Friday, 14 December 2012

Winter Wonder

The Season creeps into our home some more.  Lady G and I have baked numerous batches of gingerbread and mince pies and last night I sat and watched Zander write out all his Christmas cards himself, drawing a unique little picture in each.  I remember last year when he was only just beginning to write, he truly wanted to write all his cards but his attention span, interest and self belief didn't see him right the way through the list but this year he found joy and pride in it.



Last weekend Santa was camped out in some local woods and I heard tell he needed helpers ... any excuse to dust off the pixie threads really!  It was a rustic winter scene playing out, with a fire going all day and other pixie-mama-helpers.  Heart warming even through the cold just the knowing these will be memories my children hold of the winter festival in years to come. 



 

Wishing tree at fairy woods, a hug is sure to help a wish on its way!

I'm quite jealous of Santa, I loved his shelter and Mrs Christmas was there too helping to hand out the baby christmas trees to each child as a gift to them and their 'Planet Too' the tag read.

 

Gaia will rule the world with her confidence, Zander likes his mama's reasurance still.  Both of them make me go mushy inside with their uniqueness.



I have had the most ethical Christmas ever as I've found 90% of my gifts in our fantastic charity shops.  No lesser quality, no air miles or carbon footprint, re-using, re-loving, giving directly to charity.  I am just a little bit pleased with myself and can't imagine the amount of money I have saved and given simultaneously.


Still the internal soul work continues.  I struggle to put words to this process partly for fear of somehow cursing what feels like forward motion and partly because it isn't very orderly in my head.  I can feel curiosity and belief holding me steady and I feel things, little things making sense that haven't previously.  This is good and long may it continue.

But my biggest struggle at the moment is getting the children to listen to me.  Honestly it's as if I am not there.  It doesn't matter how softly or loudly I speak they show no recognition or interest in me whilst my mouth is moving.  It reminds me of the Charlie Brown cartoons where the kids are in school and the teacher, who you never see, is talking but the only audible sound is a repetitive droning noise - I am certain this is truly what the children hear when I speak!  And because they don't listen they don't seem to do anything they are asked, then told.  And then when I am frustrated and cross they get stroppy or upset and I'm the bad guy and the nag.  Even appealing to them with a brief explanation of the whole issue is of no interest to them.  I know they both listen well at school and nursery ... so relatively my worries are few, this is just parenthood.

Next week Zander has chosen to stay home and celebrate the Solstice here with us.  I gave him the choice of spending the last day with his friends at school or having our special day here and I was so proud he wanted to be here for Solstice.  They both have a growing awareness of what we mark, what we celebrate and revere.  In school they have had vicars in and 'lots of God and Jesus talk' as Zander put it.  He asks me questions, reaffirming to himself what it is I believe.  I love to explain and try always to emphasis as well that we all have a choice and that just because I have my pagan nature based beliefs and customs doesn't mean everyone else does and we must respect that - just like with us being vegetarian - something they are also both aware and seemingly proud of....

Seven sleeps till solstice!  Then we shall eat drink and be merry much!

Blessings love and winter wishes x

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Assimilating the practice

I haven't written anything for so long!  There have been so many times I've caught a thought or a musing and wanted to record it but not found the time like with a lot of things lately.  I casually admitted to myself I now have so many balls to keep in the air that it's impossible to expect myself to manage everything all of the time.  So I'm dropping some here and pick some others back up, all the time.   Sometimes it's frustrating but it's realistic and this feels good.

As autumn fades into winter there is a buzz in the house.  I lifted Winter, in it's box, gently down from it's hiding place upstairs and dug out copies of the snowman and vintage Christmas tunes the other day.  I'm thinking bunting, sewing, making, much baking and arranging myriad gatherings.  We're turning inward, calling the season in.

As this happens in our home so it feels as though it is happening in my heart too.  My dearest friend once said 'the answers are inside Rose, I promise you' and in the last month it may be that I've seen a glimmer of this truth.  I'm feeling some assimilation of all those books I've read, conversations I've had late at night and in the wee hours, the soul searching and courses, the mindfulness and meditation - even if it comes in sporadic tidal waves of enthusiasm.  But always holding the belief that it is a useful thing to do.  Could it be that finally I can dredge up these useful wisdom's I swore I'd not forget when I need them to change myself and my actions and awareness in that moment not in hindsight?  Actually bring these philosophies and practises into everyday life?  It has been happening more and more.  It's about time.  Giving up isn't a choice and as this journey doesn't have a specific end, the path continues as do I, in faith.

I am still working nights, but to make things easier (only took me a year to crack it!) I have managed to consciously maintain positive thinking to fight the funk - reminding myself of what I gain like each day in the home with the children, no holiday childcare to sort or worry over absence from work through their illness.  It has certainly helped but paradoxically now my mind has started coping with the flux of night shifts my body is giving me signs it doesn't like it.  My memory is shot, my back is normally strained in one place or another, my monthly cycle has gone to pot and I find it difficult to regulate my body temperature.  I just can't find anything that I can make fit with our circumstances.  I keep trying, there have been some interesting jobs come up but all too many hours or not flexible enough, I shall be glad of the freedom to work days when Gaia is at school next September though I am not wishing that precious time away!

I have this saying that if you can give birth you can do anything and I sit back and look at how much other stuff I'm taking on on top of the regular madness and considering I am dropping balls left right and centre ... I think I'm insane!  Some deep part of me truly believes what I say; that I can do anything, can cope with anything.  It's a can do attitude.  So long as anything doesn't regularly turn into everything.

Strangely I haven't taken many photographs in the time I've not been writing, but a few lovely ones from the end of autumn ...


 



 


With love and warmth and the hope that it won't be so long next time X

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Wholesome is ...

... drinking fresh juices and doing yoga with the children first thing on a sunday morning with a blue sky creeping between curtains promising a bright day.  Familiar incense tickling my senses, invoking fond memories of before, delighting a curious soul.

X

Monday, 22 October 2012

A Mother's Frustrations ...

I wanted to capture these thoughts and feelings as they happened for authenticity's sake.

Why is it still so difficult to keep all these damn balls in the air ... work-money-family.  We have a relatively humble existence, we don't have a lot of money but we do just manage to earn enough and spend meaningful time with our kids.  

I have come to understand there is always a sacrifice to be made in each phase of life - be it money for childcare, the hours spent working out the house, the money lost through spending more time at home or  most recently forgoing several nights sleep a week in order to keep the other balls of money and family in the air instead for a while.

But for all my pro activity in finding an alternative to working nights I am still so frustrated at the difficulty of the logistics of it all.  If it's not finding a job itself it is having to find childcare for the children at funny times for training in new said job or receiving not-very-friendly letters from current employer complaining about the difficulty I seem to be having finding childcare to cover training there.  I am feeling like it is either accepted that extended family a) are around and b) will help out or women generally don't move jobs or go back to work till both kids are at school so none of these employer types actually realise what a task it is working all these arrangements out.

We don't have extended family or friends that can help and my favourite child-looker-afterer is on the opposite side of town to Zander's school and isn't available past school pick up time.  Meanwhile Zander has asked to be home schooled and Gaia is not enjoying nursery as much as she did at first - finding being without me very difficult.  My tribe need me, I'm being pulled in multiple directions and my head is in such a pickle over it all that I can't decide what the right thing to do here is.

Back in the day it was simple - women stayed at home to keep house and raise the family.  Women fought for the right to go out to work just like men but now we've proved how good at multi-tasking we are, we are expected to do it all - raise the family, keep the house and earn a crust and at the same time the price of living keeps going up and any help we once got in the shape of tax credits is now non existent.


I don't like to moan but keeping frustrations in is no good for anyone!

Off to find solace in little things.

love and light X



Thursday, 18 October 2012

Wholesome is ...


Hearth and home still call. Gaia is showing a lot of emotion and tiredness since starting nursery. It has surprised even her I think. She is like her mama - she believes she is invincible and can continue ploughing through all the things she wants to do without considering her energy reserves. So I am trying to honour her fatigue by spending non-nursery time together at home and forgoing some of the lovely things we would normally do like bounce-around, music group and meeting friends for walks and coffee. Constantly being out of the house, sociable and hearty though it is, is tiring now nursery is part of the picture and leaves us feeling disconnected at times.


