Saturday, January 24, 2015

Talis (wo)men

Sometimes it seems as if the years I spent raising my children were just a dream.

And then I will stumble upon a reminder.

Like this one I found last Tuesday in the wood pile - reminding me of both my children and their gift and talent with the guitar:

Or these that I found in a box of lego that my honourary grand-daughters were playing with - reminding me of:

my daughter's passion for horses

and, my son's passion for all things star trek.

And last summer, before I embarked on a long vacation I found this suddenly appearing on the hallway floor:

I have no recollection of this ladybug, and not sure where she came from, but I popped her into my pocket, and she travels with me.

Reminding me that I was a mother of young children.

Reminding me that I am still a mother.

Allowing me to hold on to the memories for a little while longer.

The guitar is an instrument that links us all together: daughter and son, mother and father.

The ladybug and the little horse are tokens of my daughter.

The starship Enterprise, and this hummingbird are tokens of my son. He embroidered it for me a few years ago.

These tokens are with me always.

Tangible objects for an intangible concept.

Like love.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Flashback Friday - Three things about me

Original post - Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I am an Introvert

People who knew me in elementary and high school would say I was shy. People who know me in my 'teacher' mode might see me as extroverted. I am not.

Taking a Myers Briggs tests years ago confirmed what I always have been, but didn't always know. I am an introvert. I first truly realized this at a dinner party about fifteen years ago. It was a Greek restaurant, and, you probably guessed it, the belly-dancer showed up.

I hate belly dancers, mostly because they come over to your table and try to get you to dance too.

Three women at my table leapt up and starting dancing with her. There I was, luckily sitting with my back against a wall on the bench seat, with two male colleagues on either side of me. I grabbed the arm of each of them and whispered urgently that they were not to move until the dancer had vacated the premises! Thank God they complied.

It was really my first inkling that I am indeed an introvert....those three women dancing on the floor out there? Extroverts!

This is not to say that I can't be funny and entertaining at parties. If I have a good yarn to spin, then I will spin away.....

But mostly at parties, and gatherings, I sit and watch and think that everyone is having a much better time than I am. Everyone seems to be being greeted by long lost friends. Everyone seems to be having a much more interesting conversation than the one I am having, or not having.

Me? I like dinners with one person, maybe two. I love to be around people who are entertaining. I love to watch the interactions of others. I don't like to be watched.

I am an intuitive

I am not an academic. I try to read academic journals, and articles, but I can't follow them, can't quote them, can't really get into them. I just know what I know intuitively. I used to try to pretend to be an academic but it was too stressful. I now tell people, out loud, "I am not an academic", just so there are no surprises, or disappointments.

I protect my heart

When something isn't right in my life, or in the lives of people close to me, my heart hurts. This isn't metaphoric. It actually begins to ache. I have learned in my life to listen to my heart when it aches. It is never wrong.

When my heart aches then I know there is something I must say. I know that I have to say it. It always turns out to be that which had to be said. You can imagine, for me, and perhaps for those around me, this can be a curse, and perhaps sometimes a blessing.

My heart also aches when I stand between two people who are in conflict with each other. It doesn't have to be spoken. My heart knows when conflict is there. It took me years to protect my heart from issues that weren't mine. Years.

So I have to protect my heart.

That is really all you need to know about me. I am an introvert, and an intuitive, and I have to protect my heart.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Hope springs eternal

Yes, I am continuing on with the sweater - actually finished the body - and decided that maybe if I ripped back the sleeves and re-knit them a bit bigger I could get project to work for me.

The sleeve increase worked - but when I tried on the sweater, although it closes around my bust, it would need, as I said last week, aggressive blocking to close around my waist. Which is weird because my waist is much smaller than my bust.

Anyways - I am soldiering on - and will make the button band wider than stated in the pattern to see if I can still salvage it for me.

You see, I have fallen in love with the colour, and I really want this to work for me.I was concerned I wouldn't have enough yarn - I only had four balls - but I still have a whole skein untouched - so maybe...maybe, I could frog and re-knit if necessary.

There are those that would say to just frog now get it over with.

But hope does spring eternal, and as some would say this is 'how I roll'. (I actually hate that expression!)

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Saying Thank You - Giving Thanks

This has been on my mind of late. I think that as a society we are forgetting, or neglecting, to say thank you.

I remember when I was a young girl and my aunts from the next province over would send me a Christmas gift: something small, and sweet, and their way of saying they remember me and were thinking of me. My mother always got me to write a thank you note and pop it in the mail.

