The nice thing about writing a blog is that I can re read it myself, even if no one else does! I can revisit previous years and remind myself of past scenes and insights, so often still relevant. This February seems to have been very gloomy, our weather, and local and world wide events as well as my mood. Looking back over previous years I realise that February can often feel that way for me.
This time last year I was exploring Wendel Berry’s poem which starts “When despair for the world grows in me…” even though at that point we did not know what lay ahead, (probably just as well!) But reading it again today reminds me of his answer to “come into the peace of wild things”. Some of our daily walks recently have been wet, muddy and slippery, but we have encountered some wonderful natural beauty in spite of the gloom, and felt some of the freedom Wendell Berry writes about.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
During the grey days I have also been glad of my continuing participation in an online Stitch Club. The most recent workshop by Jude Kingshott included a stitched fabric book made from scraps and recycled cotton lawn. I found hand stitching on very thin almost translucent fabric quite a challenge. It felt so insubstantial and unstable. Flimsy was the word. It felt like my hopes for the immediate months ahead, unpredictable and uncertain. But stitch by stitch I plodded on and I have now finished a little booklet of bright cheerful flowers, albeit flimsy.
“Perseverance” is the name of the space craft which has finally reached Mars this week. I have not achieved anything quite so remarkable, but it is a familiar theme. Even my art journaling echoed it.
Perseverance seems the order of the moment, so let’s keep keeping on, stitch by stitch, step by step, flower by flower, and we will get through the February mud and gloom to more solid ground and clearer skies.