Spring Equinox Energies

The Equinoxes mark the point of balance of the year: dark and light, cold and warm, hibernating and being active, seeds and growing. Never before has a Spring Equinox seemed so opposite what was happening around me.

I spent the day in mourning, for everything that had gone. The week saw the gradual disintegration of routine as activity after activity was cancelled, shops went crazy, and on Friday itself schools were shut. Within a few days all non-essential services had followed.

In that serendipitous way that our inner and outer worlds meet, I was watching Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince for the first time in bits over that week. (We now have all of them, but while we have watched the first three rated PG together, I have only slowly been watching the rest rated 12 when M isn’t around… I have to make sure they work okay!) In the words of Harry to Hermione and Ron at the very end of the film, he looks out from Hogwarts over the view of lake and mountains, knowing he is never coming back, and says a line that is not in the book: “I never realised how beautiful this place was.”

I felt like that about my world too. Yes I have always appreciated its visual beauty, but there is so much else that is beautiful in its own way that I had taken for granted. Mourning felt right to me, to acknowledge all that had been good and was now gone. Yet to be doing so at the Spring Equinox, when I was expecting a time of newness, seemed particularly opposite. I have done my winter, I wanted to be out, active, doing things.

I wasn’t able to write anything then. Yet a week later I am not only seeing a new energy, but can trace it back, how it was incubating through the winter period, unrecognised, ready to burst forth.

This is the energy of friendship. Community. Working together and supporting each other. New creative ideas bursting forth. Thinking about what is important, what is really needed. All things our world desperately needs.

Even in my own life, I have an autistic daughter who was asking for home schooling for months and now has her wish – and not only is she thriving, but I am constantly learning new things about her so that when she does return to school I can support her better. My own projects are so far mostly not put on hold as I feared, but finding new expressions of creation. I am learning to hula hoop, studying homoeopathy in greater depth, and finally daring to not wash my hair to see if I can restore balance while there are so few people to see it. Yes there have been some frustrations as we adjust and try to help each other, but there is always a solution when looked at from a new angle.

And meanwhile, if the only exercise we can get is in our gardens or locally, I see so many small spaces being cared for and appreciated that haven’t had that kind of attention for several years. A new balance for the world? It could take some time, but I feel there is more hope than for several years that the major changes needed for humans to live in harmony with each other and the Earth might be able to grow out of this.

Moving Kitchens

Some people are really organised. They make plans for their home, carry them out, and finish the job all within a few months. We don’t seem to manage that. We make plans, then discover something else that has to be done first, then find something that has to be fixed, then escalate the plans, then circumstances change and the plans have to be put on hold, eventually we return to the plans to find we have to remake them… you get the picture!

Today we moved into our new kitchen. We drew up the plans for it in around 1998. We have had the kitchen units in our shed since about 1999, thanks to a salesman who said (when we wanted advice on plumbings and electric points) we could order the kitchen and they would store it for us until the room was ready…

The outer shell for the kitchen was completed in 2001 – the two year delay being caused by the realisation we had to build the garage / workshop first because what was there was completely unsound. We had some help for both of those major undertakings, thank goodness! Since then we have done almost everything ourselves, including bricklaying, repointing, plastering, plumbing, electrics… I won’t go into all that has happened in the past decade, but a boundary wall got built in the garden, a chimney got rebuilt, the living room got stripped to bare brick and wood floor and then was redone in true Edwardian style, and the garden, garage and workshop all got some attention as well as many other smaller jobs. We planned to get to the kitchen some day, but lets face it, ours worked, sort of, and there were only the two of us. Finishing the extension was not the highest priority in our lives.

Then I got pregnant, and we knew we had to sort the house out. I got people in to get the room plastered and floored, then the fitting of the kitchen was started the week before M was born. Plans had to be remade slightly along the way (luckily we still loved the units and worktops!) and M accompanied us to tile shops as a tiny baby asleep in her car seat. Finally another year on it nears completion and we have had the grand move into the new space. Not finished, the old sink and drains had to come out before the new cabinets could be fitted on the other side of the wall, some painting and tiling needs finishing, there isn’t a bin under the sink yet, but it’s good enough to move into.

So what have I learned through this long process? Above all, how to hold onto a dream. That it is possible to rekindle the energy and enthusiasm for a project and complete it with love. Acceptance that we are only human and not everything can be done at once. Learning not to blame anyone else for what I cannot do myself. Forgiveness for when we fall short of the high standards that we set ourselves. That beauty is possible everywhere and is eternal; it doesn’t matter how delayed it is, the beauty is still there to be found and is what lasts. Even in a kitchen, especially where my stained glass is reflected onto the wall late afternoon in winter. I’ll try and get a photo of it when it returns in a month or so.