Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sunshine and Moonbeams

Hello dear friends, how are you all?
Thank you so much for all your encouraging & caring messages last week. I am sorry that I haven't corresponded with you as I wanted to. It seems that I manage to go along just fine for a bit at a time, then quite suddenly find myself plunging below the emotional surface of life's waters once again; good intentions drown in the swirl. All that I can do is hold steady & do the basics as best that I can until I finally surface. I plan on finding stability one day &... peace. 

I came across this quote by William Martin during the week & I loved it.
"Help your children find the wonder & the marvel of an ordinary life..."
The art of enlivening the ordinary.
 How precious!

I quite often find myself reflecting upon the observation that when a child grows up immersed in the robust & expansive language of love & kindness & the wonder of the ordinary, that they then easily assimilate the rhythms of such a happy, self-accepting life; deeply & indelibly enfolding these things in to their own souls. The values & feelings are never lost, nor do they slip far from reach throughout a lifetime. Conversely, if we grow up without such healthy imprints or with patterns of negativity & destruction, we are equally permanently affected (some more than others) & only later do we perhaps find that we have the choice to reprogram the heart response & function; to learn the language & expressions of love & kindness that were never shown or given to us sufficiently in those early foundational years. It is in those years that we come to understand that others believe us to have value...or that we are, in fact, disposable & value-less.
To seek the wonder & the marvel of an ordinary life well lived can bring healing & richness as we learn the infinite pleasure to be found in the simple touch of a hand, the hug of a friend, the soft, furry devotion of a pet or the scent of the first violets. When value & purpose have been negated we either fade or flounder & fail to fully live or, it becomes a life's mission to restore worth by grace & determination & struggle....& raw belief that we do indeed have the right to a place in this world of ours.   
I have been studying the fascinating subject of the Chinese Five Element Theory these passed few months & have settled on the notion that I am very much a Water personality balanced almost equally with Fire. This knowledge has helped me immensely to understand myself so much better & my reactions to the unhelpful people & events that have so strongly shaped my life. I read somewhere this week that Water is the most vulnerable of the personalities to narcissistic abuse. So now I understand why I have struggled so hugely & my brothers not so much (or barely at all).
Likewise, for some of you this is way too much information, but for others, I know that you so need to hear that you are not alone in your own challenging & oftentimes scary journey.

We marvelled at the insides of this dragon fruit when we sliced it open with a big long knife one recent sunny morning. The startling scarlet colour, studded with black seeds; unexpected, the taste really quite plain.
The fresh lychees were found in the same spot in the supermarket. A precious winter treat.
Elephantine wrinkled skins, yet delicate, smooth & fragrant inside.
The dragon fruit although unremarkable in flavour had a strange effect in the mix. We found that after an hour or two that all the fruit juice at the bottom of the bowl had become a well set, ruby red jelly.

I had been wondering what to do with this chippy old, crazed jug when I suddenly had an idea...
I got Rob to drill a hole in the bottom & planted a sweet little pansy.
Thank goodness for the bright citrus colours of winter fruits.
And for the inexpensive "potted colour" that we can buy at the garden centre. They're pretty good value really as they last for at least 6-8 weeks. Way longer than cut flowers.
I love the sunshine shouty-ness of those early spring blooms. Whenever I see daffodils & forget-me-nots in my garden I declare it must be spring.
These little tete-a-tete are peering through the fence to see the passers-by. They're a little shy.
This boy is in his natural element...at the beach with his dad making a "card" for his mum's birthday.
A sweet gift from a tender-hearted & kind son; written in maori.
It was Anna's birthday on the 10th, our eldest daughter. It was also the time of the perigee or super moon. Apparently we won't see another quite like it until 2034. Rob & I decided to head down to the stop bank near the river & watch the full moon rise. It's easy to recognise the influence & power of the sun, not so much the moon. Funny thing though...Rob was on night shift over this time & it was on that evening that three of the elderly residents decided to depart this world (unprecedented apparently).  
It was fascinating to watch as the sun left, sinking behind the ranges in one direction....
& we waited just a little while, phone in hand to check the direction we should be looking,
when suddenly in the nearly opposite direction the moon arose. Surprise!






