Back again …

It has been a VERY long time since I last wrote a blog post. Nearly a year. And the longer I left it, the harder it became to know what to write. But today I felt prompted to get over my silence and to simply start the process again.

Much has happened in the past 12 months. I had hoped that by now I’d be back teaching yoga and that there would be less of the burnout to report on and more of the bliss. But life is never completely straightforward. Sadly in June last year we had to say goodbye to my beloved canine companion, Rolo. Although she had been unwell for some time and her death was not unexpected, I was hit very hard by grief at her loss. This had a significant impact on my fatigue levels and I still miss her daily. Here’s a favourite photos of her which was taken on one of our last walks together.

Missing both Rolo and the sunshine, it has felt like a long, hard winter. But the return of the sun and longer days is helping with my energy levels and we have been busy at home preparing the garden for growing more vegetables. My husband never does thing by halves and we now have a VERY LARGE vegetable plot!

After an initial period of overwhelm I have decided to treat this year as a learning experiment and adventure and see what works and what doesn’t. A good thing really as I’ve already made a rookie error of not labelling my seedlings properly so may get some surprises on the plot!

As well as the work in the garden we have started up a small business “Bees in Our Community” to help local people get established as beekeepers. It’s my husband who does all the real work in this, but I’m in charge of his social media presence so have been having a bit of a crash course on all things bee-related.

As if all of this wasn’t enough to keep my interest going I’ve recently started an online writing course. I’m getting myself disciplined now to write most days and have been curious to see what is appearing on the page. One of the earliest pieces I wrote was a poem about CFS which I was very proud to have read out as the closing piece on a webinar for women with chronic illnesses. I have shared it below:

 

The Dark Gifts of CFS

You built me a cage
The bars made of fatigue, pain and loneliness.
I look out and I can see the life I once lived
Playing out in other people’s stories.

At first I wept
And railed against the injustice.
I tried to force the bars to bend
To give me space to escape.

Sometimes I’d slip through
And fly into the outer world.
In a frenzy of activity
I’d do what I used to do
And be who I used to be.

And then I’d return
Spent and empty.
I’d collapse on the cage floor
With no energy left at all
And nothing to do except wait and sleep.

From this perspective
I began to wonder.
Were they the bars of a prison
Or a sanctuary
To save me from myself?

My world is smaller now
But I have learned to savour its gifts.
My joys are of small things.
The opening of a bud.
The aroma of the bread I’m baking.
The myriad colours and shapes of passing clouds.
And my cats curling up with me to rest.

I am hoping this is a pause.
A hiatus.
An interval.
A breathing space.
A lull.

And that one day I may fly out once more
And be active in the busy world.
Part of the hubbub and hurly burly
Playing my role
But bringing with me the stillness
That I am learning
To carry
At my centre.