Monthly Archives: February 2012

Leaping forward

This day is rare, crops up once in four years.
Last time, 2008,
My old diary tells me things were planned.
Kitchen renovations, then ready to begin,  now  in daily use.
Places, then unvisited, now familiar,
People, then unknown to me,  now family!
Activities, ideas, creations, pleasures,
Then undreamt of, now daily reality.
I feel blessed.

Of course I am also aware of things gone, (not just the old kitchen!)
Sad losses of dear friends no longer here are especially poignant, and I am aware that  some areas of work  once important to me,  are now not part of my life. But my first reaction as I look back is of added
riches and of growth and development along the way. Mindfulness practice (which I first began in 2008) took me into writing for self development, and opened up the world of  textile art to me.  And little did I know that a holiday in Sweden with school friends, would be followed by a family wedding there!.  It is good to pause today and reflect, and give thanks  for the journey of the last four years.

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Let’s get going…

The tide has turned, winter is receding,
Sun floods in illuminating, warming.
I sit gazing up at sunny pines,
Circling rooks against the blue
Vie for nesting sites.
The sap is rising outside and in,
Until my sight is caught –
By sticky, floaty cobwebs; fluffy dust
And grimy windows, obscure my view.

I open the door and step outside…

The bright sunlight of this week end is a joy as it illuminates the “serious business” of enjoying life. But is also highlights the sticky, catchy stuff that dampens my mood and drags me back. The best antidote is to get out there and get busy like the rooks!

Starting up again? – small stone

The light is green, ready to go,
Starting up normal routine.
I hit the road coughing and spluttering.
On hold for so long, my engine is cold, rough
Firing on only three cylinders.
My words are sporadic, stuttering and confused.
I stammer and sneeze, unfocused and incoherent,
But bright sunshine warms me, smoothing the road ahead.

Life is returning to normal routine for me this week and there is sense of starting back on track. But, as I struggle with a spluttering cold and cough,  it is less than an a smooth start and I am truly grateful for the warm sunshine and  the promise of spring ahead.

Seed heads

A moment of bright sunshine this morning drew me out into the garden, and into my summerhouse, virtually unvisited all winter. I found a bunch of seedheads which I had left to dry at the end of the autumn. No hint of petals now – they are dried and skeletal, although still beautiful in their architectural shape. Their small black seeds are ready to be released, ready to go back into the earth. Ready to be buried to await the time when they will be transformed,  and push up from the dark soil, growing fresh and green into a whole new beginning.

As we gathered for the funeral of my father-in-law this week seeds were a theme there too. One of the readings contained these words
“We do have a parallel experience in gardening. You plant a “dead” seed; soon there is a flourishing plant. There is no visual likeness between seed and plant. What we plant in the soil and what grows out of it don’t look anything alike. The dead body that we bury in the ground and the resurrection body that comes from it will be dramatically different…. The corpse that’s planted is no beauty, but when it’s raised, it’s glorious. Put in the ground weak, it comes up powerful. The seed sown is natural; the seed grown is supernatural—same seed, same body, but what a difference from when it goes down in physical mortality to when it is raised up in spiritual immortality!
Then the saying will come true:

   Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
   Who got the last word, oh, Death?
   Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?”
(fromThe Message – 1 Corinthians ch 15)

What ever your personal spiritual beliefs about life beyond death, for me I only have to look around, at the power of the regenerating life of the natural world,  to be convinced  that death does not have the last word.

Watching waves – small stone collection

During this  “in between” time we are in as a family it was good to take a break and walk by the sea in the sun. Cold air, but bright sun, warm on our faces as we walked along the pier and watched the waves.

The beach in winter sun is a treat, and a promise of summer days to come – even if we are wrapped up in scarves and gloves right now.

It was this time last year on a simliar sunny February day that I captured the waves in this stitch sketch – part of my “small stones” collection.

 

Waiting some more…

Waiting in the dictionary is defined in several ways
The differences are subtle.

  1. delaying,  postponing, putting off- as in decidng that something must wait.
  2. looking forward to, anticipating, expecting -as in children before Christmas, or being pregnant!
  3. serving, ready for – as in waiters  waiting at table

Often when I am waiting it feels like the first one to me… something is being withheld, or stopped. And yet the second definition reminds me that when something is not happening it is because the time is not right yet, the cake is not cooked, it is too soon. The waiting can even add a sense of excitement and hope. The third definition reminds me not to give up hope, but to be ready, ready to go when the time is right. Watching, waiting, ready for action…

The dictionary also tells me the origins of the word “waiting” has close connections with “watching”.  So there we are – back to the moment, watching, paying attention, noticing… Just keep on keeping your eyes open, Cilla!

What are you noticing while you wait…?

Waiting…

The next stage of the journey” was my last post. Well here I am stuck at traffic lights…!

Journeys are usually associated with moving, travelling, going somewhere, but recently I have noticed just how much of travelling involves waiting around! Waiting at traffic lights, traffic queues, at road works (especially so in my locality at the moment). Waiting at bus stops, stations, airport lounges. Waiting to meet someone, waiting to say goodbye to someone, waiting for a train or bus, waiting for a ticket, or announcement. Waiting at baggage pick ups, waiting for paperwork. To any one who travels, waiting is a familiar part of the process.

I find it a hard part of journeying, I want to be “getting somewhere”, making progress… I feel impatient when I am sitting “stuck” in a queue.

In my family over this last month we have been preparing to say goodbye to my 96 year old father-in-law. He embarked on the next stage of his journey when he died peacefully at the weekend, and in one sense the waiting was over for him and us. There is a mixture of emotions for us- sadness and missing him, but glad that the months of waiting he has endured in his weakening, suffering and increasingly immobile body is now over. He is moving again, onward and upward, free from the constraints of mortality.

We are now preparing to move on into our ongoing journey without his company.  But for us there is still waiting – dates to be fixed, arrangements and ceremonies. Waiting for forms, phone calls, appointments.

It is a strange time, waiting. On hold, in limbo….

My  “small stones” practice, is helping me see the opportunities in waiting, time to look around, time to notice… Helping me to temper my impatience and learn that waiting is part of the journey. But I don’t find it easy…
How do you cope with waiting…?