Almost...moon on a wire.
The next evening Kaitiaki & Anna came for dinner & as they left they looked up & saw a rainbow around the moon. Extraordinary indeed! The phenomena is known as a moonbow :)
On the really chilly or wet days I have been busy packing up my Trade Me sales & sifting through the  piles of things that inevitably need to be parred down & reassessed in any home. Guess what I was assessing when I found this inspirational picture?
Yes British Country Living, of course.
What a lovely idea. 
A cake stand nature table:



And then came a little sun. Wonderful!
As for the moon...he can be just a little too impertinent for some.
Sleep well my little dears.
May you find even a little wonder in the ordinary this week.
Much love & friendship to you all.
Catherine x0x0x

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Gather: It's a Good Thing

A number of people have mentioned to me this week that they feel that the world is a harsh & scary place to be in just now. That's true, there's so much trouble & mayhem & hatred & chaos going on everywhere; which makes it all the more important that we live everyday with us much grace, love & care as we can possibly muster. Because...it's the little things that really, really make life worthwhile & give us peace & satisfaction.
It was the weirdest thing...when I first crashed through into menopause a few years ago & my health collapsed & my soul said "Right let's deal with some things right here, right now. Are you listening?" And suddenly I had constant indigestion & almost no appetite. I had no idea how vital it was to have a desire for food, for living. Delete your appetite & all food begins to taste like cardboard & cooking becomes a chore. Life isn't meant to be like that. So, I began to listen to what my body & my true self were trying to say (it turns out it was a lot) & I started to learn a fresh new way of seeing & living. I established a whole raft of nourishing traditions & I flagged the guilt about looking after myself first & foremost.
Anyway, I've discovered that I do quite like life & food after all, but being an HSP (highly sensitive person) I need to watch a few things like: I really am best not to watch the news or read the newspaper...ever & I don't actually have to spend time with toxic or negative people or doing things I hate. I am still healing so it's ok to keep things simple & not expect to be normal just yet!
So it seemed like a really good plan after Rob worked 8 mornings out of 9 to take ourselves to Napier for a night last weekend & to spend some time doing some lovely things together. Napier is only a 20 minute drive from home so no stress to get there! At the bottom end of town on a sunshiny winter's day we found the Napier Farmer's Market so we greedily gathered up our bags of organic "greens" for the week. Robert (the grower) had left home at 5.00 am that morning to be there. That made me feel very humble & grateful.
These palms must have been planted an awfully long time ago...first settlers maybe?
I love words.
 I love the word gather.
The shop was friendly & delightful too.
Gather speaks to me about resource & connection. These two things are very close to my heart.
 I love the blooming resourcefulness in our lives & I am healing the pain & shadow of abandonment through connection. I am spending time with nice people & resolutely closing the door on those who have been shouting rudely & ranting judgements at me my whole life.
I am amazed to discover that the world is actually full of kind & gentle people; intelligent, caring & knowledgable too. The blog world, for instance, is really just a gathering of kindred souls who come together to share, befriend, & inspire one another. So many of us have found that we finally have a voice, we're allowed to speak out/speak up &, that we make a difference.
It's ok to be me.
More than that....it's a wonderful thing to be me.
In self-love, self-acceptance we gather & share.
It's mostly what we're here for.
It was a refreshing thing to step out of our lives & walk in someone else's park, sit in somebody else's ancient old tree & find a deep peace walking in the Botannic Gardens of Napier.
We walked on the hill & looked at gardens & old houses.
The magnolias just arriving.
It's good to stand on a hill & look down on the whole picture; see from another perspective.


And watch the sun go down...
still early.
We bought okra, fresh turmeric & black tahini from Chantel (organics).
We went to Vetro the Mediterranean food store & bought sundried tomatoes & cashews & red rice.
Just along the road, still stands this lovely building....
quintessential Art Deco style.
We also popped in to the huge "barn" that is Savemart, full of second hand clothing & linen & roamed the aisles for a while. I was aghast at the volume of stuff that was piled up in these wool phages. There were even way more on the other side. Rob found a wonderful assortment of really nice Aertex shirts & several pairs of shorts. Such a fantastic economy the secondhand life!
It was freezing & raining again when we got home. But soon the sun returned to bath my sweet little pansy faces.
Light is a wonderful thing!
As the seasons change so do the themes at Cath Kidston. These clock waffle tea towels arrived in my last order.


 Lucy quite likes them too.


Tuesday morning we walked around our own neighbourhood & gathered discarded egg cartons as we went our merry way. Found some free grapefruit at someones letterbox too. Just in case you're wondering...no, didn't feel the slightest bit of shame or embarrassment. Egg cartons are great for lighting the fire with a few pine cones...our marvellous wood fire that in turn heats our hot water. Isn't hot water coming out of a tap in your own bathroom the most remarkable & comforting gift!
Have a wonderful week my friends & thank you all for popping in; those who are able to comment & those who quietly come & go. I appreciate the lovely emails that some of you send from time to time too...thank you. All sunshiny blessings to you.
Much love Catherine x0x0x
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