Ok so many of you may be thinking isn’t it a bit late for a ‘New Year’ post…?!!
For me, however 1st February marks a significant turn in the seasonal calendar and a time for new beginnings. Recognised as ‘Imbolc’ in the Pagan tradition it’s also when the earth seems to awaken from it’s winter slumber… the days are slightly longer and there’s a gentle stirring of life within the natural world… my snowdrops are suddenly in full bloom, while buds and catkins start appearing on the trees… and the birds remind us that Spring isn’t far away!
Last night we headed over to Marsden to join the Imbolc Fire Festival Celebrations, a community event that now draws crowds from all other the north of England. Despite knowing this I was still under-prepared for the volume of folk joining the procession through the town and we should have arrived earlier to get a better view. A parade of fire, drums and lanterns chase away the darkness and lead revelers to the performance area at Tunnel End. Fire dancers and jugglers entertain whilst stilt walkers depict a battle between Jack Frost and the Green Man…. Jack Frost is overthrown marking the arrival of Spring and a firework finale welcomes the return of the Sun.
Unable to push through the crowds, we watched the dancing flames from a hillside and vowed to make a full day of it next time around.
In the same way others might make ‘New Years Resolutions’ I find early February a better time for setting my intentions for the year ahead, so it seemed appropriate to rekindle this blog which has also been hibernating for the past few months…
We have recently launched our Positive Earth Community over on Facebook with the aim of bringing together those who have a shared interest in making a difference to the world… I’m hoping this website will provide an extension to that community and draw together the different threads of both our business and personal lives.
Those who have followed our journey for some time will already know that our furniture business was born from a desire to reuse and recycle waste materials… a reaction against mass-consumerism and a throw-away society. We have seen huge changes over the years, and more and more people waking up to the fact that we only have one planet – it’s time to make drastic changes if we want to protect it. Through my writing and our community I hope that we can help to keep that momentum going, reach more people, share ideas and raise more awareness.
Doing something to help the planet was our initial goal but more recently I’ve come to realise that to do so we need to reach out to our communities and also help each other. You can’t change the world single handed but by working together we can start to create ripples that turn into waves. Through my artwork I try to send out a message, or create opportunities to start conversations…. I have been running pyrography workshops which on the surface are a way to promote my artwork or teach people a new skill. What they also provide is an opportunity for people to connect, to socialise and discuss ideas, or to relax and escape their everyday lives. I have found that engaging other people in my ‘hobby’ and seeing their reactions… their enjoyment… their hidden creativity, is far more rewarding than producing a piece of art.
It’s a cliché but it’s true, that you can’t help others or the planet if you don’t look after yourself first. Having suffered with mental health in the past (and on occasion still do) both myself and Dave know first hand the importance of self-care. We have found relief through our respective creative outlets and hope to share this with others. We have always been aware of the benefits the natural world brings to our physical and emotional well-being. We spend as much time as we can outdoors, learning about the environment and appreciating every living organism that plays a role in our fragile eco-system. We take care of Mother Earth and she takes care of us!
This is what our Positive Earth Community is all about – looking after the planet, ourselves and each other.
Over the coming months I will dig deeper into some of these themes in the hope that others will find some interest or benefit from my musings.
Until next time… Jac.x