Thursday, October 20, 2016
I am a morning person, always have been. I love mornings. I rise early, around 5am, and three mornings a week head straight for my mat for yoga and meditation, usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I leave Tuesday and Thursday mornings open for whatever I am in the mood for...reading, knitting, writing, watching the sunrise, and so on. But all that changed a few weeks ago when I began listening to podcasts instead, and now I am hooked. I make a cup of coffee, sit back with my journal and hit play. I take notes, I learn, and best of all, I am inspired. It is the most amazing way to start the day, and a new rhythm that will be a part of Tuesday and Thursday mornings for the foreseeable future.
Speaking of new rhythms, there has been a slight change to our bedtime rhythm around here....a new addition to the flow of our evening. My little man now reads to me. Oh yes, he does. After we finish up his bath, we snuggle up in his bed and he reads to me. He is a new reader, so a few pages from an early reader is enough for now, and then I read to him, before we do our questions and turn out the lights. I am thrilled at this addition to our bedtime rhythm and listening to him read, goodness, it is so darn sweet.
Our homestead is busy this year, with kiddos joining us every day during the week on our learning journey. As many of you know my little man's friend has joined us in our homeschooling adventures for the last three years, and it as been truly amazing to have her here and to be a part of her learning journey. In late spring, early summer a few families approached me about their kiddos joining us here as well, and before I knew it kiddos were lined up to join us every day. It is a wonderful opportunity for my little man, to have both new and old friends here, learning alongside him. For me, it is amazing to have kiddos here every day to share in our days. It makes my heart happy to have them here, and I feel honoured to play a small role in their learning journey. I am so grateful for all the families that trust me to hold space for their children in this way.
My shop has been updated...just a tiny plug. Thanks for checking it out.
Twinkle lights and candlelight...need I say more, okay, maybe a few words. Dark mornings, and short days means it's time for twinkle lights and candles around here. They both provide a warm glow, and a solace that I welcome this time of year.
As the season shifts outside things begin to shift in the kitchen too. Soups, curries, stews, baking, and more have been happening in the kitchen around here. I love that my meal plan shifts with the seasons, and that my body craves different foods with each season.
In a few short weeks my little man will be eight (!!!!!!!!). Just how did that happen? When I sit back and think about it I am in shock at how fast the last eight years have gone. I have done my best to be present, mindful and in the moment, and still I look back and wonder where has the time gone. It has gone too fast, much too fast. And with that realization I am focused on soaking up the next eight years as best as I can with my little man.
The new chicks are laying. Every afternoon I head out to the run and coop and find little eggs here and there. It's like an egg hunt every day. Blue eggs, green eggs, brown eggs and white. One in the corner, four under the coop, another laying right in the middle of the run. It's funny, for now, but I hope they get their act together and pick a nesting box soon.
The garden has pretty much been put to sleep for the winter. Most of the beds have been tidied, and leaves have fallen, giving them a nice cover for the winter. There are still a few beds to clean up, and more leaves to pile on, but nothing that can't be accomplished over the next few weeks and before the snow flies. As I put the beds to sleep for the winter my mind has been thinking about next year and mapping out plans. I am not totally sure yet, but I think I will grow a little less food next summer in favour of growing some more herbs, particularly medicinal herbs. I love making medicine, and think I would enjoy using a bit more space and time to grow more herbs. It isn't for sure yet, but it's a big thought in my head right now, and I will mull it over throughout the winter and see what comes of it.
I am loving this point in my life right now. I am holding space for myself, I am feeling comfortable in my own skin, and I am living life on my own terms. I have done a little dating, something I haven't done in twenty four years, and goodness how things have changed. It's a whole new scene out there, it's kinda fun, and kinda tough. Right now, I am single, and not dating anyone, and it feels right, for now. I recently said to a friend that I am alone, but the truth is I am far from alone. With the most amazing tribe of women around me, a family that has been so very supportive, loving and understanding, and friends from across the globe that check in on me via email and handwritten notes, I am far from alone. I am single, and loving it. I am a single mama, and loving it. But I am not alone. Yes, being single, and being a single mama, has it's challenges, but honestly, right now it feels just right for where I am on this journey.
Monday, October 17, 2016
Holding space is an act of love. It is the act of giving your entire being and presence to another person. It's the holding of a container in which another feels comfortable and safe sharing their pain, their loss, their story. We all do it. We all, at one time or another, have held space for another, opened our hearts to them and their story, sharing the gift of our presence, but how often do we hold space for ourselves? How often do we show that same compassion, love and open heart to ourselves?
I can speak from experience here, as I am sure many of you also can, and say that we don't do it that often.
