Talisman When the days shortenAnd morning and evening seem almost to kissWhen the darkness surroundsI chase the gold as it slips behind the horizon.Hoping it might remain for a moment longer.But it is gone. I look down.In my hand I am clutching three emberssalvaged from the spent flames of a nearby tree.A quiver of gilded crimson.I didn't realise I would need them nowAs the day departs and the darkness resumes its watch.I hold tight to my treasureA promise of tomorrow,of another year.This poem met me on my walk this evening.As I rounded the corner I saw the sky above the rooftops, intense orange. By the time...

It is tempting to want to be a builder; to work with a plan, to know what you are going to produce before you have finished, to be sure about all the details.But better by far to be a gardener; to work with the elements, to be surprised by the things that grow and those that don't, to be malleable and open to change, to have to adapt in order to thrive.Builders have a level of certainty about the outcome. They plan and prepare and Are-Not-Wrong. Rarely does anything happen along the way to change what they are attempting. Sure,...

Recently I've been thinking about the connectedness of everything.About how it is all part of the same thing. We are all substance and soil and soul. We are all atoms and curiosity and magic.And we are all in the conversation.A few years back, we lived close to a big park where I sometimes used to run.I ran to get fit, but really I ran to get out. To leave the house and be alone without children talking and questioning and demanding. I love my children, but by 6pm. after a day on my own with them, I was often ready...

(Before the summer I wrote three posts about creativity, you can read the first one here. This is part 4.)I want to live a creative life, of making and discovering, of spontaneity and hard work.But I have a problem in achieving this and I don't think I am alone: My life is too full.My cupboards and counter-tops are full, my inbox and to-do list is full.My day is full of errands and requests to be fulfilled for the small (and not so small!) people I am care for.My mind is full of their hopes and needs and desires and expectations, and whether or...

This writing lark is relatively new to me. For the past fifteen years, for better or worse, between pregnancies and breast-feeding, I have been trying to form a career as a theatre director. Scrabbling around, looking for scraps of work. Work that would fit in with my childcare, work that would develop my skills, work I loved and work I took because it seemed like the right thing to do.This was my passion. These were my people. This was the path I trod. I stuck doggedly to it.Then a couple of years back, after a season of great emotional turbulence,...

Today was one of those days. You know, nothing major, just nothing great either.It is the end of the Easter holidays and we have had fun and been busy, but today (and yesterday if I'm honest) I have felt tired, and bored.I have one child who is coming down with a fever, one who is a little over tired and one who hasn't stopped talking to (at) me for the last 36 hours, mainly about lego dimensions, of which I have no interest.My husband is well, but busy with work and distracted. And our house has been upside-down as we...