The little things – and the moment that is now.

I have spent many angry years in my life, and I can tell you for sure – it’s no fun!

I have the great good fortune to be in a place now (time, space and metaphorical) that is happy – or maybe a more passive thing than “happy” – maybe “content, with quiet joy”. Most of the time, anyway – sometimes, I’m just antsy!

Whilst making my morning coffee today, I looked across the bench, and saw the simple beauty of filtered sunlight. Who needs more art than simple images that make your soul hum – in your own kitchen? These make me happy:

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Yesterday, I unloaded the Earl Grey tea soap – strangely, the little “sample” ones I make with each batch are a completely different colour to the big block that I sliced! But as E pointed out – maybe they are darker inside. Time will tell. I wish I could insert “smell” into this page – without it, you’ll have to use your imagination. Bergamot and Lemon grass.

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Now – today – here is the dodgy plastic milk bottle mould in all its glory!

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Which actually worked really well!! And – unlike the square cardboard milk cartons I have been using, which get ripped off and are single use – I will be able to reuse this little gem! Just reline it with baking paper, tie up with sticky tape and string, and I’m in business! Here is how cleanly the block came out:

IMG_2750 I am not sure the same can be said for the soap, though!

IMG_2751 The large round cakes at the top are from the dodgy plastic mould – and I think they might be OK!

The small rounds and the crumbly looking medium sized ones were set in silicon muffin trays (from the supermarket – cheaper than actual soap moulds, and work just the same). The deeper big “muffins” I have cut in half to make 2 approx 1 cm thick cakes – I suspect that the soap in the  muffin trays didn’t heat up at “gel stage” as much as the big milk bottle mould, and so are not nicely homogenised. The big rounds on the right side below (from the big mould) don’t seem too bad! I don’t think they would win “best soap” awards, but they might act like soap eventually, which is good enough! And again – they smell OK!

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I am thinking the next soap might be a mint one – will make sure I have all the bits by next weekend.

Which brings me back to the heading of this post (which of course, I never left) – the moment that is now.

One of the really enjoyable aspects of soap-making for me right now is the whole “cleansing” thing.

When my mother was 86 years old, she had a stroke. This left her physically unable to sort through the years of her accumulated “plans”, and I got the job. I threw away mountains of rubbish, and gave her boxes to go through, while she sat with her friend. This was a real grieving period for her. She said to me (bearing in mind, she was 86 years old – and a “livewire” pre-stroke!) – “these things were what I was going to do when I retired” – implying she had not retired yet! All those creative projects, all those “one days” that never came.

Somewhere around that time, the penny dropped for me – “if not now, then when”? It has been 7 years since my mother had a stroke, and more than 5 years since she died, and bit by bit, I am shedding, sharing or making useful the things around me. These books and oils and bits and pieces, I have gathered up over years – and now – to put them to use, and return their energy back into circulation – feels like a good thing.

One of my friends put this picture on their facebook page last week

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and it reminded me of the freeing feeling of de-cluttering – making room for other things / energies to flow through. Less is a very freeing thing! Especially when you live in a time and place that has the luxury of sufficiency – having been in times when I did not have that, I can appreciate the whole experience that much more!

And now, I have the great good fortune to soak up some of the autumn sun, with the supervisors for company. A very good day to you!

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