Thursday, 29 April 2010

Morning walk

This morning I managed a walk along the Itchen River. It was early as I left at the same time that Borneo did for his commute to London. I had forgotten how much I love being out at this time of day and how much I enjoy that walk.

Although the sky was dull as there is thin cloud cover, the sun did break through occasionally. There was the full dawn chorus of birds stating their daily business.

I was surprised that there were reflections in the the river as the water is flowing quite strongly. It is always relaxes me when I am able to connect with nature in this way. It was always the way that I have practiced my daily meditation, this walk in nature and I have walked this path often watching the changing of the seasons.

A light mist hung over St Catherine's Hill, obscuring her crown and holding an energy of peace and tranquility. As I walked back towards town, I came across a family of squirrels having their breakfast. They ran away and then when they realised I meant no harm, came back to eat happily while I watched!

The little one on the left is the baby and it's tail is like a bottle brush plant, all spiky as it has not yet grown full. This one came closer to me. It was quite curious.

The gardens are looking so beautiful and everything is green.

The last section of the walk, is close to where I sat knitting yesterday. The trees are all in bloom and it is beautiful, a lovely hour spent next to the water. 

Now it is back to house sorting in preparation for the move and I really don't mind. My soul has been nourished for the day.

Monday, 12 April 2010


This weekend we spent some time attending to things that one clears before you move. It brought both sadness and a release. In the garden, stacked behind the shed are all the pots and crates that I used to grow vegetables for the family for a couple of years before we moved here. I felt quite sad letting them go even though I know I cannot possibly plant and grow anything at the moment.

When we moved here the furniture removal company brought a second truck along to transport my potted vegetable garden. The men were gentle and moved everything so carefully, respectful of the blooming and blossoming plants that were entrusted to them. They were grateful to go home with some of the abundance that it was producing.

The disastrous summer that year and the aspect of the garden soon put an end to it all and I only managed to produce lettuce the following summer so the pots have been stored until we move again. Now, I probably will not be able to do this physically for a a while and now it seems foolish to move everything when space may well be an issue.

I did find a home for some of it. It made the release less wasteful.  A friend is a member of a town group who are starting a farm garden and will use all the bits and pieces that go to them. Soon all these will be filled with plants again, blossoming and blooming, ready to feed people who have tended them lovingly. The thought of that gladdens my heart.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Making vessels.

I was listening to a craft podcast earlier in the week about a metal craftsman who makes small metal vessels. At the moment he is making the biggest one he has ever created which will be about four feet when it is complete. People kept commenting that they really felt like they wanted to crawl inside these vessels.

These images in my brain have brought all kinds of connections together. When I was in the changing rooms at the pool last week, I watched some toddlers climbing into the lockers. Outside a crystal stockist in South Africa where two enormous amethyst geodes that one could sit inside.

There was some thing there about filling the empty space or perhaps finding a haven of safety and security.

It seems such a strong part of our tradition that we must not have any empty space. To be busy and filling all the spaces is valued far above sitting being part of the world with no need to fill or complete anything. Open spaces in conversation can leave people feeling awkward and uncomfortable. We are just not shown how to let space be.

When we moved to this country, we wanted to change our lifestyle from being constantly busy, to one of having more space to explore the immediate world around us when we chose to. It is a joy to be without the pressures of big city life, learning at the same time to do things differently.

It has not been easy and it is still a work in progress. It has meant changing our value system and understanding what is truly important in life, our family and friends and living a slower life. It is understanding where happiness really comes from and having one's needs met not necessarily one's wants.

It has been a letting go of all the competing and pressures to keep up with what society expects. We have had to hammer this out of our psyches like the metal smith hammers the metal to form his empty vessel. Slowly, we are forming our own new vessels with emptiness. We are moulding our metal to ring with the sounds that we want to be now. It is a very magical process.