Sparks in the gloom…

Life has flowed with a few challenges lately and I've been left gasping for air at times.

I lay there in the middle of one sleepless night and simply did not know what to do to soothe myself. My wisdom said 'Stay still and do nothing.' Then I sensed a lovely dog in spirit on the bed beside me and felt my Gran and her Mum, my Great Gran, close by my side. A feeling of calm settled in and I could let the feelings I had be, just as they were. Breathing in the experiences, breathing out the feelings.

I needed unconditional love, so the next day I asked my heart family if I could borrow their lovely boy, Boris, the German Shepherd. 'Absolutely' was their swift reply and he's coming to stay with me for a week after Easter. ❤

That sparked another idea and I ordered insurance, new wellies and some marketing postcards. Say 'Hello' to Jane's Dog Walking Service. My old flowery wellies have done two years sterling work, so I took my new ones out at lunchtime today and christened them in the sea. I also found some more sea glass and treasure to add to my collection.

My heritage is rich with hand crafts, so it is no surprise that I turn to that for comfort again and again. My lovely buddy Pam and I set off on Friday to a local art gallery, as they were running a Creative Think Tank, with taster sessions on all sorts of crafts being showcased. I had it in my head that I would finally get to have a go at wood carving, which has been a long held dream, and willow basket weaving. You just know this didn’t go to plan don’t you? We had a great time and saw all sorts of wonderful things, while discovering that the basket weaving and wood carving courses were out of our financial reach right now. Then the unexpected happened. I had made a connection with one of the receptionists when we arrived and he was looking after everyone by keeping the whole event flowing. Pam was absorbed trying out a Viking weaving loom and having a great time. I glanced up and Mark came over and said ‘There’s more going on in other rooms Jane, can I show you?’ So off we went and I found myself at a table where a lovely lady was demonstrating rug making with re-cycled materials. I took a seat and Alison let me have a go weaving strips of old t-shirts into hessian and I was right there, in the moment. She showed me what materials to try and what to back the rugs with. The edging stitch that holds it all together is new to me, but my Granny said in my head ‘I can show you that Jane’. I’d discovered a new joy. As I sat at home later, knitting, my creative sparks started to fly. I have been a painter since I can remember when and for the last few years it has stopped ‘talking’ to me. With the rug making I can chalk and ink my design on the hessian and by hooking in re-cycled materials, there is more leeway. It doesn’t have to be precise and as the freedom of this sunk in, well I am sure my heart singing could be heard far and wide.

It’s been dark and raining like ‘billy-ho’ today and then just as I finished my new wellie walk, the sky brightened and the clouds looked as if they had been brushed on the blue.

Spirit, character and the blessing of unconditional love….

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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. ❤

Unconditional love with a dash of gold flash and Justin Bieber….

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This morning I am tucked up waiting to start work in my second home surrounded by much love and care. My soul sister has stepped in and tucked me up with her family whilst my new home is being decorated. They have woven their magic and my goods and chattels are tucked up in the garage and I am settled peacefully waiting for the phone to be switched over so that I can start work. I was moved with much love, laughter and yummy food last night.

It is not many months since we met my soul sister and I, and the love and synchronicity that has flowed between us since then has created something special. Here I sit this morning with a sparkly table decoration in front of me from our shared birthday party dinners, which reminds me when I was cleaning the fridge out yesterday I found a little glittery star left over from our last party. Happy memories x

The lovely SS has been a key player in how things have turned around for me in the last six months and her unconditional love is a gift.

Their thoughtful daughter made sure I had everything I needed before she went off to school this morning and I am sitting here in her special gold high top shoes with her treasured Justin Bieber CDs, as she said, just in case I need to listen to something lovely between calls!

Gratitude to my friendship circle as the year closes ….

Gratitude to my friendship circle for

Always being there no matter what,
Rendering me helpless with laughter often,
Showing unconditional love,
Remembering my achievements,
Reminding me about them when I falter,
Spontaneous, thoughtful gifts and cards,
Never laughing at my dreams,
Listening when I get overwhelmed,
Bringing me flowers,
Understanding my need for solitude,
Teaching me new skills,
Being my transport,
Never sitting in judgment,
Holding out hope when I am too tired to see straight,
And for dusting me down when my cliff leaping gets messy.

My love to you all and many blessings for 2012…..bring on the uncharted waters x

There is a world of difference between judgment and sitting in judgment….

Em and I have had great fun in the last few days decorating our own version of a tree for Christmas this year. We decided to be inventive and creative and when I spotted this branch (!) lying on the ground in our nearby woods when walking the ‘boys’ recently I knew I had found the right thing. It was duly dragged home and the end result is shown above, although Em and I are still making and adding things to it each day. A close friend of ours laughed so hard when she saw it she nearly did herself a mischief, but she applauded our creativity and not for a second did she judge us, she never does.

In our daily round we make judgments every day, as that is what keeps us safe and moving forward, but this is a world away from making judgments upon others.

No-one can really know what another is feeling, what their path so far has shown or the future they see before them. We all have our own perspective and that does not necessarily give us an accurate view for another. Telling anyone what they should feel, think or do does not feel right. We can empathise, love, support and share our own stories but the key question is ‘What would you like to do?’

I commented to a friend yesterday that I had known unconditional love when I had stepped off a ledge and my bungee rope had broken. The friends who were there at the bottom with love, support and kind words whilst I dusted down and started to climb back up again are the ones I hold in my heart for a lifetime.