Category: Aging Gracefully


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It has been a long time coming, this letting go of a home, land and a familiar way of life. For some, it may be a move to a larger home, a smaller home, an apartment or condo, either up-sizing or down-sizing. Sometimes there is excitement and a sense of delight in  accomplishment, sometimes it is bittersweet or a relief letting go because one must do so, responding to situations that must be released because they no longer work….which is, in my case, my story.

Sparing the details of my story, suffice it to say that challenges to sustainability and economics forced my hand for new decisions that required massive letting go and leaving the sanctuary of home where I have lived, loved and worked for almost 20 years. propelling me somewhat into the vast unknown and an unfolding new chapter in my life.

I am not alone in this scenario of releasing a home back to the bank and being in an in-between place while sorting, recycling, giving away, throwing out,  putting into strorage or taking with me to a new kind of sheltering in sharing space with good friends. Going from being a solitary to living in community as it were is a change, though now technically in our early elder years, we seem to have reverted to the experience of the 1960’s which I teasingly referred to as a return to the “commune”  except now we are older, saavy, more organized and purposeful as craftspersons, artists and musicians in retirement or semi-retirement.

I have a lovely little bedroom here at the home of dear friends, am sharing the downstairs studio of the artist mistress of this house for the purpose of continuing my own profession of teaching piano while surrounded by her magical and imaginative original-crafted dolls and colorful felting objects d’art.

I have moved from a surrounding woods of oak, to a surrounding woods of pine.

Kitchen window view (2)

window woods (2)

 

 

 

 

 

I am writing not at the kitchen table of my original home, but instead in a loft upstairs in the house overlooking the studio below and treetops above. The loft as an artist’s storage/workspace has now also become a  writer’s alcove.

Packing/moving is a traumatic experience, no doubt about it, and it has been my sole pre-occupation for well over a month, if not much of this year. Today, Friday, December 4th at 3:00 pm, I, by personal initiative, will “vacate” the house/home  and the familiar known way of life, locking the front door and moving 11 miles down the road and inland to the newly experienced sanctuary of warmth with dear friends and the elder “communal” sharing for a while. I am even after a month of packing, leaving things behind that have no place or space to go. Releasing….

Believe me when I say it has taken a great courage rising above fear to enter into such a release and leaving. This has been one of the “biggie” life challenges and change for me, and I know for many others in similar but unique circumstances. I expect there to be surprises along the way and things to learn and experience that I could not have learned otherwise had I stayed rooted and fixed in familiar predictable space.

I cannot help but ponder at this time a world in which so many on the planet are now on the move as true refrugees, not sifting and sorting and storing and recycling, but on foot, sleeping on the road and carrying with them only the clothes they wear and some small bundle of personal necessities.

Perhaps “Saying Goodbye to a Home” is a planetary theme.

 

YellowFrom Christine, The Greening Spirit

 

 

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JHS

For a number of years I taught a green internship called The Sacred Garden on herbal wisdom, natural foods and women’s spirituality. The yard and garden highlighted in this series was (and still is)  our classroom.

One meeting day, one of our lovely students came with a rolled up yoga mat, blankets and her usual bag of special necessities for all situations. She was very stressed out, dealing with several major life issues needing discernment and sorting. Life was chaotic with many competing voices demanding her attention.

What she desperately needed, she said, was to have a little time out from the group to think those things over. “Of course”, we said, and went into the material of the day, setting her free to be there but on her own.

Several hours later, during a break in our projects I noticed her car still here altho she seemed not to be. “Where is she?” I asked myself..with a little concern I might add.

Walking through the yard and edge of the bordering woods there was no sign of her. Not in the shed, or under the trees out back, or a bedroom in the house. Coming along the side of the back yard and behind the garden I wrote about in Part 11, between it and the sheltered thick hedgerow of the property’s boundary, I caught a flash of white low to the ground and deep into the green narrow hidden overgrown splinter of land.

And there she was, lying on her yoga mat, hat over her eyes, little camera in her hand, comfy blankets around her legs in the warmth of a bright sunbeam yet cushioned and sheltered by a carpet of overgrown green.

She had run away to think and balance and heal a tired soul. She had  run away to find her greening spirit. Which actually, she did.

I often find that when I too am burdened with concerns and decisions needing to be wisely made, that writing, dancing, playing music and “running away” into the green world and the rhythmic misty world by the sea lifts those burdens and brings clarity and calm. The music of wind and crickets and birdsong, and the coolness of “veriditas” in nature has such a loving Soul that longs to bonds directly with our own.

