end of summer garden jungle
little fuzzy quince
I'm writing to you this week from inside my snow globe. I was going to say from inside my shower screen, but the imagery isn't as good. And actually it's kind of like a reverse snow globe anyway. I'm sitting inside and the rest of the beautiful world is outside. Shake it up and a flurry of pretty leaves and flower petals fall from the trees.
I've been sitting inside my snow globe for close to a week now. Sitting here alone hoping for the lid to lift and for things to feel different. And just now I've started to feel anxious that I'm ending the week feeling the same way that I started. Nothing seems to have changed.
From in here the world looks grimy and a bit hopeless and sad. Even though we still have a few weeks left of summer, the days are getting noticeably shorter and cooler and I fear the long winter to come. I fear that the sunshine is already growing weaker and as we slowly pull the decaying summer veg from the garden and replace it with winter crops, I worry about those icy months when the garden is only green and does not boast with bright colour and bounty dripping from its vines. I'm not ready to go back to those months of frost, wet and cold.
I agonise over the stories my children bring home, not able to understand the way kids treat each other and that teachers can be so impatient and unseeing. I wonder how in this day and age with all that we know, that more of an emphasis isn't given to teaching about sustainability and care for our planet and putting plans into action.
I feel panicked at the never ending sameness of my life. The ebbs and flows are practically predictable and feel impossibly tedious from where I sit right now.
I feel disappointed about the growing season and am already tired of the excuses I'll have to repeat to myself and others as the harvest we had been so looking forward to doesn't eventuate.
And I worry about the world. About the people and the creatures who should treat others and be treated themselves with kindness and care, and that the way things are now, is not how they always will be.
Yet despite all this, I've labelled this place where I sit my snow globe because I'm well aware of the beauty that sits outside its rounded walls. I am also all too aware that if I were a better housekeeper and brushed the cobwebs away and scrubbed the grime from the glass, that the sunshine would stream in and bleach the dirty carpet from my sight and the ache from my heart.
It's a funny place to spend time, this grey world of mine, because I don't feel overcome by despair; I just feel full of melancholy. I am aware of all the gifts I have been given, I just feel too tired to play with them right now. And this is not depression, I don't want to stay in bed and I can make a list for you a mile long of all the reasons I have to be grateful. And I believe them. Every single one. Everything just feels tainted somewhat. Bland.
At the start of my week I was kind to myself and felt that the greyness must be the result of last week's virus leaving my body. All those days spent shivering and burning up had had a physical effect on my body and now this was the emotional effect. After a few days I decided it was seasonal. I could feel summer melting into autumn, and so in turn the moon and the tides and the stars were having their effect on me. Then I got a bit cross with myself. How dare someone with so much privilege take it for granted for one moment. What was the point of wasting even one second. But the more I questioned how I felt, the more uncomfortable things felt, the more I understood that I had to lean into this mood. To push at it and poke at it and try to find its origins, its meaning and look at it from all perspectives. The worse it made me feel, the better, because hopefully somewhere hidden inside I would discover some answers.
I don't know if any of this will make sense to you, or be of any interest. I contemplated just posting a couple of photos for today's post with a promise of a proper blog when things shift, hopefully over the next few days. There is no craft, no garden, no farm, or family in these words and that makes me feel a bit odd.
When I spoke to my farmer boy about having no story other than this greyness for my blog this week, he suggested I write it down anyway, let him read it and then delete it. I knew I wouldn't delete it though. That's not my style.
He also suggested that I take a 24-hour break from social media, which so often is his solution with the girls, and I think he was surprised when I agreed. I love social media, but noticing how often I open an app and scroll mindlessly without thinking has been interesting. And having a break from what has lately felt like all the people shouting at me to look at them, do things their way, or compare myself to impossible perfection has been a bit of a relief. Life feels a lot less noisy without all the chatter. I think I'm ready to join my girls in their limited social media access during the week, possibly. As a trial.
Which brings me to the feeling that maybe this week is the discomfort before a change. I've been saying for months that I'm stuck and ready for something new, something more. But late yesterday afternoon as I ran through my list of possible new projects to take on this year and then neatly followed each with a reason why I don't actually want to, it occurred to me that maybe I am scared of losing what I have in the process. Life on the other side of the snow globe looks pretty good.
So I'm right back where I started. But glad that I have the weekend and a break from routine to try to get out of my head and stuck right into life with those I love. Hopefully the grey will become mauve...
Reading - After watching the Little Women film last week and noticing how much more of the story it covered, I checked back in with another copy of the book we have on our shelves only to discover that Louisa M Alcott wrote two books that were eventually published as one. Good Wives being the second part. So much to my delight, I have spent some bonus hours with the March family this week reading the rest of the book.
Listening - I'm still making my way through the StartUp podcast although I think I've almost reached the current episodes. The most recent series examines Dov Charney and the demise of his company American Apparel, and the start up of his new tee-shirt company. I'm loving it and it makes the long school commutes and the hanging out of the laundry and the weeding of the garden chores I actually look forward to.
Knitting - I'm happy to report that I've turned the heels of the spotty socks and am on my way up the ankles. I love them and am hoping that the recipient feels the same when she sees them this afternoon when she returns from canoe camp.
Cooking - Beetroot for salads, blackberries in fruit leather, beans in stir fries, cucumbers in pickles (not really cooking but you know...). Hopefully by this time next week we'll be eating sweet corn.
Watching - This Is Us. Oh my goodness, Kevin and Randall!!!!
Planting - Lettuce, cabbage, beetroot, rocket, carrots, spring onions, parsley, broccoli and chives.
Contemplating - What to do with the list of ethical businesses wanting to work with me on my instagram and blog. Would be so good to be able to look out for the good guys, but how can I do it and keep my integrity.
Running - Off to gym right now.
Hurting - On the knee that I landed on when I was stupidly picking blackberries on the dam wall earlier in the week and feel in.
Hoping - To be out of my snow globe and back to my silly, interpretive dance, optimistic, self ASAP.
Sending - All my love and wishes for some warm sunshine on your skin, a gentle breeze to dry your washing, a book you can't put down and a great big cuddle.
Love Kate xx