It is a calm week here, a little centre of stillness. I am feeling... slowed down and dreamy. We have all been ill, and I have been feeling ready to really let go of some clutter and have space in my house. Bit by bit, a little calm and order appear. Tranquillity isn't all that easy to come by with many people in a small space and not a little conflict some days too (especially when we're all feeling out of sorts).
Every day, we light a candle that burns down to Christmas day. This season of waiting has been such a low-pressure and contented one. How many years, how many stresses and self-imposed perfectionisms, have to pass before I can really make space for just... waiting?
For my birthday I got a little packet of tiny beeswax meditation candles. They are perfect. Sweet and tiny, and best of all s.l.o.w me down - while the candle is lit I am still. What a strange sensation after years of rushing and doing and being touched, to have this baby who actually lets me meditate and write and create because she has totally different inner reserves to my other babies. What a gift. While it lasts, I am filling up on stillness and being and prayer.
Last week I remembered how much the older ones loved little tabletop Zen gardens. I made one for Rowan, and have made two more since.
Sand, salt, rice, flour, all different textures - different stones, a candle in the corner, a stick to draw patterns with, or a fork, or a little animal to make tracks. She is so centred when she plays with something like this. I could happily play like this too.
Of course, it did involve clearing up one lot of sand already, and another dusting of flour... But still. At the time my reaction was not so Zen. Now I can smile. And just breathe.