Maybe because it is that we and it are all one thing…… one Soul…

I have learned that seeking refuge by periodically “running away” into nature is absolutely necessary to keeping connected to that One Soul when we have wandered away.

I have also learned that by running away in this way, we actually come home…….

ps. Don’t forget to click *like* if you did, share this post or leave a comment. We writers LOVE to know!

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

Christine 3    More good stuff on my other blogs too!

http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

Evolution 1

As I go through old photos, deciding what to keep and what to toss  preparing for an eventual  move from my present sanctuary of over twenty years, I am surprised over and over again at the way I have gardened for many a season.

I found this series of photos of the small vegetable/herb and flower garden I created quite a while back at the side of my house. That was “then”.  Now, many years later, this space is totally hidden by a hedge of brambles and wild rose… a “Secret Garden” perhaps to be re-discovered someday by the next owner.

These photos are memories of the evolution and organized planning of a beautiful “life” and garden within neat and safe boundaries. I am pleased that I have had the opportunity of creating such a planned and organized sanctuary for the sake of art, beauty, healing and refreshment. However, this is a different time of life for me at present…at least for now… and my garden and my life are more un-planned, un-contained, alternative, sometimes un-kempt in areas and certainly wilder in soul/spirit…

So here it its. Memories of the evolution of an orderly garden:

#1. The Beginning Idea

Evolution 1

#2. Boundaries Three

Boundaries Three

Boundaries Three

#3. Deciding where to put the rosebush

Deciding where to put a rosebush

Deciding where to put a rosebush

Evolution 4

Evolution 3

#4. Rosebush planted! Now on to the flowers/veggies and herbs

evolution planted copy

#5.  Chives and herbs along the sides

Evolution Success

The borders and familiar sanctuary of my life are breaking down at present and so the my garden/my soul of “today” looks quite different than it did up there when life was a little more stable and predictable.

Now my garden is in moveable grow boxes and the back and side yards are left to nature’s plans…un-mowed and seemingly un-kempt…  my Soul and future a personal field and meadow defying predictability, certainty and stability for a while.

Garen Lush July 5, 2015

Yarden mow (2)     Yarden mow   back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wherever it is that I go you can be sure that it will have to be somewhere that, when I step out of an open door, I am in green space ready for the next garden. My Life, My Soul, My Gardens…we evolve together….

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

Boots on the Ground

 

 

 

 

Please visit my other blogs that have evolved over the years with me..life is never boring.

 

 

 

IMG_3869http://sensoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

Piano Teachhttp://pianomistress.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

11225_10151225582346526_166524563_nhttp://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.com

Bean Baby
When I was a youngster, I received many a microscope kit for Christmas (by request) as well as girly things like dolls, and teeny bopper things like a transistor radio in pale blue.

I asked for microscope kits because from an early age, I was drawn to the wonders of nature and seeing the mysterious patterns and shapes in the tiniest unfoldings of plants, stones, and insects. I wanted to see them up close and personal, so my “natural science” tools were microscopes and slides, and magnifying glasses of various strengths.

Oh what amazing wonders I have seen up close and personal! Intimacy and deep-seeing have always enchanted and nourished me.

I, in this time of my life, sometimes still have a magnifying glass in the garden, but it is the camera that is my “microscope” today along with the photo editing programs that allow me to zero close into some captivating thing in the middle of a bigger territory, by cropping.

In the past week and up until yesterday, the bean plants in my garden were decorated with little white flowers. And then  *POP!*…. just this morning, there they all-of- a-sudden were…..silently (to my ears) bursting and pushing the flowers outwards…little beanie babies being born from somewhere in the center of that fading bloom.

Bean borning (3)

It’s not that I have nothing else to do in my life except to watch a baby bean be born. I teach piano, cook, prepare a variety of interesting courses on dreams or positive manifestation or inner peace at the University, lead groups, visit with friends and go dancing…naming just a few things. But…over and over again, I am called back out to the garden throughout the day and in my comings and goings, to stop and pay attention to some incredibly important,  awesome and powerful event….like a bean being born, a miniature eggplant crowning out of the green womb, or a calendula bud silently exploding open and orange into the sunlight. It’s very mysterious and very organic, this sprouting something new almost every minute. Ongoing change and transformation out there… something amazing is happening all day and all night long!

