My Father’s House

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They say that home is where the heart is. I have no doubt that this is true. In which case my home was imprinted in my heart before I was even born. It is my father’s home, my grandmother’s home, my great grandfather’s home and for a short while, my grandfather’s. Despite efforts to deny it many times, this is also my home. Some things we decide in life. Other things are decided for us. This home belongs to the former category. My heart home never stops calling me to return home. It’s voice is relentless. Sometimes louder, sometimes a silent echo, but always there.

Physical places, you see, are not just physical places. They may appear derelict and abandoned to the human eye, but they are always inhabited. My home is a glorious ruin with a soul that cries out and a garden that needs tending. Soul tending sometimes feels like an overwhelming and fearsome responsibility. Until I close my eyes and listen to my beating heart. I imagine myself sitting in the grand salon at the piano with Frederic Chopin playing. Once again I am restored. I have returned home.

Digging Deep

The moon, with all its recent rampant beauty and activity, has had a lot to say for itself. Last year, whilst on a country walk in Herefordshire, I caught sight of a red moon, sitting alongside the setting sun. It took my breath away; this fleeting moment of glory reflecting all of the wonder of nature and human nature.

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We are so many things, yet we are none.
A daisy chain of crowning moments,
A buttercup sequence of “love you”, “love you nots”,
We are strong like oaks, guardians of the forest,
Reaching upwards toward that vast expanse.

We are soft and gentle willows, bending, flexing,
Caressing the earth with veils of tears.
We are red hot suns and red hot moons,
Taking turns to make appearances.
We are Each and Every One
Blinking, blazing, dancing, gazing,
Unsinkable, unstoppable.

Image provided by Andrew Walters from South Australia on 4-4-15.

Love, the common thread

March 15th, 2015, Mother’s Day, UK.
Love is our theme. Great Mother love. The universal umbilical chord of love that binds us, frees us, enables us to be who we are. As daughter, mother and grandmother, how I give and receive love is my greatest lifelong ongoing journey of enquiry and experience. It is an occupation which rewards beyond measure. Yet love also lies far beyond occupation, feeling state, or our own or others’ understanding of the how, the what or the why. And so today, regardless of our ‘status’, I honour us all – mothers, fathers, daughters, brothers, sons alike for doing the best that we can. We are one and the same. I honour the mother in you as I honour the mother in me. I am enough.

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There is a common thread running through the rivers of blood and the rivers of love, an invisible thread; love is our bond. It keeps us grounded deep to the bowels of the earth and enables us to soar high through the sky on a wing and a prayer.  Invisible to the naked eye, it is a mere drop in the ocean; that very drop without which the sea would not be the sea.  It is the one and the whole. Love has every name and no name. Nestled deeply in the cloud of uncertainty, love never doubts. Love is the familiar in the unfamiliar.   Love lies hidden from our judging mind’s eye; it remains ever patient, faithful, still and present, naked within our human heart.

Awards

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

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I am pleased to inform that I have nominated you for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’. The details can be found here: http://4yearoldadult.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

4yearoldadult.wordpress.com
has nominated me for the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’. I am grateful and very honoured by his nomination. Apologies for the length of time it has taken me to complete this exercise. The rules for the award are:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and add their link to your blog
2. List the award rules so your nominees will know what to do.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers.
5. Contact your nominees and provide a link to your post.
6. Display the award logo (button) on your blog, whether on your sidebar or about page, or special award page.

Some random seven facts about me are mentioned in the following:

1. I was born in the UK, but my first spoken language is Polish

2. My favourite month of the year is May; my least favourite November

3. The first book I ever read was Heidi by Johanna Spyri

4. I adore Italy, the land of pizza, pasta and dolce far niente

5. Krakow in Poland is my soul city

6. The quality I find most attractive is an excellent sense of humour

7. I am a great rule breaker

Which leads me on rather neatly to nominees. My list is too long and the blogs I follow don’t fall into the category as prescribed above. Rather than giving up and not completing this exercise, here is a slight adaptation and seven blogs I recommend that I follow regularly.

