These quieter days have given me a physical refreshment and mental soothing which I cannot describe adequately in mortal words.
Letting go of the weights which previously held me down, many weights which I'd lain upon myself, and others which I'd not realised until recently could be let go, has allowed me to breathe slowly again, and opened the eyes of my understanding to pursue many wonderful and overlooked activities right here at home.
There's a new rhythm to my weeks, a renewed sense of purpose, accomplishment and satisfaction - and all to do with home. Whether it be ironing garments straight off the clothesline, polishing the wooden bed frame, tending to my sour dough starter, cleaning away dust from under the bed, or slowly stirring delicious lemon curd until it thickens and coats the wooden spoon - everything brings a deepening sense of gratitude to my soul and I feel great delight giving attention to each task.
And then there are the moments of quiet reflection, gentle music playing softly in the background; brewing cups of delicious French Earl Grey tea and slicing pieces of date loaf for an afternoon repast whilst reading old magazines I've saved; slowly enjoying a book about womanhood, femininity and poise; or being delighted in a childhood novel which I always meant to read but never did.
Just as the process of making sour dough requires patience, so these days of late have taken on that quality too. I feed the starter each morning and watch the fermentation process as bubbles grow and expand throughout the day and on through the night. Good things need not be rushed, but given time...
Making use of what I have on hand is how meals are being prepared now, even the treats. Instead of desiring what's not available, or heading off in the car to buy one or two ingredients, I just use what I have and be creative with it. This keeps me home, and allows me to use the abundance of creativity usually reserved for stitchery design in a fresh way. Though I mostly cook without recipes anyhow, now its about forgoing the purchase of what I do not have in the kitchen or pantry, but substituting with what is right before me.
A little of the sour dough starter became the basis for blueberry and lemon muffins the other day, and as I made eighteen I was able to freeze a dozen for the future.
This slower, grateful and deeply calming way of living is not the way of the crowd, and that's what I like about the quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder (in the first photo), for she encourages us to step away from the crowd, to walk to the beat of our own drum, to seek out quiet times and think, ponder.
And pray. Not quick prayers, though there are times for that, but slow, thoughtful, gracious, thankful, honest prayers to Our Father.
Become acquainted with your thoughts; turn off the television, turn off your phone and take a break from social media. Sit alone in your comfy chair with a cup of tea or your absolute favourite beverage (make it special), light a candle, play gentle music in the background, watch nature coming alive outside your window...be quiet and let your thoughts arrange themselves without the interruption of others or media.
If you're a believer, let the still small voice of God reach you in that quietness. Set yourself apart from the distractions, the rush, the to-do list...be fully at peace in your own skin, in your own home, in your own thoughts.
May the God of all glory be right beside you today, dear friends, and show you how to create your own moments of peace and beauty and thoughtfulness in the weeks ahead.