I think about my life and some significant challenges I am facing at the moment. Challenges of having to let go of my home and the garden of this series, challenges to maintaining the stability of familiar work and service, yet  transformational opportunities for teaching in new ways, and living inter-dependently rather than independently. Like a beanie baby, pushing out from the flower of familiarity and comfort and becoming something new-ish in the world and my way of moving through it.

The pfesity and prophetic priest, Matthew Fox once wrote somewhere in his book “Original Blessing” (and paraphrased here) that if all “holy books” were put on a shelf for a number of years and we went out to read nature instead, we would learn everything we need to know about living a wise and good life. A “Whole-y” life, I call it.

Beanie Babies Borning is my message and lesson for today. Got it!

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

Selfie  Some of the other things I spend my time on when not watching baby beans grow.  Please visit!

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

Hi Mom 100

A special Mother’s Day essay for Mothers and Daughters! And ESPECIALLY for Daughters of Mothers!

Trio

It is sometimes a difficult task for Mothers who are especially bonded to daughters, treasuring their closeness, to be perfectly graceful and accepting about the ending of day to day familial intimacy. Maintaining times together with our ever-widening “tribal” configurations with in-laws, children and grandchildren can be daunting. Yes indeed, we have full lives as well with our own friends, peers and enjoyable social activities after “empty-nest” syndrome, but for those of us who truly enjoy and savor the time with and company of our daughters, that bond of closeness with our girls and the longing to be together to talk and share never actually  goes away.

Fam 2

Being a Taurus woman with a Cancer Rising sign,  it is hard to escape the theme of Mothering. Taurus…the sign of the Earth Mother… and Cancer, the sign of the Great Mother of Home and Hearth makes it hard to escape the deep emotions around closeness and connection with our children..and for me to daughters. (Bonding with sons is a different issue and energy with its own story to tell, but as I did not have sons I refer only to what I know). I used to think that it was just unique to me with this particular astrological heritage, but in talking with many other women who are mothers of daughters, I learned that the bonds run karmically and emotionally deep….and for us Moms, though we celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of our daughters, we all have had to learn to manage the periodic sadness and feelings of momentarilly being left behind, and the energies of trying to subtly and successfully (or not) catch up to stay connected. 

We Three

Living in three different states with families and children, my daughters and I cannot easily get together throughout the year but when we do, now including husbands and children as a larger family group, we enjoy the brief togetherness of “us”  and as MOM #1,  I savor the feelings of familiarity and pleasure knowing even for a day or two the comfort of that “us-ness” once again being together. Altho we each now have quite different lifestyles on our individual paths, our shared tribal sense of The Past and the Present intertwine for a time…and then they are off and speeding down the highway of their individuated paths but  hopefully they have been nurtured (as have I) by re-connecting as the “tribe” from which they were sprung!

Still there are times when things and communications do not go as smoothly or as planned… a momentary situational or emotional “disconnect” and the distance between us seems to have lengthened. A while ago such a thing happened and for now in this moment, I cannot even remember what it was about, but there was something…some misunderstanding, frustration, disappointment or lack of time to connect that left me feeling WAY behind, losing the sense of my place in “family”. It was a morning filled with those feelings when I left the house to go shopping for groceries on a quiet weekend but my heart was filled with longing and a prayer for each of my daughters and for the time when we could be together for a special visit..

 As I turned onto the highway thinking/feeling this distance,  a silver van sped by with a message etched out in the heavily dusty rear view window. It went by SO FAST and raced far ahead of me but I had caught a hint of the message and hit the gas pedal with amazement trying to catch up to the car.

Hi Mom 99

For those who know me here, it is a very familiar occurrence that the “Universe” often gives me instantaneous “feedback” when I am working with intense Soul-stuff necessary to restore inner balance and harmony… an often humorous, inexplicable and surprising communication that soothes, affirms, directs and guides me back to right thinking and peace.

With one hand on the steering wheel and one hand holding my camera to the windshield, I closed in on that speeding vehicle to photograph the message on the rear window of that van, which I KNEW was especially for me in that ILLUSORY moment of feeling “left behind”  through the distance  of physical miles between myself  and my daughters in their truly very busy lives at this time  And there it was…! One of those “I Can’t/CAN believe it” messages on the back of that car when I finally caught up to it ….. “HI MOM!”

