I do love me a clunky, search-engine-unfriendly post title : ) There is method in her madness, after all.
Anyway, there I was, perched on my balcony chair early this morning, with preparatory cuppa* in hand, booking some flights, when I realised that we’re nearly halfway through September.
The past couple of weeks have been incredibly full. So. Full. Not just work-wise for me, but for so many around me. Big life stuff too. I’ve been by turns excited by developments in my own life, also happy for someone dear to me, and then sad and ache-y for yet others that I love. It makes for a patchwork of emotions.
It’s all brought me home again to my core values, though. Love and work**. And Beauty. Always Beauty.
And of Beauty, there is so much of that around me right now. I’m seeing it in the hearts of others, (affirming for me more and more that the world can be a kind place). And that I’m fortunate to know and love the souls I have gathered around me, both near and far.
There’s also a glut of beauty in the natural world, as ever. Spring is in full gallop and blossom, and I swear my elderflower tree has grown about 10cm in less than a week. I’m also preparing my pumpkin patch for the seeds I’ll be sowing next month. This amounts to smothering weeds with cardboard, and adding layers of compost and leaf mulch. Said pumpkins will have to share space among the roses, (of course!), but I believe they’ll ramble happily there.
This scrumptious beauty is flourishing. I planted it along with 6 others of its kind, (yes, it’s a sickness, and one for which I desire no cure) during the Winter. Hopefully, there will be blooms this year, but we shall see.
And then there’s the creeping invasion of the nasturtiums…
My magnolia tree is (finally) in bloom. We’re just a wee way up the mountain, but high enough that our magnolia tree flowers a good few weeks later than those in the village below.
In the midst of all this there’s been a goodly amount of Spring-cleaning. Which sounds harmless enough, but it’s been quite the operation chez Rapunzel’s. And as I’ve primped, and painted, and smudged, the process has been quite transformative. I feel even more connected to my home, and it’s unleashed a flurry of creativity.
The fullness of these weeks has meant that I’ve been even more focused upon carving out personal writing time, which continues to be a big priority for me. Something has to be pretty crucial or urgent in nature to drag me away. I take it as seriously as a commitment to catching up with a real-life person. And I love those hours, (or sometimes even just minutes, if that’s all I can spare) lost in the strange, mossy world of my own creation.
But love and work, hey? Love is the heart of my purpose, but work is my North Star. There’s a lot to be said for consistency of practice. How it can make things grow. Gardens, works of art, a body of work. A soul, (or mind, if you prefer). There’s an integrity in showing up to something, or someone, every day. I’ve long believed in simple disciplines. All or nothing is too exhausting for my part, and ususally unsustainable. I prefer little, by little. Word by word.
I think I’m a sensualist, at least partially because of my love of little disciplines. I savour the delicious, and the beautiful. Yet without a point of tension, or hard work, I don’t feel life is quite nearly as pleasurable…it’s managing that tension and interplay…what do you think?
Sometimes we all need a bit of escapism, of course. When we’re weary and bruised. Or just for pleasure. I can certainly sloth it up, and I love a bit of indolence. A film, a good book, a glass (or two) of red, late nights with friends. The finest, darkest chocolate known to humanity. A howl at the moon, and a hoon on the broom.***
But there’s a danger in continually feeding an escapist impulse, in letting it settle in the bones and pores, until it becomes a daily rhythm. Allowing escapism to become who we are.
Yet it’s not so complicated, really. Often the simpler the better, perhaps. The mundane, the small, quiet habits and devotions are often what build a life. One of sustenance and integrity, anyway.
I remember how my grandma would rise early every day, even long after her obligations in and to the world had faded, and she had only herself to please. Yet still she would rise and set to work, and slip into the quiet rhythms of her day.
I admire those who just show up and work hard, with grace and humility. They work through, without drama. Without flashing lights and grand gestures. They put their egos and their fears aside, because they recognise a simple truth: that it’s not about them at all. And they devote themselves to their work, or to an idea, a love, or loved one(s). Paid or unpaid. They plug away consistently. Even on the days when it all feels pointless, or it’s hard to show up – because of course, sometimes it is, hey?
But it does matter. The tedious details, the plodding, the chores. The unseen and unsung. The showing up makes their souls beautiful, and filled with story and colour. It develops character, and honesty, (those old-fashioned, highly underrated things). And sometimes, bit by bit, it also produces wonderful things.
These are the people who continue to inspire me, and restore my faith. I have the good fortune to be surrounded by them at this point in my life, and I cherish and appreciate their presence deeply. They doing what they do, and living how they live, helps me to plod on, and quell my own fears and self-doubt. Reminding me that many of us are doing the best we can, with what we have.
….The Bloke has just collected the mail, and I have a beautiful, (the envelope is indeed beautiful to behold) unopened letter from a dear kindred! It’s raining, and the cottage is wrapped in rolling mist and clouds. So I will fill a teapot, light some vanilla incense, and sit upon my cosy couch, beneath my twinkly star lights, and read. A delightful anticipation indeed.
Wishing you a delicious beginning to your week.
My next post will be about my adventures in dread-locking, (among other things). Because randomness is an art, I assure you. Oui. But for now, cheerio luvs. xxx
*preparing my brain for work, that is. With chocolate chai, no less.
**Thankyou Freud, for that pearl.
***not exactly bacchanalian, or excessive I realise. But whatever floats your boat.