It's autumn: leaves in glorious colours are clinging to branches, or swirling and crunching underfoot on the pavements, pumpkins have grinned, glowed and sputtered their Halloween cheer, soon fireworks and bonfires will fill the skies with sparks and stars.
Not long until winter and then the year will turn. I hope you have had a good year to date - doubtless 2014 has had many highs and lows, adventures and misadventures...lots of memorable moments. I am writing to ask you to contemplate and share.
"...all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I'm trying to please to the calling
Of your heartstrings that play soft and low..."
Moondance - Van Morrison
Let me explain...
The wonderful HR Christmas Fairy (also known as Alison Chisnell) has lent this underling elf her wand, in the hope that I can bring together the magic of the annual Advent series of blogs, where each daily post is contributed by a guest author and together they form a calendar for all of our enjoyment. Alison has other enchantments that she needs to attend to for this year.
|The Christmas Tree Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker|
I've participated in the series since 2011, when Alison first launched them, and each year they have made me smile, made me cry and made me think.
The series always has a title as a theme for that year - the first was Highlights and Horrors, then came Reflection and Resolutions and last year's was Stories and Stakes. Every year has brought surprises and some great things have happened as a result of some of the posts, for example the establishment of #HR4MH (HR for Mental Health) on Twitter, which lead to action and the creation of new jobs in the real world. If you are new to this seasonal tour de force, you can check out some of the previous posts on Alison's blog . All praise and credit is due to her for bringing such a wonderful series to life; for many it is now seen as an annual tradition, it is something we look forward to and, to quote a few people I have asked "Christmas would not be the same without it".
This year's Title is Paths and Perceptions.
The point is not to try to supersede the previous series of posts, simply to give time and space for people to share the stories they have, to reflect, to listen and to get to know each other that little bit better. The posts are often very personal…and that’s mostly a good thing. There are very few rules: anyone can contribute, the posts have an element of personal reflection and a sense of ‘you’ in them…and they run for as long as it takes for everyone who wants to, to have their say (so, unlike a conventional Advent calendar, it is not uncommon for them to roll into the New Year).
In the past people have shared their successes, fears, hopes and challenges.
What is the story that you want to share this year? What paths have you taken? Do you need to change direction? What have you perceived? What is your planned route for the year to come? Are there opinions or attitudes that you would like to see changed?
Rather than a competent elf, I feel more like Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer's Apprentice - I have a big task ahead of me and, without assistance, so much could go wrong. I really don't want to let my mistress down...so please help me.
|The Holly Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker|