The path differently.
New ways to see.
Diverge to find free.
What it is to be.
And intimately me.
Happy birthday to me.
The path differently.
New ways to see.
Diverge to find free.
What it is to be.
And intimately me.
Happy birthday to me.
‘This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.’ ~ Maya Angelou
Felt by time.
Relaxed by releasing.
Energised by moving.
Brightened by flowers.
Softened by rain.
Motion by flow.
Orientation by attention.
Inspiration by patience.
Each day I take my run through the woods, still with the freedom to walk through the front door at a time of my choosing. When I’m walking out the door the music up and I’m pumped – I am ready to move. Sometimes it’s putting the music on before I leave the house that gets me motivated. For all that has changed in the world we still have choices. Freedom. I’m not saying it’s easy but many of us still do – it’s in how we frame life.
In deciding to turn my phone off for a month yesterday I have effectively turned off the music to which I run. Something I hadn’t thought through. This is why it is best to leap rather than think sometimes! As I left I thought, ok no music, I can still do this. Without the music in my ears there was something else to hear. One of my favourite things actually. A kind of poetry for the soul. The sound of the chirpy Great Tit’s as they wax lyrical about the day’s events.
Looking back over these past weeks the biggest shift has come for me each time I accept the challenge. I was early in my preparedness, accepting the virus was on the way. This did not send me spinning into shock when things changed in a weekend. For a while I was angry. Angry that many ignored what was coming and in doing so spent no time considering the associated mortality of their choices and those without safety nets. I was angry that people saw this as a blessing when for many it is anything but. Eventually, once the world began to act to protect people I found a way to accept there would be mortality because at least now we’re trying to reduce this and also, that people are just where they are on this pandemic journey.
Do you love a little whimsy? Are you brave enough to embrace your own brand of whimsy? I ask this because sometime whimsy is weird. Well, we (you and I) know it’s not really weird but others may see us as weird if we practice it. And because of that we need to be courageous in our pursuit of whimsy, to ensure our life remains ours.
I am quite partial to whimsy – in the land of ‘feels’ it is a superstar! One of the great wonders.
Here’s a little story of whimsy.
Last week during a chat with a dear friend. A friend who is not afraid of whimsy asked me if I had seen any signs of Autumn. Actually she would have asked me if I’d seen signs of Lammas, the pagan term, because she embraces the rituals associated with seasons. I learn a lot from her. The older I get the more I think the people who connect with nature are the smartest – I gravitate to them.
We should definitely ensure that we seek people in our lives who are not afraid of the power of the universe – the mother. In doing we are reminded to stay curious and to notice … and then we get fierce and protective of said mother – but that’s a whole other story.
Ooops … back to current story!
At that time I thought I hadn’t. We were still in full blown summer. The forest still brilliantly verdant (said friend also taught me that word). The trees coated with their thick coats of luscious green leaves, the wind has not yet cooled and the days are long.
The next day when walking my daily walk and I noticed acorns. Acorns? Could they be a sign of Lammas? The very first?
I collected a few acorns and returned home. I probably skipped with joy a little. This is probably when whimsy entered the story? Yes, I think it definitely was.
At home a day or so later I googled ‘acorns symbolism’, ‘are acorns a sign of Autumn’? That sort of thing – you know the quest for knowledge type rabbit hole.
And I found a few nuggets:
‘One little acorn, with time, can also be the start of a whole forest of mighty oak trees. Acorns are also considered to be a lucky symbol, representing prosperity, youthfulness, power and spiritual growth.’ I found it here.
And the gold …..
‘Long before acorns were considered good luck, they were associated with magic between two witches. When passing each other in the woods, witches would hand each other acorns to let one another know who they were and that they were safe in one another’s company.
As a good luck symbol, acorns are said to protect one’s health. Carrying an acorn is believed to protect from illnesses, aches, and other pains. If you’re already ill, it is said to speed up the healing process and alleviate any pain.’ I found this here.
Gold because if acorns were associated with witches then I was probably meant to dance with this whimsy a little more. There are too many women in my life talking about witches for me to ignore it! So many.
The next day when I was walking in the woods I collected a pocket full. Ever wondered about the word abundance? How to see it, feel it? I think when you follow whimsy you may just find the abundance ‘feel’ too.
Yesterday I decided I’d make something with them. I have been wanting to get my sewing machine out and was waiting for a purpose.
Perhaps I could make some little bags and gift some acorns to friends. The ones who I knew would ‘get’ such a gift. I had some beautiful wool I’d bought from an artisan that I could use to make the draw string. Hmmm but the material? To dance with whimsy in this story was to wait not buy. And this is where magic enters the story.
As I unpacked another box in my house (we’ve recently moved) I found a bag that had came with some sheets I’d bought a few years back. These bags are better than plastic for sure but they need to be re-purposed because who puts clean sheets away in a bag?!? Finally a use for the bag. Boom! I could cut it up to make my little gift bags.
And today I did!
I also added a little note and a tea bag. Perhaps the recipient could drink a tea and dream a little whimsy of their own.
