Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday - 2010 Wishes

As we prepare for the New Year, Jamie asks us

What do you wish for 2010?

My immediate thought is to answer with an obvious, but slightly flippant, statement. For it to be better than 2009, of course. But deep down, I know that there is more.

I wish for 2010 to be a year of blooming, even against the odds. It will be a year of deep blessings and joys to counteract the sorrows and terrors of 2009, and it will be a year of spiritual grace and acceptance. 2010 is the reward for surviving 2009 and standing in the muck that has been poured out on myself and all of those I know. It will be the year we see the blessings and glories that come from being the seeds buried in the earth and smothered with beautifully aged manure to enrich our environment. It is time to bloom.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday: Holiday Wishes

It is the day before Christmas Eve and today Jamie over at Jamie Ridler Studio asks us

What do you wish for this holiday season?

I wish for stability, less stress, more peace and happiness. I catch peace and happiness in tiny fragmentary moments as I am caught at the edge of this precipice where I am tiptoeing through the darkness. Like the stars on a cloudy night, I see the faintest glimmer as the clouds pass by, but mostly I see the inky blackness of the clouds. I walk tentatively, at the end of my strength, afraid that my next step will send me over the edge into the abyss that lurks just out of my sight in the darkness of the night I am walking through. I have called upon those whose place it is in life to guard weary pilgrims through dangerous passages, but I feel no guide, no warm guardian presence. Just the awful silence waiting to swallow me into never ending darkness. I push forward, knowing that the light will return and I will once again walk safely in the light of day on a path that meanders through bright meadows and gentle hills. The light is returning, and I am on my journey out of this particular night, but I seek the rest that those glittering fragments of peace and happiness can bring me here and now to refresh me as I travel.

I am glad to be celebrating the end of 2009 - quite frankly I'm having a difficult time finding the bright places in the year and I want it to be over. I want to start fresh, letting the manure and compost of the events of this last year settle into the soil and become the nutrients that feed my growth and blossoming in 2010.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Solstice Blossoming

My Amaryllis is blooming, and I pray that it is a foretaste of the blooming that I will soon do myself. I have patiently waited and watched and nourished it while the bulb sat until I could find the right pot to plant it in; while it waited in the darkness of the earth to know that the time was ripe to grow tall; while it sent out it's single strong stem; as the bud grew fat with promise. I have waited to know the beauty of this flower, this particular plant, until the time was right.
I see the lessons for my own life - that I must wait patiently while I am transplanted from a pot that was too small for me to the place where I will next be able to grow and thrive. I must continue to wait patiently as that place is prepared for me, the proper hole dug deep into the soil, amended with the proper nutrients and compost (this is especially important, because improperly prepared compost can burn a plant just as the difficult lessons in our lives burn and hurt us even as they give us the things we need to learn in order to be our best). When my new place is ready, I will be transplanted and my roots will find fresh nutriment and I will be able to thrive once again. I will be patient as my roots send out new rootlets and I become established in my place. I will soon be prepared to send out new stalks, laden with heavy blossoms. I will bloom.
It is difficult to be in this time of waiting. I have been uprooted, and am still waiting for my new home. I have a choice, though. I can be like some of my succulents, who require a time of hardening off before they can be rooted to start new bushes and who can survive on very little as they wait. Or, I can be like many plants that, if they wait too long for a new home, wilt quickly and may never recover. I choose to be like the hardier plants, the ones who wait patiently and transplant well. I choose to hold tight to the knowledge that my new place is nearly ready for me and that I will soon have a new well of nourishment with which to supplement my own inner supplies.
I will bloom again.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Seeking Christmas

Christmas Eve is a week from today. My creche is on the mantle, waiting for the small figure of the baby Jesus. My tree is in it's stand, waiting for the lights and ornaments that will make it sparkle like magic. I have a list of things to do to keep me busy... baking, wrapping, watching. Yet it feels almost empty this year.

My decorations sit in their boxes, waiting to be set out in their places. There is the beautiful nativity scene embraced by the wings of an angel, lit gently as a nightlight. The lovely Madonna figure crafted many years ago by my aunt that used to grace my Grandparent's house with her gentle presence each Christmas. The sweetly smiling Santa figure that my husband and I picked out our first Christmas that we were together. The angel with feathered wings. The glass ornaments. All of them are waiting patiently for me, sitting reproachfully in the boxes that fill up the space on the floor where I walk around them and carefully avoid looking at them.

I had planned to make lovely goody bags for friends and family this year filled with homemade candies and cookies. The list of what I am planning to make grows smaller and smaller as Christmas grows closer. My alternative plan is ready to go.

Instead, I sit on the couch and wait. I wait, along with my special decorations, along with Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds and the Wise Men. I watch in the dark stillness of the night, wrapped in a nearly finished blanket and unable to sleep. I seek and hope that I am prepared when it breaks through.

I seek the joy, the light, the love of the season. My spirit is cold in me as I wait for the nights of joy that I pray are coming soon. This year it seems that my heart is duller in my breast, my spirit farther away from me, my energy sapped. I have heard myself say, more than once, that "Christmas is just another day this year" and I wonder at how it got this far.

