Angel Wings and Herb Tea

Life after loss; healing through creativity, writing and art


New beginnings and gratitude

First, cascades of love and gratitude to the lovely Lucinda at Whispering Earth who, on reading of the fire, emailed me to offer support and herbs to replace some of the ones I lost. A couple of weeks ago, a special parcel arrived, containing soothing herb teas, a delicious rose scented moisturizing cream, some tinctures and a mysterious oil whose true purpose will become clear as this post progresses. It was such a generous and lovely gift. I am still overwhelmed by the love and kindness of friends, those nearby, and those I have never met! Thankyou so much.

The snow drops are blooming bravely in swathes around the grounds of our new home, promising so tantilisingly the coming of softer Spring weather. In the talons of the east wind, its hard to forget this, and in the chilly outreaches of our new home we shiver with blankets and hot water bottles. It’s not a cosy cabin, its the wing of a mansion, but we have one warm room which we cook in, knit in, play in, paint in, hang out in, and we are very happy to be here, despite the bone numbing chill.

Around us are acres of beautiful grounds, walled veg gardens, polytunnels, children (and other adults) to play with, community meals and choirs to attend, …even our chickens have settled, integrating with the existing flock and laying boxes and boxes of eggs.
We’ve joined a community, a few miles from our land, and, after our three months in town, are feeling the healing balm of being again surrounded by trees, green plants, growing space, room to run without fear of cars and streets, the balm of being with others.

More later about our new home  because there is more excitement….

More beginnings.
New tender shoots sprouting
A phoenix rising from the ashes.
Springtime promises of a growing,  swelling, surging Mother Earth…….
and well, me.

I’m half way to growing a new baby. 20 weeks in and getting quite a belly, soft little kicks, and jeans that don’t fit, and morning sickness nearly passing……number 5…phew!
How did I ever think 2013 was going to be a quiet, calm year?

And the oil from Lucinda?



Seven white doves

There was a beautiful moment yesterday. In the middle of my third day clearing and cleaning the house where we have spent the last couple of months, and feeling thoroughly disheartened by the amount of dirt and stuff to deal with, I heard the thud of a package on the doormat. Expecting it to be for the new tenant moving in, whose mail has already started to arrive, I trudged gloomily out to the hall to retrieve it, cleaning rag in hand. It was a package from the US for me! A beautiful packet all wrapped in tissue paper and little hearts, containing seven white paper doves.

A while ago, I admired a little bird mobile over at We Bloom Here and mentioned how I would love to make one, but didn’t have time as I was moving house, and the lovely M. Bloom offered to send me one. In the course of messaging her, I told her that we had released seven white doves at Lily’s funeral, one for every year of her life. And so there in the middle of my dismal morning, surrounded by mops and dust, out tumbled a dove mobile and lifted my day. Sprinkled with tears it was admired and hung up in OUR NEW HOME yesterday evening. A truely magical moment. Thankyou so much to such a lovely woman so far away.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention, we have now moved into our very own cabin in the woods, it’s warm, tranquil, cosy and such a sanctuary…more next time!



Where is home? Where your parents live? Where you live? Where you are right now? Where your loved ones are?

Home…the word has such a lovely hum to it, home is always where I feel most comfortable;  making homes, and being at home, and I will happily turn a tent on a one night camping trip into a cosy home with the help of some blankets and a few flowers. When I arrive home, wherever that is, I invariably feel my shoulders melt into the ground and my breath lengthen as I exhale into familiarity and comfort. Maybe it’s because I feel able to drop all my barriers at home, stop trying so hard, to be liked? to fit in? to do the right thing….? So my home becomes an oasis, where I don’t have to pretend..yeah I know I shouldn’t pretend anywhere, but that’s a work in progress.

In my defence, Cancer features very heavily in my astrological chart and the lovely woman who drew my chart, mentioned the word ‘cosy’ several times during the course of my consultation with her. I like things to be cosy, and curling up next to a warm winter fire, by candlelight, with some snuggly children nestled in for a story is a blissful feeling.

I think that’s why I have struggled with feelings of restless and insecurity during the last year when I just didn’t know where my home was going to be, and then when I did know, facing a double house move in two months.

So, as we begin the countdown to our final move to our land, I will be readjusting to another home. I know I will feel impatient to get curtains and rugs scattered around very quickly (I should be making them now….) and the children’s rooms comfortable and welcoming. (Hugh and I will be sleeping in the sitting room for a while, but we’ve done that’s very cosy!) I know that the strange, slightly exhilarating, yet uneasy feeling of novelty will soon wear off and we will sink into our new ryhthms and ways on the land.

blanket walls

Back to an outside composting toilet, still awaiting completion…

Almost no electricity, save what we can glean from a leisure battery….plans for stream generated power are afoot… (shhhh!  we will have a gas cooker, at least to begin with.)

I’ve abandoned ideas of a whiskey barrel bath tub (they leak if they dry out) and am resigned to a tin bath in the corner of the kitchen for now with heavy curtain drapes for modesty. Later we have plans for a rocket stove, wood fired shower, in a separate room, luxury of luxuries, but we must wait for time and money..Actually I really love tin baths, and harbour romantic memories of sitting in front of the wood stove in our yurt, soaking and watching the dancing flames, as the candles threw their shadows on the canvas walls.

My laundry will now be completed with the help of this lovely item, for my birthday present from my mother in law , a Victorian washboard, and a mangle yet to be purchased.

Lots of candles, and I will have an entire blog post devoted to candles very soon.

And lots more mud, and outside, and cosy firelit evenings.

I long to be settled. I have moved far too many times since children, and although I do have a restless changeable nature, I yearn for stability, security and a longterm home where I can root myself in the land and gather my scattered plans, thoughts and dreamings into one place, where they can flourish and grow. To sink down quietly into the earth and gather my family around to retreat and reflect for a while before this winter is over. Before the headlong full blossomed rush of Spring.

I’m looking forward to going home.

Where is your home?