Our annual guests, the ducks, have returned this past week on daily reconnaissance missions to site their new nest. Spring, finally, is in the air.
Lovely rains are falling today and more are promised this week. The dogs and I have been sitting peacefully for a time, just watching the rain wash the world green. The music and rhythms have lulled us all into a sleepy peacefulness, but I know it’s time to set down the book I’ve been reading and pick up my paint brush. Again.
I had the bright idea that freshening up the painted cabinets in the dining room and kitchen would be a wonderful project to replace the gardening I couldn’t yet begin because of snow cover and cold.
Of course, painting cabinets requires taking everything out of them, and—in my case—facing the haphazard organization resulting from the accrued 17 years of living and working in this kitchen. Bakeware, appliances, tools, pots and pans…all of these things just kind of “settled,” like homesteaders who staked a claim, plopped down to clear land, and built a life, regardless of how logically situated they were towards light, water, necessities, and the rest of civilization.
Shouldn’t the bakeware and pots, etc., be closer to the oven, and shouldn’t the less-used cookie tins be on the pantry’s highest shelf, allowing the grains to be placed more accessibly? Amazing what we can discover about ourselves and our world when we pull everything out and look anew at how we’ve arranged and accepted it “must” be.
So, the kitchen and dining room are now beautifully and logically reorganized…and I can’t find a damn thing. My mind has not yet adjusted to this new, improved way of functioning, but it will, as I reorient.
It reminds me of the interview I read in The Sun last week (http://thesunmagazine.org/issues/448/out_of_our_heads). Philip Shepherd discusses his perceptions about the ways we accept culturally-designated realities and then all the institutions and behaviors that ensure these, without questioning whether these are the best we can do regarding the health of the earth, humanity, and the interconnections between our own and all other species.
In his book, New Self, New World: Recovering Our Senses in the Twenty-First Century, he speaks of the brain in our heads as more aligned with masculine energy, and the brain in our “gut” as having greater alignment with feminine energy. These are not men vs. women designations, but rather ways of describing every human’s potential for wholeness and balance, and it’s no surprise, I suppose, that Shepherd believes that, as a species, we’re dangerously imbalanced in our dependency upon the “head brain” to the exclusion of incorporating the wisdom of our heart, or gut brain. And therefore, the imbalance is reflected in the realities we create and maintain, which Shepherd feels have set our world on a clear path of unnecessary destruction.
Too much reliance on our masculine energy creates the illusion we’re separate, independent, and entirely self-reliant. Shepherd thinks a greater integration of our feminine energy and wisdom would help us see, value, and tend the interconnections that exist “outside of” the reality we accept.
I’m simplifying, of course, but if we can get beyond the “way it’s always been,” perhaps we’ll be open to discovering a better way it can be…
So, I’ll deal with the inconvenience I experience when my old patterns of habitual steps around the kitchen frustrate my ingrained expectations. In time, I hope I’ll enjoy the reorganization and the “flow” the new plan offers my cooking and baking.
A change in the weather is a gift, allowing us to view our “old” landscapes from new perspectives. Perhaps I can set down some of my deep-rooted expectations and behaviors regarding what I accept as “reality” as well, nurturing my own and others’ balance by widening the possibilities I consider, and choosing new responses and ways of engaging.
Maybe just one more mug of tea before I pick up the paintbrush…time to sit and breathe into greater balance before starting my work.
Now, where’s the tea strainer?
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12 thoughts on “A Change in the Weather”
A wonderful post as always. Well…it’s nice to see the snow has finally gone and the bulbs popping out.
We have a very delayed spring, yesterday the sun shone and it almost blinded me…..but the biting winds are still here! I looked out of the windows and almost died….sunshine sure shows up dirty windows!
“So, the kitchen and dining room are now beautifully and logically reorganized…and I can’t find a damn thing.” This made me laugh. It reminded me of my cupboard clear out before Christmas….I moved everything and threw out things I thought I no longer needed….and of course I couldn’t find a thing and obviously urgently needed all the items that had been thrown away…..but as you say, it doesn’t take long to adapt to the changes.
I agree that we have to look at better ways of doing things….just because it’s the accepted way has never made it right…….slavery, children up chimneys….and endless list. I am starting to hear of more natural ways of doing things creeping into policies, so I have hope!!!
Here’s to a wonderful Spring….and gleaming cupboards!xxxxx
Thank you, Snow Bird. You’re not kidding about those windows…yikes. We’ll get to them later. We’re having milder days but still quite chilly nights.
Your Christmas cleaning sounds familiar: I already brought two vases back up that I’d brought downstairs for St. Vinnie’s resale…it’ll all even out. 🙂
Much to hope for; yes! Love your visits and comments, Snow Bird; joy to your week!
