Puzzles and Patterns

As we slowly slide up and down the temperature scale, wandering through another wintery season of inclement weather reminiscent of the 70’s when I lived here last.  I am struck by how much easier life is when you allow the inevitable flux of patterns and puzzles and allow Time herself a voice in your daily analog. Giving the passing of time a value in your calculations. not-many-018

I am a terrible one for answering other peoples questions before they ask them, finishing their sentences before they have their thoughts in order, rushing to and fro at a furious pace often without my mind even Turned On.  I want everything done right now and just so. Head down to combat the wind thinking only where is it coming from, who is in a draft. Which doors should I shut. Is that ice underfoot? Not: what has come with this wind? What followed the wind last time it was here? What will this ice mean to the soil this year. This would help me create the pattern and prepare.

If we lean on our metaphorical gate and watch carefully we will be able to work out our environment and where we fit into it. We can see the elastic sides in our lives that we can grow into or through and the rigid areas that will hurt our toes and shins if keep fight them.  We can see where we can sit and how much we can use without overloading.  We can see where some relationships make you doubt yourself –  and others, though wreathed in mist, are worth fighting for. We can see that there is no belonging, no quick fix, no eternal happiness, there is only Time and her attendants The Four Seasons. Dawn will come whether we stand on the grass and shout for it or not. The same with love of your person. And a piece of land to sit on. not-many-024

Thought, contemplation, allowing an idea to develop over time, are the most natural ways of coming to a decision. It allows for generations of gathering. An old fashioned thought: to build something that will stand the test of time as it revolves and nibbles and changes.

We have to believe in our gentle earth and trust our children (whether they are children of our own line or children of the forest of life). To attempt to control it all is arrogant and ill considered. In fact controlling your entire environment and the people in it is self destructive. It is the disease of kings. You can’t keep it all. Time won’t let you. Life can be diabolical one minute and plain sailing the next and when you go back and think about it there was nothing much that caused the change, merely time. Trust. Trust Time. Watch for her patterns.

Of course you can influence your life. Time is only a journey to the grave if you do not speak up and sing and learn and report and improve and build and grow. And for this we need to put our own beliefs into a coherent honest pattern. What is in your little book of beliefs. What are your beliefs?  What do you believe in? Where is your voice in your life. Wild Life, and portent and disasters and victories are all there if you look for them. Once you see the pattern you can gently nudge life with your elbow and avoid some direct hits.  Or simply put your head down and work your way through it.   But if you are not sure of your manifesto it is hard not to get glass rocks knocking on your eye often. Glancing off your head. And that gets frustrating. Where are the hail balls coming from? Why are they being hurled at Your head? Catch them. Time and watching will tell you. They mean something. not-many-007

I have always said; be careful not to sleep through your life. I have seen people wake up at 45 and go, what the hell just happened. Is this my life? Then they run about causing all kind of chaos trying to Find Themselves. When sitting still and watching the patterns in the rivers of time throughout their lives would have answered every single question. Resulting in a more definite nurturing change. A lasting one.

Time will sort it for you as long as you allow it to. If you are on a diet which we all do here and there and if we write it in a diary we realise that every winter we put on a few extra pounds to combat the cold and every year we think OH MY GOD MY ASS IS FAT! Then we eat cabbage for a long time and things go back to normal. Well not normal actually as that is a state of mind not one of us can call our own. There is no normal.  There is peace sometimes. This is part of the puzzle too. Where do we find peace. When do have one of those fleeting truly happy moments. not-many-028

Because they are only moments. But very addictive moments. To strive is sublime.  Failing is part of the pattern. Failing twice is Time’s Lesson. But only if you and I are wide awake will we see it. Puzzle out the Pattern.

Have you ever looked back over a day and thought thank God I took that turn, or opened that door, or listened to that person, or saw that flash in the trees. What would have happened if I had missed that. Those moments are the ones when we got it right and we let the pattern show. We had Time and Her Voice turned on in our brains. Now imagine if we had our minds so Turned On – all the time, that we saw those slow moving signs. Often.

Of course I do not mean to lie down and let life run over you. Life  and Time and their Bridesmaids respect determination and intelligent thoughtful purpose. But how often have you noticed that when you force something and bash everyone over the head to get it Right Now: ultimately, inexorably/ slowly, life will teach you a better way, and then Time will be there with you to pick up all the pieces you broke on your rampage to get what you want.  And Time will teach you to watch for the puzzles and patterns in our lives that teach us and direct us.  If we are awake to see it.

Good morning. Does any of that make any sense? I am really trying to puzzle this out.

Dawn is almost here. I must run.

