"We live our lives in chapters. Phases come and pass and we evolve, changed from where we were. Figuratively, we have to prepare an empty room for our newer self. This continual sorting out of the outward symbols of our inner self is cleansing to our soul. Weed out the clutter so there is room to grow."
Partially to blame for my absence from Cyberspace is the book Daring to be Yourself, by Alexandra Stoddard... which is where I found this fantastic quote. I don't feel the need to find myself per sé, but to celebrate my self, my life, and my home (rather than to just use it as a shelter). This book is helping me to do that, and I feel re-energized just finding 5 minutes to read its pages.
It's not that I don't love adventuring and exploring. Yesterday we drove to Antwerp, spent a few hours at it's gigantic and elegant Wijnegem shopping mall, and stopped for fresh local strawberries at a farm on the way home. But I feel like our lives aren't lacking adventure. We often find ourselves in several countries over the course of a month. But children learn by example, and I want Lukas to grow up in a (semi) orderly home, filled with memorable smells (freshly baked bread, muffins, etc), and the things we love. And, speaking of love, what better way to show it than through these channels?
But the old farm house we're renting here makes every day a holiday, anyway. I have now vowed to have a climbing rose bush and lots of ivy at our home in Germany... someday.
To give you an idea of the impact Alexandra's having on my life, I woke up this morning chipper after just five and a half hours sleep, went out into the garden, cut two handfuls of roses from the vines and trees on the side of the house, pausing to listen to the strange cacophony of roosters from near and far, then floated the hand-picked flowers in a large porcelain bowl on the dining room table (pictured above). Afterwards I warmed up the strawberry muffins I prepared last night, made fresh whipped cream, and sliced some fresh strawberries to serve on the side. From there, I carried breakfast up to the boys (and myself) on a tray, complimented with a simple white rose and lavender. It was as if we lived in a full-service, 5-Star resort -- only how incredible to indulge like this at home! What a way to start the day. Actually, I should be napping now, but why put off until later what can be done today? Seize the moment!
And on that note, I'll leave you with images of our little (rented) piece of paradise.