So I press my face close to the spicy needles of my Christmas tree, inhaling the sharp aroma of the sap and rejoicing in the tickling of the branches against my skin. I light a candle to ward off the darkness, praying for the light to lighten my heavy heart. I play the music of the season; carols and ancient tunes sung by joyful voices, ballets played in tuneful splendor by orchestras, thoughtful musical meditations played on the organ. I pray that the music will wash away the slowness that is shadowing my every movement and weighing me down.

I seek out the beauty and I pray. I wait, I listen, and I yearn for that moment in time that is coming when a miracle is born in the darkness of an unknown night.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday: Gifts

Today, Jamie is asking us

What do you wish to give?

Which is an amazingly hard question for me to answer! I am a giver at heart and often give too much of myself away. My delight is to know that I have made someone feel better or happier in some way for my having come into their life at any given time. I know that I fail miserably at that on some days. We all have those days and I try not to get down on myself for it, but it truly is my deepest joy to see someone smile or express relief or some other indication that I have been able to give them something (generally intangible) that they needed.

I believe right now, however, as I am giving away energy, love, and everything else to keep others moving and happy, I need to give myself permission to sit down and take care of myself once in a while. I cannot keep giving without refilling the well.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Settling in for Winter

There has been rain at the cottage for much of the last week, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time sitting beside the windows or on our covered porch with a cup of hot tea in hand watching the show. I have even dragged out a few of my ufos (Un Finished Objects!) from this summer and am working on completing those. The doily could take me a while as I seem to be having difficulties holding my tension comfortably even, but I'm taking it a little at a time and it is, indeed turning out well. I am almost finished with the lapghan, a heavy acrylic number in grey, plum, and purple Homespun. I'm still not sure what to do with the beginnings of my round ripple afghan as I am not really enamored of the way it is turning out, so I may take it just far enough to be a small table cover or something and use it that way!

Things seem to be stabilizing for me as I settle in to the ways of keeping the cottage in a welcoming and homey way. Books are moving, decorative pieces are being adjusted and readjusted, and the atmosphere is coming together. Now I have to find places for my Christmas and winter season decorations!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday: Spirit Wishing

Today, Jamie asks us:

What is your Spirit wishing for?

My spirit is wishing for freedom. Not freedom to fly, but freedom to live authentically. Freedom from worldly worries of whether or not we'll be able to pay all of our bills this month or how I will earn money without compromising myself or my health.

My spirit wishes to live from the heart, doing what it is called to do here on earth. Playing with the yarn and fabric that makes my heart beat faster, dancing with the healing energy to share that brings lightness and joy into the core of my very being. How do I blend those things that bring me joy with the practicalities of surviving in this world where gifts are not always respected or honored?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Stormy Day

We are snuggled all safe and cozy here at the cottage while the rain has fallen and the wind is howling rather mercilessly. The dog hates the rain and won't go outside, so he is curled up in his chair looking at me quite pitifully every time I try to drag him out the door. On the other side, the cat is totally ignoring the weather and has curled himself up on our bed to sleep out the storm. It is our first real winter storm of the season, and I am delighted to be indoors with hot tea, a hand crocheted afghan, a fire in the fireplace and my husband on the couch beside me.

I am especially grateful to have survived Saturday. It was the debut of my parent's company, Ivy Hill, and we had a booth at the marketplace of the Point Loma Holiday Home Tour to benefit Best Friends Society. The sky kept getting darker throughout the day with the wind coming in little gusts that grew increasingly cold, but the rain held off until yesterday afternoon. The various seasonal baked goods that Ivy Hill offers were a resounding success, and we are off and running. I look forward to helping them fulfill the orders that will roll in as the holiday approaches.

I took several pictures, but haven't been able to load them into my computer yet, but I promise that as soon as they are in my grasp I will share them.

Stay safe and warm as the weather rages!

P.S. I thought I'd share a favorite herbal blend that is perfect for relaxing in front of a fire!

1 part Lemon Balm
1/2 part Peppermint
1/4 part Rosemary

Put herbs into a strainer, pour hot water over and let steep for 5 minutes before removing the herbs. I like to sweeten this with a dash of honey and sometimes I will even add a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

Today's Wishcasting Wednesday question from Jamie is:

What is your Winter wish?

The first wish that pops into mind is simply emotional survival. I have clinical depression, which is often exacerbated by the darkness this time of year. The strangest part about all of this is that Autumn and Winter are my favorite seasons! So no matter what I am dealing with a physical paradox, I suppose.

After sitting with the question a bit longer, my Winter wish is to use the time to prepare to launch my Etsy store and bring myself that much closer to my dream of bringing Wild Oak Cottage to life as a business that supports me and allows me to share my gifts with the world. I still have a ways to go to complete the dream, but an Etsy store is the most easily attainable first step. I also hope to have a school chosen to pursue my Massage Therapist License and to find the right teacher and tradition in Reiki so that I can have an avenue to share my healing gifts with a wider circle than just my immediate family.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who wished with me last week for closure. I had a telephone hearing yesterday and I know that no matter what the final judgement is, I have found closure and am able to put the whole miserable experience behind me. I am just sad that it had to happen in the first place, and that I allowed a betrayal by a pastor and co-workers to color my thoughts about an entire denomination that they represented.