I will come back with my coffee after the chores to read your comments and see what you think. Wish I could HEAR what you think. Wish we could sit down and TALK this Time.

Have a lovely day.

Love your friend on the Farmy,



72 Comments on “Puzzles and Patterns

  1. What? Am I the first today? Slow morning, or maybe I got my morning chores done early 🙂 A great article and makes thorough sense. I’ve been meaning to write an essay about time and am working up to it. In my case though it has to do with current phase of eco-village/living/way (fill in whatever)… and how none of the folks shilling for their workshops talk about time, as in “how much it takes…” All seem to want to dig in the garden and have chickens and blah, blah, but operate on the same time scale as their city life and operate their cellphones and go to eco-friendly restaurants, etc. I’m hoping to write about how much time is required for cutting and splitting wood; tending the animals, gardening and how little these folks will have left over.
    Happy belated Valentine’s day my dear 🙂

    • Ah yes peter, you have said it so well. It does take time and time is our ally in fact. We have dropped into an instant coffee culture and that cannot apply to the life where you build fire to cook the bread.. exactly. Good morning. Lovely that we can enjoy our morning coffees together.. c

  2. Don’t you find, though, that sometimes Time’s signposts are only written on the back. ‘You have just passed an important turning point.’ ‘You have just discovered you will not live forever.’ ‘You have just wasted valuable Time on something that won’t matter next month.’ The signs are there, but the message can only be read when you reflect on the past. And you have to remember to turn around sometimes to read them. I think the main thing to remember about Time is that it doesn’t only flow in one direction. It goes sideways, up, down, and occasionally, backwards.

    • AH. Thank you Kate. Awesome contribution, maybe if we go a little slower then. And with the signs Time is the teacher. We have to write it OURSELVES on the front of the next signpost so we do not do it again.. c

  3. Life is a wonderfully confusing thing. Ups, downs, sideways and every other pattern possible. Even a Fibonacci (my geek moment of the day there) I need to do some housekeeping today both on the house and on the computer (nearly lost some files and not in the mood to do that banshee wail again!) and hopefully somewhere in there enjoy the puzzle that is life 🙂 Stay warm miss c…miss t

    • Morning miss t. You have hit the nail on the head, so much learning, and we need to process it into our patterns.. bloody computers.. c

  4. In music, the sound of random notes all at once is horrible. Separate them, give them the proper value of time, place them in order, let them flow instead of rush and you find that discord has become harmony.

  5. I’m humbled by this post and by your ability to put things into words that I only struggle with. Yes. It all makes sense. Time is something I have thought a lot about. But interestingly, today, you use the word Trust as well, and this has been a word that I have recently become keenly aware of…most notably in how it plays inside myself. How I trust myself. How I trust my body. How I can trust my mind if I feed it well. How my strong side can trust my more delicate side, and vice versa. It is hard to be still and let it all play out, but stillness is required. “The world is too much with us” and I find that I have to fight busy-ness with all I’ve got to find those quiet places that let my mind wander to where you’ve wandered so courageously this pre-dawn morning. I would like to transmit the strength and peace of a person who lives trusting Time and “the way of nature” to my children.

    • Morning Charlotte. As i was doing the chores this morning, moving from animal to animal making sure all was well and fed and still on One piece, I was reflecting on what I had written and realised that what I also wanted to say is that Time is our Ally. If we work WITH Time, Taking our Time if you will. Putting Time on our team ; into the equation. Then maybe we can drift more easily into that still, Timeless feeling. Maybe there is something to all these sayings we have been hearing all our lives. Take your Time! I loved your post yesterday too Charlotte and forgot to add, I kick the door shut with my foot! c

  6. What a post. I need to read this time and time again. Thank you. I need another cup of coffee and will digest it a bit more. 🙂

    • Thank you, Chris and how lovely that so many of us are often struggling with the same concepts at the same time.. wide awake you are! c

  7. I have reblogged since wrestling all week with these very identical thoughts that eluded expression have appeared here through the courtesy of your own creativity. Thank you !!! Now if this were ancient times we would be stretched out beneath a tree with Aristotle contemplating and postulating these very things. May sound corny but that’s how it feels.

    • I am glad it made sense, feeling my way through a thought is sometimes a muddly business.. morning georgette..c

  8. A lot to take in and digest here miss c – sometimes we just need to breathe in and out, in and out and things jsut fall into some sort of manageable order. If we’re lucky, we can smile about it too 🙂 I smile a lot…

    • Your smile is in your words too Tanya. With all your renovating you will be well acquainted with; taking your time and doing it well.. c.

