I am grateful for your kind words and wishes and am glad to say that I am well on the mend now. The enforced slow pace of the past week has been just the right thing for my frame of mind in this New Year…..

How to describe these days since Christmas? Reflective, examining, mulling…and tho’ I would like to say I have been doing it as picturesquely as the lovely woman above, I must admit that it has more often been reclining on the sofa….or in the tub…. or whilst driving…reading blog posts about New Year’s goals and such…staring out the window….sifting through old journals….gazing back over the past year.

Answers haven’t come quickly, so I have continued to look and listen and wait and try not to feel that I “ought” to have my plans all laid out nicely by now.The New Year seems to follow too quickly upon the heels of Christmas…for me anyway….and I found it quite freeing to give myself consent to let clarity take as long as it needs to arrive.

A big piece of one of my puzzles fell into place last evening-I believe-and I will share it with you soon. It is a “Small Meadow Press” piece of my puzzle. There are so many different pieces, of course! This blog is another. And I would very much appreciate your input on this piece and what its shape might look like in the year to come. Would you all be so kind as to share with me why you come here to The Bower? What you are looking for? What sorts of posts are your favorites?

I will share with you that I sometimes long for more conversation here…..more of a back and forth between us about subjects dear to our hearts (home, creative business, family, the earth, balance, etc.). A reader who is very dear to me shared that she doesn’t comment here as often as she might because she feels she has nothing to say that she thinks I would want to hear…as tho’ I have it so together. And I am smiling now to think how often we all think this of others!I am so enormously and humbly grateful that I do finally have a peaceful and nourishing home (after so many young-mother years of seeking it), but have no problem telling you that other areas of my life have abundant room for improvement…our home-learning for instance, face-to-face, chatting-over-cups-of-tea friendships, my connections with Nature and God…all this and more I have been examining over the past few weeks. And I look forward to writing about some of what I have been mulling over….I think…but am feeling a bit self-conscious.

So won’t you let me know your thoughts? I feel as tho’ I have been “baring my soul” in this post, and that made me think of the line in the 1993 film version of Little Women:

“Laurie: In token of my gratitude and as a means of promoting communication between adjoining nations, shouting from windows being forbidden, I shall provide a post office in our hedge, to further encourage the baring of our souls, and the telling of our most appalling secrets. I do pledge never to reveal what I receive in confidence here.”

And that made me realize that a blog can be a sort of post-office-in-the-hedge, at its best, with me leaving things for you to find and vice versa. And perhaps it can be as good and interesting as the description I just found in Chapter ten of the book:

“The P.O. was a capital little institution, and flourished wonderfully, for nearly as many queer things passed through it as through the real office. Tragedies and cravats, poetry and pickles, garden-seeds and long letters, music and gingerbread, invitations, scoldings and puppies.”