A meter of fabric
A mosaic mug
A felt making pack
A collection of Longwool sheep strands
A counted cross-stitch pincushion kit
A bottle with a fern collected on a walk
A watercolored notecard of smiling sheep
"What do these items have in common?" you may ask.
"Hmmm...," I reply.
I purchased all the items – except the mug (France) – within 50 miles of the little village of West Witton, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park (UK), where Drew and I have been staying for the past 10 days. This morning I gathered them from their various packages, spread them out on the window seat of our VRBO and just enjoyed looking at them. Not analyzing The Why of my selections, other than that they simply make me smile... a bit like the sheep in the note card (by Christine Carradice).
Before coming to Yorkshire, Drew and I spent a week at a Veriditas-sponsored labyrinth retreat in Chartres, France. Along with 40 other participants, each on our individual and collective pilgrimages, we were invited to consider images we are drawn to. "What images are we feeding ourselves?" "Are we stuck with the same images?" "Is beauty a part of our images?"
We were encouraged to pay attention to nudges, those intangible feelings, prods, taps on the shoulder, inner voices that encourage you to follow one path rather than another, or pick up that meter of lovely handwoven blue and cream fabric, rub it between your fingers and take it home with you. Our inner voices can lead us in exciting and new directions, give us renewed perspective where we live, inspire us to creativity, encourage us to speak to people who may enrich our lives, become friends ... and more. The challenge, of course, is to honor nudges over naysayers or inner critics, who tend to talk more loudly and with presumed authority.
Images and nudges lay before me on the window seat. Is it their colors, textures, creativity, or perhaps their connections with other people that brought them into my life? It's not for me to question, but to follow and see where they lead.
Right now, Drew and I are headed outside to follow a footpath that starts a few meters from our VRBO. Its image of natural beauty is nudging us to take a walk, so we are!