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

~a bedtime post~

Just checking in before i turn on audible...

i love audible, don't you?!

i only joined it last year and have only recently started to listen to it every night. I have so far gone through all of the Tiffany Aching~Wee Free Men books and now onto part two of Wyrd Sisters.

***

today was my day off and even better so is tomorrow~so i have no rush to put myself to sleep early for my 5am alarm. although i have to say even when i don't set my alarm i wake naturally at around 4am...as does Arthur who comes in and starts to talk in his little old man meow~asking to be let out into the dawn, where i think he has a regular morning route around the orchard.

this morning i let him out about 4am and as i was sleepily making my way back through the living room i saw movement across the driveway to the grass by the cattle grid (there to stop all the ponies and cows from getting in)...it was brown...a fox? no too big. i opened the window, as the glass is old and makes the outside seem a little distorted, no, it was a small roe deer, busy grazing alone. i wondered why it was alone, then went for my phone to hopefully get a photo when an early morning car went by, scaring it off. i am hoping this wasn't a random visit and i will see it again soon.

***


tomorrow i have to take my sweet old Arthur to the vets again~i am fighting a constant war with his remaining old teeth and when he starts to dribble i pack him in his travel box and take him the ten minute drive to our lovely vets for an antibiotic injection and a tube of special toothpaste. it means dipping into my savings again but for this sweet old man i will, if it makes him comfortable.
i have the radio on right now~classic fm, the little French windows are open as i think Arthur is out~he popped into the bedroom to sit on the bed with me for a while then vanished. at the moment he has taken to sleeping on my sofa so i don't have him close during the night and i must say i do miss him on my bed, to wake in the night and hear him purring. i am wondering if he maybe in a little pain with his teeth and preferring to be alone.


***

so i am here embracing my aloneness!

***
last evening at dusk i tentatively started my yoga practice again. i say tentatively because on Saturday i had the most dreadful hip pain come out of nowhere, which by sunday had me nearly totally immobile and had me awake through most of the night wondering if i would be able to even drive to work. 
but something inside me prompted to just do a couple of moves to see how i felt and as i moved into them i had bats flitting above me like little scraps of black fabric in the air~and the short practice felt right and comfortable...







~my small life or alone not lonely~


so here i sit

or rather recline

its 10pm and i am snuggled up in my big wooden 'princess and the pea' bed~so high that when i sit on the edge my feet can't reach the floor, Arthur is curled up beside me purring after spending most of the day in the garden or the grounds of the orchard that covers the hill to the front of the cottage.

today was my day off and i find myself embracing the luxury of not settling down to sleep as i am not back to work until next Wednesday~not turning on my 5am alarm feels good and i love having that extended 'weekend' feeling. 
this morning i woke at 5.30, not really realising it was that time, got up to open the little French windows so Arthur can make his early morning rounds, and then...went back to bed...to sleep some more...alone


I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
Henry David Thoreau


this encapsulates my small life

aloneness

my life isn't full of great things

but what is important about my small life is my aloneness and this is my great thing.

i love living alone

but i am not lonely

 what is important to me is living alone
my days and nights where i am only answerable to myself

i love spending my days moving to my own internal music, talking to myself or Arthur, making my own choices in everything.

i relish my mornings~especially on those days where i have nowhere to be~the greatest feeling is to wake up, make my way up to my kitchen and make a mug of tea and either sit in bed drinking it or take it into the garden and sit watching the birds and just...

be...

alone.





~my small life~ part one

i say part one because i am clock-watching and may not get time to finish all i have to say in my limited time this morning...

my small life...

i thought these words as i walked down the steep, narrow stairs from my kitchen, mug of tea in hand, still in pyjamas, wrapped in a yak wool shawl, birkenstocks keeping my feet off the chill of the floor.
it was 6am i was headed back to bed with my tea for a couple of hours before my day really begins.

as those words entered my mind i knew i had to blog those words and everything associated with them, so back in bed i turned my laptop on and opened blogger for the first time in a year.

my small life...

my life has changed so much, all in positive ways and i am incredibly happy. i still get the black dog lurking, i still get days where i wake with almost paralyzing anxiety, but i am happy and since moving into the cottage i am content.

what i realised yesterday while sitting in my garden with my habitual mug of tea, listening to the birds, watching Arthur stalk the grass, was that i am living my life, i am living my life exactly the way i want to live my life.

