Thursday, December 21, 2017

a holy day

Today is Winter Solstice, the shortest, darkest day on the wheel of the year. It's the day I had my fourth baby and it's the day he was cremated exactly seven years later. Today is a holy day.

On this cold, snowy Solstice day, I want to savor any sense of wholeness that I can feel. All day long I have been imagining how life would look if I was completely whole -- with no limitations, beyond time and unaffected by current reality. What would a perfect day look like, what would I be doing, where would I live, who would I love. Tonight by candlelight I will write my wholeness into being. I'm thinking that when all is said and done, things may not look much different than how they are now. And that's good.

Toward contentment. xx

Thursday, December 7, 2017

a sacred pause

Every so often, I do a writing exercise comparing "now" with the same time one year ago. How things have changed, what has ended and what is new. If I'm in a great place, the words come easy...if not, I have to go deeper.

I am sewing less now...but woke up the other day wanting to make a simple star. It might have had something to do with a line that I recently read and loved...."the way to the stars is not outward but rather inward."  

I miss sewing but know it's a cycle and it probably won't be long before things change.

A scrap of blue velvet for one side and a handstitched 9-patch for the other, stuffed with wool and decorated with beads and blue pins.

I am better about labeling things now.


I'm eating more roots now...baking several beets at a time to have on hand for lunches, one a day. I think I'd rather have a beet a day than an apple a day. But that could change at any time.

I'm knitting way more now and I can knit socks now. That's my first pair in the basket waiting for sock blockers to come all the way from England. I know you don't really need sock blockers but I see it as part of the experience.

I know my camera has a painting filter now, turned on by accident on Thanksgiving Day. All my photos from that day are like this. 

My youngest daughter and I are planning her wedding now.

Sometimes I feel that I'm doing less of everything I normally do. Some of that is because of wedding planning but it's also the shorter days and longer nights that gently lull us into rest and restoration. I've heard this time referred to as a sacred pause. And then I remember that trees only appear to be dormant while their roots continue to grow, all the while sinking deeper into the earth. Maybe we too grow deeper as we take our sacred pause. xx

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

letters to the otherworld

Every October my family gets together for our version of the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition. We craft, play outside, watch football and snack in the afternoon. As darkness sets in, the altar candles are lit, smoke is made in the cauldron, we have dinner and we remember our loved ones. And there is always at least one new photo on the altar of a loved one who passed over in the last year. 


I feel very strongly that these last weeks of autumn are a time for connection between the worlds. I woke up this morning thinking that as my outer world looks bleak and barren with a sense of withdrawal, that my inner world was actually stretching and energized. That I was ready to reach through any veil of separation between the visible and the invisible worlds.

And just like that, I knew that I would write letters today and that this practice would be a new tradition for me to look forward to every Samhain (All Saints' Day/All Souls' Day) from now on. I wrote three letters my little boy who passed at age seven, to my mother and to my dad. As I wrote, I held something that I knew they had touched -- to my heart and to my lips. 

I wrote what I loved most about them. I said I was sorry for certain situations. I asked them to help me know and feel more than I know and feel now. Then I filled all the candle holders with new tealights and set the altar ablaze. 

I stood watch.  

I may have done some knitting. 

And taken a short walk around the garden.

There are more letters to be written over the next several weeks. It appears that I have quite a long mailing list.



Thursday, October 5, 2017

happy tears onions

I've been stitching a little sunrise/sunset cloth -- the sun is berry-dyed silk, the river is Japanese indigo-dyed silk, the pink sky is a cotton square cut from one of my baby dresses...from when I was a baby. The mountains are calendar cloth. I don't feel like it's done yet but I'm taking a break. Funny how we can spend hours and hours on such tiny little things.

I got this wreath from Target because I thought it would match the curtains in the living room. And it does.

A year of brewing is long enough, don't you think? I think it was prettier in the jar than out of the jar.

The middle plant in the largest pot is a henna plant. It has grown so well and is about three or four feet tall. It will overwinter inside, hopefully I can keep it alive. The top right plant is patchouli and the bottom left is curry. There's also one small carob tree and a spicy scented geranium in the mix.

Here is the goji berry bush for which I still need to find a permanent home before winter. I find that fresh goji berries are not very tasty although the birds like them -- they are much better dried.

This is a deep sea flower dice bag on which mistakes were made but I'm not going to tink it.

Lots of onions overwintered from 2016's garden producing big, beautiful flower heads this past summer and some decent size onions as well. 

I read that at one time in ancient Lemuria, onions made people cry tears of joy, that there was no need to be sad for the world. As civilization evolved, onions took on a different purpose, that of helping people to cry out the sadness that blocked joy -- and in turn their hearts would soften and they could experience greater clarity. I know how good it feels to experience tears of joy but don't think it's ever happened from peeling onions. Maybe I can change that.

I labeled the seeds Happy Tears Onion.

She's going to get a new outfit soon, probably a skirt and maybe a few accessories.

An October moon cloth that I stitched a few years ago as part of a moon & stitch ritual. 

Tonight Talula and I will go out for our nightly stroll, first the front yard, then the back. We'll see the full moon, listen for night sounds and make absolutely sure there are no rabbits around. Then we'll come inside to hang the moon cloth and light a candle. And I'll wish for times of joy. 


Saturday, September 16, 2017

knitting and dyeing

Butterflies were everywhere today, it was so cool. You sort of can't feel too bad about anything when there are dozens of butterflies fluttering around you. On flowers, in the grass, everywhere, some even brushed ever so lightly by my hair.

I am knitting more lately and if I'm not knitting I'm thinking about knitting...a little bag being worked with five needles...and more hexipuffs worked with three needles to someday be assembled into the beekeeper quilt. I feel like I've gently slipped into a groove where knitting comes easy so I'm going to ride it out as long as it lasts.

The Japanese indigo has been maturing for some time and I knew I couldn't delay much longer before the leaves would be unusable. It was perfect timing, the leaves were not only supple and abundant, their color held strong as well. I tried some simple shibori techniques that came out a little wonky but was a glorious day and I am so happy with the outcome. I just wish I had been better prepared with a few skeins of naked yarn to dye.

I love these darker days with cooler nights and getting to wear a sweater again. I am rearranging tabletops all over the house with stones and candles and seed pods and acorns and whatever else I find. The other day when I was out walking Talula, a man in the neighborhood gave me a plastic grocery bagful of acorns he'd just picked off his lawn. I'd never seen so many acorns from one oak tree, it must have been the perfect year for them, unusual for here.

Thanks for visiting and happy weekending. I will either be knitting or thinking about it.