Hi Mom 100

I KID YOU NOT! How could this synchronicity have happened in that exact moment of personal mometary longing for connection, closeness and communication with and from the two young women I love most in this world! At the exact moment of reading that message, I in my mind, distinctly heard the music of goodwill and greeting in the unique voices of each of my daughters upon greeting by phone or in person. For sure did I laugh out loud!

Always I am thankful for these messages from the Spirit World that keep me in line and feeling loved and connected. And always I am thankful for having been allowed to be the mother of two of the most beautiful babies/girls/WOMEN on the planet!

Mamma a Girls

Not to ever forget as well these lines from “The Prophet” …a guide and lesson for all Mothers/ Parents to “let go” while still maintaining relationship with our children:

On Children
 Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

To my beautiful daughters Lisa and Melissa. We are ALWAYS connected. Happy Mother’s Day to all three of us… in it together as individual creative and kind women of shared blood, lineage, heritage and memory,  whether nearby or in distance through the miles.  I love you always!

Mamma Groupie

From Mom, aka The Greening Spirit with love.. 

Happy Mother’s Day!

self Oct 2     Always I am so amused to get that immediate feedback from the Universe when I am on track. This morning at our Unitarian Sunday Service in honor of Mother’s Day, the choir sang this song “Calling My Children Home”  which is exactly the theme of this post about a mother’s “heart”.  Here is a beautiful rendition of this, lyrics following, by Emmy Lou Harris. Have a tissue at the ready.

Lyrics:

Those lives were mine to love and cherish.
To guard and guide along life’s way.
Oh God forbid that one should perish.
That one alas should go astray.

Back in the years with all together,
Around the place we’d romp and play.
So lonely now and oft’ times wonder,
Oh will they come back home some day.

I’m lonesome for my precious children,
They live so far away.
Oh may they hear my calling…calling..
and come back home some day.

I gave my all for my dear children,
Their problems still with love I share,
I’d brave life’s storm, defy the tempest
To bring them home from anywhere.

I lived my life my love I gave them,
to guide them through this world of strife,
I hope and pray we’ll live together,
In that great glad here after life.

I’m lonesome for my precious children,
They live so far away.
Oh may they hear my calling…calling.. and come back home some day.

Shy Pumkin 2

One delightful thing about a garden is the element of surprise when things that were hidden are suddenly revealed…finding the last fat strawberry in a row picked clean, discovering the lone crisp cucumber growing behind the garden fence, unexpectedly coming upon the treasured secret patch of nettles under the drooping branches of the white pine. ” Oh look!” we exclaim appreciating the sudden revelation and gift.

A garden teaches us so many things about life and how to live it well and compassionately. Matthew Fox, the Catholic/Anglican priest and theologian, once silenced by the Vatican for his “radical” spirituality  wrote something like: If we shelved all holy books for about ten years and went out mindfully in Nature instead, we would learn everything we needed to know about how to live a just life,  from the Earth.

As the garden plants begin to wind down from their job of flowering and fruiting, they are not as physically attractive as in the weeks of youthful promise and birthing. Drying out, browning, marred by powdery mildew, it seems that soon it will be time to clear things out in the garden as in its deep maturity, things are just about over, its gifts utilized, savored and fully harvested…

And then…aha! Amidst the drooping, tangled mass of drying out green leaves and vines, a sudden tiny flash of orange… one shy pumpkin who up until this moment-in-time has been living its tender and vulnerable life hidden from view, quietly  practicing perfecting its vibrant color, rounding out its flesh and form as a container of many seeds and inspirations for the furthering of life, all in secret under the  mass of the green and busyness of the dominant culture of the garden in full swing, in public.

One shy pumpkin. Doing its special pumpkin thing quietly out of sight just for the pleasure of being a pumpkin with no need for notoriety and fame. OR maybe… could it be the tender vulnerability and shyness to avoid harsh or unkind competitive comparisons, judgments or rejection that had kept it hidden deep under the uniformity of all those shades of green and the protective canopy of (seeming) flashier veggie-kin?

Shy pumpkin’s time has come…a little later perhaps than others of her kind. But then its always a matter of time, isn’t  it, as my counseling astrological colleagues know. When the  time and we are ripe and right, the shyness can give way to courage because we suddenly realize that we don’t have endless time as either pumpkins or people to pass on our unique delectability and our seeds, being part of the larger cosmic cycle of birth-life-death-recycling back into birth and on and on…….

