from miss c

I am popping in for a wee hullo. To share a cup of coffee with you.

Just to let you know that while we are warm and still here in California. (No wind – what a joy.) At home on the farm back in Illinois it is freezing – literally.  But all is well – Jake took over for  few days and he says everyone is OK – even the chicks, who I worry about the most. And John is back at the helm today. 

The days will race past here I think.

When I set up this blog I gave myself three challenges. one: Create a page a day and images each day from the farm, only the farm- just my acres.  My idea was to push my mind to find new things to see and comment on from one small space. To extend my photography to see the smallness of life and capture it as an interesting image. And to become a better documentor of images.   two: To be absolutely current, and three: to tell the truth no matter how boring that may be.  Unless I am travelling, then rule number one does not apply but the other rules do. Of course. She smiles.

And the tick tick of life is not full of surprises and dramas; just ordinary work. It is often quite delightfully boring though isolating. But I think I am achieving my objectives. I am well pleased.


I hope that deep down we all feel honest quiet pleasure in a good job done.  It is a balance. We strive to  reach our  emotional balance – an oxymoron maybe.  At the very least emotional balance is hard to achieve let alone maintain.  Maybe recognising it is the most important thing. But when we reach that balanced landing we see ourselves clearly to be individual, exceptional,  special and distinct from others in ways only we can know. In these moments the clarity of our own inner selves pulls into focus. Emotional balance is constantly strived for.  But it is mercurial. Hard to pin down.  But when we sit in it we know we are special.  We must leave our safe landing to strive forward but a little emotional balance tucked into a quiet corner of our pockets on the journey is a good thing.

I am trying to find another word for special that does not mean separate (or cheap) because human nature, in fact nature itself pushes hard at anything that is different or held separate.  We adjust our accents so we can be understood in the shops, the tall guy stoops so he does not stand out too high above others, we wear muted colours so as not to attract predators or bright colours to blend with our flocks.  Our cars are in shades that do not attract attention. We create families and networks.  If a traffic cop pulls into the traffic behind us we go exactly the same speed with exactly the same detached expression as all the other drivers. We spend a lot of time trying to fit in and disappear. Eyes lowered in the lift. Adjusting out stride to match the walking crowds around us. All these are natural things – good things really – natural.

And all this works the best when we have the knowledge of the sure power of our own worth. We are special and unique. We are worthy and deserving of good things.  I don’t mean the good things that other people give to you – many of those things are earned one way or the other. And I don’t mean that we are deserving of self gratifying fleeting treats like wine and ice-cream. I don’t mean that we are special or better so we can lord it over others and tell THEM how to be,  I mean we are deserving of our OWN respect, we are deserving of  our own time and care and encouragement and management. Not to stand out from the crowd, but to stand Up for ourselves.   The knowledge of our own exceptional qualities will be humbling. It is a gentle thing.  A private thing. It is not for Sharing.  It is for knowing. It is honest and still.

Too often souls get lost in the storm of life. And seeing them find their balance again is a wondrous thing.  Then they can take the knowledge of that balance into the next storm.  And that is good.

I hope you have a lovely day.







74 Comments on “from miss c

  1. “emotional balance is hard to achieve let alone maintain” — it really is. A few years ago, events in my life left my emotional balance all out of kilter. It took a while for me to find it again, and there are still times when I feel fragile, but I’m getting there. Thank you for this lovely post, with so much wisdom in your words.

    • I think we can find our emotional balance and then pop it in our pockets like a smooth stone to carry because we are not meant to always be balanced on our journeys. But knowing you can reach in and touch the memory of it makes life easier. If that makes any sense. And then having that other stone in there that is your own knowledge of your own worth and absolute right to be where you are, as you are – this is a good stone to have too. I am glad you are finding that balance again. It occurs to me as i write to you, sipping on the strong coffee my son just delivered to me, that I think the word I am looking for, this word that allows us to be strong in a crowd, is the opposite of Self-Doubt. Hmm – i will think on it as the day goes by.. Have a good day, celi