We stayed home today and subtly a wholesome flow started to trickle through - refreshing us like a cold mountain stream, really it did and bringing with it moments to be present in


         






         


today wholesome was ...


how Zander thoughtfully picked out the star necklace for his sister this morning saying 'you want to look your best' for the school photographs


unplugging, tuning out


tuning in to something different


the simple fun of watching marbles going round and round over and over


when Gaia announced 'I think I lost something in my head'


making nature journals together


bathing feathers, leaves, barley corn and sycamore seeds with glitter


knocking up a new outfit for Catsy from an old pair of tights





and how they both thoughtfully cleared the table for dinner and totally tidied the playroom up tonight ...



... I am blessed, many times over.



with love and light X

Monday, 15 October 2012

Thrifted threads lovingly re-imaginend





I am feeling quite alive for the re-emergence of some of my creativity.  This month has been a bit of a journey in that respect   - a sequence of inspiring events/meet ups/friends and signs.  Really listening to the universe and thinking 'what the heck I'll go with this' has given me the something I needed to dust off the sewing machine and un-lock my imagination.

here is the first piece I sold but I have another butterfly and many more stars so could make another bespoke ...

 


I need to spend some time setting up some sort of little on line shop as I am setting myself the target of up-cycling/creating two pieces a week.  I have kids clothes to play with too.


These two are also finished ...

 









 


the possibilities with a box of thrifted clothes and stashed fabric are endless, it's just time I need to find more of.  Thoroughly enriching though, creativity is definitely important.

love and light

X

Sunday gold ...

look what She went and did as a finale to a beautiful sunday!

         






which began like this ...






Satisfyingly impromptu moments, coming together to craft in our individual ways but together at one big table ... strewn with supplies and happy chaos ...

I loved it when Zander asked us each to stop what we were doing so that he could draw our portraits ... Gaia's slightly rabid look and my lofty wine glass elicited many inner chuckles lest I should offend him if any got out!






how our collective (almost definitely hereditary!) soft spot for this is becoming sunday tradition whilst daddy's out at the gym  ...







And I marvelled at Zander's clever spelling with Lego idea.

Cliff and I dug over the ground in which we will plant our mini orchard next weekend!  I even snuck some time to read passages of various books and wrote up a list of things to achieve in week 4 of 'sort my-so-called-life out'.  I am moving forwards, it's a great feeling and today I may retrospectively map what I've achieved so far over a pumpkin pie latte.

Sending out positive vibrations for the coming week X





Saturday, 13 October 2012

Life as Meditation

... I never wanted to use the term worship for these posts even though that is where the idea loosely came from (see here and here) and today as I berated myself for dropping regular meditation practice AGAIN I figured this noticing and holding little things sacred could be meditation.  So there we are .... life as meditation ... it sits well and works well for a time poor mama.  These are the moments I lingered a little longer in yesterday ...






 

her imagination

and mine

shades of green I've never even seen

combining instinct and knowledge with listening to nature

finding him wrapped around his snoozing sister 'because I love her'

just noticing a creeping thirst for wordier words


love and light X




Thursday, 11 October 2012

noticing


the strong call from hearth and home


unspoken needs of the children


... instinctively answering ...






the perfection of a heart warming bowl of porridge after school


And ...


... less audible, more subtle comes the call from a metaphorical home, a soul home. I am listening.


wisely recognising there is no such thing as coincidence or chance meetings


Saturn visible aside the new moon rising


girl friends.



blessed be X

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

little blessings



       


       


       



first winter robin so clearly and unmistakably calling me to the back door to greet him ...

the warm snuggy goodness of a jumper ...

cracking on with my sewing projects which I hope to generate an extra pocket of income with ...

watching sleeping beauty and drinking pumpkin pie lattes under blankets with Gaia ...

him

listening to the universe, discovering my moon sign


I am really enjoying simply noticing the sacred things in each day.  I love words and metaphors and poetic meaning but there is something very wholesome and grounding in this more simple practice.  So I mean to continue this way for a while and leave detailed reflection and self analysis until it naturally comes a knocking on my door again.

love and light x x x