A cruise ship left port the other evening against the backdrop of a dramatic sky. It was drizzling from a dark sky first thing this morning as a new ship came in and she had all her twinkly lights on. I was reluctant to disturb the moment and find my phone to capture the image.
There has been a sharp awareness lately of feelings and how they can steer the ship. A loving friend became concerned that I was alone a lot and asked why. I appreciate that she asked and didn’t immediately judge, or try to fix. I created the aloneness, as my engine room needed a thorough service and new oil. The peace from turning off distractions, saying ‘No’ and relishing the silence meant I could just be. Acknowledging what actions I was allowing, the choices I was making and where my parts were seizing.
Another loving friend asked when I had last had a paddle? Goodness, it had been a while, so I flowed that into my daily round a few days ago. The tide was in and I happily pottered at the edge of the water, discovering a new piece of sea glass and a heart shaped pebble. Making my way back up the slipway I met a Granny, her daughter and little granddaughter making their way down to the beach. Well, Gran and Mum were, little Ava was swinging on the Coastguard’s gate and showing reluctance to move. I opened my hand and showed her my treasures. We started chatting and walked back down to the sand. There was a small scallop shell that was perfect for her little hand and we set about filling it with shells and sea glass. Then we found a stick and a Seagull’s feather and started to draw hearts on the wet sand and chat about fairies. Her Gran called out to Ava to drop the feather, as she said it was dirty. No blame, but our joy disappeared in an instant. The energy changed and Ava ran to her Mum and I listened to Gran for a while. She and her husband had recently moved back to this area, after living in a very different place. Her unhappiness poured out. I replied that I moved up here a few years ago because when the souls here ask how you are, their hearts listen to the answer.
Being alone has sparked much creativity. I’ve made tunic tops from men’s shirts, tote bags from denim jeans and lined them with vintage frock material, crocheted tote bags, knitted throws and baby matinee jackets. I am blessed to be gifted many items of clothing, yarn and all sorts of bits and bobs. They ‘speak’ and I create from their energy. ❤
The pull to go quiet could not be ignored a while ago as a wealth of change rolled in. I was not managing to wrap myself around everything that was calling for attention.
Hitting the pause button carved out some space. I didn’t try to make anything happen, as I just let myself be. I found peace in leaning into the discomfort of change and not knowing immediately what to do to ‘fix’ it. Who says things always have to be ‘fixed’?
Many moons ago, back in the eighties, I used to make clothing for friends from a vague idea, or a strand of conversation. Then I forgot that I loved doing that.
Recently, I was searching for a creative workshop that a friend and I could do together, as her birthday pressie. I came across one re-purposing clothes, but it was fully booked. I went to bed that night and had a dream about the things I used to make. Waking up excited, I started to explore the idea and it came together effortlessly. I already had a sewing machine, my dining table is now a work bench and I have years of stored threads, ribbons, buttons and my Granny’s old sewing basket. As soon as I mentioned this to my birthday friend she lent me her dressmaker’s dummy, who was immediately nicknamed Doris. The re-cycling contacts that have been established with my de-cluttering business were delighted to be of use and I simply started to create clothes. My friend asked to come here for her birthday, so we could be together and knit. Cake was involved and it was lovely. ❤
I find myself waking up with designs and ideas in my head.
Internet research and some experimentation with different platforms led me to open an eBay shop. Another dream gifted me the idea of taking the photographs on our roof terrace with The Mersey and Liverpool as a backdrop.
I can step back from taking on new de-cluttering clients now and spend some days creating, whilst still flowing with loving family care and my existing clients.
Happy days, as I’m just off to edge a jacket. The edge was an old blouse of mine, but as I took it out the wardrobe I thought ‘Ohhh, that would make a perfect edge for the jacket I picked up the other day.’ Then I reached for my scissors. I will end up going out dressed, but only just!
