I’ll start from where I am. Yesterday Finlay, our youngest child, started kindergarten. Only in the mornings, four times a week, but suddenly I have some day time to myself, for the first time in … a long while. And I need it. My head is full of tumbling thoughts, there’s so much I could do with this time. And I know what I must do is stop.
November was so busy that December could only be ridden, rather than deeply experienced. I say that because the reverence and quietness that I sense Advent is truly about as we prepare ourselves for encountering both the Light and the darkness, just got completely usurped this year by the busyness of all we had on, and all we were clearing up from. So when Christmas was upon us, I almost missed it. Sure, we had our traditional Advent rituals with the children – the unfolding Nativity scene/s, the special book we read together by candlelight following Mary’s journey, the gift-making, the food, the carols. But I know I wasn’t present with them this year, I had too much else on my mind and in my activities to truly experience them.
And I really feel like I needed to experience them. I then it came to the New Year and I longed for the cave. I wanted to shut off from all outside communication and just nurture myself, and our family. Yet being amidst a growing business, the bustle of organising community gatherings and surrounded by people we love and we see often (and not so often), it didn’t happen. And I guess that’s OK , especially as I now have the promise of some mornings to myself to disappear into my cave for a while. But there were times during these last weeks where I felt so frustrated and despairing that I hadn’t been present for Advent into Christmas, that I wasn’t able to be immersed in hibernation, that I’ve been truly horrible to live with!
It’s so very difficult being a Mum. And desiring so much to create and hold this space of gentleness, deeply connected to the seasons, nurturing and nourishing in my love and attention – and yet so forgetting my own needs, so far removed from tuning in to the depths of my own being, that the small voice within me has grown ever bigger until she has become a ROAR and hard to tame! And I have coped with some of the imbalance this lack of attention to myself has led to by distracting myself and filling myself with other stuff, in particular social media, and the myriad of voices contained within, rather than dwelling in the truth of how I am, who I am, where I am.
So, now I have the opportunity, as I tumble into January, to sit with my Hearth. To find the light within, and invite the Light in, to rekindle the fire or recognise and be with it once more.
And as I walk each day, with the children and then on my own, I have the opportunity to notice how I am, to feel the breathing in and the breathing out of my own inner rhythm, and of the rhythm of winter, being able to be fully present; and gradually, slowly, perhaps that inner core of me who is roaring to be seen and heard will find herself so.
I hope this year that I allow myself to stop, to listen and to become fully present to who I truly am.
And so, may our inner journeys be honoured