October 2013

seeking quiet…and joy

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It is late.

I leave early tomorrow morning on a journey, hoping to find many things…but especially “a quiet waiting for {me} to hush“. I didn’t know that was what I was looking for until I read Kyce’s beautiful words today, and remembered. I thought I had signed up for this retreat to help me to find joy again…and so I did, all the way back in January. And joy will still be gladly found, if I am so fortunate. I knew I wanted the company of women, and will be assured of finding that.

But now I know that what I am most looking forward to at this moment is what I will find by this stepping away from my everydays and listening to what I can hear in the silences I hope to encounter…on the short flights in my seat amongst a plane-full of strangers…on the island of my twin-bed in the simple shared room in the former monastery…walking the halls or the trails after a session or meal…perhaps even while enjoying a conversation with someone new…

Expect a daily glimpse or two in the Instagram box in the sidebar.

So looking forward to returning and settling in here…at last.

xo

P.S. The photo is from the last creative retreat I attended, at Squam in 2009

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a new beginning…

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…or perhaps I should say a new Home for a new chapter…

This is my new bower…my Rosehip Bower. I just finished writing about it for the Rosehip page here, but it says what is on my mind and heart so I will share it as my first post, with the addition of some recent photographs and a few notes at the end.

“No one would deny that every season of the year is imbued with its own special beauty and wisdom. The same is true of the seasons of our lives. Perimenopausal women can be likened to the full-blown rose of late summer and fall, as it begins to transform itself into a bright, juicy rose hip-the part of the rose that contains the seeds from which hundreds of other potential roses can grow. Our task is to come to appreciate the beauty and power of the season we are in, instead of longing for what can no longer be.”

-Christiane Northup

The Wisdom of Menopause

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I felt a quiet joy rising as I read this years ago…finally a name for the time of life I was entering into and am now deeply involved with at 54 years-of-age. No crones or cougars for me, I am going to be a Rose Hip. I did a bit of searching around the web and was surprised to find that no one seems to have embraced this name or use it any sort of community fashion, but last year I created a category of writings at Wisteria & Sunshine devoted to it and we have heartily embraced the description.

In the past year, as I grieve my mother’s death and struggle with health issues, in addition to all of the changes that are to be expected at my age, I have come face-to-face with the…thorns…the sometimes baffling, difficult, painful, unexpected sort of changes. I am also learning how normal and valuable some of these dark parts can be…or I am trying to. I have found the metaphor of the chrysalis, butterfly and metamorphosis very helpful and imagine I will continue to do so for years to come. When it gets overwhelming, messy and confusing, I remember that the caterpillar basically becomes mush within its lovely chrysalis, and yet somehow transforms into the wonder of a butterfly.

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As I continue what began with The Bower all those years ago, I plan to share as much as I need and want to about it all-the chrysalis of these years, the caterpillar and the butterfly that are the feelings and experiences and thoughts. And, of course, all of the beauty that continues to be woven through it all. If you have been with me on this journey for awhile, I will be grateful for your continued companionship. If you are new here, I am gladly hold out my hand to you…

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As you explore, you might see a link to my newsletter…do sign up so that we may keep in touch via very occasional emails. As well, you will receive my first ever e-book. It is called Small Ceremonials and Everyday Altars and is as full of inspiration and beauty as I could make it. Enjoy, enjoy.

And a few practical notes:

-the address for this new home of mine, if you like to read blogs through bloglovin’ or feedly, etc. is http://lesleyaustin.com/blog/

-if you read back at all into earlier posts (which I copied over from The Bower), you will soon find that the text and images are rather higgledy-piggledy in their formatting. It was so disappointing to discover, and there seems no simple way of fixing it, so we shall just have to make the best of it…for now.

-please comment or email if you have any questions or concerns, but most of all, just to let me know that you are here!

xo

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