Wednesday, 24 September 2014
From the heart
The kitchen is quiet bar the sound of two snoring dogs. A soft rain is falling outside onto the brilliant red of the Virginia creeper that threads through the trees in the garden. Birds flit in and out of it to grab sunflower seeds from our feeder. Peace.
Last night's new moon had me thinking about what I'm carrying into Autumn and I am astounded, still, at how much I love my life. How happy it makes me.
Charlie and I have been together 13 years now. We met 12 years before that, briefly. I knew the moment I looked into his eyes that he was for me except then, he wasn't. Couldn't. But I look in his eyes now and I still know he's for me. He is the activist in the family. The man who wears his big heart on his sleeve and follows it at any cost. Yeah...a Leo. We have navigated perilous waters over the years and sometimes come close to drowning but we are for each other and we always will be. He is one of my greatest teachers and I love him. Especially on the rare days when he drives me insane.
I first saw Evie's face in a tiny photo eight years ago this week. In that moment, in the unromantic surroundings of a decrepit council building in Chippenham, next to the photocopy machine, she went from complete stranger to my true soulmate. I speak only from my own experience but trust me when I say, your child is your child is your child however they come to you. I'm crying writing this because sometimes I just overflow with the love of her. She is the strongest, fiercest, most loving, most fascinating person I know and I get to be her real mother.
Dooley, the black dog who told me he was on the path to me two years before he arrived, my four-legged angel. Zoey, who has taught me the nature of healing in so many ways. (They are lying together on a cushion now, nose to nose, playing.)
My family. Parents, step-parents, my beloved sister-aunt, step-daughter (when she's home from uni), three brothers, sister, nieces, nephews...all within 30 minutes of this kitchen. We are not a family that spends all hours in each other's company - maybe because we're so geographically close - but we love each other hugely. We've all settled here. Near.
This crooked, shabby little cottage. A converted grain mill, hundreds of years old. Inhabited by us and (other) wildlife. So much a part of the landscape now that it's almost a tree. Full of light and air in the summer; dark, warm and cave-like in the winter. I watch the clouds of rooks and jackdaws fly around us in the late evening and the knowledge that generations among them were born in our house, in the chimney, makes my heart sing. Crow family, always.
The land we live on. A mix of National Trust property and privately-owned land. Woods, streams and fields that allow me to sit and listen, talk, learn with them. It covers about two square miles and in that space live 26 people, six of them children. Among them are farmers, artists, teachers, musicians, ecologists, photographers, activists.
My job. I work for a non-profit working internationally on behalf of marine mammals. Our passion is ethics, and achieving legal status, non-human personhood for cetaceans.
And in all this abundance I get to feel strong and alive. Loved and loving. Alight with all the what ifs of it all.
All of this empowers me when I move out in the world - physically or virtually. I channel all of this because I am all of this. When I stand in front of you I am human/dog/tree/stone/stream/crow/love. Some may choose to see my life as small but that is simply not possible. I am part of the vastness and in peace, no tangles, I feel it flow through me and on to whoever or whatever is next to me.
Choose carefully to what and to whom you stand close. Choose what you channel. The world is full of beauty when you see that the decision is yours.