grounded

  1. how beautiful! first of all: many beautiful things for your wonderful post. then I have to tell you that something is same to us again… I also had a teddy bear that I loved so much, his name is Sirio, like the star … a hug to you and him

  2. The last time we were at Cliffe Castle, in the cactus house was a rather large and pompous cat. He had curled up next to one of those rather fearsome round pincushion cactus and was relishing the warmth. Your little companion looks far cuter and immensely more approachable x

    1. That made me smile! When was this, Kate, if you don’t mind me asking? It sounds as if it might have been back in the day before the restoration of the park and the glasshouses? I love the place as it is now, but I also loved it then when it all had a completely different ambience, and the image of the pompous cat fits with what it was like then. Thanks for the story!

  3. Lovely post. Congrats on 200.
    Optimism in a bear is very desirable quality. So that makes life immediately better.
    I am with you on the sitting on the ground in the big outside.

    1. Thanks David! And I’m glad to hear that you agree about sitting on the ground – I’m sure there are all kinds of reasons, zen, tao, magnetic, druidic, creative, scientific; all I know is that I know it to be true!

  4. It’s fun to see these, and your observations about the process forcing you to get low and slow down are interesting. That makes sense. You’ve had this happy little guy since you were two, that’s cool! I don’t have anything from when I was really young, but my mother saved a tiny bear from her own childhood, and I have that. It’s very, very threadbare, and very comforting. Here’s to two hundred more creative posts, whenever they are ready to happen!

    1. Thanks! So interesting that you have a little bear that’s even older than mine – well, a lot older – and Treacle is pretty threadbare too. As you say, that’s part of the appeal, and part of what’s comforting. He’s actually attracting quite an audience after appearing here and on Instagram.

  5. What a lovely post! I’ve been away from WP for a while, and couldn’t imagine a sweeter post to come back to. Me too I still have my teddy bear (and a little piece of cotton cloth that I always kept with me, otherwise I couldn’t sleep), but it’s just laying in a plastic bag for the moment. I never gave my bear any name either, I guess I simply called it my “teddy bear”. Great to see the relationship you too are still having, and the new adventures!

    1. How lovely to hear from you! I just read your post about crocheted earrings and they’re delightful. I’m very interested that you still have your teddy bear (even if you never felt the need to give him a name!) – and that piece of cloth! (Write about them sometime???!) Welcome back!

  6. Oh, hello–lovely post. I especially recognize that “helter-skelter of the mind”–well said. I have my childhood bear, too–Theodore Cinnamon Anchorbear III–I especially wonder where I came up with “the third”! He and my sweet-faced doll, Jenny, have been tucked away in a cedar chest for years. You’ve inspired me that this weekend, I may invite them out for a visit. Hope all is wonderful with you, and that springtime is finding you at home.

    1. I’m enchanted by the sound of Theodore Cinnamon Anchorbear III – (I’m particularly taken with the Anchorbear – it sounds like all that a teddy bear is, somehow) – and I’m so hoping that you will indeed invite him and Jenny out for a visit. (And hoping – dare I? – to hear all about it….)!

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