enchanting · happiness · new beginnings · photography

A year in which I shall remain enchanted.

down to the sea

“They left the path, and clambered down the olive terraces, down and down, to where at the bottom the warm, sleepy sea heaved gently among the rocks. There a pine tree grew close to the water, and they sat under it, and a few yards away was a fishing boat lying motionless and green-bellied on the water. The ripples of the sea made little gurgling noises at their feet.” ~ From the book “The Enchanted April”.

A whole week has passed by and here we are, already ensconced in another new year.

I began contemplating my new year’s resolutions during the first couple of days of this year but my thoughts were short lived. New Year’s resolutions are a habit, I have resolved, a habit which I wish to break. Every year, without fail, I plan. Plans for blogging, plans for being organised, plans for healthy eating, plans for my garden, plans to alter the fact that my work takes over my life, that family takes over my life, chores take over my life. Why must we fill our brains with such negative thoughts, concentrating on everything that is wrong, planning ways in which we can change these wrongs into rights? (As I am writing, both of the two telephones I have at home have rung…another “non New Year’s resolution” springs to mind….why must I always be the person who my family have to ring when they have a question? I shouldn’t be so accessable. I’m writing, family!!)


So here we are, a whole week into the New Year, and I haven’t written one single blog post. “Why not?” I hear you ask, when all of my blogging friends have surged on into the New Year with the same writing momentum as they had during last year.

Here, I can correct the error of my ways. I have had, perhaps, between five and ten blog posts running around in my brain during the last week, none of which have ever made it to actual, physical, on-the-computer words. I do that often, you know. All of my posts, to my mind, have to have some form and structure, they need to be heading somewhere, have a point to them, and a tangible point at that. Well, that is one aspect of this year which is about to change! Why must every blog post have a point to it? A definite point or a message?

I don’t believe it has to! If it is a simple shared pleasantry, a special moment to be remembered, photos I have taken that I am pleased with, I can share them all here.

Sometimes, (make that often) my mind simply wanders around in a very orderly circle, with words that I should be writing down. If I were to write down those thoughts and read those thoughts back at a later hour, I may just find out that I have written something brilliantly profound.

Or perhaps not. But my words have been drifting off into the earth’s atmosphere, unanchored, never having been written, never having been read, never knowing whether they held any kind of significance to anyone. Forgotten words; forgotten moments.


Every single day of every year I have a book that I am reading, and there are many times when I read a passage in a book and think to myself, “I really should share those words”, yet I rarely do so. And when I do share the magical words with someone who is physically here with me, they usually do not understand the magic in the words, so the moment somehow seems lost. My reasoning for not sharing a few meaningful words from a book here, where my blogging friends “feel” words that my family somehow miss, is that no one would understand the significance of what I have written, unless they had already read the book.

I ask you, do the words have to have total and absolute significance, for another person to feel the joy of reading those few words? I don’t believe they do, so I will share a beautiful moment, a moment which made my heart sing, as I lost myself within the pages of imagination…

Yesterday, I read these words in my latest book that I started to read just this last week. I re-read those words, then re-read them again, for to me, the words held so much joy and the promise of happy, mindless days ahead. The book I am reading is “The Enchanted April”, written by Elizabeth Von Arnim and first published in 1922. I have seen the movie, but can barely remember it as it was so many years ago. Books tell the story so much more completely than a movie does though, don’t you think?


To set the scene, Mrs Wilkins and Mrs Arbuthnot have escaped England and their husbands, each with a different reason for wishing to escape, and have finally arrived, after an extremely harrowing journey (during which they had thought they were about to be murdered)  at the small, medieval castle in Italy, which they have leased for the month of April.

“And there they were, arrived; and it was San Salvatore; and their suitcases were waiting for them; and they had not been murdered. They looked at each other’s white faces and blinking eyes very solemnly. It was a great, a wonderful moment. Here they were, in their medieval castle at last. Their feet touched its stones. Mrs Wilkins put her arm round Mrs Arbuthnot’s neck and kissed her. “The first thing to happen in this house”, she said softly, solemnly, shall be a kiss.” “Dear Lotty,” said Mrs Arbuthnot. “Dear Rose,” said Mrs Wilkins, her eyes brimming with gladness. “

As I read this passage of words, the whole scene to me was brimming with gladness. Such a simple story, such a simple speech, yet so profoundly beautiful. So I share it with you today, in the hope that you too can feel the anticipation felt by Rose and Lotty, as the friends begin their enchanted April in Italy.

Just as I begin my “Enchanted 2013”.


As 2013 opens its doors even wider, and I travel along the path of the days, wishing for change, yet not sure yet what those changes will be, wishing for a “word of the year” yet no word seems to encompass the entirety of the changes that I do know I wish to take place, I will write down my random thoughts, publish random photos I take, and not expect excellence and total clarity of mind before I write these thoughts down and click on the “publish” button, sending my thoughts out for the world to read.

