Sunday, October 31, 2010
John O'Donohue writes in his beautiful book, Anam Cara, that as someone approaches death, the veil between the worlds becomes transparent and may even lift, as those spirtiside await their loved one. We felt this thinning in several ways. My daughter and son both had dreams of their Gran looking happy and relaxed in a place of light. The night after she died, my husband dreamt he was in a high, white airy room looking at the negative image of a candle flame, through which my Mother had apparently passed, and the same night, my uncle, who is almost 80, dreamt he was in his Grandmother's house with my Mother.
For twenty or so years, my cousin and I have been, separately researching our family tree, pooling our findings when we can. It is the kind of hobby that is all consuming for a while, but then becomes ignored for several years, until something sparks it off again. I have been stuck for a long time now, trying to trace details of my maternal great great grandfather, who was born around 1835. He was a bit of a character, it seems, and changed his forename from Patrick to Peter when he joined the army - living in Presbyterian Edinburgh at that time no doubt made having a Catholic sounding name a bit of a handicap. Anyway, I feel eyes glazing over here, so I will attempt to be brief. I came across him on the 1861 Edinburgh census, where he gave his place of birth as St Andrews. I excitedly and diligently spend a whole day at Register House, searching for him in the previous census and old parish records of St Andrews to no avail. Then I found him on the 1871 Leith census where he claimed Edinburgh as his birthplace. Was this a fabrication also? I never found out until - my cousin came to visit my mother last week. As we sat, chatting by her bedside, he mentioned his discovery that our great grandfather (son of Patrick/Peter) had been born in Cannonball House . Leading on from this very interesting finding, I sought his opinion on Peter's two birthplaces - why would he say St Andrews and then Edinburgh? Ah! said my cousin - it wont be St Andrews in Fife - it will be St Andrew's parish in Edinburgh! And, of course, he was right, but I rather think Patrick/Peter was nearby and decided to provide a bit of inspiration.
Anyway,I proceeded to spend the next two nights on the wonderful Scotland's People website, where for £6 you can obtain 30 search credits and before you know it you have frittered away £18, but you are on a roll and just one more £6 and you will fill that gap on the third branch. I found many chinks in the various brick walls I had run up against several years before, and many gaps were filled. What a lovely feeling it was as each one revealed themselves to me. I really felt I was touching my ancestors through the veil - true magick.
And so we find ourselves again at the end of a year. A time to look back at what we have created, how out plans made last year have worked out - let go those things we no longer need. Time also to look forward, to plan anew, to make divinations, and draw ourselves in for a time. The spiral never ends.
All being well, my next post will be from Lewis - a land where the month of November is called Samhain in the native language. Blessings to you all.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
My daughter, Kristine, had written a poem for her Gran the previous night, and she managed, through tears at first, to read it to the church. My husband remarked later that he felt like jumping up and cheering at the end!
A lot of people came and later shared their memories of Mum with us over a cup of tea. There were many bursts of laughter from various groups as they recalled incidents from the past. I think that she would have enjoyed herself and my Dad was happy with the day.
We will be heading back to Lewis, hopefully on Monday, where another small progression will be made towards the fulfillment of our dreams. At least the furniture will have arrived and we will have somewhere to sit and discuss our plans. We will be back here at the end of November until the middle of January, keeping Christmas with the family and getting this house ready for the market. So, plenty to keep us occupied and no doubt much will find its way onto the blog.
Blessings and love to you all. xx
Friday, October 22, 2010
I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support - each word meant such a lot to me,. Blessings to you all.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Many of you know that my Mother has been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease for several years. At the beginning of the year her condition deteriorated enough to require 24 hour nursing care, and she was admitted to hospital, later transferred to a nearby nursing home. over the last two or three months she has steadily slipped further away, and now she is almost at the end of her earthly journey. We have now returned to the mainland, summoned by the phone call we dreaded, to be with her in her last days.
Plans have been put on hold for now. The trip to Wales for our nephew's wedding this coming weekend has been cancelled, as has the subsequent visit to the Centre for Alternative Technology. New outfits and shoes will remain in the wardrobe, and crofting is a world away.
And so we wait in that pause between breaths, the calm space between the waves. Relieved that her struggle of the last years are almost over for her, but sad that we will no longer have her presence. We sit round her bed, chatting, playing her favourite music and reminiscing, hoping that somehow she can hear us. We bring sweet smelling oils to soothe her, James and Finlay play on the floor beside her bed and we wait and watch. For so long we have rehearsed this, but now, as we approach the stage, it is different - it is real - it is not someone else - it is our Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Wife, Sister, Mother-in law, friend - still here with us, but waiting on that shore xx
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The picture above is the front view of the barn that I omitted in a previous post - can you see it with a turf roof and red doors? I can...
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
The land truly glows beneath our feet.
making us look closer
Click here to visit others seated around the nature table.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Oh, and we have joined the Library - imagine having to walk that far though!
I am so glad to be here again.
Thank you all so much for your good wishes - and for sharing the journey with us.