Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.

Ashley Smith

Monday, October 13, 2008


The change of seasons makes me oddly happy/sad. We've had our first hard frost and my beautiful garden has turned into dark green (soon to be black!) slime. I did however harvest about 40 pounds of beautiful Yukon Gold potatoes this weekend. And I did get three red, ripe tomatoes this year! This gardening in northern climes is not for the faint-hearted... In some way I am relieved that the garden is finished for this year. It is a tremendous amount of work and although I love it, this ending will give me more time to participate in other things I love, like weaving and painting.

A lesson in letting go, in staying in the moment, in not wishing away today for another, "better" tomorrow. Every year I resist the coming of winter- the snow, the ice, the bitter cold. And every year, on the first day it snows, I am filled with the beauty of it, the sheer exhilarating joy of it. Winter is the time for hot tea, a fire in the woodstove, a chance to be inside my life.

In the warm, long, sunny days of summer and fall I can’t stand to be inside. I work inside and the second I get home I change out of my school clothes and into my play clothes. And I play. Usually I play until dark- in high summer that is about 10:30 at night. Mundane chores like dishes and housework generally go undone, unnoticed. “Cooking dinner” consists of grabbing a sandwich or a piece of fruit (or really, sometimes a Pop Tart!) and eating it standing over the sink (this is a time saving tip- little to no clean up with this method!) and then racing back outside to mess with the horse or the goats or the garden. Summer is all about people visiting, building projects and outdoor activity.

Winter is different. Slower. Quieter. Interestingly enough, people don’t come out to visit us in the winter. The building projects are buried under a blanket of snow. And outdoor activities are pretty much reduced to snow shoeing to work and feeding the animals. Oh yes, and moving snow. Indoors becomes quietly attractive. Suddenly being inside all day Saturday doesn’t seem a punishment. Now is the time for art. For painting, weaving, writing. For nourishing that part of my soul.

Fall is the harbinger of all this nourishment. My favorite time of year.

And it makes me oddly happy/sad.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

At Last- motivated to write again!

Keyform number 2: The bowl INVITATION
This is my receiving bowl, woven as part of my Weaving a Life leadership training. (It is upside down in the photo, so that you can see the shapes that make it a bowl!) It is a symbol representing my intention to welcome into my life the opportunities that will help me grow in the direction I desire. It was an exercise in trusting myself, as I am a consummate rule-follower and kept checking and re-checking and checking again, sure that I was doing something wrong! Finally, I was able to let go of my idea of perfectionism and just enjoy. As you can see, it all worked out. Another important life lesson- Trust in yourself.

Keyform number 3: the Doll

This has, by far, been my favorite keyform to create! She is the image of me as an old woman, complete with the wisdom and knowledge gained through a lifetime of experience. I use her as a confidant, to ask questions, to share secrets. When I told my husband that she and I talk, he asked, with a concerned look, "do you really think she is speaking to you?" I think he was worried that I slipping into insanity!! I explained that it is really a form of play directed at helping me process my questions, experiences, etc. It is funny how different people perceive different things, because when I told my mentor/teacher the exact same thing (about how my doll and I talk) she said, "great! and do you listen to what she tells you?" I love it! The diversity, the chance to look at things in different ways, the ability to take it all in and sift through to keep what I need for me. Beautiful...

One more photo:
this is last spring, but it gives me hope for the upcoming months!

Anyway, what motivated me to write again was a comment by someone who read what I had written before. It is true for me, in my life, that outside motivators are often the things that get me doing what I want to be doing anyway. I often refuse myself the time to do the things that fill my soul (like writing and weaving, painting and gardening) unless I can "justify" it by claiming an obligation to someone besides myself. At times this is frustrating, however I am becoming more creative in figuring out more and different "outside obligations"! A different approach to my time constraints!!

Still working on convincing myself that "me time" has as much value (if not more) as any other activity...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Amulets and Invocations

I am working on a spectacular new project! I am lucky enough to be part of the first group to get Circle leader training from Weaving a Life. My instructor Susan Barrett Merrill (also the founder of Weaving a Life) is one of my favorite inspirations. She is consistently cheery on our telephone conversations and just a light and breath of fresh air.

I have just started the first key form, the amulet, known as the invocation. I am inviting courage and prosperity into my life in a real and in a spiritual way. When I remember my core values and integrate my love of nature, outdoors, animals, gardens I really feel whole and balanced. When I force myself to conform to the modern American idea of the successful working woman, I feel strung out and hopeless.
I made an amazing discovery the other evening when I was journaling for my leadership training. Get this- "Nothing's perfect. And that's okay." What a liberating discovery! Suddenly, the beauty in my life just shone through.

May balance find you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Love, Hope, Trust

Each journey begins with the first step. Today is my first step. As I have gathered my inspiration and courage from the women that surround me and the women who dare to make the creative leap (Kelly Rae Roberts!) I want a way to share my excitement and fear. This is it.
Every day opens as a new opportunity and I plan to take full advantage of it.

You've been walking in circles, searching. Don't drink by the water's edge. Throw yourself in. Become the water. Only then will your thirst end.

-Jeanette Berson