Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Not everyone has the luxury of kicking back every evening to read. I realize that. It was always a chore for me when I was working long hours: all I wanted to do was fix a little dinner and relax with a book. I owned the house my grandparents left me, and it was, frankly, a fixer-upper. It took a lot of fixing and maintenance. There was a big yard with a huge lawn that always seemed to need mowing, the garden needed weeding, the flowers needed watering and pretty soon I found I was a slave to the house.
I was overwhelmed by working and then coming home to do something for the house-not something to improve the quality of my life, mind you, but something the house demanded. While I was grateful to own my own home, I was growing resentful that it took away so much of my time.
It was an Epiphany when I discovered that it was more important to take care of me than the house.
I became run down and was sick more often. I'd take a daily shower but only wash my hair every other day because it took 30 minutes to condition and dry it, so I'd pin it up to be presentable so I could use the 30 minutes to garden. Or do laundry, mow the grass, prune bushes, dead head flowers, repair whatever needed it. I realized I was just doing these things to keep up with the neighbors expectations. So I stopped. The vegetables got a little too big and the weeds got a little taller, and the dishes piled up in the sink some nights, but I was tired of waging of doing battle.
Learning to prioritize wasn't easy. The house and job still made demands and deserved their respective attention...but I carved out my time because I deserved a little attention, too.
I began to schedule a couple of hours every night to just relax, read and study. I made it into a ritual: after dinner I did what absolutely had to be done in the line of 'house work', then I got out the books I wanted to read, a writing tablet, a cup of Earl Grey tea, and went to the living room and lit a candle-a cast a circle. This was now sacred space and time, and nothing was permitted to intrude. I read, I took notes and reflected on what I was reading, drank a couple cups of tea and snuggled with my cat. It became a magickal time out of time and I looked forward to it every night. I became calmer and more sane because I was feeding my soul.
Now this is what deep Autumn is for me: a time of regeneration. What always felt like a fallow time of the year is now rich and productive. Over the last few days I've thought about what I wanted to do to improve myself, my life and my world, I've thought about how I can be of better service to others- and then I went to my bookshelves and made a list of books. Some I need to re-read in more depth so I can see them with new eyes; others I will read for the first time. My evenings to delve into this world of discovery are delineated by sacred space. I have found candles that burn for approximately two hours, and I have a lovely incense to help set the mood.
Within in that time I will become lost in the pages of a book or two...but I will find myself in the dark and quiet of deep Autumn's dying down. Life begins with a spark in the darkness, a desire to become, to form, to change...to be.