Monday, June 21, 2010

The Winter Spiral

Happy Yule everyone! Last night we celebrated the winter solstice with a beautiful ceremony, lovingly created by Mama Moontime for all her Moondew babies.

For those not in the know, the winter solstice marks the longest night of the year. In the northern hemisphere this is celebrated in December, very close to Christmas. Of course, this is probably no coincidence, as Pagan cultures had been celebrating Yule for thousands of years prior to the coming of Jesus Christ, and to them it marked the rebirth of the sun. The winter solstice is celebrated with the giving of gifts and the sharing of food, and is a time to welcome the light back into the world as the days start to grow longer.

We celebrated with a shared feast of soup, bread and delicious desserts!

The feasting was followed by a hauntingly beautiful spiral walk. Each family took it in turns to enter the darkened spiral with their unlit apple candles. This part of the walk symbolises the exit of the dark, or the end of the long nights. On reaching the centre we lit our candles and started the walk out of the spiral, leaving our candles at a chosen spot, to light the way for others. Walking in the lit spiral symbolises the return of the sun, or the beginning of the longer days. It is always a magical experience.

After the solemn walk, the children were itching to light their very own lanterns. These were created both at home and at playgroup, and have been sitting patiently on the bench, just waiting for the winter festival. The lanterns lit the way back to the car, and journeyed home with us. One has even been taken to school for show and tell today, along with some of these photos to help explain the celebration. Such a wonderful experience for little children!

If you would like to read about my more personal solstice experience, click here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Lost Generation by Jonathon Reed

This poem has been around for a little while, but I only discovered it a couple of days ago.

It is really quite profound, and very, very clever.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hi ho, hi ho....

... it's off to work I go!

Returning to work has always been inevitable. I did have hopes of being able to wait until all my babies had started school, but unfortunately that isn't going to happen. My job hunting has started, I've had a couple of interviews, recieved one unsuitable job offer, and I'm now waiting to hear if I've been successful for a position that I think I'd be perfect for. I should be happy, and I should be thankful that I have a skill set that allows me to apply for great jobs. And I am. But I also have incredibly mixed feelings about it all.

A large part of me is really excited about this next phase. The opportunity to be able to prove myself outside of my home, is a challenge that I am ready for. I'm looking forward to meeting new people and learning new skills, and it will be a relief to only have myself to think about for those 8 hours a day. Another part of me though, is a little sad. My two oldest babies had me at home everyday until they started school. I was the constant in their tiny worlds, and I was here for them until they took those first steps through the school gate. My daughter doesn't start school for a little while yet, and now that good old 'mother guilt' is kicking in. Such a useless emotion, and one that is completely self inflicted!

I've always felt really strongly about the importance of children having someone at home with them during their early, most formative years. This isn't going to be possible for everyone, but up until now, it has been a reality for us. Being a stay at home mum has been the hardest job I've ever had, and it has taken every part of me to make it work. I certainly haven't perfected it, but after seven years of practice we've now got a good little system happening here and I guess part of the sadness I'm feeling is caused by the upset that 'working' will have on our routines. The upheaval, while temporary, is really daunting!

I am only planning on working part time at this stage, but I wonder how I will cope considering my responsibilities as a mother and wife won't change. It's not like I will start a new job, and halve what I do at home! In effect I am adding to my workload by at least a third, or maybe even more. How will I fit everything in? How will I manage to get children to school and daycare, and still get myself to work on time? How will I find the time to get myself ready for work, and what the hell will I wear? How will I find the energy and the time to cook dinner each night, and when on earth will I get the washing done? Will I be up until all hours cleaning bathrooms and cutting lunches?

I guess balance is the answer, isn't it? Some things will need to give and I'm going to need to lower my standards a little. I'm going to have to ask for a little more help and routines will need to become stricter. On the upside, we'll have some money again and the financial pinch we've been experiencing will be lessened. That's got to make this whole hullabaloo a little easier, hasn't it? It is after all, the only reason I'm doing it!

EDITED TO ADD - I just read this to my husband, and while he liked the post, he was upset that I didn't mention how wonderful he is, and how much more he will help when I am back at work. He's right. It's going to be a group effort, and there isn't anyone I'd rather have on my team!