how the internet can nourish our souls

Rain and Debussy, warmth and lovely books. What a beautiful day it is here today. And I have been browsing beauty online, and thinking about what it would have been like to have had the internet when I was young.

A long time ago, when I was living far from home, I happened to pick up a book about the last Russian emperor. I'd always loved Russia, so this romantic story enchanted me from the first. I became fascinated with all things Romanov. I travelled about the city to read obscure history books in tiny, dusty libraries. I spent hours in the university basement, watching newsreels from pre-war Russia. It was not easy to feed my interest. Of course, these days thousands of photographs, memoirs, and film clips are available online. And thousands of young women are just as fascinated by the last Romanovs as I was.

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That's just one example of how my environment lacked the things I loved. Another: poetry. I was nineteen, at university, before I discovered the existence of Robert Frost, Tennyson, Keats. School had not introduced them to me. Their books were not in the library. When I finally was able to read their poetry, I found a piece of my heart I did not know had been missing.

I believe I would have had more self-certainty as a young woman if the internet had existed back then. To have ready access to information and imagery I loved ... and to know from tumblr, pinterest, and web journals that there were other people who loved the same things as me ... would have been a real blessing. My society is very pragmatic, unromantic - coffee drinkers rather than tea lovers, if you know what I mean. Being one's true self in a vaccum is possible but often sad, lonely, confusing. Even small things like finding the kinds of clothes or tableware you like can be difficult. I recall one girl at university who had long curly hair and wore pretty dresses and cardigans and seemed to drift in a dreaming haze through her days. I looked for her everywhere just because she alone had the aesthetic I loved, and it was simply so good to see it.


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When I consider how many young people think with a kind of despair, "there's no one out there like me," I am glad for the internet. I don't mean that we should seek other people to justify who we want to be, but merely that knowing kindred spirits exists is a real boost, and having access to what we love - even if only in imagery - can encourage and nourish the soul.




the wild simplicity daybook

One of the threads of peace that has woven through my experience of motherhood is memory. It weaves in both directions : the mindfulness of making memories, and the heartfulness of preserving of them.

For years, I have kept diaries in which homeschool lesson plans, budgets, recollections of the day, photographs, ink flowers, concert tickets, poems, wishes, all mingled together. It blesses the days I live now & those in the future from which I will look back fondly. But a book is one thing, and this is another altogether more scrumptious ...




Lesley Austin at Small Meadow Press has long inspired my record keeping (and my homeschooling, and my homemaking, and more) with her papers, notebooks, thoughtful words, and lovely spirit. Now she has created a daybook so lovely, even the pictures of it make me feel peaceful and charmed. It's no surprise; Lesley has such a heart for beauty, everything she makes is like gentle grace and comfort for the world.




The Wild Simplicity Daybook is now available in Lesley's etsy store, along with a whole lot of delicious little books to tuck within its lovely, sturdy cover.






The idea of pockets and little books captures my heart thoroughly, but to have in addition the lush, eco-friendly paper, the beautiful vintage illustrations, and most of all Lesley's authentically gentle energy imbued in the pages, I feel offers something unique and so very womanly. I was lucky enough to be part of the community of women from which Lesley drew information and inspiration in the making of this daybook, so I know how much thought and care she put into creating something women would truly love to use.




I'm writing this post for two reasons. Firstly, I consider Lesley a friend, although we've never met in person, and it's always a joy to be able to celebrate one's friends. Secondly, I admire her ethics and her efforts to create a kind-hearted business model. If you want to know more of what Small Meadow Press has available, visit the shop, or Lesley's journal, or her private online haven at Wisteria & Sunshine.



All photos in this post are taken from Lesley Austin's website. Please don't copy or pin them from here but go to her sites directly. Thanks.