We don't offer ourselves the same compassion, love and open heart we gift to others. I am not going to ask you why, because it is a question I have asked myself many times over the last few months. This question has been an ongoing conversation in my head, and within the pages of my journal. I have yet to understand or form any kind of concrete thoughts as to why, but I have made a decision. A decision to hold space for myself. To show myself the same compassion, love and open heart I would show a friend. It means that instead of beating myself up as I fall asleep at night because I didn't live up to my own expectations, I offer myself grace, and tell myself that I am human, I make mistakes, and tomorrow I have a chance to try again. It is what I would tell a friend, I bet you would too, but have you ever told it to yourself?
It means I have a lot of self talk going on in my head all the time, to remind myself to be kind, kind to me. To let my heart split wide open, to let the tears flow, to let the joy creep back in and to be okay with any feeling that enters my being. To let each one find a place to reside, for a while, and then let it go. So much has passed through me in the last twelve months and I haven't always held space for myself. I haven't offered myself the same compassion, love and open heart I would have offered a friend. In some ways I regret that, but I am also happy to recognize it now, and to begin holding space for myself. It feels good, in a way I never could have imagined, and it has allowed me to say yes to me, and create some boundaries to protect myself and my space.
Holding space for myself this weekend meant taking time to walk in the woods. To connect with the stunning beauty of autumn. To lose myself in the colour of the trees, and the blueness of the sky. To listen to the wind as it moved through the leaves, sending messages forth that I hope I heard clearly. The forest was my container for these few hours. It held me, it showed me compassion and love, and opened it's heart to me, and in turn I did the same for myself. As I did, I felt lighter, I felt free, and I felt the warmth of my heart as it cracked open wide, full of compassion and love for myself.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
I am often asked how I find time to create. Honestly, I don't find time, it is just a part of my day. Every single day I create. Some days there is time for lots of creating, other days not so much, but I take what I can get and will knit, start a rope basket, write a poem, or doodle a picture with my little man, for just five minutes if that's all there is available. I use those little minutes as best as I can. Lately I am finding more time for creating. The garden has pretty much been put to bed, and we are spending more time indoors. And with night falling much earlier these days I am tucked inside doing something creative almost every night.
New rope baskets have been sewn up with turmeric dyed rope and indigo dyed rope. I love the dyed rope and look forward to trying a few new colours in the next couple of months. While I had the indigo vat going I also dyed up some cotton flour sack tea towels. Don't they look amazing? I am so pleased with them. The rope baskets and tea towels are now available in my shop.
My needles have been busy too. Currently on the needles is a settler shawl, for me, being knit with yarn gifted to me from a very dear friend, and a hitchhiker, being knit for a Christmas present. The finished knit is another hitchhiker, another Christmas present. And all those beautiful yarns are destined to become hats and fingerless mitts, all Christmas presents for some pretty awesome people in my life.
And of course I am always working away on self care products and herbal products...body butter, herbal salves, soap, elderberry syrup, tinctures, teas and more. Creating with herbs is something I am very passionate about. To take an herb I grew, or wildcrafted, and make a medicine that will help support the health of my little man and me, or heal us if we do get sick, is pretty darn magical, and it fills me with such joy to be able to do it.
So, that's a little bit of the making that is going on around here, what are you making these days?
Monday, October 10, 2016
"I can, with one eye squinted, take it all as a blessing."
~ Flannery O'Connor ~
So, today I am grateful for:
~ the beautiful autumn days we have been having, perfect for hiking, playing, and enjoying a cup of tea on the back deck
~ for inspiration, and the time to follow what inspires me
~ for this land I call home, and the house in which we live
~ for feeling content and happy
~ for my family, and their love and support always, but especially over the last year, my parents, and my brother and his family have been wonderful as I move along this path as a single mama.
~ for my friends, those I like to call my chosen family, there are no words to adequately express how thankful I am to have the amazing love and support of so many amazing women
~ for my little man, the amazing being that chose me to walk his path with, I am honoured every single day to be a mother, and am so thankful for the lessons I have learned, and continue to learn on this journey
~ for trusting this path, there have been so many ups and downs over the last year, but through it all I have, and continue to trust the path I am walking
~ for knowing and living my truth, while others may talk, criticize and insult me, I know my truth and I live it every single day
~ for this life, with all it's ups and downs, it's still beautiful in so many ways, and I feel blessed that I can see through the darker moments and find the beauty that exists around me
To all my fellow Canadians, Happy Thanksgiving! What are you most grateful for today?