  2. Good morning.
    Your post made me think about something one of my instructors told the class the other day. (At 49, I have gone back to college for Landscape Horticulture.) He was talking about a particular plant and how taxonomists are finding it hard to categorize. He stopped talking, looked out at all of us, and said, “This plant is problematic. Now where have you heard the word ‘problematic’ used before?” Silence, then someone calls out, “children!” The prof says, “Exactly. Problematic just means that we cannot put it in a box. The plant is evolving so quickly that it cannot be easily grouped with others. Remember that the next time you meet a ‘problematic’ child. Perhaps they are ones evolving and we are the ones stuck in the old ways of doing things.”
    As a mother of a teenage girl with Asperger’s, I loved this (of course).
    But your writing made me think about this again. The idea that we’re all going about our lives, just trying to blend in. Which is natural, as you say. But what would it be like if we were all told to stand out as much as possible? Let our freak flags fly?
    There’s a balance somewhere in all of this, of course.
    Thanks for writing about this today – I’ll be musing over this for the rest of the day.
    Cheers, Elizabeth

    • This is beautiful and so very true. The kind of truth and inner-peace you can only understand and acquire with the passing of time. Thank you for sharing.

    • What a great story. Thank you Elizabeth and thank you for the word evolving. We are all evolving as we go along our lifes journey. Teenagers are being hurled along – children should be born with life jackets and emergency rafts in their back packs – the path from childhood to adulthood is such a rough one. I think that the peace that comes to a community when we are all working in a strong symbiotic way is worth striving for. I think if we all waved our ‘freak flags’ someone is bound to lose an eye. Maybe if we were able to WEAR our own individuality and different-ness in a gentle sure way like a good well made coat. We just know we are good – no need to hit anyone over the head and make them concede that we are good. Respect for self and others. Such a simple idea. Don’t you think? Love to you and your daughter this morning.. c

      • “Someone is bound to lose an eye” – this made me laugh out loud! You’re so right. I love the idea of wearing our differences gently. 🙂

    • So happy to read this. At 51 I also have gone back to Tafe (the Australian equivalent of college, I think) to study Horticulture. I’m enjoying being back in a learning environment. It’s wonderful to find mid-life after so many years of life influenced by ‘norms’ I am able to know, make & live a life I am choosing.

  3. I love the way you expressed your thoughts–that each of us is unique and worthy of respect, but not better than or more special than someone else. That’s the gist of it right there. I always enjoy your philosophical musings. And the photos are great, as always. I tried to capture the amazing sunrise outside my kitchen window this AM to no avail. Shots on Instagram don’t begin to do it justice. There are limits to phone cameras, amazing as they are. Anyway, enjoy the rest of your trip!

    • The bright light in the center of the sunrise always blows out in a digital format. But i bet you took a better photograph with your mind. We are special and completely unique and if we know this about ourselves we should not be threatened by the special-ness and uniqueness of others. This is what I am striving for. I am shy and always threatened by other people. Wanting to duck my head and lower my eyes. Pull my cloak about my face. Thinking they have it all together and what was i thinking coming out! I am always striving to love who I am instead of envying who someone else is. These are my big tasks in life. c

      • That is one of my biggest tasks too, Celi. I’m an introvert and have learned to mask it, to my detriment sometimes. Other people really frighten me much of the time. I yearn for balance. Very thought provoking post. Lovely photos.

        • Reading about people seeking to hide is interesting. I am a natural extrovert with a capital “E”. I am so afraid of being “normal” and over looked that I often find myself being exrta loud- bordering on obnoxious- especially in a crowd. Balance seems too quiet. I sometimes feel like I’m singing off key on purpose for the attention and I love it! The louder the better!
          Have a wonderful, peaceful visit, Miss C! I think you had mentioned that you will be expecting loads of helping hands when you return to the farm?

      • I’m afraid I have gotten so good at hiding behind my cloak that I often feel invisible.

  4. This is beautiful and so very true. The kind of truth and inner-peace you can only understand and acquire with the passing of time. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Good morning Celi, I see you are on California time. I hope you have a chance to go up to the mountains or dessert . It’s gorgeous after all the rain we had. I hiked in the Pinnacles yesterday and it was breathtaking. Standing up for ourselves can be difficult, it is for me. We have to do it with kindness and love. Finding balance and peace in our emotional life takes time and effort.

    • Oh I would love to walk in the desert at this time of year. But when i come to visit this household, I do tend to join in with what is needed and we pretty much stay here in the suburbs. There is so much going on here in this little house. I agree with you about effort. It is good to consciously work on your self. Nowadays there is little time set aside for spiritual contemplation which is probably why your walking is so refreshing. I wonder if Standing With Ourselves as opposed to standing UP for ourselves is a better way of saying it. I will think on this today too. love love c

      • I like that. Standing with Ourselves. Great way to describe it. I have always had some of the same feelings, seeing other people as “having it all together” and not feeling confident about it myself. But with age I think I have become much more comfortable with myself and think I am able to be more outgoing because of it. And with age I think I have reached the ‘not sure if I care’ what anyone else thinks about me!

