rise and root

***

~*~*~*~



The Flame Haired Solstice Dreamer

Cold winter brings the Everfrost and jewels every tree
In a forest new as birth and old as old can be
A flame~haired dreamer wanders there and shelters from the wind
And spins her dreams around the trees to break the ties that bind
She takes her thread and spins anew and how the Greenwood smiles
As she spins a spell for freedom and for her spirit Wylde

The dreamer finds an ancient oak and shelters in his lee
In a forest new as birth and old as old can be
Tis summer now and birdsong weaves its magick through her spells
And humming bees drum drowsily in the foxglove's bells
The dreamer sits beneath the oak with yarn upon her knee
And spins and knits and weaves her dreams and sets her spirit free

***
"When birds fall from the sky and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people...shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. they will be known as the warriors of the Rainbow"

Hopi Prophecy

~catch up~

So again I leave a long gap between posts, when i had vowed to myself to start my old school blogging on a regular basis.

since my last post my North Star and i took ten days off of work and took ourselves and our 'new' RV off to Cornwall. we had a few days camped up between Boscastle and Tintagel, walking the Cornish Coastal path to get to both. Then we re-located closer to home-a site in forest only a few miles from my home. but it could have been a hundred miles away.
we felt so happy there we extended our stay twice-only returning to our lives the day before we were due back to work.

we had one hard day-actually one hard hour, on the day we left Cornwall. we were having ongoing mechanical problems with the RV and a small hiccup just got the better of him. my response was to stay calm, start packing to leave and tea.
oh the tea-the source of all problem-solving.

I made two cups, went out and silently handed him his cup and took mine to the top of the cliff overlooking the wild cliff and sea and the start of the walk through Rocky Valley. I slowly sipped my tea, let the tears fall and then said my goodbye and went back up to find NS.
I did and he took my hand, looking tearful and apologised for his behaviour and asked me not to cry.

An hour later we stopped off down the road to find coffee and he asked, almost sounding like a little boy, totally unsure, if I still wanted to continue our holiday-of course I did and I am glad I did.

I would post some photos but as I am using my little notebook for this I have no photos~and I am sure most of you reading this are either from IG or FB then you have already seen them!

we spend every weekend together and recently I have been dropping him off at his truck on sunday then driving home. I always put in my earphones for the hour drive back home so I a have a good sing-as I left NS said 'be careful sweetheart-I will ring you in half an hour' true enough my music was cut into and this voice went 'you 'aw'right then?' we had a brief chat and he then said 'I will phone you in half an hour'...half an hour later my phone went just as I was leaving the motorway and he said 'text me as soon as you are home'

this man breaks my heart-not literally, not in a dreadful way but if I find myself dwelling on his past, I feel my heart break. Little things pop out that remind me of his dreadful past, sometimes he will talk about it. things he has told me before but I feel if he needs to talk about it again then I will listen-even if he tells me it a hundred times, I will listen and respond, if it helps him.

i had an almost idyllic childhood, brought up free in the new forest, family holidays, things bought for me, encouraged and loved-to hear of a childhood where you were not wanted, were never given baths or clean clothes, were beaten and taken out of the family home is beyond my comprehension...



~soul mate?~

my gosh but do i love this man


how is it possible...really possible to know that this one person is your soul mate?
how does it feel as if i have known him forever?

in my 51 years i have had two long term, serious relationships but nothing has prepared me for this.

from the turbulence of the final days of my old relationship, a relationship that had descended into the mere friendship, and in the final year or two not even that, i find myself today happy, content and deeply in love.

but maybe love isn't the right word, it doesn't adequately describe how i feel about my North Star...can i find the right word, the right single word? 

i am not sure that single word can possibly exist

i can only describe my feelings in single words or sentences that drift into my mind~even trying to write it down is difficult. in my mind its like a cloud of words and phrases and emotions, all jumbled together in one lovely mass.

i sit here in my cosy little bedroom, hearing the sounds of life down on the cobbles three floors below me and as i often do, i have my phone by my side, the screen taken up with my love, looking happy, sitting on a big red Harley motorcycle. 

yes he is the stereotypical biker/trucker...nearly, but not quite...

