Dawn embrace

It's early, 4 am. It's going to be a good day, the darkness is a kind of blue.

A spooky mist is rising from the lake. As the sun starts to brighten in the east it gradually takes on a warm tinge. It is very cold but the wafts of mist promise the warmth of summer. The small cauldron of the lake is steaming into life this May morning.

Two swans slowly make their appearance. At first they move closer together as if in an embrace and then they head in different directions, one south, one north.

Out of the darkness the day fully arrives as usual and all the sleepyheads begin to emerge everywhere and greet their loved ones.


Tea break time and I am oblivious........

A short walk. A long talk to myself.

I probably started blogging out of a sense of loss. Getting older, letting go of my Dad, my office in the city closing due to the recession, the reality of redundancy looming. A day came when I found myself working from home, alone, albeit with regular dashes across the country for face to face meetings. My new office was just a laptop and a mobile phone a far cry from the luxury of a group of colleagues and a swivel chair.

An office in the city created a balance in my life. The city was for work, the country was home.
I could spend lunch time browsing for books, meet a friend in a busy cafe, make a salad plate in our kitchen and share weekend stories with other staff. Now I found myself eating alone, staring out the window into a field full of thistles and trying to figure out how to have an office tea break with yourself?

Before long the birds and I began to chatter over a cup of coffee and found a shared rhythm in our day. Animals turned up while I ate my sandwiches and I became curious about their lives and families. Weather clouds constantly changing, brought light and shade to my life as they drifted overhead and past my patch.

On these days when I work from home, I look an absolute fright! Today for my elevenses I strolled across the fields, and got wet hair and mud on my shoes. There had been so much rain and I squished along the sodden trail talking away to myself. Wet hair, red face, a fat finch on a branch, tiny drops of rainbow colours on the leaf tips. Bliss!

This is how my morning break goes now and for a while at least I am oblivious to work and the rest of the world.........


The soulful teapot

This week I was driven indoors by pelting rain and cold weather. The burden at work also increased and my poor old soul was missing the daily walks and photographic meditations. I love leaving my fuzzy head at home as I set out to relax, open my heart and let nature lead me.

Too long indoors I began to wonder, can so called "inanimate" objects have soul after all?  Is the soul quality of an image coming from the subject or coming from the observer? Would I still find joy in the ordinary and the everyday if I couldn't get out?

This handmade teapot given to me as a birthday gift many years ago by my husband is much loved. (Well yes, both he and the teapot, are much loved!) This teapot is a big one and tends to be in use only when there are crowds around and it gets handled and admired by family and friends. The children amongst us are intrigued and delighted by the tiny teapot handle for the lid. The pot's weight is perfectly balanced in two hands between two essential handles. Little chips have broken off over the years, it has numerous little tea stains on it, but nothing ever daunts the character of this teapot, it is one proud mama!!

It was made by Helena Brennan a mother of 6 children, grandmother and full time potter and teacher who blazed a trail for functional ceramics in Ireland. I wonder does she know how a handmade teapot like this can become a prized and memory filled vessel for a whole generation? I wonder does she know how much pleasure her hands and her labour have given to so many down through the years?

I don't put much store by owning "stuff" but I always treasure the connection between the hand, the heart and the soul.