I am so grateful to Jay for asking me to write this post and spotlighting it. I enjoyed writing this. ❤
Nowadays, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed and to keep pushing, doing, solving, fixing and hoping that this will balance everything out.
A pause to let things settle; to see what actually needs our attention and what we can just let be, is what we need when overwhelm hits. There are probably some spinning plates that can be left to drop too, if only we get the quiet and space to see that.
One evening this week I dive bombed into the pool for Aqua Zumba and it hit me; I was worn out on all levels. I had missed it building up and as I walked home, I felt weepy.
A dog, taking an evening stroll with her Dad, came alongside me and nudged my leg with her head. I slowed my pace right down to her amble and stroked her head. She kept walking beside me, nudging my leg and looking up.
Her ‘Dad’ laughed and said ‘Anbody would think she was with you.’
I smiled at him and asked her name.
‘Tess’ he smiled back, and with silent empathy he left Tess and I to amble back to the end of my home street together.
Tess and I nattered about the weather, her day and mine, and I carried on stroking her head, as she rubbed against my leg.
Yesterday, blessed with the flexibility of self employment, I was able to drop the reins for a few hours and nap. Then I was clear on what actually required my attention.
Bless Tess and Boris, as I am going to spend the weekend caring for him at his home and bless life’s grace to be with our furry friends, who just know. ❤
A sky of milky glass as the tide arrives with a respectful hush and in silence life flows with shafts of sparkling light.
Deep gratitude felt for stillness and the graceful gift of vulnerability, as light shining through the cracks creates space for creativty and change.
“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops – at all” Emily Dickinson
I bobbed out yesterday to spend a bit of time at my soon to be new berth. Lynn’s lovely home is a treat to be in and as soon as I logged off from work I shot over there like a bullet out of a gun. As I rounded the corner there was a horse and pony grazing on the green opposite. It’s Easter holidays here and the children were watching in delight.
Lynn and I had a great time planning my move and where things will go next weekend. Her home is full of thoughtful touches and her care continued as she suggested a desk in the sitting room window. I can work, write and look outside at the green, the sky and life. That keeps work out of my bedroom and I think this will add to my inner peace.
I sailed out of there into Morrison’s to do some grocery shopping and when I came to pay I discovered that I had forgotten my purse. So I went back home, returned to Morrison’s, paid for my shopping and then walked back up the hill again. That’s when feelings started to rise up. As Sarah and I sat nattering and eating our dinner together last night I wept. I am upset about change again, angry at our landlord for not seeing the situation that he has created and I woke up this morning still thoroughly out of sorts. In this line of work you are front line and can’t hide. So I tried to ‘park’ how I felt and work anyway. This plan failed and my lovely colleagues stepped in and hands were held out with support.
I can handle the practicalities of the move, yet the emotions are a different thing and have got a wee bit tangled up. I am scared of hurt, of things going awry, of having to deal with goodness knows what, so I am not allowing myself to feel hopeful about this change.
As one colleague said this morning ‘Jane, lean on me, I am here, for goodness sake lean’. So I leant. Not my normal stance, but hey it’s time for change. Change happens all the time and if I can lean into this one and melt into each moment, then my attitude stays balanced. It is what it is and I am surrounded by loving support. Letting go of any expectations, including fear filled ones, is lovingly graceful. I also get to see Mum and Dad this weekend and to drive a hired van. Such fun. Ohh, and I have booked a manicure, after all self nurture needs to be practical too doesn’t it?
A few days ago I stood at the local animal sanctuary and soaked up their surroundings for the first time. I watched a little pony called Poppy, on a lead reign, all ready for her daily constitutional down the lane. The simplest route to start her walk was through the main field full of donkeys and Poppy wasn’t having any of it. She had dug her back hooves in and several volunteers were trying their best to get her to shift. It’s for her own good they assured us. The lady who set this sanctuary up, and has run it for fourteen years, wisely kept silent and observed. She and I stood back and talked quietly. This is a pony who just wants a little girl to love her. The other horses, ponies and donkeys nip her backside whenever she comes near and Poppy’s displacement is there for those that can see. Eventually, they walked her round the edge of the other empty fields and went down the lane, where Poppy went without a murmur. She has her reasons, because animals feel, have memories and only have their bodies to communicate with us. I have offered to walk and groom her when I am down there. Best of British luck to anyone trying to get her to do anything that she feels uncomfortable with, as Poppy clearly knows what’s best for her.
I watched a little boy riding his bike on the sea path yesterday. His Mum, a baby strapped to her front, and Gran were walking behind as he sped along with a very whizzy helmet on his head. He got a little way ahead and the waves were throwing up a lot of spray, so his Mum called out to him to stop. He carried on. She called again and I watched his back tense and he kept going. His Mum called again, but kept her tone light. She and I looked at each other and laughed. We agreed that he was doing a quick risk assessment on his situation and weighing up his options. We watched for a few moments and he stopped, but he didn’t turn around. All three of us women smiled at each other.