Brenda Ann Babinski at PastLife Tourist and Pieces of Me

Susannah Conway at susannahconway.com

The Culture Monk

Davidjii.com

Mastin Kipp, The Daily Love – thedailylove.com

Ian Lawton, Soulseeds.com

Amy Hewel, amyhewel.com

“He Came For You”

December 24th 2014, Midnight, Holy Trinity Brompton, London

“If you remember nothing else from tonight,  just remember these four words.  He came for you”  

May, 1959 

She was so excited, she barely slept a wink. Today was the day she had been waiting for.  The white dress and veil hung close by her on a hanger by her bed. So close that she could touch it and feel it.  Tantalisingly close. On the floor, next to her, stood a pair of white shoes. She knew deep in her heart of hearts that all of her life had been a preparation for this day; stepping into this white dress, this lace veil, these white shoes.  As she lay there, she could feel her heart bursting open with joy. Today was the day. The moon filled the room with magical light, resting on her dress, making it shine even more brightly.  She wished she could make the hands on the clock move faster. As soon as dawn broke, she leapt out of bed and got dressed.  Carefully, she stepped into her dress, veil and shoes.  Steadfastly, she turned the knob to her parents’ bedroom next door.  There was not a second to waste.  She needed to make sure her mum and dad were awake.   The time had come.

 Sunday, June, 1955

A gloriously sunny family fun day.  A day of exploring pastures new.  Too many buses to remember.   Travelling… all day long.  She loves walking, especially when holding the hand of each parent on either side, but now her little feet are too tired to carry her any longer.  Her father sweeps her up on his shoulders and she wraps her arms around his head for the final leg home.  There is no place she would rather be.  This is a place of great honour and she knows it.  She immediately feels ten, twenty, no, who knows how many, feet tall.  She is sitting on the shoulders of a giant.  She wraps her arms around him even more tightly.  Her father, sensing her weariness, points to the night sky.  She has never, ever, seen anything more beautiful.  A dark blue velvet blanket, peppered with twinkling, shining lights.  “You see that star up there”,  her father says, “that one up there, the brightest one you can see?  That is my gift to you.  It is yours.  Whenever you look up, remember that.

20th May, 1991

She receives a telephone from her mother, early in the morning.  “It’s your father”, her mother say.  “I don’t think he’s very well.  I have called an ambulance”.  “I’m coming right over”, she replies, in a semi sleepy state.  She hangs up the receiver.  Immediately her whole body tightens and contracts.  She turns to her husband, a deep unfamiliar roar arising from her belly…a voice she has never ever experienced before.  A scream that seems to arise from the very bowels of the earth.  She arrives alone at her parents’ house and goes into the kitchen, where her mother is sitting in a bewildered state.  The ambulance is still outside.  Her mother asks her to close the kitchen door.  Something is happening upstairs.  The ambulance men have asked her mother to stay downstairs, in the kitchen.   Moments later, they hear the thud of feet thumping down the stairs.   Her father is being carried out into the ambulance, he is all zipped up.   “I called the ambulance, but your father was already dead”, she hears her mother say.  In that precise moment, it feels like all the lights in the world go out at once – sunlight, moonlight, candlelight, twilight…all extinguished by the velvety dark blanket of death and sky.   She knows now is not the time to surrender to deep grief and sink under that velvety blanket.  Her mother, husband and her children are all looking up to her.  Her brothers with their newly married partners, have just arrived and all are gathered at the family house.   At this moment in time, her mother, children, husband, brothers, they need her like never before.  Time to step up.

22th May, 1991, Morden and Sutton Cemetery

It is the night before her father’s funeral.  All preparations have been made.  She is sleeping in her eldest son’s bedroom, where there are two single beds, to keep a watchful eye on her mother.  Lucy, the family labrador, who has always slept alongside her,  has been sleeping on her mother’s bed ever since she arrived.   Weary and burdened with grief, she finds it impossible to get to sleep.  She turns to look up at the night sky.  There is only one star shining that night.  The brightest star in the sky.  Peace falls on her immediately.  Her father has come to her to let her know he has arrived home, safely.  There is nothing to fear.  She feels herself expand, the two year old, sitting on her father’s shoulders.  Feet firmly on the ground, hands touching the sky.   This is what it feels like to be a child of the Universe.  This is what it feels like to be the Christ-child, the child-in-waiting.  This is what it feels like to turn around and come home.   Earth mother, heavenly father.    There is no better feeling.  All you need to do is look up, reach out and touch…

 25th December 2014 

Four words, one bright star in the sky.