Which makes me also recall a one-liner from one of those holy books momentarily shelved while we wander about gardens and woods seeking the wisdom of those place of sacred scripture…

“Do not hide your light under a basket”   (at least not forever.)

Shy Pumpkin

 

The timing is everything: “Come out, come out wherever you are, Shy Pumpkin! We long for and need your delicious fruit and your seeds!”   NOW!

 

 

 

 

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

self Oct 2  Don’t miss my other blogs about living life well!

Music/piano and the performing arts:  http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

FOOD and kitchen memoirs:  http://sensuoussoupsandsupper.wordpress.com

Manifesting yourself and a happy life! :

http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

 

Photo credit: Christine Phoenix Green, 2014

Please respect and do not download. Thank you.

 

 

 

Poppies 2

                   Things Reveal Themselves  Passing Away ~ William Butler Yeats

The summer flowers have passed, the trees are shedding their leaves, and all now unclothed and intimately revealed without greenery or petals, gifts us with another layer of deep-seeing into the wondrous mystery of things. Change, which we often resist… and letting go, which is often accompanied by sadness if not grief especially when not of our own will, still have a magical way of surprising us with new and unexpected beauty in each stage of transformation.

At the end of summer it is time for new “bouquets” and decorations on our altars to honor the passage of time and capture the magic of what is NOW.

I love the fragile beauty of summer poppies, with their delicate fluttery petals. The bread poppy, a lovely heavenly blue flower, is a special treasure and much admired. Sometimes they are difficult to germinate and so at least in my garden when I used to plant them, there weren’t many so the ones who appeared were like a rare treasure. Once the flowering stage is finished, the “show” is not over and Poppiesneither is it devoid of purpose. Within the dried pod are thousands if not millions of tiny black poppy seeds the size of a period at the end of this sentence. Nature is not on austerity plan!  The potential for new life after a period of rest and solitude favors continuation of the creative impulse.

The seeds can be used in breads as a flavoring and it is true if one were to eat tablespoons of them, which is highly unlikely as gourmet fare, one might become sleepy enough to drift off into the land of deep and mysterious dreams. I never grew enough of the flowers to save seeds for cooking, but I am totally enchanted by the seed heads with their little wheel-like hats and the faint fairy music they make as tiny shaker rattles.

We cannot see the magic of these pods while they are clothed  and hidden by their blue tissue-like petals skirts…we must let go of the flower’s youthfulness .. accept its passing away…in order to access what was hidden and now available in the potential of the next phase.

Things reveal themselves passing away. Find and Celebrate the ever-present  beauty that IS right now. It’s all GIFT!

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

red  You are invited to read more on my other blogs!

For piano and music teaching/memoirs: http://thepianoistress.wordpress.com

For recipes and cooking memoirs: http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

For The Law of Attraction and Seminars: http://lunchandlearnseminars.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colores

We are having a glorious Autumn season where I live and the colors are becoming spectacular.

I have always found inspiration in this season..inspiration for how I would like to grow older colorfully, uniquely and artfully. It seems to me that in the height of summer when the sun is high and there are no shadows or dappled sideways light,  that the green …so much of it all the same…becomes rather flat, tedious and boring, everyone looking quite the same in the community, “marching to the same drummer” as it were. Not much originality or surprise.

Autumn, when the chlorophyll of uniformity and conformity drains from the leaves, the vegetation only then begins to reveal its true colors and personality: Oranges, reds, yellows, shades of coral and salmon, peach  ochres, rich burnt siennas and even purple! ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

I hope to grow older like the trees, shedding the dominant color of Society and mainstream culture which has revealed itself to be illusion or cover-up according to agendas that are not mine. I hope to exhibit the true and authentic colors of my own life’s accumulation of wisdom and deep knowing, to fully use whatever gifts I have been commissioned to use before I welcome Winter or say goodnight or goodbye… I hope to live in the Autumn years as apallette of flaming colors of gold, orange, red, and yes purple as in “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple”..like a forest, before the Cold…..  colors ladies                                                           credit:  photo by Kleurrijke oude   (on flicker.com)

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

 

Yellow 3  You are invited to visit my other blogs!

For Piano and Music inspiration: http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

For recipes and foodie memoirs: http://sensuousoupsandsuppers.com

For the Law of Attraction and seminars: http://lunchandlearnseminars.wordpress.com

 

Surprise!    maggie

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