I have gone forward, not as one travelling in a road cast up and well prepared, but as a man walking through a miry place, in which there are stones here and there safe to step on, but so situated that one step being taken, time is necessary to see where to step next.
John Woolman's Journal
This quotation came into my mind at Meeting yesterday and the more I have thought about it the more I see how accurately it reflects my experience this year.
Six months ago when I wrote my last post - and I can hardly believe it was that long ago - I was full of good intentions and was intent on making a new start at writing regularly. I even started another blog for craft-related thoughts but that too I have neglected for six months. In February I thought that I was starting out on 'a road cast up and well prepared' but I have found myself instead in 'a miry place' and I got stuck in the mud!
The year so far has been busy in many ways but I have not been allowing myself enough time to pause and reflect and think about what I might write here. I think, now that Woolman has helped me to look back, that much of my malaise stems from being prevented from going to America in April, where I planned to attend the QUIP [Quakers Uniting in Publications] conference and do some historical research, by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud. That was my miry place and although I have gone on with my many activities as usual, mentally I have remained stuck in it.
But gradually, and especially in the last couple of months, I have found 'stones here and there safe to step on' and have been feeling more positive. I put a lot of energy into organising a party for family and local friends to celebrate the amazing fact that Chris and I have been married for 40 years. I spent weeks tidying up the house and garden and the whole family helped with the catering and pulled together on the day. In spite of some rain it was a really happy occasion and wonderful to have all three children and their partners there and for me to at last really see them all as adults.
I have kept in touch with the world through Facebook, sharing photographs, comments and frequent status updates, but that is not the same as writing here. I have, although not perhaps consciously, needed time to see where to go next. Now is the moment to take a few more hesitant steps towards unblocking this blog.