My mother also used to call me the day after a party, or dinner, to thank me for the invitation.

People don't do that so much anymore, although I do have friends that always text me after we have had an evening together to comment on the nice time we had. I like that.

And, I don't do it.

But I should.

Most people I know are very good at expressing thanks when a gift has been given in person, face to face, but not so good when a gift has been sent through the mail, snail or otherwise.

I wonder why that is?

Are we so busy that we can't take the time to call, or send a quick text?

I am certain that we are delighted to receive gifts, and think warm thoughts about the sender while we are in the process of receiving, but then, somehow, the thank you part falls off the radar.

Often I would receive small packages of notes as a gift - the perfect size to send a small thank you message.

I still remember sending thank-you notes after my wedding, and how it took me months to get them all done. Really? Months? My mother said you have a year after the wedding to acknowledge a gift. A Year? Are we all that busy that it takes a year to acknowledge a wedding gift? Apparently I was. And it is embarrassing to recall that fact.

Many people told me they didn't send cards out at Christmas this year because the stamp costs had jumped so dramatically. But, really, eighty-five cents is not that much to connect with someone, and to let them know we are thinking of them. I don't think it is about the money. I think it is something more systemic.

Maybe it is because the world is too busy, too fast, too full.

Maybe we should only give gifts in person.

Maybe I have been watching too much Downtown Abbey and have become nostalgic, for the small notes sent and received in the mail, for a time gone by.

Maybe I am just too judgemental. I hate that I fret about the behaviour of others when I am guilty of the same faux pas.

Whatever it is, I am going to make the effort to say thank you and to acknowledge the people and moments in my life that I appreciate.

I do appreciate them, and often reflect on them happily, but I need to let the others involved know how important those moments and gifts and dinners and lunches and cups of coffee are.

Because giving thanks should not just be a silent mantra. It takes on a whole new life when it is shared with the other.

Giving thanks becomes a gift in itself.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Some days

Some days
no amount of sun
will clear away
the clouds
that cool my heart

Some days
no amount of cedar
will allow me to

Some days
the weight of it all
is more
than I care
to bear

Some days
I wish for night
to come
with blankets

Some days
are just like
but not
every day

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Singing bunnies

I gave this candle sculpture to my Mum for Christmas many, many years ago. It was a reminder to her about our love of books, and specifically the book 'Watership Down'.

We often would read books the other had suggested - The Mists of Avalon, The Clan of the Cave Bear, anything by Agatha Christie, or James Michener.

When we were heading out to our family campsite on Bowen Island she would buy at least a dozen Agatha Christie's at the used book story for ten cents each and that would be our reading for the holidays.

But there was something about Watership Down that really spoke to me. I really connected with the little bunny, Fiver, the clairvoyant one.

However, the title of this blog comes from a dream I had when I first was with my dear husband. I had this glorious dream of rabbits on a grassy hill, standing up on their back legs, singing.

The song was ethereal, beautiful, perfect.

I shared it with him, and he still refers to my singing bunny dream.

I never dreamt it again, but believe that it was a picture of Heaven.

Back to the candle - it was returned to me after my mother passed away. I brought it out every Christmas, and finally lit the candle a few years ago. The wick was quite short, and now I can put a tea-light in the well on its back.

This year, when all the decorations were being put away, I left the bunny on the kitchen windowsill.

She belongs there, not hidden in a box for fifty weeks of the year.

I have been writing about my mother a lot these past weeks. I think I have reconciled many of my conflicted feelings about her.

It has taken ten years.

I wonder what our relationship will be in our next life together. I don't think our journey is over yet.

I hope when we meet again there will be singing bunnies.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

26 Years ago today - Part Two

A Friday in January
The thirteenth don't you know
You were four days early
And the forecast was snow.

The date seemed auspicious
The labour was ok
We managed despite the weather
The hospital the next day.

So two days later
You finally made your way
3:20 in the morning
On your grandfather's birthday.

You were Mommy's girl
No other arms would do
My little Velcro baby
Carried like little Roo.

You sing with all your heart
And write your point of view
You strive to make better
what others failed to do.

Tarot, horoscopes and books
Have helped you find your way
Sharing ideas with me
Hearing what you have to say.

Twenty six years ago
I was afraid to say
How much it was I wanted
A daughter to light my way.

Whether doing errands
or endless cups of tea
Time we spend together
means everything to me.

Happy Birthday baby girl
May peace come to you most
And know that now and always
You are loved from coast to coast.