Winter Update

Today is a slow, warmth seeking Winter day.

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making cookies during Ramadan

Ramadan and Eid came and went. Bit by bit we are getting closer to an understanding of what might be the cause of our littlest man’s health problems.  I’m just so grateful for his daily health, grateful for every day we spend together.

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Mother’s Day Delights

Homeschooling – Norse Mythology – The World Tree
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Edendale Farm
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Painting.

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the beginning of some wall decoration using wet on wet watercolours

Treading Water

the first year

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Somewhere I read ‘God is my inexhaustible resource’. I read about a man who had seven versions of himself. I need to be seven. In the minutiae of my daily life it is hard to get the dishes washed or the clothes dry or something healthy cooked and ready for eating. I cannot do everything, I cannot be everything.

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I’ve been here before and I’ve learned to ‘chop wood and carry water’…be still and be carried. I turn to one small patch of my corner and give it my full attention. This small thing I will do well. I’m sitting quietly nourishing him at the breast, he breathes in and out, the curl of his hair wrapped around my finger. I am only one but I can still give it all I have.

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Around me there are people of beauty and goodness, soon my baby will be running and talking and I will make bread and soup.

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I am just stretched thin.
I am not alone in it, this is our modern world. We are mothers, fractured, carrying weights that were once carried by many..we do it side by side, we do our best.

Summer Solstice

We are developing a seasonal yearly rhythm. orangefairy
Midsummer Fairy in the apricot tree

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A Waldorf daily and yearly rhythm are based around cycles of breathing in and breathing out. In Sufism we call this contraction/qabd and expansion/bast.

The whole of reality breathes in and out. 

In ancient times human beings were innately connected to the cycles of the Earth and the expanding universe. In the contemporary world however we are totally out of touch. We cannot even see the stars anymore because of pollution. Electricity has extended the day well into the night, we no longer follow the cycles of the moon or sun. Disconnected from the natural/created world we are also disconnected from our Source.

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When we bring our attention back to the natural world we increase in reverence for the Divine Reality that we Muslims call Allah/God. 

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Islam has always been a faith that pays attention to the cycles of the natural world. The Muslim calendar is a lunar calendar, our festivals are heralded by the sighting of the moon, we pray according to the position of the sun. So it seems like a natural extension of this to pay attention to the cycles of the seasons, to the longest and shortest day, to the tides. Giving attention to something is not the same thing as worshipping it as an individual entity. On the contrary paying attention to rhythm and cycles is a way of honouring the interconnectivity of everything. What Islam does is simply bring this multiplicity and interconnectivity and living-ness back to a Single Source.

I hadn’t organised anything for the Solstice so what we ended up doing was a kind of on the spot happening.
We gathered together some things orange and yellow, we made chalk drawings, we took Midsummer Fairy to a lovely spot in the apricot tree, we ate some oranges while basking in the sun and we felt ourselves radiating with the Summer energy. We recited a surah/verse that begins

‘Allah there is no God but He, the Living, the Self-Subsisting, Eternal’

We also recited the following poem.

‘The radiant beauty of the world
Compels my inmost soul to free
God-given powers of my nature
That they may soar into the cosmos,
To take wing from myself
In cosmic light and cosmic warmth.’

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A visit to a Waldorf school

Today we visited the Sophia Mundi Steiner School Spring Fair. I’ve been past the school plenty of times on the way to Collingwood Children’s Farm but this was the first time I have been inside. I took one step into the Prep and Grade One classrooms and just felt I was at home!

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I realised that in all these years of being attracted to Steiner education, I have never actually been to a school.  I’ve attempted to create a Waldorf influenced homeschool but I’ve never actually been out there and seen how it works in the world. steiner-way2

Of course it is about more than lovely wooden toys and soft colours and handmade things, there’s an energy to these spaces .  It’s a wholesome, enriching way that brings children through and into the world softly and in a gentle, subtle way draws them towards becoming full beings. I came away wondering why aren’t ALL schools like this? Why can people not see the difference between this and mainstream education? I wish so much that we could create schools that combined aspects of Steiner education with Islamic spirituality.

 

Montsalvat Arts Festival

When I was a little girl we had a book about mud brick architecture in Eltham and it included a lot of photographs of Montsalvat. I loved looking through it and imagining building myself a house and studio in the same style. We didn’t live in Melbourne and it wasn’t until I was an adult that I was able to visit the place properly.

Today we went to the Montsalvat Arts Festival. The weather forecast was terrible but it didn’t end up raining, it was a beautiful day.

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There were live bands, exhibitions and various children activities.  I enjoyed the gardens and buildings.

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I’d love to have a studio here, it’s such a peaceful place. I love Eltham.

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