Thursday, 6 October 2011

Lightness & Dark

I cannot find the right place to start today.  I have many joyful things to report and I shall still, but yesterday our world was rocked by some tragic news that blew our way in the wind.  A loss in a family close to us.  It is second hand news so though my heart is burning to know particulars and hold these people oh so close and tight with love and light, all I can do is wait. 

I went into shock when I heard and I don't think I've ever experienced extreme shock before, but I did yesterday - trembling, shaking, unable to get whole words out of my mouth.  I felt like the bottom had fallen out of my being, I struggled to breathe properly and anger coursed through my veins, utter disbelief held me in it's grip, I wanted to scream so loudly, I wanted to punch something so hard. 

I thought I could hold it together, carry on at playgroup and have fun with my girl but I spoke to Cliff and as wise as he is he left work to scoop us up and take us home.  In hindsight and not at all surprisingly my girl honed in and sensed my grief, she was beside herself by the time Cliff arrived even though I kept reassuring her, through peppering of tears, she knew something was up with Mama. I forgot how sensitive their psyche's are, I forgot how deeply in tune with one another we are.

Had I not started to practice mindfulness just weeks before I fear I would have taken to my bed in agony and anguish.  Mindfulness saved me and my family yesterday.  Though I desperately needed to feel, Cliff was there coaching me through, telling me to hold it together and gradually I realised that it is ok to have thoughts of this news enter my mind, only natural, I should not shut them out but I should not obsess and contort them, I need merely acknowledge them, reassure myself it is natural and ok, just be with them, then let them pass and move back to my present moment with my family.

I felt fragile though and needed to gather them all close to me - Zander, Gaia and Cliff and hold them tight, never let them go, this wild and precious life is just that, these people dear are to be treasured, family is sacred.  I give thanks for mine and our relative stability.

My night of sanctuary at the Buddhist centre set me up for a relatively undisturbed night.  Though I slept, which itself is blessed relief, my dreams were subtly infiltrated by the acute and thorny anguish of those souls who now suffer.  I woke up and immediately checked my phone, knowing my friend would not have contacted me, it may be weeks but I'll be here, gathering in strength day by day so that when the call comes I'm solid as a rock and can comfort, listen, hold and love.  Meanwhile I hold them all in my heart and deepest wishes of peace.

My house has been a happy one this week, my soul has been nourished...

.... by old friends returning.  There is something magical about friendships that you can just pick up exactly where you left off - even if it was years before.  These ladies are the salt of the earth and I wore a stupid grin all weekend after our sunny reunion .... could have been transported back ten years - Cambridge in the sunshine, drinking cider by the river, just a couple of poignant people missing, but the spirit still there. 

.... by the love my babies have for one another.  Every morning when we drop Zander at school Gaia will potter off as I hang Zander's coat on his peg and direct his lunch box to its shelf.  But earnestly Zander will look for her, put a big brotherly arm round her, drawing her a little closer and kiss her neatly on the head.  If he forgets, he comes back to find her before disappearing off into his classroom once more.

... by Sunday bake offs!  Gaia, always keen to don an apron and get stuck in with whatever I am doing and Zander who can now whisk eggs - marvelling at the gloopy consistency as it stretches from the whisk into the jug.  As it was Apple Day we threw wild pears into the mixture (ok, not apples but close enough and jolly tasty!)

... And despite common sense screaming NO! as they scrape the bowl out, the mixture having contained raw egg, I remind myself ... we all did it as kids right?  and we all survived right?  and wasn't it just the best bit about baking?  I told common sense to shut up and please ignore us for just a few moments and let them enjoy what is almost a birth right!

nourished by this moment ... finding my boy zen like and waiting patiently for pass the parcel to begin at the first of many parties we have had invites for since school started.  I think in time I'll let him choose which ones he wants to go to but I didn't want him to be left out so early on in the year as the whole class seemed to have been invited and it provided a good opportunity to socialise and firm bonds outside of the school gates.  It was a glorious afternoon, unseasonal heatwave, beautiful holistic surroundings.

... Zander I must appologise if you are checking these out in years to come. I once read that you shouldn't use pictures of your kids looking goofy. But ever frustrated by the delay I cannot banish from my camera and the fact that just moments before you were wearing the cheekiest cutest grin you ever did see, the goof happened and this is the moment I caught. And I love it, goof and all!
... nourished by seeing him hanging out with his class mates ... not surprisingly; with the girls!

I'm nourished by his promise to be polite for the rest of his life and though I will not hold him to this as he is only small, he means well and is doing well so far and it's music to my ears.

... by his helpful streak which continues 'You shouldn't do it all' he says as I clear the table of dinner things into the dishwasher, 'I could do it all for you'  But I'd rather it was a joint effort so we settled for team work and I love this.  I love having the kitchen clean straight after dinner, though I have an inkling the return of the sticker chart with the promise of comics for a certain number may have something to do with it.
I say that but the sticker chart returned when I realised how helpful he was becoming, now it truly is a reward chart and not, as it has been before, a bribe chart.  He tidies their bedroom every morning before school and doesn't complain when I request a hand with something here and there.  Gaia makes a habit of going into the chill out room first thing and clearing it of coffee cups and empty biscuit wrapprs.  I love this spontaneous awareness - something I've been trying to persuade Cliff can exist, be fostered, nurtured and grown in children from very early on.

I will enjoy it all whilst it lasts.  I will enjoy every moment I can this week.

Bright Blessings  X 


  1. You have put into words my feelings so succinctly. I always struggle to get the thoughts out of my head in a form that makes sense to everyone else. The feelings of wanting to feel, but not wanting to feel, of holding those close so tight and never wanting ti let them go, all so very relevant to me too. And well done for the mindfulness, I knew that was what I needed, but I let the thoughts consume me completely, and for a while there was no way back.

    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts, and as awful as it is, these dark days make the bright moments shine all the brighter,

    Blessings to you.

  2. Thank you Claire, I hope you found the way back in the end and that life is kind to you in this moment? X