yes he has the whole long hair, beard, tattoos, piercing thing, he drives a huge 18 wheeled articulated truck Monday to Friday, sleeping in it when he has exhausted his allowed driving hours each day, he comes from a highly dysfunctional, abusive family from a poor area, he is poorly educated and his language would make a dockers toes curl, and yet...

and yet...

he loves animals, he loves classical music, he loves dressing smartly and always looks immaculate, he loves shopping and vintage items, i am slowly bypassing my old vegetarian ways and taking a vegan path and he is following me~happily, openly, finding joy in the food i cook us at the weekend.

this man has slowly opened up the previously private parts of his life~meeting his two daughters after they kept asking to meet me and meeting his eldest brother which was the biggest, final hurdle.
he has let me fully into his life and i have allowed him into mine.

and yet

love still doesn't adequately describe us

he has become my all, my everything
he completes me
it is as if my whole life has led me to this man and this time
that i have finally met the person i have always meant to be with








~notes from a sick bed~


So here i sit

i have been unwell for a few weeks and with the appearance of a rash and my own personal lightbulb moment of 'shingles' i find myself having to take a high dose anti-viral every four hours and have taken the decision to stay home from work for a couple of days.

so in true hygge fashion i have made my little attic bedroom a little cosy haven for the next two days-plumped up my pillows, laid out my quilt and favourite blanket. my radio is playing the ever present Classic FM, my lamp is casting a cosy glow and through the slightly open window i can hear the old, hanging shop signs swinging in the breeze that is coming up the river from the Solent, half a mile away and in the lull between songs and chatter i can hear the wind blowing through the rigging of the ever present yachts and fishing boats. 

i know i will actually become board with this enforced rest, i am used to busy days and i argued with myself about staying home-but i know that, this being my second bout of shingles in about 6 months i need to be realistic and look after myself.


i am still smiling from a beautiful weekend with my North Star~once again we camped out in Big Bertha at Keyhaven Marshes...







this is without doubt our favourite  place to camp outside of Glastonbury. While it is only a few miles from my home on the old town quay it feels as if we are miles away and we adore it whatever the weather.

it is here that we find we can open up and talk honestly about our relationship-not being able to hide behind text, email or the phone. 
he is finally opening up about why it has taken him so long to really open up and settle into our relationship and to be honest it was of no surprise to me~the two appalling marriages made him totally untrusting of women and the eight years he spent alone, combined with his solitary job made him happy...well maybe not happy, but comfortable being alone.

and then i happened

this weekend, as we approach our 17th month together, he told me that what won him over was my patience with him, that i didn't rush or try to push him into being a couple~that we went at his pace, the pace that made him comfortable and he was slowly able to trust me...


~when tears are good~


when i first met Mark, i would cry when leaving him for another week

i would literally be in tears before i reached the end of the lane and cry on and off the whole 50 minutes it takes to get home.
then it stopped...of course i missed him...but i felt secure enough that i no longer cried.

then last weekend, after three wonderful weekends together i found myself crying again.
i think...no, i know the healing we went through after our two weeks apart has only strengthened our relationship. last weekend we returned to keyhaven marshes for the weekend. the first time we had been back since our blip had me driving away only half an hour before the new year.

we both admitted we felt anxious about it, as if the place could only hold bad memories and negative energies.
we made a point of burning white sage to purify and cleanse us, the motorhome and the general area of negative energies and i truly believe it worked.
we had the most perfect weekend, the weather was shocking, heavy rain, howling gales but we were cosy inside, talking , laughing, listening to music and watching films. in the morning we went to our favourite cliff top cafe and had breakfast and then our separate ways. usually i would have followed him back to his lane near Wickham but Babette had failed her MOT and i wasn't happy driving her down the motorway and home again alone.

but his last words to me were 'i will phone you later...' he then followed me down the road, beeping his horn as i turned off to the old town quay

and did he phone?

he did...of course he did.
and i now get two maybe three calls a day from him


when i think back to the man i first met and the man he has now become my heart just bursts.
while he is not the kind of man to be overly affectionate in public, i know...i only have to look into his eyes to see the love he holds inside and how much he has changed for the good.



