Well, with temperatures increasing again towards a scorching 43 degrees tomorrow - we are girding our loins, packing our bags and heading out of the hills to the relative comfort of St Kilda beach. The horror heat along with the forecast 100mph winds are definite bad guys in the war against bush fires and we are in no way prepared to stay and defend our property, hence our decision to get thee hence! When I say 'willing' I actually mean we have no credible fire safety plan rather than being prepared to stay and fight fire with, well hopefully, water. Besides which, our house feels like its on fire even when it's not - we have no air conditioning, a fractious toddler and a whinging pom (that would be me then) to deal with, so it's really best for everyone concerned if we stay away for the day.
As I completely buggared up my back last weekend and then had the chiro add insult to injury on Thursday, leaving me in great pain and in need of ice packs and a babysitter, I am currently about as flexible as the mummified remains of an episcopalian priest. This adds to the desire to get the hell away from any potential fire lest I become good kindling. Tomorrow is also the St Kilda Festival and that is very definitely another reason for leaving my home and heeding the call of the Siren of the Sea.
So - I am currently bubsy free (and missing her a bit if I'm honest) and am likely to be so until tomorrow morning. I know that I whinge a lot about wanting some time off from the crazy path of motherhood and then, when someone kindly obliges, I miss her horribly and fear that I will never see her again. I had to have my Bean fix, so I called up nanna and had a long discourse with Beanie about the relative merits of hanging up washing with pegs and a book that had a cow and a duck and a horse and a duck and a sheep and a duck in it. It was delightful. I'm a very lucky woman even if I often feel like a Banshee in dire need of prozac.
My darling Docwitchy is going through a tough time right now which has come unfortunately swiftly upon the heels of extricating herself from another tough time. My love goes out to you dearest rose of my heart. Remember to breathe and take it all one step at a time. It is often better to let go of the ultimate destination and simply trust in the step that is currently being illuminated.
Apart from the heat, the aching back and the sadness of dear friends, I am feeling more centred than I have in a long while. Mothering often produces more downs than ups for me and I end up in this giant whirlpool of regret being sucked under by guilt and by my concern about my ability to parent Beanie well. I know that regret and guilt are self-defeating emotions but it doesn't always help to know that. If that makes any sense. I am, more often than I wish, a not very good parent. I won't go into long boring detail about it all. I've said it all before. It just seems that despite my understanding of why I do what I do, I am still unable to prevent myself from doing it. Knowledge and wisdom are not the same thing.
This morning, after the first uninterrupted nights sleep in a long while, I meditated not once but twice. I immediately felt calmer and more present. It reminded me of my desire to connect more readily with Spirit and to really fully awaken the Divine within me. I have often said that it is not a matter of changing who we are but of becoming who we really are. I like that idea so much more than the idea of having to become someone different from who I am. It's not that I won't change, it's more that the changes will not be enforced upon me from outside of myself - like squeezing myself into an ill fitting shoe. Unravelling is really where its at. Peeling back the layers of 'stuff' that accumulate upon one's soul and around one's true heart. The layers that mask our true selves from each other and very definitely from ourselves. I sometimes think that my heart is like a ruby covered by dirt and dust and leaves and 39 years worth of misunderstanding and hurt, shame and confusion. Every time I meditate, I feel like I start the process of lifting some of that debris from around my jewel bright heart. I start the process of allowing that heart to breathe some love into me. Of course, I often ignore it completely and find myself too 'busy' to meditate or find that something or someone pops up to prevent it from happening. I think that maybe this is just an outward sign of my inner resistance. I have to be prepared to do it anyway. To take this time to reconnect and to find my stillness and my breath and my ability to simply surrender to the moment, no matter what it contains.
Parenting takes us so often away from ourselves. From our needs, our desires, our dreams and our creativity. It need not be this way. I mean, of course we have less time to devote to these things and to ourselves, but we do have time. We simply have to reclaim it from the myriad of things we lose ourselves in or that we think just cannot wait. TV, reading, tidying up, browsing the internet, writing emails, texting, answering calls - all of these 'needful' things seem to interrupt the flow. We can take back 5 minutes here and 15 minutes there until we have an hour or more of time that we can call ours. Nap time and after bedtime are really good times to try and do something creative when your babies are still small. As they grow in independence, so does our time for ourselves. So even if you can only find 15 minutes in an average day, take it for yourself and use it wisely. Meditate maybe. I write down anything creative as it occurs to me in a notebook I carry with me for this purpose. It helps. I forget less and it doesn't matter if I get distracted once its written. Anyway - that little bit of time for myself this morning helped a lot. I had a bigger smile for strangers and a gladness of heart that is not often present. And of course it made me miss my Beanie very much. I wanted to share my happy heart with her and to show her that sometimes mummy can be very, very good. I think its time I started my 5am vigil again. Time to once again let the Beloved in. What have I to lose except my chains? And what might I yet gain?
* In the arms of The Beloved
When you find yourself with the Beloved, embracing for
In that moment you will find your true destiny.
Alas, don't spoil this precious moment
Moments like this are very, very rare.
* Fire Woman Picture courtesy of Fire Fairy
*'In the Arms of the Beloved' picture courtesy of Cheryl Alexander Creations
I hear my tribe calling to me as leaves fall like green rain from the oak beside me. I will answer that call today.
May your caravan carry you safely back home to the beloved.