Blessings!

Oh, beloveds! What a week it has been! What a few weeks it has been! Apologies if I haven’t been keeping up. There has just been no time to do regular things like keeping a Blog. I’m jumping ahead of myself. Rewind. We bought a house! Not just any house…. an old-century farmhouse on 4 acres of land! That dream of chickens you’ve heard me talk about 100 times… it’s coming true! I’m trying to convince the hubby we also may need a small goat. That may take some time. He’s a work in progress. Anywhoo… I am super excited. But terrified.

The emotions have run high. We raised our kids in this house. Our first house. Twenty-one years in this house. So. Many. Memories. And a whole lot of clutter. I’ve just begun to unearth and box up “stuff”. Some things hold dear memories. Some do not. Some hold memories for others and I’m not allowed to cut out those things because of their thoughts. It’s a learning experience for all of us! I ask myself, “Does this hold emotional attachment for me?” Marie Kondo would be so proud. So. Many. Memories.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

I’m asking myself “Why?” “How can things contain emotion?” Or how can other things contain absolutely no attachment? I don’t have the answer. I am sure there is some deep psychology behind emotional attachment to inanimate objects. I’m sure those who work with hoarding and OCD behaviours have all the answers. I’m sure there are psychologists and therapies for the stress of moving and how to communicate appropriately to your grown children that they need to get rid of Legos. Or why I can’t throw away a rubber band (because I may need to it wrap something — and safety pins cost money?) Choices need to be made.

Now don’t get me wrong… I love a good purge and clean. Still… thinking about the whole house at once is overwhelming. Slowly, like eating an elephant, we take one bite, and then another, and another… until eventually all will be packed in a box and neatly loaded on a truck. It will be big big changes for all of us. And I count it as a blessing.

I have begun to see the blessing in memories. I have begun to see the blessing of time and how God has allowed this season of life to shape and mould each of our children to life beyond the nest. To see the hubby and I embrace, dare I say, retirement planning? To see the blessings in our finances to be able to carry mortgages and costs and know He holds our future. To see Hope where many do not. To wonder in excitement about a new, quieter lifestyle in the country. To learn new skills. To make mistakes and work through them.

The Bible tells us not to store up treasures on Earth and to not put our trust in Earthly measures. Yet Jesus witnessed life here among people and “stuff”. Maybe he didn’t have Lego to pack, but I am sure there were precious “things” that belonged to Him. Did Mary save a piece of “useless” straw from the manger because she was emotionally attached to it? Maybe not.

I’ve convinced myself that God gives us things. Tangeable, hold in your hand, physical things, because He knows we need them as practical reminders of all that He has given us. Peace, Hope, Comfort, Joy, and Pain. Emotions that are stuck on stuff. I have no other words. I know you know what I mean. So, beloveds, humour me in the next few months. mittonmusings.com may morph into my personal journal of sorts as we make these transitions to “country life”. Will you stick with me? Will you share a post or two? Besides, who’s gonna listen to me talk about my new chickens? I’ll keep you updated about the goat.

Christ’s Flower

I was recently enjoying a conversation with my soon-to-be daughter-in-law about wedding flowers and the traditions of which. We admired various Pinterest pics of bouquets and simple arrangements, each with a pop of colour and delicacy. God’s pretty creative. In searching out something for this week’s post, I was perusing through Easter poems and came across this one. It isn’t really “Easter-themed”, but I thought it was beautiful nonetheless. Also, because I love all things vintage, the imagery of a young girl stitching by lamplight appealed to me. Christ’s flower. Carnation? Read it twice. It will have you musing as it did I. There were big copyright warnings attached here, so I will include them in hopes not to anger the writers/publishers or whatever.

Supernatural Love

BY GJERTRUD SCHNACKENBERG

My father at the dictionary-stand   

Touches the page to fully understand   

The lamplit answer, tilting in his hand

His slowly scanning magnifying lens,   

A blurry, glistening circle he suspends

Above the word “Carnation.” Then he bends

So near his eyes are magnified and blurred,   

One finger on the miniature word,   

As if he touched a single key and heard

A distant, plucked, infinitesimal string,   

“The obligation due to every thing   

That’s smaller than the universe.” I bring

My sewing needle close enough that I

Can watch my father through the needle’s eye,   

As through a lens ground for a butterfly

Who peers down flower-hallways toward a room   

Shadowed and fathomed as this study’s gloom   

Where, as a scholar bends above a tomb

To read what’s buried there, he bends to pore   

Over the Latin blossom. I am four,   

I spill my pins and needles on the floor

Trying to stitch “Beloved” X by X.

