Those words were spoken quite a few years ago by my young niece at a tea party as she checked herself on her manners. Many days they seem appropriate for me to speak about my life and intentions.
The beginning of October, Pastor Di wrote her blogging plan for the month would be “31 days of Paying Attention.” While I cannot hope to imitate her writing in even a small way, I did think it would be an easy focus to get me back on track writing. After all, I notice, I pay attention, I think about things. YOU notice that I have no posts for October. Somehow my paying attention became a serious introspection that required processing, sifting and interpreting.
Even simple things like the early mornings and dark evenings that I love, became thought provoking. So, I’m finishing out the month with a few observations, a few attempts to notice, to pay attention.
- Looking down into the clear glass jar, I see the illusion of light trapped by sold walls. One of the meanings of my name is light. It is easy for me to feel like light trapped. We are all meant to be light carriers. To shine. To brighten the darkness. And I wonder if I do.
2. One morning I stepped outside to cut a last bloom for the table, I glanced at the Elephant Ears with all the veins and shading of green glowing. Then I noticed the mist had settled like a dusting of silver. So beautiful and different from the large beads that usually form. I began to look through the garden and noticed other changes. Like the “skin” of the aged leaves no longer supported the droplets has they had.
3. I confess: I much, much, prefer coffee to tea. But tea does have a small place in my life and cupboard. I like the thought of taking tea, but I don’t actually like tea. And I have tried many. Loose teas, tea bags. Fancy tea rooms, kitchen tables. Green, white, red, black, fermented…
I have lovely tea friends who gift me with tea cups and accessories, all of which makes tea time charming. And Dear Aunt Dolly, urged me to take the family spooner, so many years ago. It holds a small assortment of silvery spoons from family kitchens, long closed. All at the ready for tea time.
I grew up in a tea drinking family. Teabags were common and easily discarded in trash or compost. And a great annoyance if by chance one burst open or one slipped from a dish and left a stain. Recently, I became aware that people were paying attention to those insignificant tea bags! They were looking closely at the construction and the dyed fiber of them. They were noticing even how the drying stains could be art! Hmm, I had to see for myself, so I began drinking tea, or at least boiling water and soaking tea bags. Different teas, herbs, spices – it was intriguing. While they dried, I watched tea bag artists on YouTube! Then, I hunted up my stamping supplies and tried my hand at a simple project.
And I made a note card. One. I wrote a note and sent it off to an artist. Have you looked at a tea bag lately?
4. A pathetic photograph of the charming Woolly Bear – Those fuzzy, wuzzy fall caterpillars, thought to predict winter weather. A friend mentioned that he had seen one. It made me realize that I had not seen one in a while. Pyrrharctia Isabella (Isabella Tiger Moth). A little research and I am amazed! These woolly creatures emerge in the fall and look for a dark and sheltered place to hang out over winter — FROZEN! True! They freeze solid and survive because they are designed with cryoprotectant in the tissues! I love knowing this! And yes, this deserves lots of !!!!! I’m on the look-out for Woolly Bears now.
5. A post on Instagram asked for our earliest memories of Trick or Treat. The flashback was immediate. I was perhaps 6, maybe 7. Dad had walked my younger sister and I down the street, we visited some neighbors and collected our loot in those scary looking paper mache pumpkins of those days. I loved dressing up in costume and for some reason, I think I was dressed as a gypsy in a fancy skirt and bolero. Even with street lights, it was very dark as there were still some leaves on the trees. We walked as far as the Rosenburger’s home almost at the end of our long block. It was very large and on a very large lot, bigger than any other on the street. The Rosenburger’s were very elderly and I hope they enjoyed our childish visit.
As we turned from the door to walk down the steps, well, that was when it happened.
I became aware, alert, enthralled, if you will, with the darkness, the windy darkness and the swirling, rustling dry leaves. I hear some folk don’t like to hear the wind, do you? On that night, so very long ago, in the mystery of wind, it became my friend.
There was strong wind the other day, so I stepped outside. The dry leaves swirled around my feet, whispering. And the wind wrapped itself around me like a shawl and I was 6 again.