If I have just a few words, simply to accompany a photo I have taken, I will add those. If I seem to be overflowing with words, as I seem to be today, I will write for a longer time.

I will try not to edit my words as I write, wishing always for my words to come straight from my heart.

And as 2013 draws to a close and I reflect back on the year that has been, if I have made some progress through the year and I can see an advancement, some change that has taken place, then it will have been an enchanting year.

14 thoughts on “A year in which I shall remain enchanted.

  1. “But my words have been drifting off into the earth’s atmosphere, unanchored, never having been written, never having been read, never knowing whether they held any kind of significance to anyone.”

    Joanne, many of my words are drifting out there in the atmosphere, too, perhaps mingling with yours. 🙂 When I do post meaningful passages from books I’ve read on my blog, though, it amazes me when a few people get what I got out of it, and even better, when they notice something more profound in it than I did. You never know…

    “Enchanted April” is one of my all-time favorite movies – I have the DVD and have seen it many times, always finding a little more meaning each time around. But I didn’t know it was based on a book!!! Looks like it will be added to my “to read” list today!

    Love the yellow and white flowers, and of course, your awesome pictures of the sea!


    1. Let me know what you think of the book after you have read it Barbara. I want to sit down in a lovely quiet corner and read the whole book through at once, but on the other hand, I don’t want it to ever finish! It’s such a wonderful, magical, dreamy story, and it appeals to the dreamer in me greatly. 🙂


  2. Your words came, beautiful words. I do not believe each and every blog needs to be significant; some of my most enjoyable writing has been just letting the words flow as they come, to be shared if others wish to share them, just to be spilled out, a bit of me. As you said, over a week into the new year, and I have had one blog come to mind. For me, for now, the words are not there. Apparently I am in the quiet zone for now.


    1. Thank you so much Carol, and thank you for always sharing a little bit of you. 🙂
      I believe we all have times of solitude, when no words come to us because no words are necessary. But the times passes, as the circle of life goes round, and the words always return.


  3. I am certain you will have an amazing 2013. Sometimes I think I need to only right profound and moving blogs. But so often there is just something that I want to say and being profound is something that only comes by once in awhile. So I have learned that you never know what will touch someone, and to not put it out there cheats everyone.

    Are the yellow and white flowers ginger? They remind me of flowers I once saw in Hawaii that smelled so sweetly and turned out to be ginger. And I love your sea! How beautiful!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!


    1. Happy New Year to you Dawn! 🙂

      The white and yellow flowers are frangipanis. They come in a variety of colours and have the most beautiful scent too. They are regarded as a tropical flower and they are mentioned in “The Enchanted April”, as are dandelions and rocks by the ocean. I tried to add photos here which related to the book. Some ginger plants have the most unusual flowers, but I shy away from planting them in my garden though as they can become quite intrusive!


  4. Wow, what a very insightful blog post. Thank you for making me think this morning. I often wonder about my blog posts – if I can’t come up with something witty or a lovely photograph to share, should I even bother to push that publish button? And, like you, I have those blog posts bouncing around in my head that never make it to the computer screen. But then, often my random, not completely planned out posts that share snippets and thoughts and parts of the day are the ones that people respond to the most. These blogs are our little spaces on the infinite internet and it is our chance to use them as we please and throw our ideas out into the ether. I hope 2013 does turn out to be an enchanting year for you.


    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Karma….I think that perhaps the blogs written from random thoughts usually end up being like a chatty conversation with the reader and that is why they are responded to so well. 🙂


  5. This is indeed an enchanting post, Joanne. Loving your new realization that blog posts don’t have to have points. They can be circular instead, with mere snippets (like your quote above) opening your reader’s hearts and minds. If I waited to come up with a point…I would have written sixteen blog posts instead of 726 in three years. It feels like your heart really came through–your enchanted heart–as you mused here. And your quote reminds me of some of your FB photos. They brim with that enchanted Rose Garden gladness.


    1. I think I have shared my idea of the perfect world here Kathy, one filled with beautiful plants and flowers in the garden and every person in the garden thinking good thoughts. That’s why I so enjoyed reading “The Enchanted April”, it made my heart sing! 🙂


  6. I think you have your word for the year, but you’ll have to figure that out on your own. In the meantime, I am enchanted with this post and your images. Your words flowed so naturally and the pictures you brought with them sparkle and delight.

    I stopped planning my posts during the year of getting outside and posting daily. It just wasn’t possible to live up to self-imposed high standards.

    I love the opening quote, by the way. I would like to be there, clambering down olive terraces. I’ve never heard of “Enchanted April.” I’m going to look for the book. 🙂


    1. You may be right Robin, I may have my word for the year. I think hindsight will be needed to confirm that though.

      I have decided to go with my heart when writing blog posts this year. If I feel the urge to write something down, I will, then I will read back over what I have written after the words have finished flowing. There is plenty of time later to correct grammar and spelling mistakes. We really should relax a bit over those self imposed high standards, shouldn’t we. 🙂


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