“Some hats can only be worn if you’re willing to be jaunty, to set them at an angle and to walk beneath them with a spring in your stride as if you’re only a step away from dancing. They demand a lot of you.”
January 15th is National Hat Day, an unofficial holiday that celebrates one of the most essential accessories invented centuries ago. Even the Egyptians sported sassy headgear, along with the Ancient Greeks and Romans.
Think of Winston Churchill’s hat, the homburg, a felt hat with an elegant curved brim boasting a grosgrain ribbon. And recall Napoleon’s bicorne, which he wore sideways to stamp his brand for all to see his courage on the battlefield. I remember Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat, classic and elegant. Then there was the famous Panama Hat worn by President Theodore Roosevelt when he was visiting the Panama Canal excavation. My most favourite “hat” fashionista is Queen Elizabeth II, long may she reign. Her signature style of matching hat and gloves with a string pearls is timeless and graceful.
Vancouver was under snow today and there is more snow in the forecast. Winter has arrived and I had the perfect hat to keep me warm on a snow day!
“Nature looks dead in winter because her life is gathered into her heart. She withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger. She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth.”
Hugh Macmillan, “Rejuvenescence,” The Ministry of Nature, 1871
Winter has come and, with it the promise of long winter evenings of reading in the coming cold days of January and February. I have a stack of books at the ready and have signed up to a competitive family book reading challenge that has set me on a course of discovery. Winter is a time of respite and renewal, waiting, preparing…
The soil appears to be dormant, but there is unseen activity happening in the depths of the earth in preparation for the coming of spring. So it is with us. May we “gather our life” in the same way as Nature and recognize the beauty of a winter landscape.
Join me as I look back on the late blooms of Autumn, just before Nature called her family together.
Solitude: A September Garden from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.
“Tread softly! All the earth is holy ground.”
Every Christmas, I listen to poignant Christmas carol, In the Bleak Mid-Winter, which embraces the poetry of Christina Rossetti. She entitled her poem, “A Christmas Carol.”
Christina weaves the story of the humble birth in a stable into a call to action to “do our part.” In a few short lines of poetry, she brings together an eclectic gathering to witness this unforgettable event. Ox, ass and camel, angels, cherubim and seraphim watch over the baby. And yet, it is the human touch of a mother’s kiss that gives the greatest sense of reverence.
Christina’s gift for poetry was encouraged by the works of those that came before. She repaid this legacy by inspiring others who came after. She influenced the writings of Virginia Woolf, Gerard Hopkins, Philip Larkin and Elizabeth Jennings.
Join me for a Sunday Evening Reflection with Christina Rossetti.
In The Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.
“I think that one’s art is a growth inside one. I do not think one can explain growth. It is silent and subtle. One does not keep digging up a plant to see how it grows.”
Welcome to Sunday Evening Reflection. I invite you to join me in a walk through Emily Carr’s garden, Victoria, British Columbia. It is a September day, the gentle warmth of the sun nourishes the vibrant colours of late summer. In the air, winter is stirring, readying for the days of rest that prepare the earth for the coming of spring.
“It is hard to remember just when you first became aware of being alive. It is like looking through rain onto a bald, new lawn; as you watch, the brown is all pricked with pale green. You did not see the points pierce, did not hear the stab – there they are!”
A Walk in Emily’s Garden from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.
Welcome to Sunday Evening Reflection. I invite you to join me on a quiet walk along the Breakwater District, Victoria, British Columbia. The Poetry of Jean-Jacques Fournier accompanies my thoughts as I look out at the distant horizon.
“ Singlehood ”
– rather in between –
Of single life,
And find somehow
It’s rather in between
The then and now,
Like not too hot
Or not too cold,
A sort of midway
Life and death
Tho not so bold,
A kind of lazy comfort
That goes nowhere
In a most committed way…
Don’t get me wrong
That’s not to say
It’s all without reward,
Who can deny
The pleasurable sensation
Of unbroken blissful silence,
No need to share
Or patience held be there,
No threat of deprivation
Nor succulent seclusion,
A feast without an equal
For one-way conversations!
ode to a solitude awakening…
© Jean-Jacques Fournier
“Singlehood” – rather in between – by Jean-Jacques Fournier from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.
“I love the dark hours of my being.
My mind deepens into them.
There I can find, as in old letters,
the days of my life, already lived,
and held like a legend, and understood.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
Sunday evenings are complex because we are at an “end” and about to head into a “beginning.” Sundays signal the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) transition from time based on personal agendas to time structured by others who are depending upon our focused attention and interaction. I think of this as moving from “my time” to “their time.”
Some call it the Sunday Night Blues and many people have felt the sting. I first experienced this when I was in grade school, when I knew that a math test, or even worse, a spelling bee was scheduled for Monday morning. I confess that spelling was never my strong suit.
Over the years, I have created ways in which to embrace a spirit of anticipation for what lay ahead. Sunday evenings have become a time of reflection, a pause, a breathing space. Tomorrow will come, but for tonight, I am here.
Join me on my Sunday Evening Reflection.
Ocean Reflection from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.