  9. Three clichéd proverbs kept running through my sleepy Saturday afternoon brain while reading this, Only Time will tell, Time heals all and Trust your instincts. But then these all brought me to the dichotomy of how one needs to work hard all the time to live the simple good life and yet caught up in the Rat Race you only have to appear to be busy doing the right thing and usually end up going nowhere! Hardly seems fair. Do we spend too much time trieing to make our patterns match others and our piece of the puzzle then becomes totally disjointed when we try to force it to fit into someone elses’? Laura

    • Hmm.. i think you are onto something there Laura. Finding your own personal pattern through your own Time as well as being able to work hard to feed yourself (nothing wring with that) and having the presence of mind to be True to Yourself. Yep. That works.. good points Laura.. c

  10. oh wow…where did all that come from? Are you studying psychology of life….there are certainly some thought provoking statements in your post which make me sit here and think about how my life is. mind you at 74 I reckon that if I have made mistakes or taken the wrong path its a bit late to go back now…anyway I would probably get lost on the way… No my life has been good, a life of adventure and maybe now and then the wrong decision but its always a lesson to learn

    • Oh no, I do not mean that peoples lives are wrong. No not that at all. I mean that we need to be wide awake in our lives. And allow for time. I am sure by the Time one reaches the age of 74, you will have taught yourself how to easily work through the messages, and possibly you allow Time her own chair now. You can more easily see the pattern your life has taken and what you want from your life. c

  11. Beautifully written C. I’ve read through twice now. Your words are really hitting a chord with me. I would say the past two years have been a journey in which I’ve been trying to live more aware and be conscious of Time and Trust, trust being the more difficult of the two for me. I will say that the effort to live this way had shown me some incredible things and opened doors I likely otherwise would have missed. It takes practice, but each day I’m a little stronger. Thank you for putting these thoughts out there for us so eloquently.

    • Thank you Kristy. it does take practice.. and cognitive living is harder sometimes. The good thing is that we are all in this together so there is support that we can trust too.. c.

  12. Oh Celi, tears of understanding welled up in my eyes about halfway through this post, and before too long I struggled to read through a watery blurr of emotion. This philosophical “soul” post, of thought and reflection is one I will be reading many times over. So much of what you expressed rang true with my own pondering of life and her lessons. You spoke to my soul this morning, dear friend.

    • I think often we all work together to allow the writing of this kind of thing. Though i have to say i am surprised anyone understood what i was trying to say. However often when I write I remind myself to trust you. Trust that the fellowship we have gathered will understand and maybe even help me clarify what I mean. Oh and i have taken another idea of yours and have a heated water bowl in a hidden spot for the wild things. It is presently heaving with birds! thank you for that.. c

  13. There is a wonderful book called WHEREVER YOU GO THERE YOU ARE by Jon Kabat Zen on the art of mindfulness, being in the moment. Being conscious of and concentrating on your breath. I happen to be rereading it for the 3rd time–or more because I need reminding to say the least.

  14. OH BOY that was mind blowing!! I have a big problem with TIME. I was a Project Manager for an international computer company, that charged clients $200 for every hour of my time, and I was expected to not only book as many hours as possible, but justify to each client the worth of this time. Therefore I spent years looking at my watch, planning time down to the last minute. Putting projects together like a big puzzle, piecing mine and other co workers time together to accomplish the end project on TIME and on BUDGET! So these past five years of my semi retirement I am having to wean myself off watching Time. I have to make myself leave my watch off!I have to not plan every single minute of my day, or get upset if my ‘planning’ does not work and I don’t get a task done in an allotted time. I am now trying to teach myself to pause and let time pass me by, and be in the moment for no other reason than to enjoy doing nothing! I am starting to view Time as a different entity, and not my enemy.
    As far as puzzles and patterns go, I have always seen them everywhere, only now I am starting to enjoy my part in them, instead of trying to make them fit my projects!
    Hugs, Lyn

    • ah, that is a big change for you..instead of chasing time you are teaching yourself how to sit in the flow of it.. hard work! At least you see what you are striving for, that is wonderful. When is your daughter due. Soon? c

      • Not until June, she will be here for her birthday on the 10th! I am frantically painting everything that stands still long enough, as I know once the warmer weather gets here I will be full time out in the gardens!

  15. In my experience, time changes as you progress through life. To a twenty year old, old age is some mythical time where grandparents and other old folks live. And to go from Monday to Friday is a long time. To a 50 year old, life may be half over but there is still a lot of time left. Where I am in life, I know time is not infinite for me, that THAT time is approaching and I have to make the most of the time I have left. And time speeds up. My dad said that when I was in my twenties. I didn’t quite understand him then but I sure do now.
    On another note, I was hoping you would post a picture of yesterday’s sunset. I wish I could have gotten a video of it. It was beautiful and your photo captured it.

