It’s been a while since I have been in this space. More than half a year. Late spring, plus summer and autumn have all passed on a spinning plate that wobbles somewhat precariously on some of my fingers whilst my other fingers attempt to weave the myriad threads of Day-To-Day Life, and my mind is scattered in a hundred places. And my ears try to attend to quite a few voices.
Now we are sliding into winter where I live. Samhain-tide, I call this: the time from October’s Vanishing Moon (the waning crescent – the last quarter) to that of November. This winter seems to have come early with that chilly, biting kind of wind that makes you squint and chaps your hands as it dances around you like a playful toddler who wants to have fun but hasn’t quite learnt that teeth and nails hurt people! Samhain-tide is a sacred, liminal time where I say goodbye to the year – and with it the dreams I didn’t fulfil, the mistakes I made and hard memories that I’d like to bury. I picture them mushing into a sludge along with all the fallen leaves then sinking down into the earth, their secrets becoming the lessons that will nourish the seeds that grow next year. I look forward to that renewal.
It’s a sacred time, these death-throes, and I find it’s easy to be tempted to skip over it and start focusing on the festive season, to start all the planning and making and buying and counting down. The shops lure us to do this from so early on. I find it sad not to give this time it’s own space, that we turn away from whatever song it has to sing – even if it’s not the prettiest song, and is often whispered.
I wonder if a parallel could be drawn between our society’s skipping-over of the year’s dying, and how we don’t talk about – or we make taboo – old-age and death of us as people.
So I’ve tried to resist the festive magazines and refuse to eat a mince pie yet, until I’ve finished my Samhain-ing. I’ve been connecting with the slowness of this time, enjoying the invitation of the dark afternoons to cosy up and light candles, savouring the remains of Autumn’s beauty. (Like the revelation I had this week of how I prefer the deep red of the hawthorn and rowan berries now to their more scarlet hue earlier on). Protecting space as sacred can be hard though – whether that space is
a period of time in the calendar,
the “space” amidst all life’s to-do lists for self-care and spiritual practice,
personal space when your loved ones need endless hugs,
emotional space from those who are wearing you down a little,
physical space (say, protecting the nature table from being dismantled by the now-mobile baby!),
geographical space such as the land and water that those at Standing Rock are trying so very hard to protect,
And online space to come here and tell you all about it.
But I guess doing so is part of what makes it sacred.
So, with near-zero temperatures and snow flurries in these past few days, it’s easy to think it’s still winter. But, in a glance around the garden, Springtime nods its narcissi and pokes up its hyacinths; “hey, I have come!”.
It’s been a deep, long winter in our hearts and minds too here in our household and our lives seem in a bit of a cauldron of transformation. These dark months have held some dark times; low energy and enthusiasm for much writing and crafting, coupled with proper hurdles on the family-life journey that we’ve had to support each other over, get the map out, hit our heads against, eventually finding our way over or around. We breathlessly grin as we marvel at the awesome view from the other side.
Right now we’re (hopefullyyespleasefingerscrossed!!) starting to walk to what we’ve viewed. The life we’ve been dreaming up over these sleepy months. Every few days one of us drops a little extra dream into that cauldron and us both constantly stirring it with care and smiles, keeping the fire underneath stoked up. We’re moving back to central Bristol; we’ve sold our house and had an offer accepted on one that pretty much ticks all our boxes.
We’re still a little nervous that it could all fall through but we can’t help brimming over with hope and sparkle when we think about what’s (probably) just around the corner: a wonderful community on our doorstep; easy access to lovely family activities and projects that we want to be part of; being closer to our friends and to my husband’s work; having more time because of so much less of it spent travelling; being close to independent shops; a larger garden that needs completely doing over and has space to grow food and have a workshop! Sure, we will miss being right by the countryside but we know that this is what’s right for us right now.
I’m also stirring up lots of ideas for HeartShapedHands. Moving more centrally will enable me to spend more time on my “other baby”. I’m very excited. So everything in my Etsy shop has a third off; it’s all got to go to make way for these shiny new things! Pop on over now; https://www.etsy.com/shop/HeartShapedHands.
I took a walk in the full moon’s light last night; potentially my last full moon stroll around our safe, quiet suburban estate. Her glow was a stunning auburn (I know very little of these things but perhaps something to do with the upcoming eclipse?) which, by my bedtime, had given way to a delicious bright white. I certainly felt Mama moon’s abundance and high energy in my life right now – and certainly feel I’m Mama-ing several “babies”. I look forward to sharing their births and nurturing with you. Bright blessings for all of yours. ❤
Yay! I had a piece of writing published in The Guardian! 🙂
Ok, so it’s a reader contribution called “Playlist” they have each week in the family section, not like some professional feature article, but still yay! For the Playlist feature, readers are asked to send in a short piece about a song that reminds them of a particular event or time in their lives.