      • I’m not a Bible scholar but a friend of mine who is quotes a phrase from the Bible, ‘Having done all, stand’. It speaks volumes.

  6. And I will have my morning tea…. And muse a bit about how we are all the same, yet different..and that is okay.

    • I think it is OK – though I think you already see that I am struggling with the semantics of the discussion. Words make things of this nature difficult to describe. If you come up with something in your musings let us know! Happy Sunday. c

      • Okay, I went back re-read your post. The first time I read it, I had not yet drunk my tea as it was still too hot. (Insert excuse here). So, two words came to mind..centered and self-acceptance. I put in the hyphen so it would two words instead of three..ha. When I am centered, I.e. Feeling good about myself, I can observe others, take in their behaviors and not take it personally, smile and move on. Am I good at this? No! But it does happen…occasionally. To me, your words point to a type of meditation and I keep hearing ohmmmm in my head,like the word that is used for meditation in the lotus position. Maybe my rock in my pocket would say ohmmm when I touched it? Okay, I am exhausted now… Btw, I do feel good about a job well done, sometimes quietly and sometimes with a shout and a jig . 🙂

  7. I’m drinking my coffee out of a pretty cup this morning with you though I still have to use the straw so it doesn’t dribble down the front of me. 🙂 Such a pretty picture. I will read this again after the coffee has settled into my brain to fully absorb it all. I loved reading all the comments as well. It takes me such a while to get through one post. ;( Have a wonderfilled visit with your son. It was almost 63 yesterday and we are back in the 40’s today. Lived in California for 25 years. Loved the sunshine. I miss sunshine but not California.

  8. What a lovely post, and the commments are just as thoughtful. So much of how we are raised, the tribal and outside influences that are put on us, is really what we compare the rest of our discoveries and contemplations to in finding balance and simplicity. I like this term, “Standing with ourselves”. Knowing our inner spirit and what instinctually feels right. It is easy to be with oneself and lovie oneself when we are in an element (such as nature) where nothing of societal expectation or external pressure interferes.

  9. I’d love to be able to hit ‘like’ on this at least 100 times!! ; o )
    I believe it can take a good amount of time – and the fact that we’ve survived many ‘battles’ – to make us truly realize our self-worth. I know that’s how it has been with me.
    As you said, the knowledge of our self-worth is something we carry around deep inside us. It’s the rock upon which we stand to view the rest of the world. And, when that rock is solid enough, we stand strong in the belief of our self-worth and our ability to, some how, weather any storm, while also knowing that from a strong foundation we can be there for others as well. Ain’t that just great??!! ; o )

  10. J > You’ve articulated so clearly and well what I increasingly feel: that happiness and fulfillment come from experiencing what you have and where you are more deeply, than claiming of life than you can actually experience anything more than superficially.

    • I think a lot of it comes from actually standing still and thinking – like you do when you lean on a gate you attached to a fence you built yourself and quietly watch the sheep graze. It is good to know what you are good at. c

  11. Pingback: from miss c | A Small Country Living

  12. Reading this has reminded me to be mindful. You are right, it is hard to remain anchored in the storm of 9-5 commuting and day to day professional responsibility.
    This post made me think of ‘Desiderata’. I keep a print of that on the wall of my workspace and have done since I first read it over forty years ago. Around it, I add printouts of blogs and things I have read that resonate with my views on life These additions aren’t permanent like Desiderata. They are a small and ever-changing mini exhibition.
    I will probably add an excerpt from this post for a few days this week; …..and a photo of Sheila. 🙂

    • Oh the Desiderata – I had forgotton all about that and being a teenager of the 70’s we all knew it by heart and used to chant it to each other! – thank you – I am going to print it out myself and hang it on the wall too. Imagine him wiritng that in the 20’s – right between those awful wars. I must go back and read more about the author – I have forgotton almost everything I had read about him too!

  13. Perhaps we should consider ourselves pieces in a big jigsaw puzzle? All pieces are unique in form with interlocking bits that ultimately form a bigger picture – all the pieces have great worth because without one the picture would be incomplete. Laura

    • Yes, that is a marvellous way of looking at our lives. And that would explain what happens when our shape gets altered and we don’t quite fit anymore. c

  14. Well, Cecilia, I too am shy…would rather die than go to a party…any party. Even family get-togethers. Cannot handle groups. And feel like I need to apologize for living. Better stop there!!

