inhale...exhale...relax your shoulders...repeat as often as needed

Sunday, December 30, 2012

the gift of unscripted time

  manzanita, on the oregon coast.
small torn paper collages.
inspired by nature...
created from the recycling bin.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

taking a little holiday break here at
sew and sow life.

may your days be merry and bright!

Friday, December 21, 2012

an ancient day

We gathered in silence in the chapel at Wooster School in Danbury at 8:30 this morning. The pelting rain and raging wind and wooden floor squeaks were the only sounds in the hush.  The names were read and the beloved phrase "gentle, generous, truthful, kind and brave" was our anchor. At 9:30 the prefects rang the bell, and its tolling joined bells in other steeples all over our small state of Connecticut. It was sad and solemn and sobering.

The days cannot get much darker here. Yet when we stepped out into the world, it felt washed clean and the heavy and grey clouds were being chased away by the thinnest of sunbursts. In some ancient way, we have honored the darkness, and in some more miraculous way, nature has taken us by the hand and said...look...the light is irresistible, magical and welcoming.  Move in that direction. Be brave and faithful and be hopeful.

Happy solstice, dearest ones. May your days be spangled and brilliant and filled with wonder.  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

sometimes...'s finding a patch of welcome winter sunshine.
...or the softest comfort of fur under my hand.
...or casting on a new project that will bring comfort 
to both the knitter and the recipient.

wishing you peace and comfort as we slip into 
the darkest and shortest day of the year. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

december 18th

remembering e.e.p...
and her bright and shining light.
"e"very day is a blessing, and inspired by erin,
i am trying very hard
to cultivate light and love and hope,
because that is what this world needs right now.

light to chase away the darkness.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

at a loss

our house in CT is two towns south of newtown, 
and i have been at a loss for words these past few days.
one of my favorite bloggers...uma...
has written eloquent words that have brought me some small comfort,
and i encourage you to read them for yourselves.

namaste dearest uma. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

glowing orange

A stroll to stretch our legs after a long drive to Vermont.
Sunset to the west,
Venus and Betelgeuse (the red star) shimmering
 in the sky to the east.
Hunting dogs barking down the valley.
A fierce chill in the air.
Local chicken and apple sausages, and onions,
sauteed in a pan on the Home Comfort.
Snug and warm.
Re-watching Downton Abbey season one, 
in preparation for January 6th.

Breathing and noticing and appreciating
simple things in the midst of this busy season.

Relaxing while we may.

Are you able to carve out a bit of peace in your days?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

in december

During Hurricane Sandy, a cluster of huge trees toppled in our yard. We have someone coming next week to cut them into pieces and move them off the stone wall. In the meantime, there is a huge and gaping hole where the root ball has been uprooted and exposed.

I can see the hole, with the tree roots dangling, from our kitchen window. Sometimes as I stand at the sink washing pots and pans, I can feel a strange and irresistible pull toward that hole. It reminds my mammal self of a cave. A dark and inviting cave. At this time of year, when daylight is so precious, I feel the tug of hibernation. Some ancient and primal part of myself wants to lumber up the hill, crawl into that hole, curl up, close my eyes, let out a long, long sigh, and go to sleep.

Instead, I am living in a busy world, where our "evolution" has robbed us of a long winter's sleep. So, I am searching for the smile of the guy at the transfer station, in the sparkle of the holiday lights downtown, in the candlelight of the menorah, in the laughter around the dinner table, in the anticipation of the magical solstice and in the bright shining hope of these paper white narcissus.

I seek the light of the season. In that seeking, I move forward toward hope, and peace and love.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

a december afternoon at our "bit of earth"

dreaming of  giving this to batman for christmas.
thinking about making some of these.
wreath making.
drinking tea.
walking in the fog.

what are you up to on this afternoon in december?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Curiosity is the doorway that stimulates
growth, joy and expansion and allows
you to begin to remember who you are.
The Choice for Love 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Stewart's Kickstarter project

a vintage holiday postcard from 
Stewart's collection

When we had a houseful of four small children, we had very strong ideas about how to raise them. (Ask them, they'll confirm that!).

Some of the basics?

-Play outdoors. A lot. 
-Notice and appreciate the Natural World.
-Read. To yourself, aloud to your siblings, and to your parents. Under the covers, sometimes with a flashlight.
-Draw, cut, paint, write, sing, dance, pretend.
-Hold hands around the table before eating as a family.
-Do your chores without being reminded (hmmm...).
-Co-operate whenever possible. Negotiate when necessary.
-Be compassionate. Be inclusive. Be fair.
-Remember that you always have a choice, and the choices you make always have consequences.
-Try hard to do your best, especially when that feels daunting.
-The most important words we shared with them? PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

All these many years later, we have a flock of grown, young adult children who are capable, fascinating and delightful to be with. Oh, and just nerdy enough to be interesting in the best possible way.

Stewart, our oldest, is a high school history teacher. You may remember when he launched his blog, Artful Geographic, a while ago. He is now in the midst of a really fun project over at Kickstarter, a fabulous "funding platform for creative projects". Have you ever checked them out? (I love the many ways that the internet has created alternative economic venues).

Please take a minute today and look at Stewart's project. As I watched his video, I couldn't help but remember the little boy who collected bugs in a jar, loved to write plays with his younger sisters and read late into the night with his flashlight under the covers.

Sunday, December 2, 2012