Life, crafty stuff, long walks, thoughts, and little oddities.


Reflections on the harvest

With traveling, retreat leading and job-hunting, the last few weeks seem to have flown past. In fact, the last year has flown past! A year since my unpaid sabbatical year began. While leading a retreat down at Lee Abbey a week or so ago, I found myself mulling over what has been achieved and what has not been achieved. Although that might be the wrong way to express it. One of my strengths and one of my failings is that I’m good at planning and programming my life, and most of the time, I stick to the plan. I was determined not to plan the year away!  So I had vague plans for this year out – nothing definite. I was going to finish at least one of the books that I’ve been planning and writing for the last few years. Preferably two of them. I was going to do some other writing, do lots of walking, train for a 10K run, maybe look at composing some songs, practice my violin, spend time on my artwork, learn to make bobbin-lace, visit some of the places I’d always wanted to go…. the list continued!

I haven’t finished any of the books I’d started writing. I have written some other things instead, things that at the start of the year would have been completely alien to me. I have spent some time walking. I have learnt to make bobbin lace, and how to bead a bauble. I have sewn and embroidered. I have knitted a Shetland lace shawl. I can now spin wool on a spindle and a spinning wheel. The violin has spent most of its year in the case. I have been to some of the places I’d heard about. I have laughed and cried and had the space to do it in, discovering yet again who I am, and starting to discern what God is calling me to at this stage in my life. It has at time felt like being put through a wringer.

My life has lain fallow this year. Most of what I have seen, photographed, written about, has been influenced by factors outside my own life. Events happening in other people’s lives. Nature in all her many moods. The harvest that has emerged has been not of my planting, but of God’s. Some of it is barely discernible to me. At times I question if there has been a harvest at all! But some of those looking on assure me there is one. There is certainly a feeling that seeds have been planted, and will spring into life when the climate is right. In the meantime I must wait, and make sure the fields are nourished, protected and prepared.

The writing continues, the blogging will continue, as will the various bits of sewing, knitting, etc. I have Christmas presents to make. The job-hunting continues, the grind of filling in application forms, phone-calls, searching, looking. Not an entirely positive experience. The being with God continues. In all of this, I hold on to the fact that God has a plan for me, and where I eventually end up will be his plan for my life, not mine. I wait for the future.

In the quietness of the old church

Propped in the corner

Stands the sheaf of corn

Pale gold, gleaming in the light

Stirred by the breeze, it rustles slightly

The seeds are  ripe,

Ready for the harvest

For the planting

For the coming year


For future to be decided.

sheaf of corn


Barnacles and musings

late winter sunset

Perched on a barnacle-covered rock, I gaze out at the view. Sun slowly sinking into the sea, leaving behind hints of gold and silver rolling on the waves. Cloud studded sky with bright blue behind, reflected in the pools.

There are days I wonder when I will wake up from the dream. When I will suddenly find myself back in my old life, with myriad things to do, endless lists…. the hamster on its wheel! It is difficult not to look back on then, and think ‘I would be (should be) doing ‘ … or ‘who did they get to climb the ladder and decorate the top of the 20 foot Christmas tree this year?’ Life was extremely busy – but also fun, when I had time to think about it. I am trying not to look back too much, to what was – and what is, without me. I am enjoying the present moment. Don’t get me wrong. Life here is certainly not perfect! With three radically different personalities living in one household, two of whom are my parents, that would be extremely unlikely. After 20 years of living apart, we are all used to our own space, to the rhythm of our own lives. Adapting to each other is interesting at times. Yet this is now and I am here. Despite the inevitable tensions, there is a lingering peace in my heart and soul. The still voice that says – this is right. This is now. Enjoy. The secret bubble that lies within.

After a while, the barnacles become uncomfortable. The sun sinks deeper, dazzling my eyes. The temperature starts to drop. I wend my way home along the shore, turning over seaweed. Calm reigns for now. Not head-spinning laughter, or despairing distress, but calm and quiet. Content. A good place to be.