everything here is me, you will walk in and see me reflecting in everything you see...writing this i realise that i need photos to explain it better...but that will have to wait for now.

i am finally in what i actually call my dream home~i have lived in the new forest for my whole life and have ancestors in the north of the forest going back hundreds of years so i feel very connected to the land. i have my own garden and that dream woodburner and more  importantly i can have my home as i wish.

i know that sounds a bit crazy but after so many years with someone who became increasing more dictatorial its important to me and it wasn't something i felt i had over the last two years. i think it has taken me two years to get used to the idea that i can please myself, that i am living alone in my own home and don't have to seek approval for my choices. even choices in buying things.

my small life...

i can stack my books how i like on my three bookcases...no-one to tell me they are untidy
i can stay up beyond 9pm without an angry face asking why i am not asleep
i can  buy whatever i like without being told 'no we are broke' or 'you have to sell something to buy new shoes/bag'
i can wash up and leave my dishes in the drainer
i can listen to my music...loud
i can grow my garden as i want to and allow the 'weeds' to flourish...


on that note my clock is telling me its time to get dressed and drive my little car across the forest, so come back soon for part 2 

~all change...~

so...

here i am...

after a years break from blogging....

i was walking down from my kitchen and thought of my living 'my little life' and realized i needed to blog...

so here i am...sitting in my bed with a bucket of good strong yorkshire tea, still not using upper-case....i am sorry life is too short!

my life has changed a lot since my last post...

i am still with my NS i am glad to say and our relationship is stronger and more secure than ever. he has become more settled, open and after a couple of very, very rocky moments he finally...finally realized that i am not like the women who have become before-i am not out to lie, cheat and abuse him
also, please meet Arthur-i took him in as an illegal lodger who was living on the cobbles and fed by my neighbour and then myself, and i brought him with me when i moved to live out a splendid retirement in the country.

i am nearing the end of my classical studies degree-this time next year it will all be over. right now i am in revison mode with an exam in june and i am already in panic mode, feeling i know nothing...less than nothing! but already i am thinking of doing my masters with the utmost in support from NS. its a lot to think about which i will be doing over the next year while i finish my degree.

the biggest thing...well two things really...is that i moved from my home by the sea in february...at imolc actually which felt so perfect.
i only moved about 7 miles but it feels like a million miles. i am now back within the boundaries of the new forest national park, still only a few miles from my family home, living in, what i call 'splendid isolation'

i am not totally isolated, but close. 

i now live in a small village with a strong history to the witches of the new forest in a little cottage that was once a one up, one down to the groom who looked after the working horses of the farm here...the stables are still next door but now home to my neighbour and her cat.
best of all i have a garden, a little patio and a shed and...off road, private parking so i will no longer have my beloved car vandalised.


 the french doors lead to a small cosy living room and i wish you could see the patio now...

 the kitchen is up a short flight of steep, narrow stairs and the floor has the oldest and longest oak boards i have ever seen
 i was finally able to plant out my welsh rowan

 oh, did i mention the woodburner?!


the first weekend i put in a feeder and now get...robins, sparrows, blue tits, great tits, gold finches, jackdaws, dunnocks, starlings,  wood pigeons, magpies, the occasional nut hatch and rooks and also wood mice, shrews and bank voles

and oh my but i am happy.

my old flat became awful...the almost constant noise from the art gallery downstairs, noise late at night on the cobbles, noise and smell from the salon, it didn't feel like home and the final straw was just before Christmas i caught my landlady coming down from my flat after using my bathroom...within two weeks both NS and i were looking for my new home.

i didn't hold out much hope of finding anywhere and so was a little half hearted then one morning NS sent me a link to a small, independent letting agent and this cottage had literally been listed only an hour earlier. so i launched an email campaign, suddenly the cottage was listed as let so then phoned only to be offered the chance to view the next day.
i was one of four people who viewed it and after a very anxious week i was offered it because 'they knew i would stay and love it'

two weeks later i was in,,,the same day going down with flu
there then followed the very rocky time with my NS

but it passed

so here i sit, in my little bedroom, drinking tea, hearing nothing but bird song and the classical music from my radio, Arthur is fast asleep on the end of the bed...and i just realized with all this catch up i went off track from what i originally wanted to write...


~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




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