Saturday, April 28, 2012

Windy day ...

My daughter's pre-school is held on Church grounds on a busy road close to where we live. For all the years we have been here and I have driven past, before my son went to school there and now Lexi, i loved reading the signs they put up at the entrance to the grounds (as in this photo I blogged about previously). Hardly ever Bible verses, just quotes or words - sayings, thought provoking lines about how we live our lives, what to focus on. So many times the words have been unbelievably relevant and helped me to keep perspective or reminded me of something I was missing. Sometimes they just make me laugh. Or feel grateful. 

It was a windy windy day and I was on my way to the school, thinking about how the weather was affecting my plans to be outside in the afternoon with Lexi and re-planning my day in my head (not very happily I have to say). Feeling bogged down and heavy, so early in the day already. It's been a tough week and I have had a lot on my mind, lots to figure out. 

As i turned into the school, the sign at the Church caught my eye and there in letters at the very bottom, small and quiet, instead of Biblical references or life quotes were the words:

It's a good day to fly your kite.

Just like that, so simple and totally unexpected for the Church board, my mood lifted and I laughed out loud. Because that's exactly it. The ability to find the positive. Be surprised. Make gold out of straw. Find the good side. Like 'Pollyanna' which I read again and again as a little girl, even though she could be irritating. Her story held some valuable lessons, even for a girl-child. I needed that reminder to look up and see things differently. 

On a deeper level it was a reminder that sometimes in those very windy chapters of our lives when we have to tie things down to stop them blowing away, the wind can also be so liberating and free. It allows us to let go and blow out the cobwebs but also that sometimes there is a positive side to the battling and storming we go through. Something beautiful taking flight.

And so we headed outside on that windy windy afternoon and fly our kite we did.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beaches and dandelions ...

Today our calendar was empty. Free. No long list of chores and things to do. Nowhere to be. No appointments. Nothing to buy, nothing to return. Not that I don't have lists in my head a million items long. Maybe not a million. But a lot. Many. No sooner is one crossed off than another two get added. The list expands and contracts but it's never done. Never complete. 

But today was a gorgeous sunny day and Hayden was in after-school till after 4.00 so the day was all ours, Lexi's and mine. We ignored all semblance of things we could be doing, should be doing ....

We painted in our pj's and ate cookies straight after breakfast. We drove to a little beach and played in the sand for hours with new friends. We ate Teddy grahams for lunch. We bought cupcakes on our way home (sense the sweet-tooth-theme here today). 

We checked out the new window display for spring. 

We took the time to see the sun play in the garden and we blew bubbles and wished on dandelions in the fading light. 

We had time to play in the playground at Hayden's school before he got out - not arriving just in the nick of time as usual. We listened to him telling us that he had had a good day. I was thinking that we did too.

Sometimes it's good to put the to-do list aside and to just be, in the day, for a day. 

Wishing you some sandy-sunny-painting-in-your-pj's time soon too.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Miracles out of messes ...

At my daughter's preschool ...

I hope so, because at the moment i'm kind of hanging onto this one.

Sometimes it's hard to see where the road is leading when you're deep in the woods and night is coming ... you have no map and you thought you knew the way but it's become clear that you took a turn somewhere back and you don't know which one it was that brought you here exactly but here you are. If only you could retrace your steps but it's gotten too dark and you can't go back. 

So you have no choice but to carry on and hope it's leading out of the woods or at least up, up onto a hill where there is still some light before the sun sets for the day and you have to camp in the forest overnight. Maybe up up on that hill you'll be able to see across the trees to where the sea shimmers in the fading light - and you'll think of the soft cool sand and the sea breezes blowing and you'll know you're almost there and something beautiful is waiting. 

In the middle of the forest, knee deep in mud and one shoe lost, backpack with lunch dropped in a river, dripping wet ... sometimes it's hard to have faith that it's all working out for the best and that there's a grand plan. Or maybe we have to really get lost in order to find our way again, or to be found. 

I'll let you know when I have that one figured out.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter weekend in Virginia

Sometimes it's good to get out of our day to day routines and escape to where there are fields and green and fresh winds blowing in different directions.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

on the friends we have ...

There are people who walk into our lives sometimes and we just know they're going to be a big part from then on ... that they will become a close friend, someone significant. Maybe it's a personal radar in search of goodness for our lives. Intuition. It happens very seldom, as it should ... we all have only so much space in our hearts. 

One of my friends like that moved away last month and I've been strong and positive and kept it all together but today I feel sad and it's permeating everything and my son, who misses her son too, said there are some friends you can never ever replace, no matter how many times you try. He knows this at age 7. I wish there were words I could say to him to make it all OK but i have to let him grieve and try and guide him on the way, wishing it were easier.

I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert's 'Committed' a few days ago and I really enjoyed it. She writes about many aspects of marriage across different communities ... and one of the things which really resonated with me throughout the book was the reminder of how much we, as women, need our female friends. Our mirrors, our reflectors, our reminders of who we were and who we are becoming ... friends to laugh with and cry with and sometimes drown sorrow into the red with. Women who keep us real and centered, and to whom we can vent to about the women we are not good friends with! In some communities generations of women share daily life, they cook and harvest and grow their children and help out where it's needed and share husband-frustrations all under the same roof. While that might drive some of us completely crazy there is a great support in a community like that - the men go off and do what men do and the women take care of their day to day work together - whether it's weaving or cooking or childcare ... some are earning livings but in their communities, together. How the fabric of society has changed. 

We have so much freedom now, in the Western first world, and so many new choices of how we live and what values we hold dear. But we still need that network of sisters, friends, women around us - holding us up, taking our hands, laughing loudly at our jokes, walking with us, drying our tears, loving our children. Loving us. We place so much importance on finding a partner for life with a long list of qualities we long for ... we should be teaching our daughters that finding good friends is just as important, arguably more so. 

Today, after missing one friend and fighting for another, I am tired and needing a little quiet space to recover. I am sending this out across all the seas between us and our friends in this world. It's a good day to reach out to the people you love, even if you haven't seen them in a while and feel like things are drifting. Just a word, a smile, a silly note. 

Let's send a little love and appreciation into the ether today for the women who truly touch our lives and make us better versions of who we were before we met them.

This one's for you M.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring is here and I haven't felt much like writing or painting or doing much of anything creative ... but I have sat in the warmth of the sun and watched the first baseball practice of the season ... chased my daughter up and down bleachers and felt the wind in my hair. Driven on the open road and felt life opening up and bursting at the seams with color and new shoots of green everywhere. A personal reminder of the seasons and the need for hibernation and the explosions of life which happen after. 

Today I am packing for a little road trip down to Virginia and thinking of all the new life I need to be living. For now though, it's all in my head and that's OK. I will read and listen to music and make lists and think and think and somewhere in the quietness of all that daydreaming and watching the buds grow, something will flourish. 

As that famous Bear Pooh said a long long time ago :
'Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits.'

Sometimes in Spring it's enough to fall in love with the season and to simply sit and watch.

Here's wishing you the joys of spring this weekend and a Happy Happy Easter if you celebrate it.


In the theme of Spring, my window collage for the bakery's Easter window ...