  16. Such a thoughtful provocative treatise on one of the most significant forces in life. Harnessing Time and her “bridesmaids” toward accomplishing my own ends I have found to be virtually impossible. Because, as you have said here so eloquently, “life will teach you a better way.”

  17. A very thought provoking post indeed. All the fellowship posts equally as stimulating. I feel so at home and feel like I have gotten to know a lot of different people through “the farmy” because we have spent time together, shared your life’s ups,downs and sideways laundry basket moments together. We have witnessed birth, death, travel, seasons…together and yet most of us could sit across a table and not recognize each other because we have never met in person, in real time.

    My daughter speaks of no “me time”. Honestly I didn’t even consider “me time” when I was a young mother. So I ask ..what is “me time” ?? I think I get what she means….and I find it perplexing in the
    context of what we speak of this morning. I am going to send her your/our musings..

    warmestwintertosoonspringhugs, Nanster

  18. How odd that you are thinking of time, and not you, but the whole farmy family. I, too, have been thinking of time. But time in relation to my life now…my life at 65. In some ways it feels like time has left me…here I am in the last 15 minutes of the hour of my life. I’m not complaining nor am I afraid, nor have I approached this 15 minutes as if time has ran out. It is just an awareness…

    I am now here…very close to the end…very close to the next step of being human I can feel it. Still I am not afraid. Nor do I think I’m dying tomorrow, it’s just that time as I once had stretching onward and onward for ever and ever is no more. I have reached the bend in the road, I can see the light in the end of the tunnel…I still have time because the end is BEYOND the bend in the road and BEYOND the light in the tunnel…but I know I am close.

    It is really a rather peaceful feeling…to see the bend or the tiny little pin prick of light ahead. the goal is near.


    • Like you I am in the last 15mins (64), and can echo your feelings. I am not about to give up, but in the back of my mind is the fact my Dad died at 69, as did his father. On the other hand my Mum will be 89 this year – so I wonder which I will take after. but again like you I am not scared for myself, just those I leave behind, mainly my animals. I so hope I out live them and have told myself I am to get no more, because dead or not I know it would hurt me if they are left lonely!!

    • Being such a deeply selfish person I am hoping you are not as close to the White Light at the end of a long long tunnel as you think. But I can see what you are saying and it says a lot about you as a person. This is where Your peace comes from. Your hard earned knowledge of life and its pragmatism (that may not be the right word but it is evening now, after thinking about your comment for hours, and I have had a glass of wine).. or as you say Awareness. Such a beautiful comment. So much loving in it.. But stick around.. we need your wiseness yet.. you have a mind stacked up with knowledge and care.. you are very important .. c

      • Awww! Thank you. I’m sure I’m going to be around for a long time. 15 minutes in the space of a hour is long…the last quarter of life is also long. But finally the sense of urgency, the need to fly forward, to make huge goals and create the steps to the goals are gone now. I still have goals, like writing the book(s) and making a small business out of my fabric flowers—but I don’t have the intense wild desires to rush head-long — to demand that the day is filled with every step possible to get me there. Like a cow I can now amble along, or a fun pig or a bouncy dog I can cavort through the minutes of each day toward evening, knowing that I will reach the end. In some way.

        I think really there is a peace in my soul [now] that I’ve never really had before which is the gift of knowing it’s okay to allow time to slow down.


  19. Eloquently and profoundly rendered. Your words pierce the soul on it’s journey onwards, in motion, in process; total wow

  20. I love this quote by Portia Nelson, for me it encapsulate beautifully the whole waking up and seeing the patterns part of the journey ….. sorry, it’s a bit long,
    I’m walking down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I fall in.
    I am lost… I am helpless.
    It isn’t my fault.
    It takes forever to find a way out.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend I don’t see it.
    I fall in again.
    I can’t believe I am in the same place.
    But, it isn’t my fault.
    It still takes me a long time to get out.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in. It’s a habit.
    My eyes are open.
    I know where I am.
    It is my fault. I get out immediately.

    walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.

    I walk down another street.”

  21. What a wonderful, thought provoking post. It’s also something that I’ve thought about since moving here – I wonder whether having those four distinct seasons and especially the winter that forces you to slow down has helped shape my feelings towards time and life’s cycles. This is one of the gifts of winter – a reminder that everything has to rest and that things will take the time they take.

