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.
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.
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.
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.
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.