There is so much I loved about dancing with whimsy. It is such a beautiful dance partner. You see whimsy is a brilliant ‘feel’ to work/play with – it grows and grows. So easily too once you start cultivating the story and let the magic carry you.
Oh and here’s another layer and perhaps one of my favourites. When I was searching for the sources of the information I’d read I didn’t know the reason acorns were associated between witches. Now I do!
So if I give you one of these bags – you are safe with me friend.
Ps If you’re wondering how this contributes to taking responsibility for my life? I am being vulnerable – sharing a story and to special friends (and my daughter) also a gift that’s created with my weirdness, one where I embrace my own version of whimsy. I’m a little free’er as a result. I don’t care if anyone thinks I’m a nutter! Maybe, someone else will embrace their wonderfully weird whimsy and in doing so they too will feel the joy and be unafraid to become warriors for the mother. Unafraid of being under the spell of her magic. She, the keeper of whimsy!
Pps Don’t for a minute think this story is over. Whimsy and magic are a beautiful force for good when you let them fly out into the world.
Ppps For you Janet, have a dance with your love, the full moon is rising right? In lieu of a bag of acorns because I can’t send it through customs :)!
My camino is drawing near. It’s our greatest guarantee isn’t it – that time will tick, our lives will unfold and our dreams arrive.
I always like to have a little something brewing on the side in my life. That is how I keep my soul safe, you never know when you will need that protection. The little projects tend lead on to another little project (and the finest people) … some I finish (minimised our life) some I surrender (remember that book). But they always propel me forward, changing and expanding me for the better.
This camino has been the perfect anchor for me these past months and it comes at the perfect time. It comes at a time that I need to (am ready to) spend some time rebuilding (the beauty of spring). It has been a MASSIVE few years. Downsizing our possessions and needs, long term travel, moving continents, all the kids at school, time to think about resurrecting my career (tough one), my husband has started his own business … yeah massive!
When I started this project it was driven by my need to commit to doing something good in the world, something adventurous, something bigger than what I had attempted before. Something beyond my front door. I could have attempted to make it bigger but I chose to keep it close, within my grasp. That gave me the freedom to not only adjust, but also to control the pace, the ability to step in and out. This in turn has given me the freedom to be present in this camino (journey) towards the camino. It is about knowing your capacity.
Capacity – I encourage you to read this article here a brilliant read. Annette gently invites us to question our ‘actual’ personal capacity. It has been one of my favourite blog posts I’ve ever read.
Presence has meant that I know exactly what I need going into this trek and it has also shown me where I need to spend time beyond this adventure. These next weeks as I put one foot in front of the other I will be rebuilding some of trust and confidence in myself and my spirit that I’ve lost in this settling in phase of our overseas adventure. I’ll be thinking about some of the habits I need to improve when I return. I already know I need to get my kitchen in order … I killed a sour dough starter this year. That is not kosher!
I’ll be letting it evolve without plans. There are no bookings (except the train to get there and the first night’s accommodation). Distance and pace will be decided as my day and mood dictates. Walking, travelling light, eating local, taking the time to listen to pilgrim stories … slow travel.
Our recent mini trip to London over Easter had many of those moments that remind me of the sweetness of slow travel. The daffodils signalling the arrival of spring and sunshine, the realisation that while my daughter still wants to hold my hand (and equally give me eye rolls) I need to hold it tight, the conversations with my teenage son over our favourite topic, European history, the friendships my children cultivate with each other because we spend so much time as a family. There was a shift. It reminded me that I am home. Home is here wherever we live, together. It was good to feel that again.
Simple things the day brings when you’re not in a hurry and you’re not being dictated to by a schedule or when you allow yourself to be present enough to notice and feel it all. Yes, crafting space and letting go of what is not within our control is a far kinder way to live.
I have some ideas about how I might document this trip when I return but first I must take my camino. I need to find my own way on the road to Santiago de Compostella. I will share my journey briefly here and on IG as I hike (of course I’ll be taking you, you’ve all come this far). It’s exciting to (again) be on the cusp of an adventure – a new painting ready to paint with its unknown hues and shades.
‘When you feel it take your breath away
Just keep walking towards it anyway
Because life is a leap of faith’
~Sia lyrics from Leap of Faith
My favourite musical song ever! You need to flip to 1 min 30 sec to get to the start. It’s a beautiful song penned by Sia and one I’ve played a lot these past weeks.
Ahh you were waiting for my poem of the week weren’t you ;) I wrote this on the train early one morning this week.
Grasp it with all your might
Witness all that’s in your sight
There’s kindness to be found
When eyes are free to roam around
Notice the flowers in bud and bloom
Immerse in the cozy of a room
Allow your gaze to meet
Feel moved by strangers on the street
Give time for kind words shared
For there is courage in friendliness dared
Be unrestricted in the things
That give you a life that sings
We have educated 12 Girls through One Girl Australia! If you’d like to contribute you can do so here. Frances Antonia – Do it in a dress!