Those of you who often read this blog will know that my most regular posts are my ‘Small Things’ lists where I write about the little things that have been brightening up my week. It’s been a while since I have done one, and actually I have really missed the process of carving out time to remember and celebrate the good stuff. Our Western lives are so full of jobs to do and people to see and things to buy, that it can be very easy to let the simple sweet moments pass without very much appreciation. So, as I write this, on a day which I kept scarily free of jobs and chores and appointments, I’m relishing each sentence.
Seven September ‘Small Things’
*Trying new recipes – pearl barley salad, salt and vinegar potato skins, goats cheese pasta… All of them were Kinfolk recipes, and I wrote more about them on my Hand and Heart blog here.
*Seeing a seal off the coast at Morte Hoe last weekend. They always look so friendly! We took these photos earlier in the year on Lundy Island, just across the water from Morte Hoe.
*Eating fish and chips with Andrew and Jamie.
*Finishing a book! I love the feeling of finishing a book – it feels like completing a journey and fills you up. I’m quite a slow reader, and have been meandering through Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes all summer. It has provided a lovely sense of escapism and I really connected with Mayes’ experiences of making a home, working the land, cooking fresh produce and being in nature. I now need to choose which book to read next…
*September mornings: Lately, mornings where we live have been cool and misty. Often there is a cat sleeping up high on the stack of hay bales opposite our place, and often as I drive to the market I see the sun rise, gradually dispelling the mist and making the sky turn pink and silver.
*Thinking of Harvest. In my previous job, I worked in churches and schools and Harvest was by far my favourite celebration, surpassing both Christmas and Easter. To me, being thankful, worship, celebration and sharing are basic, vital parts of living. We need them all year around – for ourselves as individuals to flourish, and for our communities to function well. This year, I’m not involved with any of the church and school activities I was before, but I’m thinking about how best to engage with this often neglected festival.
*Learning the art of waiting… As I am in the first months of starting a business, I have far less money than I had before. I’m having to learn to wait for things: clothes, CD’s, bookshelves for my study, paint to decorate the room, even outings. I am also keen to be more ethical in my purchases, which means seeking out Fair Trade suppliers, sometimes paying a bit more, and waiting for delivery rather than running to Primark at the first whimsical sense of ‘need’ for a new top or shoes. All this has shown me just how much I am bought in to our consumerist, need-it-now culture and this has really challenged me to change the way I live. Waiting is giving me a deeper sense of appreciation for things, and helps me take life at a slower pace.
What has been making you happy this month?