Sometimes these things start not with a germ of an idea, or even an inkling, but a flood; a rush of knowing that this is what you want. Then comes the slog.
So it seems to have been with Our Land.
Conceived by the marvellous Kristi (of Finding Ninee fame – blogger, mother, drawer-of-own-illustrations and late-night-chatter extraordinaire), Our Land is a place which exists inside us – we can’t visit, but we can live it. We can’t picture it, but we can grow it. And we do that by caring, by having compassion, by allowing the magic of everyday life to touch us, settle in our spirits and make us better people.
But it’s hard work, and there have been some fabulous contributors offering signposts about how to find this remarkable land. By practicing self-compassion instead of self-hatred. By acknowledging each person as valuable. By not demanding to know ‘Why?’ By reserving judgement.By cheering on the small-but-vital steps. By including. By actively fighting prejudice.
And perhaps most importantly by being a fixer – a contributor to the movement that aims to bring Our Land to your doorstep and set up camp.
The work is ongoing, and perhaps always will be, but each time another person commits to living in Our Land and begins to actively bring the empathy and wonder to every day, our hearts will rejoice and those around each of the new residents will begin to notice the difference.
There are always people in life who are a challenge to manage. They can be up in your face and shouting the odds. Their story can bring you to a grinding halt, stop the conversation, leave you uncomfortable. And recently, I was one of those people.
Husby and I started trying for a baby in September 2012, and had two miscarriages before receiving the diagnosis that an ongoing endocrine disorder had progressed and attacked Husby’s reproductive system, rendering us infertile.
You can imagine the rapidity with which those conversations shuddered to a stop – I might as well have told people that I’d been ritually murdering kittens.
Because what do you say in the face of such appalling circumstances? Should you commiserate? Make light of it? Change the subject? Just plain run away?
It was bad enough for my friends, but for strangers and acquaintances, I entered a whole new world of discomfort – if I shared, it was too much information, if I didn’t, I felt I was being dishonest.
So in the spirit of Our Land, I saw an opportunity to help fix the problem. Hop on over to Finding Ninee, where I give you the low-down.