My dangerous, bright needle’s point connects   

Myself illiterate to this perfect text

I cannot read. My father puzzles why   

It is my habit to identify

Carnations as “Christ’s flowers,” knowing I

Can give no explanation but “Because.”   

Word-roots blossom in speechless messages   

The way the thread behind my sampler does

Where following each X I awkward move

My needle through the word whose root is love.   

He reads, “A pink variety of Clove,

Carnatio, the Latin, meaning flesh.”   

As if the bud’s essential oils brush

Christ’s fragrance through the room, the iron-fresh

Odor carnations have floats up to me,   

A drifted, secret, bitter ecstasy,

The stems squeak in my scissors, Child, it’s me,

He turns the page to “Clove” and reads aloud:   

“The clove, a spice, dried from a flower-bud.”

Then twice, as if he hasn’t understood,   

He reads, “From French, for clou, meaning a nail.”

He gazes, motionless. “Meaning a nail.”   

The incarnation blossoms, flesh and nail,   

I twist my threads like stems into a knot   

And smooth “Beloved,” but my needle caught

Within the threads, Thy blood so dearly bought,

The needle strikes my finger to the bone.   

I lift my hand, it is myself I’ve sewn,   

The flesh laid bare, the threads of blood my own,   

I lift my hand in startled agony   

And call upon his name, “Daddy daddy”—

My father’s hand touches the injury   

As lightly as he touched the page before,   

Where incarnation bloomed from roots that bore   

The flowers I called Christ’s when I was four.   

Gjertrud Schnackenberg, “Supernatural Love” from Supernatural Love: Poems 1976-1992. Copyright © 1982, 1985 by Gjertrud Schnackenberg.  Used by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC,  http://us.macmillan.com/fsg. All rights reserved. 

Caution: Users are warned that this work is protected under copyright laws and downloading is strictly prohibited.  The right to reproduce or transfer the work via any medium must be secured with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

Source: Supernatural Love: Poems 1976-1992 (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1993).

Gathered from Poetry Foundation

Good, eh? Do you see the reason it was listed under “Easter”? I hope you had a wonderful Easter week. I hope this poem also made you muse. Be blessed my beloveds.

Word of the Year 2023

Greetings and Happy New Year my beloveds! Did you even notice I took a little sabbatical over the holidays? No worries… here I am back in your inbox for another week and another brand new year!

If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that I no longer subscribe to resolutions or goals at the beginning of new calendars, but have adopted the practice of picking a #wordoftheyear. You are welcome to check past posts or my Pinterest board dedicated to such endeavours. Here are some links:

And so the time has rolled around once more for a new word to embody my feelings and actions for 2023. Are you ready for the reveal?! Here it is:

REFRESH

Perhaps many of you are feeling it this year as well. Refresh. Not “freshen” or “fresh” but “Refresh” as in — again. Here’s the definition I found in Oxford’s dictionary:

re·fresh

/rəˈfreSH/

verb

  1. give new strength or energy to; reinvigorate.” the shower had refreshed her”

Sigh. That’s where I am feelin’ this year is going to go. It’s the kind of revamp your computer and “refresh” your screen kinda thing. When you have too many tabs open and everything is slow and sluggish. Covid has done a big number on so many of us and I’m feeling we all need to hit the refresh button!

It’s like you’ve been working hard in the hot sun and you finally sit down for a second or two to cool off with a fresh lemonade… but it’s not always sweet. Sometimes you need a little spike to quench the heat. It’s the same in life. You need a cool-off that clears the palate without adding the fillers or sugar coating. A little shock value to reset and refocus. It’s only then that we can carry on with the hard work. It’s what I am manifesting this year. A refresh.

It’s shaping up to be a full year for the Mitton crew and some big changes are coming down the pipes: two of us have milestone birthdays, I am so going to dye my hair, and the kids are getting older and flexing their wings ready to fly from the nest. Will the hubby and I survive? Are we ready for the next stages? Will he like my hair? Refresh.

The Bible refers to this state of “refreshing” after an extended period of lamenting. The time of sitting in ashes and fasting is followed by a time of “getting up, washing, eating a good meal, dressing in clean garments” and moving on with life! That’s what I wish this year to be. There is a time for lamenting and feeling sad… reflection even. Then, there is a time to scrub yourself clean from the past and go out into the world ready to face the next step! Refreshed.

“REFRESH” photo by: Tadeusz-Lacota (Unsplash)

Are you with me? Will mittonmusings change? Maybe. Will life change? Certainly. It usually does — whether we want it to or not. I’m ready for the Refresh this year! Join me to see how it all pans out!