    If you follow anything in the act of it’s existence, like a bird taking a bath, a snowflake falling from the sky, icicles melting, a Marmalade kitten sleeping, you are taken to the quiet beginnings, that very instant from where being starts. What makes these moments so precious is the freshness of their being, their birth and the only way we can notice them is by slowing down.

    Unfortunately most of us are operating in top gear, high paced, running so fast to where we want to be that many of us never slow down until we are forced to. We are such peculiar creatures in this. I am sure if we were to look at ourselves through a magnifiying glass, as if from far away, we would look just like an army of ants scurrying around, running into things, bumpng into obstacles and then shaking our heads and running into them again.

    Like this beautiful planet we live on, the earth beneath our feet, our existence moves so slowly through time, that we often take it for granted. It is only our “busy”ness that makes it seem as if we never have enough time. There is nothing so important that we shouldn’t stop to smell the flowers along the way.

    • This thing about the seasons, you and I both transported to countries with such defined seasons: this is a very good point. The seasons. Time’s Bridesmaids create very strong patterns over on this side of the world. Hmm.. great comment.. c

  22. A wonderful thought provoking post, far too good to read and walk away, so I shall reblog it for all my followers to read. Many thanks.

  23. Your words are beautiful & profound, and within the chorus of Commenters Lounge as always I feel quite among good company. I am also a terrible one in the ways you describe.
    Time has been on our agenda too. The material I have to work with however are lessons of available time and the right time. The G.O. & I are currently, temporarily, enjoying 2 day weekends rather than enduring his usual 6 day working week, and my challenge was to avoid the temptation of trying to cram everything into the extra days thus removing any benefits they have.
    And as we do at least annually about now, we have reviewed our city to country timeline; looked at the past and peered into the mists of the future, and decided the signs tend towards extending our city time, deriving benefit from it.
    But we don’t kid ourselves… Peter Buffet says Life is What you Make it. John Lennon said Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. Celi says Life has elastic sides. I can work with elastic sides.

  24. Pingback: Time | Grannymar

  25. Celi ~ it took me many years and so many unexpected difficulties and tragedies to understand, appreciate and follow the saying ‘Go with the flow’ . . . . the difficulties if anything have become bigger but peace found has brought happiness sans pareil . . . and an ability to cope . . . I do not believe you will ever surpass this morning’s writing . . .

  26. Celi, this post is inspired, eloquent and thought provoking! I love your thoughts about Time. This is why I am so dedicated to bringing awareness of the seasons into people’s lives, so they are connected with nature’s wisdom. Nature teaches us to renounce, again and again, our ideas of what is right. We can hold on so fiercely to the golden seasons, labelling anything else bad. But every season brings its gifts, together with the challenges. I subtitled my book ‘Dancing with the Seasons’: ‘practising the art of resilience’, because this is where true resilience lies, not in toughing things out, but recognising where the flow is, and going with it. ‘Collaborating with the inevitable’ is what a wise man called Piero Ferruci calls it. (or was it Roberto Assagioli?) – one of my mentors anyway.

  27. This, Celi, if not your best work, is certainly within reach of it. Not only that but the discussion it has engendered in this Comments section has been wonderful, I’ve been back here a number of times today to re-read your thoughts and to see what fresh insights the Fellowship has offered. “Time and her attendants The Four Seasons” … Beautiful and so thought-provoking..

  28. ‘Time like an ever rolling stream bears all its sons along. They fly forgotten as a dream flies at the break of day..’ were the words that came to my mind as I read this wonderful post and all the comments. When I experience time as the vast infinity that is also space, there is always time for everything. I loved the signposts that we only see when we look back… maybe that’s how we were meant to see them… we move blindly it seems along our path,. and then when we look back, we see that there were no wrong turnings, that we’ve passed all the signposts and reached the place we were meant to go… there are no wrong turnings, and only time can tell us that….

  29. Lovely! Thanks to both Grannymar and Cecelia! A good read to begin my Sunday and go on to do the things I must.

  30. I am currentky reading a book called Awareness by a Jesuit called Anthony de Mello. He reminds me of the old Zen masters, or what i know of them mediated through anglo-saxon vocab and concepts. Some things seem very hard to put into English but it is like reading a book in a dream, it makes sense for fleeting seconds, a solid feeling of truth and then it races away across the field like an escaping piglet, leaving a trail of tiny hoofprints in its wake, or at least maybe it was a piglet, it tcould have been a unicorn 😉 xx

  31. Came here, because “page not found” at Grannymar’s place…looks like I should subscribe to see what else is on offer…

    I have turned my life upsidedown me a time and it’s still turning….but that’s the way of life, either it stays the same or it changes – usually for the better…

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