~the wheel turns~

so its imbolc

a turning of the great wheel of the year

everything is waking up, the days getting longer and lighter...its not overly noticeable but its happening.
in my tiny flower bed in my old flagstone courtyard there are green spikes pushing up through the earth and a few tiny snowdrops showing their faces to the cold.

here on the cobbles its a bitterly cold day with a good wind blowing up river off the Solent and working its way along the cobbles. i am squeezing in a mug of tea before i have to change out of my comfy clothes and return to work...only for two hours but i am increasingly unhappy at having to drag myself out at 4pm and getting back around 6.30.

so, a few weeks have passed from my last post and my heart is full of the joy that is my relationship with my North Star.
i find myself smiling...smiling a lot...something i rarely did in my old relationship.

the first weekend after our 'blip' and what Mark calls our 'first argument' started a little awkwardly and i was not surprised, but it only took a few hours together to return to how we were. we went vintage shopping and visited S and S in their new little home. I stayed over and cooked dinner for us before making my way home down the motorway.
from that point i started to get 2-3 phone calls a day from him and i could feel the difference in him.
the second weekend, we again stayed in the motorhome near Wickham and it was at this point he finally, honestly, admitted his feelings for me, saying he thought he would never love again...

i know...
right?

this man, this beautiful man, so damaged by an appalling upbringing and two horrible marriages was finally able to put voice to his feelings and open up. i had to ask just one question

why now? after so long?

his reply

because i trust you


~time~


where does the time go? 

how has it been since my last post all these days~weeks have drifted away?
how easy it is to let the time drift away like leaves in a slowly moving stream and forget...

of course not everything is forgotten...

i sit here, tucked under my covers in bed, up in the roof of my old home overlooking the cobbles, my hand curled around my second mug of tea, Classic FM, as usual, coming from my radio. its just getting light and the sky over the old town quay is dark grey and full of rain.

time passes quickly in my new life. 
i have been here for nearly a year now and my life has its weekly routine of work, shopping, housework, my studies and taking my mum out and about. in the evenings its all about cooking and getting myself settled down with a book and my ever present radio.

my weekends are all about my tramper.
my beautiful, blue eyed, rough voiced, truck driving boy

we have just passed through the most difficult week of our 14 month relationship, when it had reached the stage of perfection i could have only dreamed of a year ago. we spent the most wonderful nine days together over yule and on new years eve in the space of a couple of hours it went from perfection to him nearly ending it and last week we barely spoke.
i wont go into it now, the hurt is still there but slowly fading for both of us and please don't think badly of him for he did not betray me nor i him.
i was distraught although sent him my usual messages so he knew i was still here and committed to him, i ate very little and by Friday was looking dreadful and struggling to hold the tears at bay.
By that evening i was heartbroken and went to bed in tears having convinced myself it was all over~within ten minutes my phone rang and in the next 20 hours it rang another six times and each time we talked and slowly started to laugh again. in the day following we spoke again twice and made arrangements for next weekend. 

so we survived~despite everything we still missed each other and love has won.
while i never doubted i wanted the relationship to survive he needed time to think and i feel joy that he chose to fight for us and not just give up as an easy option.

yes~our relationship had become perfection and see what he bought me for Christmas...


meet Babette

he knew i have had three previously and thought how suited i am to them...we drove all the way to Suffolk for her, a 440 mile round trip.

so we have had our first, serious blip in our relationship and survived




~loving~

loving 
such a small word
such a word to be easily used with no meaning
or misunderstood

in reality a huge, complex beastie that can equally tear the heart apart and bring fathoms of joy all in one day

i love my tramper
i love him unreservedly
i didn't go looking for love
but i found it in him



i imagine some other woman meeting this man would have walked away or caused him to walk away months ago

he is complex, very complex

he has a difficult history, a victim of child abuse, life spent in children's homes, reform school when the authorities didn't know what to do with him, a step father who 'encouraged' the older brothers to take him out and fight him, two failed marriages, one at 19, where both women openly cheated on him.
he knows of the abuse perpetrated on his older siblings but he can only remember violence perpetrated against him, although after nearly a year with this man i have picked up on odd little things that make me wonder if the abuse was more and he has it effectively blocked. 


he admitted that he has been keeping a wall between us but last weekend, after a lovely day spent together I finally asked if the wall was still there

'what do you think?'
'we both want the same things'

this 'Markism' means, no, the wall is coming down
its taking time, its slow, but its coming down, tiny piece by tiny piece.
I have, against my nature, been deliberately keeping this relationship slow, not rushing, not demanding, not pushing.
I need him to know that not all women are the same. That I am different.
I know he trusts me now, it took months for him to trust, but he does.

