Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A magical portion of time

So this is where I spent the afternoon. In the courtyard, on a tarpaulin, sorting the sheep fleece out. Or some of it at any rate. But where to start? No info on the web that I could find in regards to exactly how one should do this task, but I wanted to start sorting it out. You know how some jobs can get left and left and left until it is totally forgotten about? Well I didn't want that to happen to the fleeces.

So I sat myself down, put a towel over my lap, and grabbed for the nearest bit of fleece. It was laden with poo, straw, and other bits of detritus. Not to worry. Push on. 

The minutes ticked on by. The sun came out. Jean Pierre (our roofer) was working on the wall of the Tall Barn. Here is how far he has got. The repair to the wounded wall is now almost done. Saved for future generations. 

Hubs was in the office, quietly working away. The dogs were snoozing in the sunshine. I sat in the middle of my tarpaulin and made a mess.

Left hand pile: unhandled not-to-bad fleece. Top left hand pile: unhandled-to-be-left-for-a-while yukky fleece. Top right hand pile: sorted pile of absolutely awfully yukky fleece. Big right hand pile: Whooppeee! A goodly pile of not-so-bad fleeces. The red bucket serves as my bin for the no-can-do-at-all bits. The green cup had coffee in it. The chair I sat in. The towel was over my lap to stop my trousers from getting any muckier than what they were already. 

And there came upon me a rare moment. A magical moment. One of total peace for all that there was around me, and all that there is my life. The whole courtyard, full as it is of untidiness: of builders stuff, of gardening stuff, of hardly any grass now, only bare earth mostly covered over with gravel from the cementing which is often going on, of a pile of tarpaulins beside me, not dead enough to destroy, but with a little life left in them so kept 'just in case', all of this was overlain with this sense of total peacefulness. 

Jean Pierre worked quietly on. Hubs worked quietly on. I worked quietly on.  And the peacefulness grew and grew. It was magic. And it went on for the rest of the afternoon, and into the evening, eventually becoming a rare and wonderful portion of hours, when everything is as it should be, and knowing with absolute sureness that everything would turn out all right somehow. 

I don't know what made this effect happen. I could put it down to inhaling the sweet smell of sheep fleece, which, despite the poo, was lovely. Perhaps it triggered off some sort of chemical effect in my head. Or perhaps it was the poo itself. Perhaps it has some sort of magical property which makes one feel calm. Or was it the lanolin in the wool itself. Perhaps my hands absorbed the oil and that triggered off the effect. Or perhaps because it was the work itself, that I was stepping into an ancient rythm by working with the wool.

Or perhaps it was the Universe saying 'Well done for keeping going on, for staying positive, for trying to do your best'.

And the Sheep Wool Project? I managed to sort out three bin bags of goodish wool, one bag of not-so-good wool, and took my first step in learning how to wash the wool, managing one bucket. 
Well I have made a start! 

Me being me, I know the sense of everything being in its right place will fade away, but at least by writing about it I can look back and remember that I did have this patch of calmness for a while. It was a treasured experience, and felt like I was wrapped in the most wonderful duvet of  peacefulness. And this I would like to pass on to you, especially Barry (An Explorer's View Of Life) who is battling with his health, and all of you who are battling on one way or another. Blessings to you all.


Roz said...

I'm so glad you had such a nice day. I like the repaired wall. Are they flintstones on the bottom half - it looks really unusual and I like it!
I went on to Barrys blog after reading his comment to you yesterday - my goodness it makes you grateful for what you have doesn't it.
It made me feel like my ramblings are so trivial in the scheme of things.
Anyway your wool looks lovely. I have felt fleece and the lanolin is really oily - are your hands like new now that they have been immersed in it all day (still no question mark sorry) xxx

Vera said...

All our walls are made from river bed stones, the type which you pay a small fortune for in the UK, Roz. Most of the walls in the house have been covered over with rough plastering, but some are still showing the stone. Very higgledy-piggley it is too. But we like it.
Yes indeed, Barry also makes me feel quite humbled by his stoicism. He has quite a following in the blogging community, and I think that helps him cope with the difficulties he is currently experiencing, bless him.
My hands did feel lovely and creamy yesterday. Lanolin doesn't feel sticky and oily when on one's hands, just soft and silky. But no, my hands still remain the same dirt stained objects. Smallholder requirements wreck them, but not to worry. Best to use them industriously than have them not used at all. Hope you have a good day today.

DUTA said...

The peacefulness you felt was due to the monotonous kind of work you were doing - sorting the fleece. The other two, Jean Pierre and your hubs were also engaged in a monotonous kind of work. Whatever the cause, peacefulness of mind and body is a blessed state.

Vera said...

Hi Duta. I have done monotonous work and that makes me feel mentally dull and depressed. I think all of us, Hubs, Jean Pierre and myself, were all engaged with creative work, and that must have contributed towards the feeling of peacefulness. And you are right: peacefulness is indeed a blessed state, and one which most of us don't manage for longer than a few minutes at a time. Hope you have also been blessed by such peacefulness.

French Fancy said...

The minute I hit your blog and enlarged the photo I knew you had set to with the Big Fleece Sort Out. Oh well done - I know only too well how doomed something is if it is not seen to straight away.

As for your special afternoon - I've had a few moments like that in my life, where I am so totally in the here and now and it is so beautiful that you feel you have entered some mystical and spiritual realm.

This is tremendous writing, Vera.


Ken Devine said...

Hi Vera
I felt the peace as I read this post and agree with your explanation of the difference between the feelings you get from menial and creative tasks.

What are you going to do with the fleece?

Vera said...

Thanks, Ken. I am going to spin it! Yes I am! Or try to. Another long steep learning curve I suspect! Glad some of the peacefulness I felt emanated across to you.

Vera said...

Julie, I am so glad that you have had a similar experience. Isn't it magical! But so short lived! And you are right - it does feel mystical and spiritual, and very, very special. Blessings to you.

Sharon McPherson said...

Hi Vera

First of all thank you so much for your comments on my blog - very much appreciated. I am glad you stopped by. Yes it was DUTA who guided me to your blog.

Yes I will be following to read of the ups and the downs of your small holding. I admire especially that you are a novice at French, but that's not put you off. The magical peacefulness is what - one day - I hope to live too.

I wish you luck, amid all that poo.

Sharon :)

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I find France so peaceful, it just seems to me to be so magical. I am glad that you have experienced the same feeling. Diane

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Have you seen It may give you some ideas. Diane

Vera said...

Thanks Sharon, and thanks for stopping by. Will also enjoy following your site, especially since you are a writer as well, albeit of a different genre to mine. It is nice to be connected to like minded people, especially since the life of a writer is quite a solitary pathway, isn't it!

Vera said...

Oh thanks you so much Diane, for the link. Went straight to it, and was amazed at how much common sense it held and will be referring to it often. Glad you have that peacefulness as well. I would personally wish to donate that peacefulness to loads of other people, too.

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