There has been a theme lately of form filling and swift learning curves on how organisations run with differing processes and terminology. It reminds me of how some ‘techies’ used to share I.T. knowledge back in the 1980’s. They made it mysterious and confusing, which helped to foster the feeling of it being beyond the grasp of ordinary folk. I recall how annoying that used to be. There are similar threads running between some current social set-ups that are here to help those in need. How vulnerable people, who are facing sharp life changes, are supposed to find their way through all of this is beyond me. I sense there are many falling through the net.
An unexpected wave of paperwork hit this weekend and my sparkle got temporarily buried under the deluge, so I escaped on Sunday teatime to walk the beach.
The Belfast ferry was gliding into port to the ‘pip’ of the Sandpipers merging with the cry of the gulls. The sound of cathedral bells floated across the water, as the sun caught the ripples at low tide and it was peaceful.
I paused to breathe deeply and have a splash at the water’s edge in my wellies (which are flowery).
Driving to Mum and Dad’s yesterday the radio DJ was talking about a choir she had seen at the weekend, on the television show Britain’s Got Talent. I remembered when I returned home and found the clip on YouTube. What follows is seven minutes of joy from Flakefleet Primary School Choir.
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. ❤
I was on the service yesterday evening and the folk reaching out for help are facing heartbreak from all sorts of situations. It was peaceful here and still and with each one that made contact I gently suggested that they pause, just for a few moments, just to be.
When we’re in pain, or facing a situation that is uncomfortable, we naturally seek to lift it. ‘If only this, or that could happen, I’ll feel OK’ we say to ourselves and anyone else who is listening. Placing our peace in some future time and situation, battening down the hatches on how we feel now and stopping ourselves from moving through the discomfort.
It’s all love from my perspective. So, as we face heartbreak, love can soothe, if we can pause to just be. In the deafening din of our inner scripts, our constant activity and our quest for relief, we forget to love ourselves.
As I got ready to start the day this morning, my mind started up and was happily adding things to an imaginary ‘to do’ list. I paused and made a conscious choice to go and sit outside. I felt the breeze on my skin and then watched it move through the trees. The birds are used to me now and they come to feed and drink close by. When the food is finished one pigeon has taken to having a natter, with his head on one side. I am sure he’s asking for more. Just be, my friend, just be.
It’s so peaceful here today, that even the ships and tug boats are sailing past silently.
There is much loving calmness in the walls of this house and the old cobbled pedestrian streets around us mirror that. Several conversations have flowed lately and we all agree that there is something special about being here. The local stories from when this old house was a care home, all speak of kind memories and thoughts.
My Mum has gifted me some great planters and they are filled with blue and pink hydrangeas and hardy plants that can survive the salt wind out there on the flat roof. I have tried various experiments with bird feeding and the latest one is an upturned iron Poppy holder that sits in one of the tubs. I found an old curved plate that serves as a bird bath and I can see all of this from the window where I sit and work. Thank you, my Mate ❤ Years ago I was learning German at school and came home to tell my Mum that she was Mater in German. This got shortened to Mate and has stuck over all these years.
It's like an Aladin's cave here and my landlady was having a sort out a few days ago. She warned me about possible noise, because her crew of Bob the Builder and Helpful Brother were shifting stuff upstairs to the floor above. We had a natter and I put in a bid for a lovely, long sofa in place of the two seater that was here. After some tender loving care it now looks at home and as I laid out on it at full stretch yesterday evening, I said 'Thank you' out loud.
This morning I woke up early with every intention of going out for a walk, but the sight of pelting rain put me off and I switched ideas. My little kitchen is quirky and I have an old Belling worktop oven with two solid plates on top. This has a mind of it's own and if I put the oven on then the left hand plate does not work, both plates on and the oven doesn't work. Over time he and I have made friends and I stood in the peace this morning to make a cake to flow 'sofa gratitude' downstairs.
My place is now filled with homely scents, with the rooftop plants soaking up the rain, as the working day starts. Feel the love ❤