Creativity Learning Transformation
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Seasonal Treasures

Posted on 29th November 2012 in Breathing Space, Craft, Creative Spirit, Creativity, Handmade home, News, Still Waters, Transformation, Tree of Life

It’s really important to me to keep my life in tune with the rhythm of the seasons, as part of the natural order of things. Like our grandchildren who each developed their own little ritual when they visit, getting out the bird book, playing with the same toy, fetching down the treat jar, it’s partly the reassurance of repeated patterns, from spring bulb shoots to summer lushness, from glorious autumn leaves to woolly snow.

At our last Still Waters event we marked the passing from harvest to winter by thinking about preserving and storing. Once the harvest is gathered in the autumn, its time to sort,  salt, pickle and preserve all our best produce to keep us through the winter season. We’ve been scenting the kitchen with aromas of blackberry jam and spicy chutney, quince cheese and chestnut chocolate truffles. Mmmm, can’t wait for the Christmas feasting!  But for those of us who aren’t farmers or gardeners, what is our harvest? community art with heart pebble beach natural love

As we shared around our group, it was striking that top of everyone’s list were the gifts from our relationships. Not just the obvious easy gains of a friend to have a coffee with or a partner to cook a meal for us. What we treasure most, what will sustain us through the winter, are the hard won fruits of support through adversity, from someone we have learned to love whatever they have done, from someone who we found we could rely on when we needed them most, from a family gathering together when life was bleak and difficult. Our treasures were patience, grace, compassion, care and unconditional love. I hope your harvest is as rich.

advent calendar colth craft handmade creativeSo with our store cupboard full, I’m ready for the start of advent. In the Christian tradition, advent is a time for emptiness and frugality. Like Lent, it is a time of fasting, clearing out the clutter as we wait and prepare for Christmas. I’m trying to clear out the clutter of busy-ness, tiredness and grumpiness – I must admit it’s a challenge, you’ll have to ask my family how well I am doing!  Our next Tree of Life meditation event takes the seasonal theme of birthing and draws on different traditions to look for signs of rebirth in our own lives. It will be a welcome breathing space in all the Christmas preparations.

I do love getting ready for Christmas, though. What better way to spend a winter evening than making homemade sweets or felting decorations in front of a log fire? It’s a great season for crafters and homemade fans and I’m really excited about the new advent and Christmas goodies in our shop. We’ve got felt and fabric decorations, with more being added each week. We’ll also have a stall at the December Harkstead Farmers’ Market for anyone in Suffolk. If you haven’t got an advent calendar yet, there’s one fabric calendar left in the shop; and two reflective calendars which you can also download, with a choice of stories or prayers for each day of advent. Happy advent!

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