In Greek mythology there is a legend of a woman by the name of Halcyone and her husband Ceyx. Shortly after their wedding, Ceyx had to make a voyage. A storm arose during the voyage, and Ceyx was drowned. Every day that he was gone, Halcyone walked the shores of the beaches, longing for her husband. After several months, the body of her husband washed ashore.
Halcyone was so filled with grief that she threw herself into the ocean. The gods were moved by her love and grief, and she and her husband were turned into kingfishers. They rose out of the ocean and flew off happily into the blue skies. It was declared that the seas would be calm and the sun would shine for seven days before and seven days after the shortest day of the year. This time came to be known as the halcyon days. Today, all sunlit days upon the water are considered halcyon days.
~ Ted Andrews, Animal Speak
If we were having coffee, tea, hot chocolate, water, or some other beverage, I would be happy to see you again. Come on in! It seems like it’s been a long time although I think it’s only been two weeks. Time gets weird over the holidays. It speeds by, yet seems to go on forever. Hugs if you’re amenable. Otherwise, a nod or a handshake or whatever you’re comfortable accepting.
Let’s grab our drinks and have a seat in the living room. It’s not too bad outside (high near 60 today), but it’s overcast and that puts a damper on things. The weather folks say rain will be visiting us tomorrow with bright, sunny, chilly weather to follow. We’ll have more seasonable temperatures which will be good. We need the cold to help balance things out. There are even some snow showers in the forecast for later in the week, but you know how that goes. Weather forecasts are good guesses at best. We’ll just have to wait and see what develops.
I’ll be sipping on tea, as usual. I have a Greek mountain tea that is really tasty. It smells like sage and the first sip or two brings the taste of sage to the tongue, but then it does this amazing thing and changes into a sweet, tea-like flavor. Would you like to try some? There is also some walnut cake. Actually, they’re cake pops and telling you how they became cake pops instead of the usual cake is a long story (and a way of salvaging an almost cake disaster), but suffice it to say they are delicious. Help yourself if you’re not dieting or haven’t given up sugar for the new year.
How are you? How were your holidays (if you celebrated any holidays)? Did you visit with family and/or friends? Travel anywhere? Stay home and have a quiet time? Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Or have you resolved not to resolve? Have you taken any good walks? Read any good books or seen any good films?
I finally got around to moving my 2015 book list to the 50 Books Project page. The grand total for 2015 was 38 books which is not bad. Someone once chastised me for assigning a number to the books I read, saying that challenging oneself to read a certain number of books has the potential to take the fun out of reading and might make one inclined to read certain easy books (fluff and brain candy) just to meet the challenge. I told him that the number is arbitrary and frankly, I don’t care if I “win” my own challenge. I do it because it’s fun and interesting, and because it keeps me on the reading track (which I sometimes fall off of if I get busy doing Other Things).
Winter, I think, is a fine time for curling up with a book. Honestly, I think any season is a fine time for reading, but winter does seem to present more time and opportunities. My favorite place to read is sitting in the comfy chair in the living room because it truly is a comfy chair. It’s just the right size for me. I can, if I want, put my feet on the floor. Being a person of short stature (“I’m not short, I’m fun sized!”), it’s nice to have a chair that allows me to comfortably place my feet on the floor if, that is, I want to put my feet on the floor. Usually I sit crossed-legged which my Granny used to say was bad for the knees. I feel it more in my hips than my knees so I don’t do it for too long these days. I pull over the ottoman when it’s time to shift positions and put my feet up if I’m going to be there a while.
Over my little break, I started and finished reading The Juniper Tree: And Other Tales from Grimm. The stories are bizarre, and Maurice Sendak’s illustrations are equally bizarre, fitting for the stories. I bought the book way back in 1992 for M the Younger. As many mothers do with their children, I used to read with my youngest son when he was young. If I recall correctly, he was not much interested in fairy tales at that stage of his life so we didn’t read more than one, maybe two, of the tales. He was in the third grade and reading Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, a book much more exciting for a boy who loved dinosaurs. M the Younger started reading at a young age, was a very good reader, and his teachers suggested allowing him to read adult books (not “adult” in the X-rated sense, of course). We did continue to read together that year, including books such as The Secret Garden, The Phantom Tollbooth, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Did you know The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was, according to the American Library Association, the fifth most challenged (as being inappropriate) book in the U.S. school system during the 1990’s? I suspect that’s why we read it. In case they banned it from school. I’m not a fan of banning books. A possible banning was not the only reason, of course. We were living in St. Louis at the time, and since we weren’t all that far from Hannibal, Missouri, the setting for Huck’s and Tom’s adventures, we took a trip there after reading the book.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has been a quiet week. M and I traveled so much over the holidays and spent too many nights not sleeping in our own bed. It’s nice to spend time at home and not have to go anywhere or do anything. Don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with family. But all the travel involved, and the hotel rooms, can make it exhausting.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that although I missed doing my usual retrospective on the blog, I have done a little musing about 2015 in my head now that things are settling down. 2015 brought about some interesting times, and now that I look back on it, I am grateful for the things I saw as negative when they were occurring. The problems with my health led to unexpected changes, and things I spent decades working hard to accomplish have been happening slowly and almost effortlessly. I’ve lost 26 pounds, but more than that, I’ve dumped some heavy baggage I didn’t realize I was carrying around. Ancient stuff, some of which I had buried so deep I had forgotten about it. Even better, I have felt myself to be in a safe space to explore my inner world. Much of this safe exploration began after Dana gave me the gift of a free session of coaching with her, and I am thankful to her for getting things started and for all her follow-up. If you’re interested in energy healing, intuitive or oracle readings, check out Dana’s website for more information.
If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that I am still drawing a mandala every day. My little sketchbook has become a mandala journal of sorts, visually chronicling the days. A few people asked about the print on glass I had made for M as a Christmas gift. I took some photos. They don’t really do it justice, and I’d have been better off hanging it and capturing the light through it, but M has taken it to work and hung it in his office window so this will have suffice:
I made it by first drawing and coloring the mandala, then photographing it and editing it in various editing programs (Photoshop, Picasa, and/or Pixlr are the three I usually use). I combined the image of the mandala with one of my photographs of clouds, and I’m not sure but I probably played with the colors as well. I’ve had a couple more mandalas with different designs printed on glass disks just to see if the first was a lucky fluke, and I am surprised at how lovely they turned out. I had no idea you could get photos printed on glass, and now that I know, I’m looking into doing it more often and at a reasonable price.
If we were having coffee or tea or something else, I would ask if you’d like to take a walk with me. Since you arrived, the sky has cleared. It is sunny and warm, and we probably shouldn’t waste this gift by sitting indoors. We can go explore the meadows, the edge of the marsh, and check out the trails in the woods before going out to the dock to watch the sunlight sparkle on the water.
If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that there isn’t much else for me to ramble on about since it was such a laid-back week. Thank you so much for visiting today and joining me for another coffee chat. As always, I enjoyed it. After we take that walk, feel free to stick around for a while. I don’t know what will happen at sunset, but if it looks good, we can head down to the Point. I haven’t been down there for a while and it will be nice to look out over the water and take a short walk on the beach. Sunset is at 5:00 PM. Isn’t it wonderful to see the days grow a little longer?
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare. Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us. I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.