Monday, 30 December 2013

Breathing Space.

So we have slipped past the longest night,
the storms that blew for days have abated, and we find ourselves out tramping the sodden mulchy pathways that criss cross the significant hills of our days. We have gathered together our families, eaten our fill, making merry til the long dark hours are forgotten, pushed aside by the rush of words we swap and share and weave together, for there are months of catching up to be done with those dear to us.

And here we find ourselves again, in the quiet time between the years, the lying low, the resting, mustering ourselves for the New Year to come. 
I find myself reflecting on this past, most eventful year, and looking forward down the path ahead to the exciting one to come. 
For the second year in a row I find myself standing looking into a great big Unknown - and last year did not disappoint. We didn't even know where we would be living by Christmas, this time last year, and now we are here we are amazed, for it is as though we have always been here. 

This year I was ~ packing up ~ losing India ~ leaving the marsh ~ moving house ~ attending weddings  ~  in Cork ~ at Inis Beg Estate ~ meeting friends ~ in Sligo ~ discovering Bray ~ climbing that hill ~ flying to Virginia ~ delving into caves ~ flying home~ swimming in the sea : Sandycove, White Rock, Killiney, Bray, Greystones, Kilcoole, Silver Strand, Magheramore, Morriscastle Strand, Clogga Bay, Baginbun, Carnivan, Coral Beach Carraroe, Mullaghmore, Bundoran, ~ at Lough Key Forest Park ~ doing yoga ~ starting work ~ seeing our co-op shoot towards the sky ~ organising pop-ups ~ taking photos ~ making drawings ~ stitching ~ walking ~ cycling ~ reading ~ feeling very grateful and heart-full and excited about the coming year. 

I want to say thank you, to all you folks who have stuck by Milkmoon, despite this most sparse years of all. There is still more to be told here, and I am not done yet. So here's to 2014, and all that it brings.
So, Happy New Year to you all,
may 2014 bring you Enough.
Sending love to you wherever in the world you may be.


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

What I've Been Up To Lately.

Sometimes Life amazes me.
Picks me up by my tail and whirls me around a bit, then deposits me somewhere unexpected and never-seen-before, and so, a bit ruffled, and maybe even somewhat bedraggled, I pick myself up and dust myself off, check for injuries, and then Proceed With Caution. It doesn't happen very often in life that there is a significant change, I mean, a really, really big one. Usually it's the slow meander along the winding little pathways, with occasional wanderings off into dead ends and loop-the-loops which bring you right back to where you started. And there are lovely woodlands along the way, with leafy green and yellow light dancing up there above you, and sometimes there are banks of the sweetest flowers nodding their heads in the balmy breeze, and sometimes there are puddles of muddy water you have to wade through in your favourite shoes, or stones that trip you up or find their way into your shoe and hurt your feet. But sometimes it turns out that the little beaten track you are on suddenly opens up into Wonder, a great grassy plain with a smooth road and the sea sparkling in the distance, and suddenly everything feels Right, and Good, and you find yourself skipping along, kicking up your heels and skirts, and warmth blooms in your heart.

Sometimes Life amazes me.
And I find myself doing something I could never have dreamt of, only a few months ago. And the phrase, In My Element, suddenly has meaning. 
A few months before we moved to this town we began meeting weekly with a bunch of rather splendid folks who had a rather splendid idea about what this town needs, and so, we have spent almost a year now, talking talking talking about just what that might be, and slowly something began to take shape, and then it began to grow, and to our collective amazement we are now in the midst of Something Splendid that is now fluttering out there, above our heads, stretching it's gossamer wings and testing the air. 
We have no idea where it will take us, or what it will bring, but it is exciting and inspiring, and speaking in a voice that, it turns out, many people can, and want to, hear.

We are part of a growing community co-operative that is still finding that voice, but that is strong and clear and determined. We started out as a wholefood buying club, and then we put on an event, a vegetarian feast with music and dancing and singing, and we started to tell people about what we were doing, and all around us these little lights began to go on, in people's eyes and hearts, as they listened to what we were saying, and they began to add their voices too, and now we find ourselves here, with a gathering crowd of good intentioned, hopeful folks who know that this is the way forward. Sharing our resources, our skills, our experience, sharing those tender seedling ideas that we carry around in our hearts, sometimes for years, not knowing what to do to help it grow, because some things need more than one person to develop and grow into that wondrous something that has untold potential. But then, when we gather together, and begin to talk, magic happens, things do begin to grow, and faster than you could have imagined. And we all realise that it is possible to do things differently than we are told. It is possible to do business another way, that things don't always have to involve money, or multinational companies, or foreign businesses, that we have everything we need right here on our doorstep. We have the community we need, right here in our town. And you know what? So do you!

The most exciting thing we have discovered is that as soon as you begin to speak, to ask for what you need, you find it's right there, down the street from you, in your community, and it has been all along. There is a network of amazing people all around you who want the same things for themselves and their families that you do, and all you need is a place to come together to talk. A Common Ground to talk about the common ground you share, the back to basics, real, stuff, like how to feed your family, how to provide a real and rich experience for your children of what the world really is, and how people really do want to help one another, because it benefits us all, in the end. And in doing so, we discover how to pare away the unnecessary, stifling, consumer mentality we are all infected with, and to get real again, connect with people in a heartfelt way that brings untold riches of the kind we haven't felt since childhood. 

Last Saturday evening we hosted another event, this time a pop-up restaurant, a seated, four course, vegetarian meal for 30 folks, in a studio in what was once a factory that made the rather famous Beverley Bags in the 50's and 60's, and I found myself In My Element. Seeing all these people, many of them strangers to one another, gathered together and talking talking talking, connecting, sharing food and drink and laughter, stories and ideas and intentions, well, I thought my heart would burst with happiness.

It's all true, you know, what we know in our hearts; that we all want the same thing in the end. A safe place, with love and support, a community that lifts us all up, collectively nurturing and sustaining us, and that carries us forward into a hopeful future where we are doing things the way we want to.

Local friends, and anyone interested, you can find us,
And online on our website here.