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August 20, 2014


I hope you will forgive me for yesterday's post - firstly, for all the wonderful names I left off my list. I love so many people for so many different reasons, and if I did not mention someone it was not from lack of love, but from creating a very particular mood with that list. Oh dear, this is why I don't have a blogroll in my sidebar! I am always so worried someone might be hurt by their innocent omission.

Secondly, I beg your forgiveness for my bias about ways of blogging. So someone is deliberately trying to tug at my heart-strings? That doesn't mean their motivation isn't humble or good. Truth be told, I wish I could inspire others the way some bloggers can. I wish I inspired so much that hundreds gathered at my little webspace because I was able to bless their hearts in some way. I would like to be not so much famous but valuable, influential, a byword for something good.

I said I wasn't interested in special meanings. So this morning I was given a message that was very special, very meaningful, and I bowed my head to the great and compassionate (and oh so often wry!) wisdom of Love. And I was reminded that anyone can be used as a servant of true inspiration, be they famous or small, a stranger or a friend. The important thing is whether one's own heart is primed for cynicism or for acceptance and grace.

And then there was the man. I was in a hurry, rushing up the street. He sat on a bench, holding out a cardboard sign which was anguishing in its stark misery: please, a coin or some food.

I had almost no cash with me. The best I could give him was fifty cents. Thank you, he said, holding my gaze, thank you. I'm sorry, I said. It's not much, but I hope it helps.

I know a smile would have helped him even more. Some kind, encouraging words to assure him a stranger cared. But I could only look at him sadly, too humbled by the smallness of my gift. I tried not to cry as I walked away.

A few moments later, I passed a church store. There was a sign on the door. Loneliness is an even greater poverty than hunger. And oh, there was such loneliness in that man's eyes. As if he sat outside the real world. I wanted to run back and tell him he was loved, but I didn't have time.

But I can tell you this: to envy others is to scorn the gifts we ourselves have been given. Some get great wealth. Some get a few coins. The amount of treasure doesn't matter in the slightest. What matters is what you do with it.

August 19, 2014

gentle women bloggers

A shivery light rain is falling amonst the sere trees this afternoon. I'd like to say it was instinct which made me bring the laundry in from the line just in time, but to be honest I think it was probably sheer luck. It's so easy to find special meaning in things that just are.

I'm not particularly interested in special meanings today. The world is beautiful and magical enough. Besides, it seems there are so many women with gorgeous websites on the internet, sharing their own brand of wisdom, selling meaning and fulfillment to other women, and I admire them, am fascinated by them, and look over and again for the other ones - the gentle ones, who share their hearts, giving out what they love for no reason but that they love it, offering no special meaning beyond that which they see, which they feel.

Then again, I think it is mainly just me liking quiet and humble kinds of people. The internet is not really the best place to find them. And of course we need bold people too, entrepreneurs, vivacious women full of big ideas. However, if you are a hush-soft spirit looking for gentleness, here are some places you might like to visit.

Sea Cottage
Aiken House and Gardens
As Cozy As Spring
Beauty Flows
Butterfly and Bungalow
Emma Tree
Nirmala Mayur Patil
Dragonfly Dreams
The Drawing Board
Sleepwalking in New York
Mia's Landliv
Lesley Austin
Lady Fi

These web journals are no longer updated, but the archives remain ...

Cottage Blessings
Aspiring Homemaker

A number of these women have books or businesses which they promote, but they do so with such discretion, dignity and beauty, they are an inspiration to me. The others inspire me through the example of their lives.

I haven't listed every gentle woman blogger; some of my favourite places didn't quite make the list because they are colourful, wry or witty, or they have a deeper mood. And I know I will regret those names which I have accidentally omitted. If you have any lovely, quiet, humble links to add, please let us know in the comments.

August 18, 2014

the parent and child bond

Kahlil Gibran tells us that our children are not ours, they are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. Such a beautiful thing to say. I've quoted it myself many times in the past. But when I think of it again today, I realise I disagree.

We and our children are woven together genetically, emotionally, and through the long complex strands of experience. We are part of them, and they are part of us. Their cells passed through to us during pregnancy can heal our bodies. What we eat can shape their destiny. People are not discrete entities, not singular arrows shot from a bow. We merge, we communicate within blood and bone; we live on in each other literally.

I do not see life longing to stretch into the future. I see it dancing around and around itself.

I see how the apple I eat becomes part of my child's destiny, and so the apple tree mothers her and is sister to me.

I see how the fears of my great-grandmother find healing in the courage I draw to myself in the face of my child's fearlessness, and so together we fulfill an old wishing.

I hear my father talking to my daughter in the words I say, and deep within them is an echo of the things he never dared to say to his own mother, and the things she learned to say from hers. My opinion on table manners or dress codes is an old family story, passed down in gentle spirals of light and shadow.

We are together, one life, one twirling ribbon in the sun.