A Listening Table: Opening the Windows of Life

Both this image and this passage from Alison of Brocante Home Chronicles
. For me they kind of echo that "making space" inside as in the Poustina (a few posts down), but in a more day to day domestic sense:

One must also accept that one has "uncreative" moments. The more honestly one can accept that, the quicker these moments will pass. One must have the courage to call a halt , to feel empty and discouraged."
Etty Hillesum.

Sometimes I go away. Not literally. For the most part I go no further than the garden gate. But still I am away. Away from everything that usually drives me. Away from the voices in my head forming sentences I will speak later. Away from constant shopping lists and television. Away from nights sat up for no reason other than it is too early to go to bed. Away...

(Away becuase) it isn't only the big things that pre-occupy me. It is the pile of newspaper cuttings in the blue spotty file I am yet to read. It is the as yet untried recipe for a watercress tart I can't stop thinking about and it is the wonder of seeds turning into shoots and shoots turning into bold upright dancing plants that is also filling my mind. I lie in bed and wonder what is happening to my little seedlings. Whether you really can create something wonderful out of something so tiny. I've never really been green fingered. Never stopped to consider the teeny miracle that is planting and hoping and watching and growing and being. You take things for granted don't you? You see gardens created by nature and you don't give it a second thought. My beloved little chamelia blooms year after year and I never go near it, terrified of interfering with something I do not understand. And yet for the first time in seven years my daffodils are blind: they needed human interjection, to divide them and re-plant them. To give them hope for another year.

I didn't know you see? Didn't know my daffodils needed me.

And so this is how it happens. Life in it's own softly spoken voice reminds us what is to be done. I become pre-occupied with things I have never thought of before. Tiny lessons I need time to learn. And so I go away. I climb into bed early and finish piles of books I've not had the brain space to absorb before. I switch off the noise and potter around the house in silence, noticing all at once what needs doing, what will not see me through another year. I peek in the the little green cupboard and whisper to my seedlings and make an occupation of planning my little potted back yard. Tracking down the perfect tomato plants and finding wonder in the sheer possibilities contained in the smallest seed packets. I bake and clean and tidy and dream and find my way back to my everyday.

Blog Archive