Yesterday was the coldest day of the year here in our little home. It was raining and dark and just right for a day of reflection and knitting. Of course I made bread and did a few other chores - there was quark waiting to be made and a batch of soap to be stored away, but my focus yesterday was inside my own head. I need days like that because it gives me a chance to think about my life and what I hope for the future. The way I live my life requires quite a bit of thought. I like to plan what I do, concentrate on chores and activities as I do them, and then think about the value of what I've done.
I have always been a thinker but now I believe awareness is a big part of how I live. Simple living isn't all about the practical things we do in our day to day lives. There is a philosophy that goes with my life that requires generosity and grace to be ever present. Gone are the days I lived on auto-pilot, now I give more and expect less. Now I am mindful that my thoughts and actions are familiar bedfellows.
I have told the story of the sampler I made in an older post, but for those of you new to my blog, I'll tell it again because that sampler was a great help to me when I first embarked on this brand new life. Basically, it is that I could easily remember recipes for making soap and food and many of the practical things I needed to do, but I didn't always remember the finer things like being kind or not having more than I needed. I thought about how I could remind myself, every day, about the values I wanted to develop. I wanted a less-is-more approach to become a significant part of my life. So I drew that sampler, stitched it and put it in a frame to look at every day as I went about my life. Having that there in my kitchen reminded me of the person I wanted to become. A few years down the track, I felt confident enough in myself and how I'd changed to be able to give that stitchery away, now it lives with Peggy in the USA.
I'm a bit dense sometimes. I need visual reminders. It's easy to become caught up in the practice of day to day living, of putting food on the table and being organised enough to do everything I need to do. But now the sentiments behind that sampler, those important values, are ingrained deep within me. Now all I need are days like yesterday when I can sit and knit and think about where I am heading and what is the gentlest and most interesting way to get there.