When you live in paradise, you need never go on holiday. My little house at the beach is everything I could ever dream of. For the first time in over a year, I decided I was longing for a change of scenery and so I went on a little trip to the Veluwe woodlands. There is something about leaving everything behind – if only just for a moment. To discover unfamiliar territory and venture into an unknown world. When I arrived, it was still warm and so I headed out for an evening walk. The world was covered with rhododendrons in every colour of the rainbow. I followed a little stream into the forest and noticed something moving in the first tree I came upon. Lo and behold – it was a tiny red squirrel. I sat down in the grass beneath her. In this moment away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, I let all of my dreams flood over me. It allowed me to zoom out and see the bigger picture – how far I have come and what is still ahead. To dust off my compass and see the direction it’s pointing towards.
Things change. Something that used to work perfectly for you, suddenly doesn’t anymore. For a while you keep thinking: if we could just get back to the way it was… But there comes a point where you have to surrender and accept it. To cut the dead wood and trust the magic of new beginnings. Case in point, I’ve made the decision to leave my (very steady) temp job. I used to love having to go into town every afternoon, but lately it’s draining my creative energy. It wasn’t until I was started reading The Magical Approach by Jane Roberts that I understood why. The book explains that creative time follows the rhythms of the earth, the seasons and tides of nature. But our society is based on production time, you know, nine-to-five-assembly-line time. It is based on the principle that each minute is valuable and most be devoted to work. But, as the book reminded me, relaxation is the champion of creativity – not its enemy. For inspiration you need empty time, where time is allowed to flow.
How quiet the house suddenly was without sweet Minoes. For the first couple of days nothing felt quite right. Flip lost all interest in playing with his toys and desolately moped around the house. But slowly he started to find his way on his own. I kept thinking this would be a temporary solution, but without noticing we fell into a rhythm. At night he curls up in the hollow spaces of my spooning body, only to wake me up gently when the sun rises in the sky, climbs into my lap when it’s time for me to do some work, sniffs around my brushes and water colour tins, and always, always waits patiently in the window sill for me to return home from the city. Somewhere between nuzzling whiskers and soft paws, this little creature stole my heart. My doubts have disappeared and I simply can’t imagine him living anywhere else. To honour this new beginning as well as his past, I have given him the epithet Kizu. Meanwhile, Minoes has found a new home too. And so, everything will be alright in the end.
Things didn’t work out as I had hoped. It’s always difficult to know when to keep going and when to admit defeat. When do you decide that no matter how hard you’ve tried, something simply isn’t meant to be? To listen to that voice within that says: “You are allowed to make mistakes”. Last week I finally admitted that I couldn’t deal with the cats fighting anymore. After seven weeks of three of us sharing a home, something had to change. It was decided that Flip would stay for a while, at least until his wounds had healed, and that Minoes would have to leave. Looking at this beautiful, innocent creature who hasn’t done anything wrong and tell her she couldn’t stay with me anymore, was one of the hardest tings I’ve ever done. And to put her in a basket and bring her back to the shelter. It just broke my heart. I know that I have to trust that she is protected and that she has a good chance of finding a new home, where she’ll be loved. So I held her tight and whispered in her ear: “Reach for the stars!”