The Wheel has turned in the Gregorian Calendar and we are at another new beginning. A fresh start -we love that!
Today we closed the gift receiving of last year by completing the shuffle of the new refrigerator into the old spot in the kitchen and the old refrigerator into a new spot in the mud room. Hooray!
I was reminiscing today about Winter Solstice, Christmas, New Year’s Eve – those markers in our life which signal a confluence of energies and realizations that help to make us who we are and impact how we move through life.
Winter Solstice- Divine and Chaos
Our Winter Solsitce this year was full! Very full 🙂
Wonder filled in its fullness – and also chaotically filled with last minute surprises.
Everyone in the family came together for Solstice – all 24 of us- to celebrate the return of light with the making of Power Wands and Holiday Snow Globes.
The Power Wands turned into an amazing crafting session for everyone. The kids went right into the process like it was something they were meant to do.
Here are pictures of my son Nathan’s family’s wands (they are the only ones who remembered to send me pictures!).
My son Joshua, the 4th degree Black Belt in Oh Do Kwan, brought his “Treasure Chest” of sacred items he had collected and made throughout the years. Inside were treasures ranging from a Swallow nest to ancient Mayan pottery ruins. Plus, he brought three Witch Hazel sticks, one for each of his 3 children, to make their Power Wands. When our family was young, most summers we would go to Stokes State forest in New Jersey and spend a week there in a cabin in the woods. He was in his teens the last time we had this family vacation before we moved to Virginia (and started living in the woods). He had encountered this Witch Hazel branch on one of his last visits to the forest of Stokes and saved it all these years for the time when his children would make their Power Wands. There was strong power unfolding in the making of those wands.
And of course the snow globes where a big hit too.
The day before Solstice one of my son-in-law’s clients who was remodeling their kitchen asked him if he wanted their nice fairly new side by side refrigerator- he didn’t need it but asked me if we would like it -because he know that ours was over 20 years old! “Yes”, I said, I had been dreaming about getting a new refrigerator- but we had to pick it up on Solstice. And that meant a lot of scrambling around on a Saturday finding a truck and a refrigerator hand truck to get it from their house to our house. This all had to be done on the one day when we were going into town for the last bit of Christmas and Solstice shopping, plus seeing the The Hobbit.
To receive you have to embrace the allowing of receiving. Despite feeling the crunch of all of these tasks coming on one day I just embraced the refrigerator and went with it. All came together surprisingly easily even though picking up the refrigerator on Solstice morning got a bit wonky when they didn’t have any truck for us. But again all the knots in the plan got untangled and the refrigerator got to our house where we accomplished the last step of bringing it into our kitchen already full of 24 people running around making power wands and snow globes.
The morning of Winter Solstice we got another surprise. My son Joshua and his wife, Aubrey, are like magnets for finding stray and lost animals. About a month ago they thought they saw a small owl sitting in the middle of the highway on the back roads around their house. They made a U-turn and sure enough it was an Owl just sitting on the yellow lines of the road. Joshua got out of the car and approached the Owl taking off his coat he carefully threw his coat over the owl rescuing it. The next day they took the Owl to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center about an hour away.
It turned out the Center was able to rehabilitated the Owl and it was ready to be released back into the wild- on Winter Solstice Day.
The Wild Life Center thought Josh and Aubrey should be the ones to do the release. Solstice morning she and baby Henry drove the hour to the Wild Life Center (while Josh was in town rescuing the refrigerator for us and I was watching their two girls) and brought the little owl back here all snug in a secure box waiting until around dusk to be released.
In the midst of the Solstice Festivities, at around 5:00 PM – the best time for owls apparently- we allgathered up by the Grove on our side of our house to support the return of this creature to the wild. All 24 of us were so excited -like we had never seen an owl before! But we tried to contain our enthusiasm and keep everyone quiet and still. Aubrey gently opened the box. It was a little owl sitting in the corner of the box and one by one we quietly walked to the box to give well wishes to the Owl.
It took a few minutes and a couple of tries but the Owl did take flight. On his first take off he sort of ran into the fence in back of the barn. We all held our breathe but he recovered and flew up and into the back of our barn. In the pictures you can see the owl sitting some garden cart hanging in the ceiling of the barn. The owl was gone the next day – off to its wild life adventure. For years to come we all will remember being so close to that little bit of wildness.
At the Solstice gift exchange we had another surprise. For about a year now our stove has been slowly deconstructing itself. It was an electric stove and 2 of the 4 burners had blown out (or something) and the stove itself couldn’t be leveled any more. We had been cooking with only 2 burners with lopsided contents in the pots. We were certainly getting very good at timing our meals! Well – our kids all chipped in and bought us a new stove for Solstice – and it is beautiful. Stainless steel and matches our new refrigerator. It is our first step toward a real remolding of our kitchen – the first in 20 years.
Solstice was a busy time and chaos reigned now and then. But we all just let it be what is was, did what was in front of us to do, held onto the delight of the time, and things unfolded back around to the abundant sweetness of the journey of life.
Christmas and New Year- Continuing the Theme
Christmas and New Year’s were not so eventful -the chaos of change seemed to have settled by then- but these days too held their own charm.
