Once again I have seemed to let so much time slip away before sitting down once again to add to my blog stories. February left us with a little calling card. We were hit with an ice storm that was quite severe and caused much damage to the entire area, downed lines and trees. Although we had a branch come down through the roof and into the bedroom ceiling, we were luckier than many who had whole trees on their homes. Also we only had a 24 hour power loss with many having an outage for well over a week. All in all I felt quite lucky indeed.
As I lay in bed the night of the storm, I could hear trees and branches falling all around. The sound of transformers blowing was unnerving, but the sound of the branch (although it may look small) hitting the roof was quite terrifying as it shook the entire house. It was too dark out to see the extent of the damage, and in looking out the entire back yard was a mess of branches.
On my first walk following the storm, the extent of the damage was quite visible. My favorite little nature park was closed as the bridges into it were covered in branches and the park itself had numerous trees down covering the paths.
It was quite the mess. But neighbors were out helping neighbors clear the trees and the power company and city crews worked diligently and in a few weeks most of the damage was cleared and roads were opened again.
With that bit of excitement behind us, the weather took a beautiful turn with sunny days interspersed with some rain. The temps increased as the days grew longer and then March tiptoes in like a lamb. The walks have been glorious as the world begins waking up again. Yards and gardens are awash with purple crocus and stark white snow drops. The buds are fat on the bushes and the trees are beginning to green up. It is a joy to be out in nature when spring begins to bloom. I have been working to increase my walking mileage daily. Just being out in the sunshine, surrounded by a myriad vivid greenery makes my heart and soul sing! The dark days of winter are behind us and my body breathes a deep sigh of relief. This has been such a difficult year and, I am sure that many of you agree, fighting off the beast of despair and depression was often a daily chore. A chore made all that much more difficult with dark short cold days gnawing at our very souls.
March is my birthday month. Yet another year, boy they sure seem to go faster the older I get. But I had a lovely day and received some wonderful birthday mail.
This came all the way from Ireland and is scrumptious!!
Beautiful hand dyed and hand spun wool from the Irish Isles with a book on Aran sweaters. I just love Aran sweaters but have yet to attempt one. My mom made me the most beautiful one and it was passed down to my daughter and then to my granddaughter and is now tucked away for the next generation.
And this lovely chakra tree from sunny Cali. I have a special altar in my room and it holds all my dear sacred items. This chakra tree is just the perfect addition! I love the meaning of various stones and the belief in their power to facilitate healing. Everything on this altar is thrift finds except the tree and the rosary (it was a birthday gift last year from Ireland, my dear grandson bought if for me) and some of the crystals my sweet granddaughter gathered up from the wild Atlantic Irish beach and sent them to me.
I have been enjoying my latest knitting project immensely. The girls and I decided to do a knit along in January. But I was held up waiting on my yarn. We decided to do sampler blankets and I wanted a super wash as I was going to make my blanket for the newest baby on the way. I chose Lions brand Wool ease, a worsted weight, in their ivory color way. The pattern is The Little Snow blanket by Kay Jean Designs, a free pattern on Ravelry.
Terrible picture, but you get the idea. The different pattern stitches have been so fun to explore and yet all have been simple and easy. I love how it is knitting up and it will block out beautifully. I am just finishing up the last design portion and will finish off the boarder. I have been monogamous on this project with only a bit of a dip here and there knitting on my current sock project.
With March comes the possible beginning of yard sales! Oh how that makes me smile! I do love my weekly thrifting adventures. I must confess I have made a few trips to the local thrift stores and picked up a few treasures. Mainly some cashmere sweaters to ship over to Ireland. But I have also found a few books and a bit of decor for the other girls as well. With the downsizing of my own things, I now concentrate on finding treasures for my girls and grands. Oh how fun is the hunt!
The other week end, with the sun shining so brightly and the world abloom, I thought it was the perfect time to bring out a bit of Easter decor and brighten up the house a bit.
Not a great deal, but just enough to add some cheer and bring a smile.
I have been doing a great deal of reading lately. Little fiction, but many books on spirituality. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been focusing greatly on increasing my spiritual life. This has coincided perfectly with my mind body PhD studies, as well, as my courses over the past year have been Spirituality and Health, Guided Imagery and Health, and now The Path of the Mythic Journey.
I find that Celtic Spirituality resonates so deeply within me. Newell’s book shares so beautifully the basis of Celtic Spirituality. At the core is the belief that God is present in all creation and can be found in the beauty of nature, that the innate goodness of God indwells within all humans as we are made in God’s image, and that God is neither exclusively male or female but instead both. Celtic Spirituality desired that the church be built upon the Apostle John’s teachings and beliefs. It viewed women as an important part of creation and that they held places in the teaching and sharing of God. They viewed the veil between life and death, heaven and earth, and what is seen and unseen, as thin and at times transparent. To them all was sacred and God was found in the mundane of daily life.
The book by Mirabai Starr, oh where do I begin! Everything about this book is amazing! I discovered Mirabai through a symposium on mysticism and fell in love with her energy, teaching, and just her very essence. I savored this book and took my time reading and rereading sections. I found myself referring to her and quoting her again and again in my current PhD course. Here is one quote that I now keep on my desk,
“Ever since you first tasted the elixir of nobodyness, in the midst of meditating or grieving, you have lost your hunger for sombodyness. Mainstream culture conditioned you to construct a persona and defend it with all your might. The endless self-improvement project, fueled by self-loathing and foiled by the realities of the human condition, has only reinforced the illusion that you are separate from your Source. But a combination of spiritual practice and tragic losses ended that game. You, for one, are relieved to surrender” (p. 61).
How I love this. So much is said in that one small paragraph that leads to deep inner healing and a breaking through as we surrender and shed the expectations of the material world we live in.
I also purchased some new books. This is an author that is new to me but her name kept coming up as I was deepening my spiritual journey. I have not yet started either book, but The Enchanted Life is next on my list.
Christine is another author that has been transformative in my spiritual growth. I chanced upon one of her books in one of the little libraries that dot our community. Oh My Goodness! If you want to engage in a personal retreat Christine offers a deeply rich and meaningful series of steps to deepening your spirituality and walk with God. An example of one such practice is her walking in prayfulness. She has taught me to fully utilize my daily walks as a means to deepen my own communication with God and seek the beauty that not only surrounds me, but dwells within. She breaks her books into weeks and offers exercises and practices for each week to fully engage in a closer walk with God. She also practices in the Celtic tradition. This is her newest book only just released. I am saving it to begin my next journey with her guidance in April.
The days they just slip by don’t they? I keep busy with my knitting, playing in the sewing room, reading, doing puzzles, and getting out for my daily walk. Add a bit of watching my favorite YouTube channels and British mysteries, and this retirement life is just the thing indeed. Soon the pandemic will be behind us and I will be on my way to visit all my children and grands. Oh how I await that day! I still have not had my vaccine as the list does not include me yet, but fingers crossed before mid April I will have that shot in the arm and a new life awaiting! Oh how the sunshine and beginning of spring brings such a renewed feeling of hope and wonderment!