In this issue: Your place to grow – Mind over matter – Clean break – Bringer of good fortune – Positively personal – Literary legacy – Rhythm of life – In the face of adversity – Distractions aside – Same old story?

‘What is this life if, full of care, | We have no time to stand and stare.’

The oft-quoted opening lines of WH Davies’ poem, Leisure, first published in 1911, have become something of a rallying cry down the years – a call to take time out and discover the beauty in nature. To see where ‘squirrels hide their nuts’ and observe ‘streams full of stars, like skies at night’.

Just standing, however, or, preferably, sitting for a while, be that in a meadow buzzing with insect life or a cosy, digital-free, quiet room, also offers scope for deep contemplation. Because away from life’s cares, whatever they may be, and removed from demanding emails, incessant notifications and doom-laden news reels, there’s mental space to think, to question, to re-evaluate, and to nourish and draw upon inner wisdom. There’s also scope to find a healthy balance of self-knowledge and awareness without limiting opportunities for personal growth and fresh ways to challenge an inner voice that might be only too happy to chasten and foster thoughts of self-doubt.

It’s not for everyone. For some, quiet space and deep contemplation are the stuff of nightmares. But life is busy and it’s easy to get carried along without ever stopping to think consciously about the direction of travel. Contemplation itself won’t necessarily produce all the answers. It could, however, point to a more fulfilling path – one that, hopefully, also includes a lot of standing and staring.