I have had a lovely idea for the last two days to get some new creative painting done. This has not happened due to unexpected things popping up, other folks plans demanding my attention and ‘WTH’ moments. I say ‘WTH’ because my Mum reads this, but really I said something completely different. One of my dearest buddies on the service I work on has this daily mantra; ‘Try not to get angry, tired or hungry’. With this in mind I stocked up on fresh fruit and veg at the market yesterday and bought some ‘Sleepytime’ tea. I have not yet reached the point of needing to dust my new artistic materials, purchased with much excitement and anticipation, so I hold hope for a window of opportunity today.
There is grace in acceptance isn’t there? Things are as they are. Now about the duck……..
I sit here writing this post at Emily’s laptop surrounded by her things, as a glass of daffodils hold hope on the windowsill.
The title of this post are the words on a poster above her bed and it ends by saying ‘Just do the best you can’. A supportive gift from her boyfriend.
‘Us girls’ are spending time together and talking through her plans for when she leaves Uni in a few months time. This afternoon Em has gone off to a seminar and I will make a lasagne for us to share when she returns later. Loving support and yummy food go a long way to making life sweet. I listen and offer support in the way of practical things I could do to help, but I am not here to tell her what to do. She has much wisdom, balance and her own instinct to guide her.
From my perspective there is no such thing as mistakes along the road; we can but try different paths and adjust as we go along. No experience is ever wasted. Loving support means everything and a life where those around you offer space for you to talk and work things out for yourself is the kindest way forward. There will always be those who do not understand your choices, the situation you are in and why you take the steps you do. There is flowing grace in listening to your inner voice and holding the hope that all is unfolding with love.
Life can get messy and everyone’s ‘operating system’ is different. There have been times when I have been told that I never stick at things, when my loyalty and loving actions have flown under the radar and I found myself alone on the front line taking the flack for the consequences. False accusations and stories can fly and the hardest thing is to stay silent, retain an open loving heart and continue to step forward.
For me it is not balanced to have expectations on what someone can do for you, or for what you can get from a situation. Balance comes from holding an open heart and flowing loving support for all concerned and in that way ‘A rising tide raises all ships’.
I know in my heart that Emily has choices to make and her own ‘operating system’ will evolve. I cannot protect her from imbalance coming in from others ‘operating systems’, but I can be there with flowing love and support and the ‘shared knowledge’ of self that is hopefully the sturdiest shield in her armoury.
Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. No? Oh well nevermind then, life carries on regardless.
On Monday I walked down the long and winding driveway between showers to meet my Mum and Dad in the country lane, so I could show them the way to my new little home. It is such a treat for us all to be able to get together and spend time like this. There has been so many years where we have lived thousands of miles apart, reliant in the early days on telex machines with ticker tape to keep in touch, right through to now when mobiles and emails link us.
Lately we have the joy of face to face visits.
They love my new home and we had a special time together. Mum tucked all sorts into my cupboards and a lovingly homemade Shepherd’s Pie was popped into my oven for us all to have lunch.
There have been many times when plans went upside down and they have had to invent new dance steps to unexpected songs being played out in their lives. That spirit and character from each of them has forged a bond that positively hums with energy and has given them the wisdom of ‘knowing’ the unspoken. New dances have been invented with love, grace, dignity and sheer hard work.
‘It’s like a retreat here’ said Dad finally after lunch. ‘Yes, it is’ I replied ‘that is exactly what it is. I can make a new life here Dad.’ We all smiled at each other. Then we headed off to sample the delights of the little medieval town that I am blessed to live near.
Mum and Dad ‘get’ why having the barn so near to my home matters to me.
‘Our’ farmer is a gentle soul and I often watch him leading the cows around here. He silently walks a few paces before them and they all drop into single file and follow him wherever he leads. I like him. As a backdrop to this week there has been much activity in the barn and it culminated with the equipment that was used being transported away today. You could feel the peace re-settle again. There were strangers in the mix during the working days and one is particular could be heard above the other men. There was anger in his voice and I picked it up instantly, as did the herd. I could ‘feel’ and hear him being rough and sharp with the animals in the barn and all week there has been a spiralling circle of distressed noises, smells and fear emanating from the hubbub.
As the sun was setting tonight, I walked out for a breath of fresh air. Down at the far gate I took pictures of the sunset and stood listening, in the cold evening air, to the kestrels on the hillside and the crows calling back from the trees. I heard a hoof on wood and looked up to see the herd going past my ‘usual’ gate and one was waiting there for me. I walked across to stand before a lovely gentle, about two years old, heifer. We stood together under the trees in the evening gloom and nattered for a while. I was asking her what on earth had happened to them all this week and she was snorting her replies. Her companions gathered around her for a little while, adding their comments. As they all started to move away she gave my hand a ‘raspy’ kiss with her tongue and with a dip of her head she headed off. A young steer, just behind her, stepped forward to rest his head on my outstretched hand, then he too walked off with his buddies. They have all stuck together and whatever they faced this week, they have retained their love, grace and dignity.
I love you Mum and Dad. ❤