At the very end of December or beginning of January, I do inventory. I count and weigh tubes of cotton, dust the shelves before putting the tubes back, and make a list of unsold towels. I started this ritual for tax purposes, but it’s become a way to close out one year and begin a new one.
This past December, while doing inventory, some tubes of emerald, green aqua and light green caught my attention and I started adding other colors and playing with combinations. I had planned to move on to a new towel design, but these colors said, “Weave me,” and I decided to listen.
Once I started weaving the teals, aquas, and turquoises, the word “replenish” came to me. The blue-greens and green-blues, reminiscent of the ocean, were replenishing my tired spirit.
I sat down a few times in January to write an article about replenishment. Every time I found myself stuck. I liked the idea of replenishing my spirit, of engaging in activities that would nourish my soul, but I wasn’t living it. I was caught up in the stress and unknowns of the sale of my house in northern California and unable to let go. Setting aside time to nurture my creativity felt like one more should, something more on my to do list.
Now the house is sold and I’ve moved across the country to western Massachusetts. As I settle into my new home, I am giving myself permission to rest and replenish. In truth though it didn’t happen right away. Once my belongings arrived, I was busy unpacking, organizing and arranging furniture. I was eager to set up my studio and start weaving as soon as possible.
One afternoon I sat down to weave and the warp threads kept breaking. Weaving, normally so grounding, suddenly wasn’t. I decided it was time to stop and to slow down. The stress of the last two years had caught up with me. I walked out of the studio and plunked down on the sofa with a memoir.
I stayed out of the studio for a few days, trusting that, in time, my loom would call to me again. I went for a drive through the hills of western Massachusetts, soaking in the late winter landscape, the saltbox houses and weathered barns. I knit a baby sweater while watching British mysteries and started reading a cooking memoir. I went to bed early and got up late. I could feel my body and spirit relax as I let go of the stress and as I arrived more fully in my new home.
I was starting to experience the replenishment that eluded me in January when I wove the teal-aqua-turquoise towels. My tired spirit was getting the rest it desired and was being revived.
It’s been two months now since that broken-warp day in the studio. Although I’ve been weaving, and the details of my days and weeks aren’t always that different from before I decided to slow down, there is a different quality. I trust that what needs to get done, will get done, even if I drive three hours round-trip to southern Vermont to spend a Thursday afternoon with a friend. I trust that Whimsy & Tea will not fall apart if I get a massage and then climb into bed at 8:30pm.
Three cross-country moves in twenty months have left me particularly depleted. As I honor my deep need for replenishment right now, I am aware that I am not just recovering from moving. I am restoring a balance between work, rest, play and inspiration, and learning to integrate replenishment into daily life.
My invitation to you: I am still very much learning about replenishment and would love to hear about your experiences. How do you integrate replenishment into daily life?