A Weekend of Rest, Books and Planting Spring Flowers - www.clarabailey.com

A Weekend of Rest, Books and Planting Spring Flowers

This weekend I rested. Properly. Which feels like a minor miracle in this season of life. The final stage of my cold was lingering and it was Day 1 of my cycle. So I moved plans around, DH (Dear Husband) took full charge of parenting, I went to the public library, borrowed some books that were on my reading list, made myself a hot water bottle, a giant pot of lemon balm tea and put lavender and peppermint in my diffuser and settled in for Rest.

I used to rest like this regularly – usually a half day when my period arrived. And I forgot how restorative it is. To just give your body full access to your energy reserves to heal. By the end of the day, I’d read a novel and got well into the next, had a long nap and felt like a different, renewed person.

Both the books I borrowed are wonderful. “Convenience Store Woman” by Sayaka Murata is set in Tokyo and the story is narrated by Keiko, a 36-year-old neurodivergent woman. It’s quirky, and observational and had me captivated from beginning to end. I’ve loved the “Rosie Project” books by Graeme Simsion, also told through a neurodivergent author, and while they’re more romcom/comedy, it shares the same refreshing experience of seeing the world through very different eyes.

The other book I borrowed was “The Best, Most Awful Job” edited by Katherine May. A collection of 20 mini memoirs from different authors’ experiences of motherhood. The writing is beautiful and serves as such an important reminder that there are so many different experiences of motherhood, yet in each one so far I’ve felt solidarity and recognition, the kinds of words that are comforting to have on your bedside table for the broken nights of sleep.

My favourite feeling at the end of a book is that my heart has grown a little bigger, and it happened with both of these.

Sunday I took things quietly. It was cold, wet and somewhat miserable, but the weather forecast promises us a beautiful spring weather week of temperatures of 14–21C, which usually means people will go berserk at the nursery. So to get ahead of the crowd, we bought up on lots of pots of colour. I didn’t remember to take a picture of them all, but we’ve got a cottage garden array of snapdragons, lobelias, salvias, foxglove, pancies, bluebells and marigolds. Our little one had a marvellous time rugged up in his pusher watching us plant out the baby seedlings while it drizzled.

We finished with a chicken roast, a hot bath and an early night.  All in all, it felt like very good medicine.

Journal

September 19, 2022

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