Summer closing berries dripping in glistening bunches, brandy and honey and spices and bottles of syrup and winter medicine. New routines, new rhythms…the late summer sun mellowing the land. Ripe tomatoes, fragrant basil scarlet rosehips.
New projects with children, plant dyes, boiling and fermenting wise woman brews steaming the windows and acrid tang of simmering roots.
Back home and into autumn. Back from a summer of retreat from the internet hot earth under bare feet wet canvas singing campfires, damp cabins in a green Welsh valley far from home. Evenings to sit and write and read, play card games and drink tea, sheepskins and hissing logs.
Away from screens that dull and hypnotise, the screens that also connect us all and sparkle with jewels of inspiration, information, ideas. The screens that lead me astray down meandering paths which infinitely divide and leave me with a vague sense of bloat and unease.
I haven’t missed it and I have. Through the internet I have connected with people from everywhere. Weeping shown fragments of my soul to people I have not met naked words bare of polished gloss and finish.
I write here in this space and want to write more. I have painted, written and shared with women from New Mexico to Singapore , I have been invigorated and encouraged by so much.
But this summer I left for two weeks with the children to voice camp, and later to the tiny Welsh cabin. Campfire songs and cold showers, harebells and buzzards, no phone, no texts, no internet. My voice joined others as I sang and my tears wet the ground and the shoulders of friends who comforted me. Skin touch, the whisper in my ear the smile and glance the connection, the sweetness of warm chai and fire grilled aubergine, earthy real sensuous. Its a different connection.
I do value them all.
Sometimes I wish away the internet, and feel a deep yearning for a return to the simplicity and spaciousness of a time before my head was filled with so much, before my time was swallowed in such large cyber mouthfuls. But I would find it hard to exist without it. And I know its there. And I don’t want to miss out!!
Actually I didn’t want to talk about the internet but about autumn and new beginnings.
I wasn’t planning to home ed again. It was always supposed to be temporary. A baby, other ambitions, need for time to write, to be, to paint, it all seemed too much. But circumstances have decided otherwise and I may start a home ed blog to discuss them all and the reasons we are now committing to keeping the three younger children at home, at least for the time being.
I am trying not to do everything. I have found childcare for at least one and a half days. Its important. I have such a strong fire to create, such a lust to express the words and images which flow through me, that it is essential for my family’s well being for me to have time to do this.
Its too easy to be bottom of the pile for me. Too easy to end up lying on the big bed upstairs with my body pinned to the mattress by feeding babies and affectionate children. Its lovely and soft and snuggly and adorable and nourishing…but only if I’ve had an hour to paint, an hour to write, an hour to share with a friend, an hour to plant seeds and gather herbs, time to stretch and remind myself that indeed I do have a body and it is actually mine. (Hmm easy to forget that one)
If these things are in short supply, or if they are nonexistent, I feel starved and desperate crabby and cross and my warm mothering arms become sharp elbows and I am like a buzzing naked wire, charged and dangerous. (I don’t mean literally obviously, before someone calls Social Services!) I FEEL like that . I want to run away and feel the north wind in my hair and a wide open road ahead of me wild and exciting and Free. With some really nice cafes and notebooks along the way. And circles of friends to talk deep and challenging and share the howling grief and the star spinning laughter and the grainy beautiful truth.
I’m being firmer about childcare.
I’ve joined a beautiful circle of women, a deeply held ceremonial sharing space of wild hedgerow medicine and elemental prayers and love.
I’m painting for my first exhibition IN TEN DAYS (did I already mention that?)
I’m remembering I have a body and having occasional treatments and regular stretching and …well I haven’t managed the candle lit bath yet but its on my list.
I’m joining a writing group in the flesh…
Green smoothies…seriously they rock…breakfast, sets me up for the day.
Love remember love. It sorts most stuff out. Smooths resentment shoulds woulds crabbiness. Easier said than done. Trying to remember.
That’s it for now, except yesterday would have been Lily’s 13th birthday and I want to write something for her but don’t want to mix her up with the internet and autumn and all this so she’s next for sure . Always
Love Henrietta x
Ps. Any self care sharing? Any new autumnal routines and changes in your lives?
In ten days some of my paintings will be on show in a local cafe. My first tiny exhibition.