“He came for you”

Life has a deep and simple purpose.  To feel this one precious moment.  To stay still, long enough to ponder, wonder at and behold this child King in my heart.  To enter this sacred, simple, humble stable.    I have travelled far, to the furthest star and back.  Here I am dearest Lord, my Prince of Peace.  Ready, willing, waiting.  Thank you for welcoming me home, time and time again.  I am yours and you are mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intuition – A Love Letter

Twenty-two years ago, almost to the day, I attended a workshop run by a charming lady called Judith, a relationship counsellor, somewhere in north London. I remember the event being tremendous fun as well as profoundly useful. At the time, my first husband and I were in the throes of separation, or ‘conscious uncoupling’, as it is now more affectionately known. Uncoupling, even with the noblest intention in the world, demands a great deal of courage and a humble and contrite heart. In my case, it also called for a lot of self-help workshops. Fans of Elizabeth Gilbert and Eat, Pray, Love will know exactly what I mean.

This morning, I stumbled across a handwritten self-addressed letter in a tattered brown paper envelope. Inside was a handwritten letter, a note to self, dated 23rd October 1992. The beauty and clarity of the message startled me. There’s something about heartfelt transparency that cuts straight to the chase. This is what it said:-

Dear Christina,

You have learnt this week that you must really listen to yourself and act on your intuition, without thinking too much about what could or could not be. You have learnt the importance of sharing with people, of accepting people as they truly are and of accepting all the irritations and niggles you feel.

The important thing is to use your voice even when you feel that what you have to say is not as good, not as important as anybody else’s. You have learnt that holding on to sadness only reinforces it and does not set you free. You have learnt that you are now ready to leave the nest, but in order to do so, you must try out your wings and spread them out.

You have learnt that nobody else will love you if you do not love yourself. You have learnt that honesty and love is the answer to everything – and acceptance. And you have learnt that you have many gifts inside you that you must now put into practice without expectation and holding on to other things.

With love,
From me to you xxx

Twenty-two years is a lengthy passage of time. Yet if you subscribe to the viewpoint that

“life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away”

time is highly over-rated. Time bears no significance in the wisdom school of living and loving. In these past twenty-two years, a very happy second marriage and second ‘conscious uncoupling’, divorce has taken place. Another opportunity to deepen the practice of acceptance, surrender to what was and allow new pathways to emerge. My commitment to keep my heart open to give and receive loves continues to be my guiding force. Great teachers really do appear when you most need them. Darren Eden from Devon, a master in the field of intuition, has picked up the mantle from Judith, the relationship counsellor from north London. Great teachers are the ones who walk unfalteringly alongside you when you are terrified of drowning, encouraging you to let go and dive deeper. Great teachers never tell you what to do, but they will hold up a mirror to your very own soul.

“Listen to yourself and act on your intuition” continues to serve me well. In this age of ‘click click information’, there is only one place to go, one voice to listen to.

“To thy own self be true”

but remember, always, there is no need to be a hermit. The world needs you and deep sea divers need companions too.

Self-love and self-compassion is a second by second, minute by minute, daily, forever practice. It requires self-discipline, self-acceptance, oodles of patience, always peppered with a huge dollop of humour. In return we receive a priceless gift, the heart of who we are. As we continue to disarm, lay down our inner defences, what pours through is pure intuition, a God-given gift, the inner voice of love and the sweet nectar of all relationships. Intuition is Me-shaped. The source of intuition, like the source of the stream which leads to the river which leads to the sea, starts with Me.

At the crossroads

Come sit and stay awhile with me,
Stay and do not fret.
Stay as still as still can be,
Courage! You’ve seen nothing yet.

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Halt the frenzy, stop the fight.
No hanging in shame, receive.
Turn around, look up, look up, look up.
At the crossroads of heaven and hell
We sit

Come sit and stay awhile with me.

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