Tuesday, 3 January 2012
The midwinter season has finally wound up and I find myself looking to new ideas, projects and hopefully an interesting year ahead.
My solstice celebration was such a lovely time. My family and some good friends all together. A feast of food and sharing, presents under the tree and lots of fun and silly games afterwards. The only rule was no TV. And so we made merry until it was late and people began to depart.
Over the next few days I saw other family and friends, but having done the meal and presents already, it was lovely to relax, chat and get out into the countryside or by the sea and avoid all the last minute rush of the shops and people doing xmas.
On 25th december I took my youngest daughter for a long walk by the almost deserted beaches of Whitstable and Tankerton. We met a few dog walkers at first all smiling and wishing us merry xmas but eventually as it got towards early afternoon, we found ourselves alone with just the sound of the surf, the seagulls and a lovely time of beach combing and finding interesting shells and driftwood for crafting. Rhiannon declared in her 7 year old wisdom, it had been the best xmas day ever. I had to agree!
It was the same for the next few days, and I cant say I remember having had such a lovely relaxing holiday. We had more seashore walks - along Deal and near Dover.
Yesterday a wonderful day by the mysterious Dungeness with its strange otherworldly energy. The sun shone and that amazing winter light danced around us and the people fishing on the beach. And today I have packed up the last of the tree decorations and cards. Caught up with my household tasks and made myself ready for the return to work tomorrow.
Now Im not one for New Year Resolutions. Ive always felt that if I cant have the discipline to follow a plan through at any other time of the year, it certainly wont be any different at the beginning of the calander year. And to be honest, I celebrate a couple of 'New Year' festivals. The Samhain/celtic new year is one and Imbolc - the beginning of early spring is another. I clinked my glass on 31st december at midnight as it signalled the beginning of a new calander year as well as the birthday of my eldest daughter born on 1 january back in 1987. However, I do find it another good time to take stock of where I am, where I am going and anything I want to focus on next year.
This is not the lose a stone in weight, join a gym or improve my lovelife type of taking stock. It is usually something that may include remembering to honour my time and family. It also tends to be a spiritual focus for me too.
One of my main plans for the year is something I have been thinking of on and off over several months now. For many years I sooo longed to live in the west country. Somerset or Cornwall were two favourites and you may have read in previous blogs how I longed to live in Glastonbury and was sadly dissillusioned in the summer. It resulted in my really looking at why I feel this need to move elsewhere rather than really connect with the land on which I live at the moment. I realised that I wasnt honouring the spirit of the land here, not being in the moment and really connecting. And so I have been thinking of ways to do this.
One of the things I came up with while talking to my best friend last autumn was that there are an awful lot of sacred sites in Kent that we either havnt visited (or maybe did so many years ago as children) or didnt realise were here.
Wonderful places such as Toad Rock and the Coldrum Stones.
Last year I did make more of an effort to visit local and slightly more distant country fayres and celebrations during the year in an effort to connect more. I intend to continue to do so as well as visiting and honouring the sites I am discovering. I will probably write about them on this blog during the year too and Im really looking forward to these visits.
Last year one of my decisions was to make more of an effort to grow my fruit and veg in my pocket handkerchief garden, for the pleasure of having home grown veg as well as another effort to connect with the land. I managed to find some old car tyres and bins to grow some bit and pieces and get the chickens I planned to have a couple of years ago.
This year I am planning more veg - I last grew onions about 20 years ago, so thats another new challenge. Still doing the potatoes, tomatoes and courgettes. My herb patch needs sorting since the chickens used it for a dirt bath!! I think some soft fruit this year too.
Other ideas and plans for the year are cooking in the pot and will probably be started in the next few months.
Our first Witches Stitches craft night of 2012 is tomorrow night and we plan to sit and make lists of the crafts we want to do this year and make sure we organise our diaries to keep to our plans.
So though I cant say I have any resolutions as such - I can say I have plans. I am planting the seeds and who knows what may grow this year.