Living within the seasons is an absolute passion of mine. It defines my living breath. Living in Scotland, I am blessed to witness all four seasons and use the changes to determine how I spend my time. The seasons help to ground us and give us hope. I began paying far more attention to the seasons many years ago when my life took a turn. I left a demanding senior academic job and moved my family to a small Scottish island. Living on the Isle of Arran off the west coast of Scotland the seasons are very evident, in particular the transitional seasons of spring and autumn. My favourite moments every year is when I feel the first autumn winds arrive. They bring a freshness and a new dynamic and I love the new energy that they offer up.
After many years of island living you learn to love the quiet season of winter when visitors depart and the island returns into the hands of the islanders. You can walk on the beach early in the morning and see the same early morning folk and have a wee catch up. Winter is my favourite time of year. I do my best thinking when my brain is cold and so I incubate my way through winter and generate plans for the remainder of the year. Incubation is not a passive process. It demands a sense of being present and active and that, in turn, responds to what is happening in the broader natural world. Many folk believe that nothing much happens during winter, nothing could be further from the truth. Winter is a time for deep replenishment and reconnecting. It is a time for grounding and restoring. It is a time to live off reserves and understand how deep those reserves go. We all have hidden reserves that we fail to tap into but if you ‘winter well’ you know just how to access those reserves and free your mind. Winter gives you the space and time to do that, that is why it is my favourite season.
I am returning to writing after some years absent on parenting duties. With three out of the four fledged I have the mental space to write once again. I am focusing on my work in seasonal living, textile art and meditation. I am putting my professional life online to offer up the freedom that goes with it. I finally have a camper van to roam in, when Covid allows, so writing is the perfect companion. I don’t have the same motivation to teach face to face that I once had but I do have a passion for online teaching so I have set that as a forward path. My first two ebooks, intuitive journaling and autumn creativity have both sold really well in my wee etsy store and I am thrilled with the feedback. I am currently working on my winter ebook which will include a route map for an alternative approach to the festive period. I like to think this work offers up an antidote to the over-commercialisation of Christmas. I am incredibly proud to share that my daughter, Molly, is to be a guest writer in this forthcoming ebook. We are going to go on a virtual winter walk in the Scottish highlands with her. A conservationist and an environmentalist should be able to teach her old ma a few things. Molly writes her own blog, Highland Hippy Living, where she shares her life in the Scottish highlands. This is the first collaboration between us so I am excited to see where that takes us.
I began a wee Facebook group linked to my Scottish island mum page called ‘Living within the Seasons’ so if you like seasonal living pop across and join in. If you favourite my etsy store you will get automatic notifications when I add new things which will include my winter ebook. So, as autumn surrounds the island let us wonder at its beauty and listen carefully to its messages…..