I think perhaps, I should introduce myself.
My name is Valerie Ann Lancaster, nee Wing. I met my husband, Bern, in 1962 and we were married two years later, both aged nineteen. We have been blessed with three children on the Earthplane, two sons and a daughter and now have five grandchildren. I love all creatures and have always shared a home with much-loved animal friends. At the moment there are our two beautiful cats plus the birds and other wildlife who visit our garden. Bern and I live in a village just outside Southport and have been there since 1973. I was born in the Potteries “where the ‘mugs’
come from” as my Mum (who was also born in the Potteries) used to joke. . . . and that part of the world, together with its people, are still precious to me. Yorkshire too is very dear to me, my Dad having been a Yorkshire Man.
For fifty years I ran various Gymnastic Clubs for children starting when I was still at school. Eventually I became a qualified Coach with British Gymnastics. Bern began helping me not long after we started going out together and he went on to become both a qualified Coach and Gymnastics Judge.
I should mention that as well as Gymnastics being our hobby (all our coaching was done voluntary) we also loved to be out in the countryside, especially among the high mountains of the Lake District and up in the Scottish Highlands around Glencoe. We still do go out walking, but now it is much more low-level, along streams, across hillsides and through woodlands. I also enjoyed going out on our motorbike, ‘hiking on wheels’ as we called it! Many of my nature poems were scribbled onto a piece of paper pressed against Bern’s back or held tightly on my knee, as we travelled down winding country lanes or sped along the motorway on our 900cc Yamaha.
In 1992 I decided to slightly reduce the hours I spent coaching gymnastics and cut my sessions to twice a week instead of three. However, this spare time was soon taken up with another interest, which quite suddenly and unexpectedly, came into my life and it was this which led to the “Just Poems” and then to the “Just Stories”.
I have always believed there is definitely a life after ‘death’ but like most people, I had never really sought to understand it, that is until 1992 when I was shown some family photographs by a close uncle of mine. On one of these was his brother, my Uncle Gordon, who had been my mentor and trusted friend. He had passed away twenty-two months earlier in 1990. However, I was now looking at him on a photograph which had been taken very recently. There was no doubt at all in my mind that it was him. I did not have to think about it, I just knew!
I had often talked to these uncles on separate occasions, about the ‘super-natural’ as we used to call it, though to quote a dear friend, I now know it is ‘super’ and certainly ‘natural’. One evening Uncle Gordon had said to me what many people say: “When I go over, I’ll come back and let you know what it is like.” To me, seeing him on this quite ‘normal looking’ photograph, meant he had done just that! I decided I would have to find out more and so it was that a week later, I made my way to a Spiritualist Church.
The same as when doing anything for the first time I was hesitant, for I did not know what to expect, but the people were very friendly and did not try to influence me in any way. They said I would be made more than welcome if I wished to attend one of their Church Services. They also advised me to only accept what felt right to me, explaining how everyone is an individual and therefore entitled to their own thoughts and feelings. I liked their sincerity and after later discussing it with Bern, we both decided to go.
This was a big step for me to take, because when I was still a child my father became ill with Multiple Sclerosis and later passed away at the age of forty-three. At that time I was only fourteen and I felt devastated. I loved him so much and had been convinced he would get better. I was brought up in the Church of England and had been told by a well-meaning Methodist Minister that if I said my prayers my father would recover. I did say them, for many years – yet he died.
After this, I cut myself off from religion although I still believed in God, but not in the way Religion had taught me, yet now I was going into a Church where hymns were sung and prayers were said. I decided I could not be a hypocrite so I sang the hymns but only listened to the prayers. However, when we came home after the service, Bern and I both knew we had felt something very special that evening and we also knew we would go again. We went there for numerous years and are still going to various Spiritualist Churches, for we have found an understanding and meaning to life which is not dogmatic and which welcomes people from all walks of life and all different cultures and creeds.
It was about five weeks after we started going to the Services that I received the first poem. One evening in the Church tea-room I picked up a Newsletter and in it was an article written by an 18th Century Carmelite Nun. What it said was beautiful. A few days later at home, I decided to try and condense its meaning into a small verse. This I did, calling it “Just a Thought”. However, after writing it, before I could even put down my pen, I started writing out other words which were to form a poem of their own . . . and so it was that “Just Poems” were born!
As already mentioned earlier, I quickly realised they were to be shared with others. They have helped me so much in my understanding not only of myself and how to approach life in a better way, but also of my spirit-self and of spiritual things. They have made me aware of Natural Laws, or Universal Laws as some people call them.
It would be lovely if these stories and poems could bring you some comfort, especially in those times which are hard, when life can seem so cruel. Maybe they can simply be of help to you in your everyday life and in your awareness of the continued life we all lead in Spirit – or Heaven, or whichever name you may choose to call it. For those who do not believe in anyone or anything, perhaps they may tempt you to think a little differently.
As I progressed in my spiritual understanding, I became much more aware of the closeness of those from above and am ever grateful for their guidance, teachings, comfort and healing. Through meditation I began to meet with Spirit loved ones, Guides and Inspirers and over the years have formed a close bond both spiritually and in an Earthly way, with the Lakota (Sioux) and Cheyenne people of the Great Plains, particularly those around South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Nebraska. Even as an eight-year-old child I was drawn to the North American Indian and to this day I can remember the times I would quietly sit for quite a while with a toy metal buffalo in my hand, just staring at it . . . yet not really knowing why. I now fully appreciate just how important the buffalo or ‘Tatanka” was to these Tribes.
Life is different for us all and we all have our own individual ways, but I sincerely hope your life and the life of your loved ones is happy, fulfilled and enlightening.
With best wishes to you,