“As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way
O sisters let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O sisters let’s go down
Down in the river to pray “
Alison Krauss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbgfQ48hWuY
For the second year running, I am fortunate to be staying away at a cottage on the banks of the River Tweed, in the Scottish Borders, in the week preceding my birthday. I have come to the river, to ask, wish, pray and be guided.
I have seen the word ‘threshold’ in various posts over the weekend, and it occurred to me that I am on the threshold of 57.
Threshold ~ definition ~ the point or level at which something begins or changes: any place or point of entering or beginning.
Next week, I enter my 58th year.
I am choosing to use this time here for several purposes.
The first is to reconnect and spend time with my friend Trudy and catch up with several decades of unfinished and rarely completed conversations, snatched between babies and life rushing onwards, and living hours and many miles apart. We met aged 19 during our training to be Merchant Navy Officers and later travelled together around Australia in 1983/4.
The second is to pause, rest, recharge, reflect , and now, I realise,to set intentions for my personal new year of becoming 57.
Thirdly, watch every second of sunrise
and sunset, and notice how the reflections are mirrored in the river and marked by birdsong and the amazing sound and vision of swans in flight as they pass very close by on their way upriver.
Lastly, on a practical note, I brought my accounts with me , as I intend to take an hour a day getting my financial spreadsheet in some kind of order.
Oh, and I brought a large box of photographs with me and plan to spend some time sorting these and getting some kind of organisation in place ( yes, some of these go back 25plus years! The time is nigh!)
It is a week of many joys, inspired actions, laughter, reminiscing and planning ahead for the future, how to I want to feel at 57, how do I want my life to be and become.
Also, there is cake, good food, some wine, laughter and comfortable company.
I spent several hours on Sunday afternoon driving through the Scottish countryside to arrive here to a hamlet just north of the town of Coldstream.
I was very clear in myself that I would make my way here via quieter and less busy country roads and stay clear of the busy motorways and highways , and that is exactly what I did.
The journey took longer than it needed to. I could , had I chosen, have arrived sooner, but I would not have enjoyed the journey as much. And, isn’t this what our life and our journeys are about ? Enjoying the view along the way? Choosing to pause and meander when we need to?
At one point I joined the very busy and fast moving traffic on the Edinburgh city bypass. I lasted a total of about 5 miles maximum before I exited again and sought out a B road. I realised I did not want to have the pace of my journey set by traffic around me, surrounded by speed and noise. I wanted to set my own pace and make choices to suit myself. I wanted time to stop and smell the roses, to stop and absorb the glorious Autumn and the unexpected views and vistas around a corner.
Of course, I quickly realised that this is how I am choosing to live my life as I enter my 58th year.
I will choose my speed and my route to suit me.
I will arrive at my destination calm and unfrazzled and delighted having made my choices about how I want to feel on my journey.
And I am already thinking that I want to book ahead to this time next year and secure this cottage and this pause , and the abundant tranquillity, of the surroundings, and the sunrises for which I can find no words, as I approach my 59th year.
And so it is.
Vision pages this morning brought some surprises and a sense of yes, of course. Of course that is what I want.
I am keeping some pages private : and then there was this one.
‘Prioritise your rest. Slow your pace. I realise I needed to make time for me, as well as everyone else.
My job was to find effortless’
Time for me to completely practice what I preach, to top up my own well, and to keep it topped up, to listen to what my body, soul and spirit need, and to act on that, to heed my guiding star. To notice what excites me, what brings me alive and makes me tingle with knowing , and what doesn’t .
To find balance between developing my business, engaging in work which I am passionate about ,and prioritising time for myself to pause and rest.
And so it is.