October country

Since I reclaimed the study as my craft room, I’ve been spending a great deal of time up here in this room of mine. I say mine, although it’s still a place for Howard to come and write, and work, on his days working from home.

But mostly, it’s a craft room again, and oh how I love it. It started off that way when we moved in, and although I liked it, the space wasn’t right. It took a small passage of transformation – from craft room to study and back again, for me to get the vibe just so. Now I have a proper big white desk, lots of shelves and space for all my crafty things, and bunting, of course. Now it is grey with yellow highlights and the space just feels harmonious. We all need a little space of our own (even when that space is frequented by welcome visitors wondering where Mama has gone)

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So I’ve been coming up here to do all sorts. Mostly sew things, or cut things out. Sometimes knitting (although knitting is really best suited to comfy armchairs I think). And writing.

It’s the perfect end to October days spent with friends, or playing, or chasing the wind which is always howling somewhere. October starts the busiest time of year for us. Birthdays, anniversaries, even half birthdays, Halloween and then, of course, Yule.

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There’s a frenetic energy to this month, but this year especially everyone I know seems to be moving in a half-wondrous, half-crazed dance. Lots of things seem to be changing, lots of things shuffling around.

I’m doing my best not to let the busy get too much, but I feel like I am always running, never stopping. The evenings are thick and plum and I’d like to wrap myself up in quilts and do nothing, sometimes, but busy is addictive. Busy is validating and deceptive.

Ezra has been busy turning six months old, sitting some of the time, standing some of the time, making gorgeous raspberry noises or baby Wookiee noises. Delightful, full of joy.

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Ava has been busy being three which means, so far, always being in character. Pretending to be a dog or a fairy or a dancer. It means asking a lot about time, and asking for a lot of music to be on. She enjoys Mama-daughter dates at the weekend, which meant, this weekend, a double-decker bus, chocolate cake in my favourite coffee shop and a wild bird display.

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She is finding words everywhere, recognising their shapes, and surrounds herself with books all day long. I am reading a lot about whole language as an approach to learning to read. Chomsky mostly. In amongst all my thinking and reading and deschooling. And I’m relieved we’re not going down the phonics route which seems backwards and odd, for Ava at least.

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And for me – I am thinking of how I can simplfy next year, focusing more on the things I want to keep close, things I want to develop, and letting go of the things I don’t really want around. It’s an ongoing process, this letting go. Relinquishing.

And for next year that means writing more – more freelance, more here, more novel, and it means taking the Mindful Doula course in Spring. For a long time, since Ava’s birth, I’ve been wondering how I can be more involved with positive birthing. The thought of becoming a Doula is one that has been floating around, but never made roots. Last week a kind compliment from my Doula brought it back down to ground and it seemed finally like this was exactly what I want to be doing.

Since then, things have come together the way things do when a decision is made in good faith. Friends have been overwhelmingly supportive. Doulas who I have met – some of whom I know now, some of whom I have only met a few times – have been hugely encouraging. And best of all, a dear friend has asked me to be her birth partner/Doula in Spring.

But now – right now, it’s the quiet moments that are keeping me sane. When we come home late afternoon and we all crawl into bed and maybe read books or watch something on YouTube but mostly just hang out. Ezra usually falls asleep and Ava chats to me about whatever is on her mind. It’s probably a combination of light that hits the leaves before our window, the different quilts on our bed and the warmth of different sized bodies close to one another, but there is a momentary rightness that settles on us. October is indeed a rare month.

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About Kendal

I'm Kendal Mosley-Chalk. I live in York with my husband and two children.
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