On resting
Finding stillness

Blackberry season

Studio table with blackberries

It has been a beautiful summer on Dartmoor, full of clear days, and sun, and long mornings outdoors with my work in my lap and my feet in the stream; and on the flip side of that idyllic image it has also been hard (traveling on through the valleys of Big Scary Life Stuff), and busy, and scattered, and demanding. My soul is both full and weary, both enriched and depleted...in typically paradoxical mythic fashion.

So my theme for the autumn is "center and focus." Return to the quiet, the land, and the work. It is blackberry season, and time now to harvest the stories that have been ripening, oh so slowly...

....sleeping and dreaming through the long winter...

Blackberries in winter

...then waking with spring, their pink and white blossoms as fragile, bright, and tender as hope.

Blackberry blossoms in spring

With autumn, we gather the fruits of our labor, ripening into plump, juicy bursts of sweetness and joy in the sharp briar patch of our lives.

Blackberries ripening

On the hill, Tilly browses the berries and eats her way down the path. So do I.

Browsing the berries

This means we walk slowly, attentive to the moment. The dizziness of the summer months passes away. The land brings me back to my center, as always; and I'm ready for the work day to begin.

Full of berries and happy.

I leave you with this blessing for "heartful work" by the Irish poet/philosopher John O'Donohue (from his wise book Anam Cara):

May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the
    work you do with the secret love and
    and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your
Little Person with Tree Hat (from one of my sketchbooks)    own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing,
    light and renewal to those who work with you
    and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of
    refreshment, inspiration, and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland
   absences.
May the day never burden.
May dawn find you awake and alert,
    approaching your new day with dreams,
    possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and
   fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and
    protected.
May your soul calm, console, and renew you.

Centered. Focused. A new day begins.

And I'll add to O'Donohue's blessing:

My your life, work, and dreams give you wild blackberries.

Nourishment for body and spirit

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