“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Ahh February – more a month of endurance than discovery wouldn’t you agree?
By February the new year has worn itself in and even the most sensible of our new year ideals have most likely abandoned us entirely. The hard work of the year is staring us squarely in the eye and I have fits of wondering if my courage will fail me and if my will to keep showing up will throw in the towel.
The weather it gets to us I think. Regardless of where we live, by February’s end we’re all longing for change. For some of you the comforts of winter have well and truly worn thin and your willing spring to rise up on out of the hard ground and for life to show itself in the trees. Down this way we’ve had enough of the heat that’s about seared us through. And when its not scorching hot its belting down torrential rain. We’re longing for calmer more civilised days.
February falls into Ordinary time according to the church calendar and yes ordinary it’s felt.
“Why does February feel like one big Tuesday?” Todd Stocker
but lets not underestimate Tuesday .
and given half a chance ordinary can shine
Even our most ordinary days have their beauties and comforts – we just have to search that bit harder. Yes we commiserate and whinge and lick our wounds for a bit but then reason and hope somehow kick in and we look for what makes sense and search for what gives meaning. We breathe deep and make dinner and do the next right thing we know to do.
So while I’ve well and truly had a run in with the blahs this February there have been silent prayers answered in the most unexpected ways and many a good thing to light my way – good finds all of them and in no particular order.
Now this is where I usually share a good thrift store find but nary a trip to the Op shop this month. After years of thrift store shopping though Ive got a few beauties up my sleeve and I thought I’d share a favourite.
This humble little painting never fails to lift my spirits. It’s all the fresh blue and green and the rolling hills and little house on top and the hand made frame too with lovely hand hewn detail. Painted on an ordinary piece of board not an artist canvas, the frame most likely came from off cuts laying around.
It hung a long time in my laundry as Ive got a bit of a blue and green thing happening in there but just recently I brought it out to brighten up a corner of my back room that I look out onto everyday as its situated diagonally across from my kitchen bench where I basically live. So pretty and cheery to look at and it provides a lovely distraction from the great ugly black filing cabinet that has to live in that corner as well.
The cherry on top though is the story it tells. It’s always a treat to find items that reveal something of their history and this painting does quite literally that. The dear man who painted it took the time to write a few words about himself and the property he painted and attached it to the back.
Now I’m not familiar with the area of Dungog that he refers to which is North of Sydney but it sure looks pretty in this picture. Albion Park where Mr Kellner moved is just south of here which is I guess why it ended up in a thrift store near to me. Surprising that a family member didn’t hold it dear but how glad I am to have the chance to do so.
Quite appropriately I’ve just started reading “A Fortunate Life” by Albert B Facey An all time Australian classic about enduring hope and human will and a mans determination to pull a good life out of a broken start. In typically Australian “we’ll be right” style he retells the most horrendous and traumatic of circumstances in the most matter of fact way. Oh that pioneering spirit. Amazing.
“This is the extraordinary life of an ordinary man. It is the story of Albert Facey, who lived with simple honesty, compassion and courage. A parentless boy who started work at eight on the rough West Australian frontier, he struggled as an itinerant rural worker, survived the gore of Gallipoli, the loss of his farm in the Depression, the death of his son in World War II and that of his beloved wife after sixty devoted years – yet he felt that his life was fortunate”.
You realise as you read the book, that the title itself is a statement of hope and belief and of not giving into despair. A lesson to my self pitying tendencies. A lesson on perspective. A reminder that hope and thankfulness is never to be underestimated.
So what is it with me and book titles lately. Heres another thats got me in its grips. I pounced on this book when it came my way purely and entirely because of the title. Now apparently you can’t judge a book by its cover but what about its name.
I’m still reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr which oh my goodness is a great book – a story that “illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another”. And that title just a few words yet they play like a song perfectly capturing the essence of the book and maybe of life. The darkest of times, the world gone mad but the Light not extinguished. Its encouraged me these past weeks as if to say see it’s OK, your not really in the dark, not ever, not nearly. The Light right there and even in our dark we have this extravagance of light. Maybe it just reminds me of this:
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4&5
So to a few other finds
Loved this post: Why I Don’t Care My Van Is a Mobile Thrift Store
Loved this Link Up:
I found this weekly link up on Photalife where you share just one photo and words are optional. Of course I can’t help but write me some words but oh the simplicity of it !! A short simple post is kind of like a power nap that works wonders in terms of refreshment and just plain making you feel better. Works like a medicine. You can take a look at some of last weeks contributions here. A reminder that creativity doesn’t have to be complicated.
Some new favourites I can’t stop gazing at:
@blueberrylivingco This one so fresh and pretty and bursting with colour
@marysevanliere This one is all vintagy and mismatched and comfy looking and I would be happy to move right in.
In My Garden
You know I’m always amazed by what grows and what doesn’t. I shoved the tiniest tendril that had fallen off another plant into a pot recently with just a whisper of a hope it might grow and promptly forgot about it.
Another of my plants I willed to grow, I fussed over it, pleaded with it, coaxed it along but it was having none of it – it curled up and died just the same. My forgotten little plant though when I bothered to look was growing strong. Go figure.
We can sow the seed, we can pour the water but the growth – that magic isn’t ours. We lament though over whats not growing, throw ourselves prostrate trying to will something out of the ground to no avail yet while our back is turned, in the place we least expect it we find the growth and increase we are longing for. Ours to sow but its Gods to grow. A reminder to not miss whats growing by fretting over whats not.
I came home from work Monday and found my husband doing this.
Stunned (and happy) but I didn’t say too much in case I disturbed him and he stopped . Now let me fill you in I’ve been waiting for this wall, that stretches the full length of our back room to be rendered since we moved into this house many a long year ago. I always imagined it was going to be some monolithic project hence the years of putting it off. Not so – Ken dragged one bucket of render out of the garage late in the afternoon, gave it a good mix and threw it on with a trowel – he had this bit done in an hour. Seriously. Why oh why do we put things off? But I guess theres a time for everything and the main thing is that ugly orange brick wall is on its way out and I’m doing star jumps on the inside. So in that same spirit I’m launching into a project I’ve wanted to do for a while.
I always like to have project of some sort on the go so when I found this light shade made of book pages and lace I thought I’d have a go at something similar.
Aint it pretty – but this is what I’ve got to work with.
Now you needn’t laugh – it looks a whole lot better than it did. It did have ugly brown smoked glass panels all around it but they have been removed and disposed of. And yes I too am tempted to turf it out and buy a lovely new light fitting but with approximately one million other things we need to spend our money on at present this light fitting won’t be budging anytime soon. So what are my chances of prettying it up. I’m going to start with a metal primer, paint it black and go from there and I’m telling you about it just to put a little bit of pressure on myself to get it done in the next month so I can show you how it turned out next time.
So that my friends are my finds for February. Your turn now. Any good finds your way, any projects on the go. Would so love to hear . xxx
I’m happy to say that I’m joining in today with Emily P Freemans, end of season link up What We Learned Now you might remember it was Emily’s posts that inspired me to start my own end of month round up. You can read about that here and see what other lovely people have learnt this past Summer/Winter depending on where you are right here
Also joining in with Literacy Musing Monday.