Christmas Eve dinner was had with Natasha (our oldest child) and her family. Everyone else was either with “the other family” or at home with their own kids.
David brought his sweet potato, coconut, ginger soup he had formulated and perfected the recipe for and which is creamy and delicious. Our 18 year old grandson made us roast Quail with cranberry wine reduction. It was so good- I can still taste its deliciousness now. When he served it he talked about having Quail the first time on one of our Grandparents/Grandchildren summer vacations at the beach. He always had a bit of a gourmet palette. Natasha made the perfect fancy salad to complement the Quail and Bran (our son in law) made this incredible Banana Foster’s dessert. We were served the meal off Bran’s mother’s antique china place settings complimented with Natasha’s Bee Glasses and Bee napkins. It was a meal to match any exquisite restaurant.
Christmas Day was our traditional “Secret – Not so Secret – Santa” Gift Giving and spectacular Christmas buffet. The Gifts were chosen, presented, received, and appreciated thoughtfully and with great enthusiasm. It was a fun time and a merry time was had by all as families departed Christmas night to go snuggle into their own beds.
New Year’s (which when the kids were young used to be a big celebrated holiday for us) has turned into our “lamest” holiday celebration. Everyone just wants to be at home watching a movie, with soda (none of us have much soda throughout the year so we have this little “bad treat” to sort of prove we have a rebellious side left to us) and some other party treat waiting for the Big Ball to drop and announce the official arrival of the New Year (all of which are remnants of our big bash New Year celebrations). Last year we switched from calling everyone at midnight to texting everyone at midnight. This year we carried that a bit further by texting everyone Happy New Year at 10 PM and David and I finally gave in and went up to bed at 11:30 PM!
New Year’s adds the balance to all the rest of the intense togetherness over the holidays. Every good system should have tolerance in it for that occasional spontaneous and off course aberration without breaking down the whole system.
2014 was sort of like its last days. Throughout the year chaos would pop up – sometimes seemingly out of nowhere – but each time it seemed to resolve well.
- Turns out my 8 month old grandson -does not have microcephaly. He just has a small head. And does not need surgery to correct a problem with his eye.
- My granddaughter’s thyroid seems to have healed and corrected itself.
- My daughter-in-law’s father survived a very severe heart attack. The doctors didn’t think he was going to make it but he is home now and working on recovery.
- The last remaining of our 35 original Virginia cats just left home one afternoon and didn’t come back. She was 18 years old and we miss her sweet Smokey Mist self.
- Our dear sweet Kohi, a rescued pit bull who lived with us, passed over after a valiant effort to live through cancer. We do miss him so much.
- I learned how to make web pages and with the help of David, my husband, we have set up a brand new and beautiful website which is now the home of the work I have been coming to for years.
- David lost 50 pounds – by changing his mind and walking.
- At David’s annual check ups with his GP and cardiologist they both said that his heart has fully recovered from his near death experience 3 years ago when he had surgery to reconstruct an ascending aortic aneurysm.
- David and I have both been pretty good about walking every day (one of the best medicine ever). We walk 4-7 miles a day now. Took me 2 years to get to this point. Persistence pays off.
- We welcomed in 2 new grandchildren – Bohi and Henry born just a month apart from each other.
- I retired this year – a few months before the official retirement age. And this has brought a wonderful sense of freedom for me to do only the work that I want to do in a way that I want to do it.
- We used the Home Affordable Refinancing Program to lower our mortgage payment so we can stay in our house. Our house is actually way too big for us but offers us many benefits so it was a good decision.
- For this past year David and I have been rearranging rooms in our house and studio building so that we are able to do all of our living and most of our working on the first floor of the house – a dream of mine since the kids were little. That leaves us with an empty second and third floor as resources which we don’t know what we will do with yet – but they are possibilities and opportunities.
- I finally made the big decision to let go of my work as a nutritionist and herbalist. It was scary and often seemed like a crazy decision but now that it is behind me it is such a freeing decision. Letting go has opened up my first loves – writing and psychology and is leading me into wondrous adventures.
Chaos and Letting Go
Chaos in the midst of your life. Letting go of things that seem crazy to let go of. Running into difficulties and hard places that you do not see a good outcome for. But no matter what chaos is spinning around you, you can thrive.
Chaos is one of the harbinger of change. And in embracing thriving in the moment -even when you are sad and afraid- it calls the embrace of thriving to you. It lets the world know that through the ups and downs and messiness of life as it unfolds that you are still unfolding your self into all your heart’s desires.
We close out the 2014 year with gratitude for all of its opportunities and possibilities and look with delight and enthusiasm toward the year 2015. Embracing not so much resolutions and goals for the coming year but rather a deeply felt desire and wish that will unfurl within us and as it does unveil one surprise of possibility after another.
The guiding creative thread that runs through me now that directs my attention, embrace, and action is to create a life which is sustainable and consolidates all of our possibilities thus allowing us to live life on our own terms. Sustainability rules this year.
My guiding mantra for 2015 – “Never be less then your dreams” – Fortune Cookie
Have a Thriving New Year!
Cultivate Thriving – If you would like to move more deeply into creating and unfolding your Thriving Life consider working with me in Cultivate Thriving Life Coaching. Click here to find out how to get your complimentary Cultivate Thriving consultation.