Ah spring cleaning, only this year it it both inside and out of our lives. So much change swirling about and so much new to adjust to. A new world has begun! Glad you are getting rain after last year’s drought. Love the ducks on your roof:) I have two on my pond and guest geese dropping in from time to time. So wonderful hearing their calls as they return for summer. Spring bulbs are sprouting up and I can see peonies popping up as well. Now I’m waiting for the swallow scouts to come by and check out the accommodations. I can’t wait for them to be swooping about and talking a mile a minute. The bluebirds are already here. Spring has arrived and the world will soon be filled with color again. Have a wonderful spring Kitty and good luck with the cabinets…Hugs to you all, four leggeds included…..VK
My goodness, VK! It sounds like an old Walt Disney movie, with you as Snow White, and with bluebirds perched on your fingertips! Hope it will be similarly lively here, soon! 🙂
Yes, thank you, almost 2″ of rain coming this week. Mama Duck seems to be repeating last year’s ritual; I wish her good luck and send blessings to her prospects.
I so enjoy your visits and comments; your energy makes me smile: what a gift you have. Thank you for sharing, VK.
You’ve got a beautiful dining room there, Kitty. Perhaps it is the kitchen, but I don’t see the customary tools for cooking and baking. I agree, it is very hard to pull everything out. I did that this week, looking for a tool… and it was a harrowing experience. Again, I’m enjoying your pictures very much, and I agree that it is much to our advantage to integrate the masculine and feminine characteristics in all of us.
Thank you, Shimon. Yes, that’s the dining room, complete with my painting ladder 🙂
…still have a cupboard to do on that side, and then over to the kitchen half of the space. Phillip built all those cabinets and added the wainscoting and leaded glass…I agree; it’s beautiful, just what I always imagined. We’ve been very blessed and happy at Full Moon…if you ever get to Wisconsin, you would be a most welcome guest! 🙂
Kitty, I’ve been laughing and smiling as I read this. Several years ago, I painted our kitchen cabinets inside and out, except I didn’t get to some of them on the inside. I keep meaning to go back and finish the job, but can’t make myself do it 🙂 Isn’t funny how we “automate” our daily movements; it is efficient, surely, so that we don’t have to think about every little thing but very inconvenient for change! The Sheperd book sounds like a good read; Deepok Chopra once said in a lecture on Quantuum Healing that the gut was a much better communicator since it hadn’t yet developed self doubt 🙂 Thanks for the link; I look forward to exploring these ideas at more length. Have a happy spring; the warm weather has arrived here and the rain is soon to follow.
Thanks, Lynn; joy to your spring, too…isn’t it funny how we don’t like to go back and finish such projects once they’re “mostly finished” and well enough…but how they nag at us periodically? Let me know if those cupboards every get painted. 🙂
And only blessedness and grace in the ongoing creativity of your other and many arts. 🙂
My dear Kitty,
I probably came here three to four times over the last week just to read this and each time I picked up on different aspects of this post. It just dawned on me this seamless flow from kitchen renovation to one of life’s deepest challenge – the rearrangement of our thoughts. I think a lot of us need some airing of the cupboard upstairs 😀
You know, when I was a child, I used to be amused and later disdain how grown-ups could be dogmatic and immovable in their thinking, their worldviews and opinions. How they would defend these ideas to the point of childishness. Or how life could be turned into a comic tragedy because one could not get accustomed to change. To newness. It all seemed quite sad actually. And I vowed that I wouldn’t be that kind of a grown-up.
And yet, it requires vigilance and constant self-awareness doesn’t it? To keep from becoming rigid. To make up one’s mind and yet still have room for flexibility. To believe deeply yet allow others room for their beliefs – yet not compromise. It’s this fine balance that I find myself being made aware of. To flow where the river takes us, yet at the same time realising one can direct the flow too.
So many ways to be. Each wave a part of the ocean. Yet so deliciously unique, each crest. This post was a joy to read. The masterful handling of the subject matter is admirable. My only regret is the lateness of this comment. And cheers to the bravery of shifting 17 years of cutlery and kitchenware space and roots 😀 They do seem to have a life of their own don’t they!
Thank you, Sharon…I appreciate your willingness to reread and locate my ideas; sometimes I am not very skilled at offering them and connecting the flow that originated the essay, but your effort paid off: this is more due to your mind than my finesse. 🙂
Yes, I agree, it’s the invitation of life, for me, to “take everything out of the drawer” and examine my thinking, opinions, arguments, and goals in light of what I know now (today) vs. what I believed, knew, sought in the past. More a matter of cultivating a listening heart than analyzing and categorizing…
It is a delicate balance, as you say, and you aptly name the flexibility necessary to dance our truths and hold them gently, while generously allowing others to dance theirs, but at the same time demanding circumspection of ourselves and others to allow the creativity and freedom each requires for individual growth while ensuring the safety and health of our immediate and universal communities…
And to do all of this in the spirit of peace and love; that seems most difficult for us humans, and I so wish we could hold hands and evolve together…
Thank you for your faithful visits and thoughtful response, Sharon.
Gentle peace to your day,
A pleasure to meet another reader of The Sun magazine which I have been savoring for many years. I look forward to following you! Best wishes-Julie
How wonderful, Julie! Welcome, and–yup!–love The Sun and have for many years, too! 🙂