On a few occasions his guard has dropped and he has said he loves me. When I say a few , I can count the times on one hand but at the same time I know he does by other means or the way he will look at me.

Last night we had FaceTime and at the end of the call he said 'well i better let you go' but instead of ending the call he sat there a if he wanted to say something else, I could almost hear the words forming in his mind, hiding behind his lips, his eyes. Then he smiled and laughed and said goodnight.
I know what words were behind this, I could feel them, hear them whispering to me, almost taste the words he was holding onto.

*****
when I think of his past it breaks my heart.

he has a photo he keeps out of him meeting the boxer Henry Cooper when he was about 14. In order to deal with the beatings he got from his three older brothers he took up martial arts and I think this photo has something to do with it. Looking at the picture of this young Mark, I think of all he had gone though by this time and I could weep.


Early in our relationship he kept telling me that I should be with someone more educated and when he knew he was going to meet my Dad he asked if he would be disappointed that I was not with an educated man. I explained its not the education that makes the man for me and my Dad wants me to be with someone who makes me happy, whether they are educated or not. It took some months but he finally stopped asking these questions~he finally realised that he is the man I want in my life.

Finally, after meeting two brothers and their partners, I knew he was serious when I finally, in the summer, met his youngest daughter and her partner and his adopted daughter...he brought them up as a single parent and loves these two girls so very much and I think he had to be sure of me before meeting them and a few weeks ago he told me that his youngest has told him that she is glad he has met me. 

Trust

this damaged man trusts me with everything and you could say that this is his way of saying he loves me




~when two becomes one~

I am back at my little old quay eyrie after two weeks travelling around with my tramper , spending time in Glastonbury, on the Kennet and Avon canal and at our new bolthole in Keyhaven, only a few miles from my home.








i would love to say it was all sunshine and roses but it was far from that~putting two independent people together in a motorhome 24-7 for the first time was hard.
very hard
on a couple of occasions I was close to coming home...yes really!
because of serious issues from his childhood, combined with trust issues from his adult life he has problems with anxiety, change, commitment and a whole host of other things I can only really guess at and so mark found some things difficult. I picked up on this and so gave him space when I was able...setting up my deckchair outside and reading with tea, or walking myself into Glastonbury from the campsite.
He has told me that when he is being moody its because of him, not me or us...just him and I trust him in this. he is the kind of man who, if something isn't working, he will walk. he hasn't walked and we survived an almost difficult two weeks where I did nearly walk. But I refuse to give up on him because of his problems while at the same time I refuse to just lay down and take it.
This is a revelation to me and shows me how much I have grown, how independent I have become...that I can acknowledge my control over my life and to refuse to hang on to something that isn't working.
Luckily it is working and I hope given time the trust he says he has in me will develop and he will feel able to start to break down the barriers he has built around him and that we both know we got through the two weeks without actually walking away from the relationship I think will help strengthen our bond.


Today I am home.
I had the opportunity to go into Fareham today with Mark but chose to come home and get myself settled and will possibly join him later back in Keyhaven...he has fallen in love with this area and has decided that it is where he is going to park up at weekends with Big Bertha.

I have to say its lovely being back home, in my own space, with my belongings around me.
I unpacked, sorted washing and went out to buy the essentials, bought my usual latte from Drifters, here on the cobbles and been listening to my usual classic fm.




I am in autumn/winter nesting mode now, I have brought down some blankets from upstairs to lay over my seats....a red and white wool blanket with Nordic style patterns and a vintage Welsh blanket in greens and blues, I have candles burning in my Victorian cast iron fire place, incense burning and lamps on rather than the main light. Voices are still coming up from the cobbles and rain is starting to fall...we have been told to expect some wild weather tonight and tomorrow as the tail end of the hurricane is coming in.