Thursday, October 6, 2016
It always takes a few weeks, but then all of a sudden I wake up one day and we have fallen fully into our fall rhythm. I love the pace of summer, the expansiveness of our days, we let go of some of our daily rhythms in favour of soaking up the summer days as best as we can. It feels right, for us. But as summer closes, I am ready to return to our fall rhythm, the rhythm that guides our days for the majority of the year.
There's nothing special about our rhythm, it probably looks a lot like most family rhythms, but what I love about our rhythm is that I can feel it grounding us, bringing us back to center. During this time of year we spend more time at home. We spend more time in nature. We spend more time focused on us. And all of that is grounding, settling us into this place, this land we call home. We connect to the beauty around us, inside and out, we connect to each other and we connect to ourselves.
Our days here at home are ordinary. We aren't doing anything out of the norm, but in some ways I feel like these days at home are extraordinary. They are filled with little bits of magic....the early morning darkness that calls me to my mat for yoga and meditation, waking my little man and snuggling together before we start our day, the look of excitement in the eyes of my little man when something clicks on our learning journey, the laughter I hear from children enjoying outdoor free play on a gorgeous autumn afternoon, the squeals of delight at the excitement of another successful attempt at climbing a tree, the way one little one helps another, the quiet moment in the afternoon when I sit for a few minutes sipping a cup of tea, the flowers I am still collecting from the garden, the food we enjoy from the backyard, the way the light filters in through the windows, the flickering candlelight as dusk falls and turns to night, the quiet in my home after my little man has drifted off to dreamland, and those moments in the quiet when I sit and offer gratitude for this life. All ordinary. All simple. And all extraordinary in the way they fill me with joy and contentment. Happiness isn't something I am looking for, I already have it. It's here, all around me in the ordinary moments that make up my days. It isn't something that happens to me when things fall into place, happiness is here, all the time, in those simple, ordinary moments. I just need to look, to be aware, and let them slowly filter through me.
Settling back into our fall rhythm feels like coming home after a long trip. It's a welcoming hug after the journey of summer. It's a reminder that life is extraordinary, every single day.
What bits of magic are filling your ordinary days?
Sunday, October 2, 2016
As I sit here writing this post October has arrived, the darkness has fallen on the day, much earlier than usual, my home is algow in candlelight, and it is quiet, so very quiet. I like it. I don't mind the darker evenings, I don't mind the cooler days, I don't mind the rainy days we have had because it all means one thing...I get to cozy up in my home, turn inwards and find solace and peace in the moment. I honestly love this time of year, and as I get older I find I crave the slowing down, the inward movement, the deep reflective pace of this time of year. It's good, so very good.
My little man and I hiked in the woods today, a slow, meandering kind of hike, noticing the leaves changing on the trees, and the ones that had fallen to the ground already, we heard the way the ruffed grouse drummed, and the sound of the woodpecker working away on a tree, we touched bark and smelled the flowers, we became one with the woods, and it made my heart so very happy.
Nature sends out a clear invitation this time of year to slow down, to stop and notice, to soak up each moment. We should be doing that all year long, but I feel the message is stronger this time of year, the pull deeper to really slow down, to sit back with a cup of tea, to just be.
It's what I intend to do. How about you?
Friday, September 30, 2016
A photo of my little man, once a month, on the last day of each month, in 2016
Reece, when I look at this photo of you I am in awe. You are growing so much little man, and changing before my eyes. In some ways it feels like it is all going so fast, but in other ways it feels like we have found a really wonderful rhythm to our days that allows us to sink into them, and soak up our time together. Many things have had to fall into place for us to continue on this path, and for that I am forever grateful. To continue moving forward as the mother I want to be for you means the world to me, and at the end of each day when you hug and kiss me and tell me that you love me more, I know just how much it means to you too.
This month has seen us move back into our fall rhythm and it feels so good. We jumped back into our lessons, and you are enjoying them immensely. You have little friends here each day, sharing in our learning journey, and I feel blessed to be able to witness these relationships you are developing. You are so very lucky little man to have a beautiful circle of little friends, and I know how much you love and appreciate each one of them.
Of course, on this path, we have had our challenges too. You have been and continue to be my greatest teacher. Every day I learn something from you, you challenge me to step up to be the mother you need me to be, you force me to face the lessons I need to learn head on, and you love me, even when I stumble. And you know what little man, I love you too. I love you when you wake up happy and full of energy ready to take on the world. I love you when you roll those beautiful, big, brown eyes at me and stomp off upset when we can't agree. I love you when you are sad that things didn't work out as they were planned. I love you when you are frustrated and can't quite find the words to tell me how you are feeling. I love it when you call me to snuggle up and hold you. I love you little man, through it all. I love you.