January Mindful Writing Challenge – days 26 to 31

And so here are the final five days ‘stones’…

Nov 20th 2010 Geary 028

26. Wild, wet Sunday. Gusting to gale force makes the roof flex. Safe and warm indoors. Elemental versus fundamental – eternal battle.

27. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out – awareness.

28. Decision made; a good decision just for having been made; a right decision. The time has come. The momentous in a moment.

29. Thoughts: fleeting, rippling, tangenting; serious, speculative, fearful, frivolous, uncharitable, affectionate. CONSTANT. But they are welcome to float by…

30. The new moon and Venus hang, ice-bright in a navy-blue sky. Cosmic signposts. Eternity fleetingly viewed.

31. Another day, another week, another month. The ups and downs of life keep it flowing, depositing good and bad, giving it flavour.

Thanks again to Satya at Writing Our Way Home  for setting the challenge. I’ve really enjoyed it.

Pebble 26

English: A Sleeping moon in a cap.

Insomnia – an old acquaintance. Lights on in some neighbouring houses tell me I’m not the only one who isn’t tucked up. I sit in the night-quiet living-room, sipping camomile tea, reading, hearing the ticking clock, waiting for my eyes to fall heavy. Hoping to get a couple of hours before dawn.

Welcome to the January River – a month of mindful writing

As I mentioned before, I’m taking part once again in A River of Stones (AROS) – a mindful writing challenge during the whole of  January . The plan is to write and post a small ‘stone’ every day throughout January. You can find out more from the Writing Our Way Home blog – just click on the link in the sidebar – or read my November 26th 2011 post. The idea is to pay attention to one small thing every day and to record any observations, thoughts, reflections…

Here is the first one:

Life indented in lines and tracks. Small, strong, dexterous. Softened by a loving Christmas gift of silken cream. My old, familiar hands.  

Last four stones on the advent trail…

Christmas in the post-War United States
Image via Wikipedia

22. I babysit my tiny granddaughter while her parents register her birth. It’s official – we’ve all moved on, moved up. My girl marvels at her new status – mother to a daughter – and we slowly absorb our new roles. A personal advent is over.

23. A final push and we arrive at our Christmas destination. Settle in to our son’s small flat – cramped but cosy –  and warmly welcoming.

24. Each present wrapped in reflection and placed with love. Offerings in recognition and gratitude – for memories and for joy to come.

25. Moments to remember what is lost and to anticipate what’s to come. But, mostly, a day of being in light, love, hope. A happy Christmas.

Stones for Advent – small winter gems of writing

Looking down the croft and across the loch to Trotternish ridge

As I mentioned here on Nov 26th, I’ll be taking part in Writing Our Way Home’s http://www.writingourwayhome.com  river of stones writing month in January. It was something I very much enjoyed doing last January and I’m looking forward to it.

But aside from that, I’ve also decided to do a collection of Advent stones and I’m publishing them daily on Twitter. I’m also going to post them here a week or so at a time. I may alter them slightly for the blog versions as I don’t have to be restricted to 140 characters but they’ll be mostly the same in both places. They won’t be of a particularly religious nature – although various festivals of light may be implied/referred to, but, I hope, they convey some of the sense of anticipation, of wonder, of light overcoming dark that a northern December inevitably brings. The ‘stones’ are meant to be a written record of a moment of stillness and observation – of mindfulness – experienced on that day.

So here goes – below are days 1 to 6 of my Advent stones. They can also be seen daily on Twitter with the hashtag #smallstone.

winter garden

One: Sun just up. Air crackles cold. A V-skein of greylags pass above, backed by the snow-topped Cuillin. Ravens line a roof ridge cawing complaints to the gannets opposite.

Two: Robin hopped in front of me on the hail-strewn pavement. I looked him in the eye, spirits lifted. Cheery wee bird.

Three: A Christmas baby. A scan of her in her liquid world. I anticipate my granddaughter’s birth – impatient to meet my little stranger.

Four: My  Magnificat – Love and loss; labour and rest; friends foes; ease challenge; children elders; sickness health; home and travel; want and plenty. A rich life lived and wisdom gained. Why me? Why not? Who knows? But I am grateful.

Five: Clouds, like smoke from a volcano, emerge from the top of Fingal’s Seat. Slats of light behind the hill. All that remains of the day.

Six: No fear of falling. No sense of a chill. Embracing the novelty, the season, the joy in the moment. Children and snow.