Friday, July 25, 2008

Calming Stone

As a young girl I liked stones. I was the child that brought them home from a walk...and since we lived on a dirt road there were tons every where. I was not very familiar with semi-precious stones until I was much older. I have learned and continue to learn about them in the same way that I do plants, I am drawn to one through instinct and then I do some research. Usually the reason I have been drawn to it becomes apparent through the research. Last week I was called to the wooden box where I keep my stones. I took out my piece of Lepidolite. It is triangular, about 2 inches long, a lovely lavender colour with white and iridescent parts. The lavender colour is from the lithium component of the stone.
I bought this stone 2 years ago. I can not remember why I thought I needed it then, but reading its description I know that I need it now. It is known to be extremely calming. It soothes anger, and any other negative emotion. It is also known as the Dream Stone: Helping the user to not have nightmares relating to stress or upsets in personal relationships. It aids the muscles to relax and strengthens the heart. Mostly it enhances the expression of one's inner light and joy.
Before I sleep I hold it in my hand for a while and breathe deeply. I find it helps me to focus on letting go before sleeping, which has always been a challenge for me.
In many of the trances and mediations I have done stones have been my "gift". I have found this is a wonderful way to learn about stones...often I have known only the colour and have had to figure out what kind it was later on. Several times it has been near my birthday which is a few weeks after Samhain so I will get the stone for myself as my birthday gift to me. Last year I did not receive a stone as a gift in my Samhain trance, but one of my best friends gave me one as a birthday gift. Funny how things work out sometimes.
I am often drawn to stone jewelry as well. Asking my then boyfriend for a red stone ring one year and pink the next. I don't think I could ever have too much jewelry but luckily they cost way less then diamonds etc. And funnily enough I don't really like diamonds, they are too fancy for me. My grandmother gave me a pair of malachite earrings one year and I wore them so much that the stone separated from the shaft. When I'm a crone I'd like to have beautiful big pieces of stone jewelry, which I suppose can be quite expensive in larger sizes. I loved Angelica Houston's character in "The Life Aquatic" she wore stunning pieces of jewelry. I don't have the style or enough life in my face to wear them yet. All in due time.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Buy Local, the blessed days of Summer

One of the best parts of Summer for me is the local produce. Here in Burnaby we have a Farmer's Market every Saturday from May through September. Burnaby was one of the last cities in the Lower Mainland to get their own market but this year they made it work. It is our luck that we just moved here this year. The first weekend seemed a bit sparse, but last week I returned and I'm really glad I did. The produce there was local and beautiful. While only some was Certified Organic (we eat as much organic as possible) most was pesticide free and way nicer than anything trucked in from somewhere else. Raspberries are in season right now. My favorite berry by far. This week I also picked up a few cherries. The other wonderful part of buying local is you are reaching the farmers directly. There is a connection there, I feel that growing up on a farm gave me a connection to my food that many city people do not have. I think of where things have come from when I buy them in a store. Sadly many people who have never seen a cow in person, can't really connect to where this milk in the carton is from. So when you ask: "Where does milk come from?" They say: "The store!" Not quite. So despite the fact that I live in the city and I'm raising a family here, I want my kids to feel the "roots" of their food. My son will benefit from visiting his Grandparents on the farm, but he will also frequent the Farmer's Market with me, visit Pick your Own farms, and really understand that when he buys it, or puts it in his mouth, someone grew this food from our sacred earth.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mommy Weekend...?

After 6 months of mommyhood I began to notice the trends that I had never seen clearly before. Moms never have a day off. At my "real" job of pre-parenthood I worked five days and then had two days to rest. Moms don't get days to rest...
I remember my Mom working a full week outside the home and then on Saturday mornings cleaning our house, she would rush to get it done as quickly as she could and then move on to more relaxing or fun things. I used to think to myself: why doesn't she just relax? Why bother to get it done so quickly? Its not such a big deal having a clean house, etc. I'm sure many of us can remember thinking our parents should relax and not stress out so much.
Well the clouds of childhood and the teenage years have cleared. And I must admit I still had those clouds well into my early twenties, by my late twenties they had slightly faded leaving me a small inkling of what the future held. I remember thinking to myself: if I can't manage the mess two people make how on earth will I manage with a family? Manage is a key word here, and staying sane is another. I am compulsive when it comes to how cleaning is done but I let go of control so that my husband could pitch in. And he did/does. But I always have a list in my head of what needs to be done. There is also one in my day planner that I take great pleasure in crossing off when it is accomplished.

The answers to the naive questions that I asked of my Mother so long ago are very simple.
If I don't do it no one will...
and If I don't do it quickly now I will never have time to do the really fun things I want to do.

So I have taken stock of the fact that parenting is a full time job...not in the 40hrs+ a week sense but in the 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year sense. When I began to notice that all the days of the week blended and whether my husband was home or not my job just felt the same, I decided to take action. While I am working full time in the home I work five days a week at cleaning etc. and on the weekends I do the minimum. That is take care of Kyan and make meals, usually that means a load of laundry or two, but no other "work" like tasks.

So while this is not a "weekend" of rest like I previously had, I feel like the days are different and I can enjoy myself more and not worry about house work or getting tons done. This has been challenging because I have to stop myself sometimes and say "no". Just because your son and husband are enjoying play time together you should not take this chance to wash the kitchen sink. Just sit and relax or read or sew. I highly recommend Mommy Weekend!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Naming Ceremony

Last Friday June 28 I had a small Naming Ceremony for my son Kyan. My friend Heidi and I and her son Sage all gathered in a great semi-private spot at a local park and did a ritual.
The main idea was to celebrate Kyan's birth, welcoming him, blessing him with the elements and presenting him with a small basket of stones and symbolic treasures. His name is of Celtic origin and it means "ancient". I have no idea what spiritual faith Kyan will find in his life, but for me this was a way to acknowledge him on his path. I hope he will treasure the basket if only because I worked on it for him, whether he becomes a pagan or not. Some of the things I included in the basket: Turquoise stone the birth stone of December. A stone of grounding that brings peace of mind. Petrified Wood to represent his Dad. Something earthy and also grounding because they are both earth signs. Citrine the birthstone of November to represent me. A stone of abundance and creativity. I hope my biggest gift to him besides love will be to find/see joy in all aspects of creation. Moss Agate was given to him by Heidi and Sage. It is a stone of strength and it aides with self-esteem. Heidi was at Kyan's birth and is one of my best friends. She will be there for Kyan as if he were her own and Sage and Kyan already have a great bond that we are sure will grow with time. I embroidered two cloths from his extended family. Each with his four ancestral names. The backs each had fabric meaning something to our families. From my side a piece of Scottish tartan and from Dave's side a piece of fabric from South Africa where he and his family were born. I also embroidered his sun sign Capricorn onto a little altar cloth. And finally a symbol for each element was included. A small child's cup for water, a feather for air, a handmade candle for fire and a small sack of rice for earth. We also read out virtues from each element that we hope he has. Such as: imagination from air, passion from fire, courage from water, and health from earth. I made him a Rosemary wreath for protection from negative fairies which I have hung in his room. I made one for Sage's Naming 3 years ago and it only just fell apart. Rosemary is a very sturdy plant. We circled the treasures chanting "We all come from the Goddess". We finished with a feast of water, strawberries, cherries and chocolate chip cookies. The spot we chose had lots of dappled light and a lovely summer breeze graced us. It was a perfect day and both the boys napped while we talked of Kyan's birth and the birth of Heidi's new son expected this November. It was a fantastic day enriching to the soul.