    • Yes, you can stop there. I understand what you are saying completely. There is nothing in the book that says we ALL have to be gregarious and good with people. Maybe one day you will be brave enough to come to the farm and just sit in the barn with calves or piglets or whatever is going on in there. You can perch on my little barn stool and just stay a while. You would not need to speak to humans at all. Just BE.

  15. A psychologist once said to me, “You have no sense of entitlement.” I guess that sums it up. Here’s an example: when my husband and I golfed, if there were any people behind us, I would just pick up the ball and keep moving. I couldn’t stand to “hold anyone up” with a bad hit.

    • That is an interesting statement of his. I would like to discuss that with you. It seems such a subjective announcement. Did he mean you should develop one? Or you should not be allowed to seek what you are entitled to? I think his statement could bear some argument. c

  16. It seems we’re all having coffee together this morning in the Lounge 🙂 I’ve been thinking about your words. How about Singular, Composed, Vivid, Aware, Focused, Necessary, Valuable. To me, it seems we need a word about attributes rather than values, since values are so often assigned to us by other people. Perhaps we need to invent our own, since there isn’t one single word that embraces and encompasses all the nuances of the concept you’re expressing.

    • Though valuable is a good one – but it begs the TO. Valuable to me or to you or to life. Which is kind of BESIDE what I mean. We may need to invent a word. There seems to be a lot of protest at the moment here in America – everyone banging a drum about their rights and what they deserve and SEE ME !SEE ME.! Maybe I am searching for a ‘code ‘ I suppose that supports us enabling our OWN strength instead of asking someone else to grant it to us.. c

      • Kennedy had it right: ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. Perhaps it should be re-named the Bill of Privileges instead of the Bill of Rights. There is too much sense of entitlement everywhere, of demands for respect unearned and freedoms not fought for…

  17. I started reading with the first sip of my first coffee on the verandah in Sunday morning sun. Now there’s a second cup in front of me, which I will sip absorbing the comfort of the good company I find myself in. It matters not that the connection is virtual, what matters is that we of The Fellowship, same but different, get each other, link and support our various Selves.
    Thanks Celi, for the gift of these words that make me appreciative ♡

  18. Reading this on Sunday morning with the pups at my feet and a strong coffee in my hand. Perfect…am feeling a bit out of kilter right now but hearing your voice like this makes me smile, and focus and know that things will get back to a new normality when the time is right. Take care miss c xx

    • I love that this recalls my voice – because you have heard it! Love to you darling girl – there will be good days and bad days – I love your own emotional strength in facing them.

  19. I try for a short prayer each morning , along with uplifting reads, but this post and its comment section have filled the coffee cup of spirit to overflowing. Too much to take in at once, so I am sip-sipping again today, and probably for a good while. I am so happy to be in touch with you (all) from my own hideout. What a blessing!

    • When I was a child prayer and Catholicism were beaten into us kids with a stick. Literally at times. This had the unintended effect of beating prayer out of me. In fact it was a long time before I reallsed (as a young teenager) that Christianity had anything to do with Catholic. Christianity sounded so much gentler to me. Anyway the end result was the loss of prayer. Strangely I was thinking of this as was i was writing – if you replace the word prayer with contemplation then as a society we have lost much. The quiet prayerful moments- even chanting the rosary – is a kind of meditation – a still time in your day. That still time does bring strength with it. So I enjoyed your reference to prayer . That must be wonderful to have that in your llfe.. c

  20. Several poems by Gérard Manley Hopkins led me there a long time ago, but I wasn’t ready to stay. Eventually I realized that words and rules (like those sticks from childhood) can get in the way, even in poems, often in relationships (what else is faith but that). The experience is so much larger than words, though we do depend on them don’t we , and they can be good if treated with care.

  21. Wonderful post! Just getting back from a weekend away and reading it. Fabulous food for thought from the Fellowship!

  22. Hi Celi ~ just saw your blog here ~ but so busy with travel work ~ don’t even have to read much ~ great to see these blooms and you enjoying life there!!! BUT ~ we have about 4″ of snow here!!! It’s all white ~ WHITE!!!! but it’s not going to last long ~ temperature will go up over 32 ~~ those flowering trees are pretty!!! Safe trip home to the snow!!!

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