~turning~

here I am again
 sitting at my little kitchen table, watching the sun cross the old walls and roofs that scale the hill of the old town quay behind me.

this past year has seen my spiritual path wander and drift, my rituals and garden fires, my oracle and tarot readings, my pathworkings...all slowly died away.
I think mostly because I am becoming used to a new life, a new pace of living, the everyday things such as housework, paying bills, shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing, my studies, fitting in work, my weekends with Mark. 

however deep down things have not changed. I am still feeling the changes in the air, the shift as the great wheel of the year turns, the shift in how the air around me smells.
its subtle, very subtle but I still feel it.

it started back in june, just a hint, a feeling.
this hint slowly grew and I started feeling it distinctly in a change in the air in the early morning. one morning I walked round to my car to load up some things to take to Mark and given it was 6am on a Saturday...the cobbles does not come alive until well after 9am even in the summer...I wore my boxer shorts and a jumper for the two minute walk. the air held that slight chill that always tells me that autumn is around the corner.
now on the last day of august that chill is a tangible thing, I can almost see it, hear it. the chill becomes very obvious in the early hours and I find myself slipping on a jumper or poncho while I boil my kettle for my first tea of the day, the sun is shining but the blue sky isn't really holding the same kind of heat as it has been this summer and the evenings are bringing its own kind of chill.

even the cobbles feel different
its almost like a fading away as the tourists are slowly leaving and the little café two doors away, Drifters, where Mark and I buy our sunday morning latte, is only two months away from closing for the winter
by the end of October the cobbles will once again come under the sole ownership of the cobble dwellers, the seasonal cafes and seafood shacks will close and only locals will pass through this old cobbled lane, while the dwellers will wonder with each storm and high tide if the waters will reach out and cover the cobbles leaving us stranded as it has in the past...

~the other*North Star~


of course I couldn't update my blog without talking about Mark

the man who I call my 

North Star

yes, he is still in my life, more strongly than when I last posted about him being in my life.

my anxiety about our relationship has eased a great deal. When I first met him he told me that being with a tramper is hard...

hang on, some of you may not know what a tramper is...

a tramper is English slang for a long distance lorry driver who will sleep in their truck.

My love has been a tramper for about 25 years, he drives a 44 tonne, six axel, 18 wheeled truck Monday to Friday, driving from port to port delivering shipping containers full of goodness knows what, eating and sleeping in his truck where he has a bed, fridge, microwave.
its a solitary existence, regulated by strict time constraints, although new telephone technology means he is able to talk with his fellow trucker friends during the long journeys. At the end of the day he will either have parked up on an industrial estate or in a lay-by for the night and either fall straight asleep or watch something on his iPad that I will have downloaded for him at the weekend...this week he is onto season two of Game of Throne!

so yes, he told me at the beginning that being with a tramper is hard...and oh my it is.
we rarely speak on the phone during the week, relying on messages on our phones or the odd email, when he forwards me something. So much depends on the frequency of our daily messages...how busy he is, how tired he is at the end of a day, some days its such that he just needs quiet time and I may get nothing more than one or two messages.
Months ago that would have sent my anxiety levels through the roof...as my previous post has shown. These days I know better. we have spoken about it, of his need for quiet time for whatever reason and he reassured me that its nothing to do with me or us...he just needs some time.

But our relationship is thriving and strong

since I last wrote about our life I have met one of his other brothers and his girlfriend, on their canal boat. we have been there twice, sleeping in Big Bertha and spending the day on the canal. More importantly I have met both his daughters, not because I asked to meet them, I didn't want to push him, but because he felt it was time, he wanted us to meet each other. This it is how its been...I let him lead the way when it is comfortable for him. He has many barriers built up around him, has trust issues because of being badly hurt, it takes time for him to trust, this is why I follow his path.

My North Star

one of our favourite times is when we have our tea and toast in bed, either here or in Big Bertha, we sit and talk, joke and hold hands


this rough, gruff, tattooed tramper, with language to make a dockers hair curl, with his long hair and beard, whose beautiful blue eyes and smile gives his true soul away, who has vowed to be faithful and true to me...I love him so very much



All things share the same breath~the beast, the tree, the man, the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.



Chief Seattle






Johney Gaul~1915

Johney Gaul~1915
1890-17 september 1918~France