You can't have action without reaction...

You can't have action without reaction...

Written in March 2021

My Grandad and Dad used to say these words.

The last few months have been a deep dive into sorting, sifting and clearing Dad's workshops and hidey holes and upon returning home I looked at my place with fresh eyes and felt compelled to have a clear out.

If asked, I would have said that I travel light in life, yet the evidence I found told a different story. A collection of glass beads and accessories from a small business where I used to do children's birthday parties. We all made things together and then the little ones had something creative to take home with them. That was nearly twenty years ago. A huge basket of canvasses, acrylic paints, inks and brushes. I haven't painted for over ten years, as I used to do with my daughter when she lived at home. Storage boxes filled with upholstery tools, materials, wadding, webbing and studs were stacked under the stairs. I have not done anything along this line for over six years.  I uncovered a stash of yarns with a collection of knitting patterns and needles. All tucked away and taking up space on a 'What if...' energy.

Everything came under scrutiny.

For a few weeks, there has been chaos in every room and the garden, as things were examined, and sorted, some pieces of furniture were repainted in pretty colours and a lot of stuff was gifted forward. Anything not useful to loved ones and neighbours was listed for free on Facebook Marketplace and I have met some lovely souls who can now use the things that were gathering dust beforehand. I am grateful that our village post office has re-opened after several years of closure and I don't have to lug parcels up over the hill and into a nearby community to post them. During the UK lockdowns, delivery drivers have become friends and they have laughed as they dropped off tins of paint and in one case, a bag of quick setting concrete, so I could mend the coving on top of my garden wall.

At one moment, tears were pouring down my face as I held some tools my Great Granny used in my hands. I heard her clearly say 'I am not in things, my love. I am all around.' I gifted the tools on and have chosen to keep the pieces that were embroidered, knitted and sewn by my Great Granny, Grannies and Mum. Those are irreplaceable.

My home is now clear, clean and re-vamped and gifts a wonderful feeling of space.

I chose not to talk about the upset in the clearing of Dad's workshops, as I feel that in talking about things we create stories that we then carry with us and I wanted to clear clutter, from within and without. I chose to carry one story with me (already shared in my monthly newsletter) and I will share it again here.

The chap who bought Dad's beautifully engineered and built Shay steam locomotive.  He had already bought a steam roller that Dad built at the beginning of last year and it was a private sale through a broker, so the buyer was unknown. The steam world is a small one and I overheard one of the engineers involved in the last few months say his name. I tentatively reached out to him online and he talked to Mum and me over the phone. On the day he came up to look at the Shay and subsequently buy her, our connection became a bond. We looked over the loco and gently inspected the parts we could unbolt and reveal and as he's a soul whose energy is calm and caring, I found myself relaxing. He has taken hours to flow care into his steam roller and has gained a knowledge of how Dad's creative mind worked and as we worked together on the Shay I learned much. He created a loving bubble within the upset, exhaustion and overwhelm. Space where I could witness and appreciate Dad's skill and expertise. He had recently experienced an overwhelming clearing after a loved one had passed on and he understood. I felt 'seen' and understood. We worked, chatted, Mum fed us with yummy food and we loaded the Shay engine onto his van. His gift of friendship and understanding continues and this story flows forward as both sister engines nestle side by side in his workshop.

I now have space in my home to craft new stories.

Jane Sturgeon

Jane Sturgeon

A civil funeral celebrant who covers Flintshire, Cheshire West & Chester and Wrexham, Wales. Jane publishes articles and ebooks and creates online courses on life and the challenges we all face.
Great Sutton, Cheshire, U.K.