If you’re reading this from Ontario, there’s no need for me to let you know about the epic, freezing cold, snow storm that’s laid itself all over the land.
Needless to say, we’ve spent the last couple of days indoors, and Im grateful for last week that we spent away from our daily grind. It means that these frozen days can easily be spent together indoors.
I find many lessons in January and throughout the winter. Currently, I’m working on the art of relaxing. Time to play with toys old and new, movies to watch with a snack in hand, or books being read curled up on the couch—busy kids leave time for Mama to work on other projects. It’s rejuvenating to get some writing work accomplished, work on my online course, edit some photos, or even catch an episode of something on Netflix….though it’s only good for the soul when there is no guilt attached.
How many times have I let guilt hold me back from experiencing something to the fullest?
I’ve making a conscious effort to let guilt go this month. After all, we tend to find motivation with the sun, and as it returns to us, so will our energy for doing and learning and exploring, and then I’ll find myself longing for the forgiveness of winter.
For now, you’ll find me by the fire…
There have been Christmases that haven’t been easy. I’d be lying if I didn’t ever speak about the hard times. It was never because of a lack of work on either of our parts, it was simply that making ends meet involved a lot of stretching with very little wiggle room.
Lucky for us, we have both been blessed with the gift of creativity, and we’ve learned through our own experiences that “necessity is the mother of invention”. So in the past we’ve stitched and sewn, welded and painted many treasures to gift to hopeful faces. And here’s what gets me…
Those gifts were the most well-loved, happily taken care of things we’ve ever given to our children. They didn’t leave them laying around, letting them be swept up to be discarded. They didn’t lose the pieces or forget about them when they were kicked under the couch.
You see, when you make something for someone else, you gift your loved one your own energy. Throughout the creation of that lifeless thing, you become the energy source, budding with ideas and your finger tips your conduit. And then, when a child tears open the wrapping to find a special doll, made for her by her very own Mama, that doll takes on a life of her own. She is carried to picnics and parks. She travels to the coast and she climbs trees and bakes cookies. She becomes part of the family.
Now, here I sit, years later, with just a little more money than we had during those hard Christmases, not a lot by anyone else’s standards, but enough, in our eyes, for things to be easier. As I count the purchases I’ve made through clicks or debit card swipes, I can’t help but notice they don’t fill the hole that’s inside of me.
What I’ve learned is this…Christmas magic comes from the story that carries it. It comes from how hard you’ve worked to save up to buy that special toy, or how you searched until you found it in your price range. Maybe you’ve been holding onto it since March.
The magic comes from the things that arn’t so easy.
The hard Christmases taught me the most about these things, and although I wouldn’t want to go back to that kind of uncertainty, I wouldn’t trade those years and lessons for riches either because they taught me about generosity and patience, love, friendship and peace. These are lessons that many people will, never understand. They taught me to see beauty in the smallest of places and to love bigger and bolder than I ever have because that is the truest gift I have to offer.
This summer was like no other. With the chance to explore new territory, old and new family relationships, and opportunities to pour a bit deeper into ourselves, I find myself wondering where the summer went!
Sure the proof is in my garden, as usual. The season truly has passed by while I barely took the time to care for the essentials here at home. Yes, I can feel the changes stirring within, plans for the future, for our home, for our family, for my own self-development, yet I find myself stunned to hear others speaking of this supposed ‘back-to-school’ season that is upon public school families.
Here at home we are still riffling through seashells and sea-glass pieces, harvesting a beautiful bounty of tomatoes, and seeking out that last bit of dill for my yearly arsenal of pickles before this season has, too, passed me by.
Quite suddenly, we find ourselves playing catch up from our adventures on the coast, time with family, days spent camping in the woods, and the latest moments when company filled our home with purpose, once again.
Below are just a few unedited snippets of moments shared together on our East Coast journey to warm this space back up…
Be Back Soon,