Hitting the Reset Button

I’ve been in England for eleven days. Between the long list of tasks that come with taking an international trip and a full schedule of visits to friends, relatives, and events since I arrived, all wonderful, I’ve become less and less engaged, and less and less motivated to write, which was one reason I came to Yorkshire. Last night, clicking through the television channels and realizing I seriously needed a break, I cancelled today’s museum tour, took a hot bath and went to bed, then allowed myself to awaken naturally ten hours later.

The morning dawned crisp and sunny. Putting on my boots after breakfast, I stepped outside with no particular plan. I walked around the village where I am staying, ate lunch in the local refurbished woolen mill, then wandered across the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, down to the River Aire and across to Roberts Park, where my mother and father courted during World War II. I spent two hours walking in their footsteps, watching people walking with dogs, children chasing ducks, couples enjoying one another. The sunlight through the light overcast gave a golden glow to the Victorian buildings in the park, and I was fascinated by the effect. But it was also very cold. When my nose and toes became numb I entered a pub that overlooks the river, selected a chair near a window and not far from the blazing fire, and ordered a mulled wine. Today is Midwinter, the shortest day (and the longest night) of the year, and when the sun went down at 4:00 p.m. I was treated to a beautiful Yorkshire sunset.RiverAire

Sipping my drink, I felt connected and peaceful. At first, I enjoyed hearing the exchanges in the northern accents of the other people in the pub, then the conversations faded into the background and I let my mind go where it would. Ideas started to flow. Scenes appeared in my head.  My characters began to talk. When I finally walked back to my cottage, I was clear headed and energetic. It was as if I had taken a long vacation. I couldn’t wait to start writing.

After a productive evening, I checked my email from home. My oldest daughter, Doña Bumgarner, writes a blog for mothers, and I often enjoy reading it, so when I saw her link to a new post, I clicked on it. As she so often does, she had written wise words for the season.  Midwinter night, or the Winter Solstice, has been celebrated for thousands of years with celebrations, feasts, and prayers for rebirth. After a review of those facts, and a description of some of the ways she has marked this day in the past, Doña wrote: “To me, this dark space, this between time, feels like it holds magic. It is a dream time, when new intentions can be set, new dreams can be manifest, new directions can be chosen. It is a time when I can hit the reset button and enter the new year with a clean slate.”

She described exactly what I had experienced today, and helped me to understand its meaning. I had reset my year. I stared at the screen and smiled, across an ocean and a continent from my insightful daughter, and yet through the magic of technology she was here with me.  If you are feeling a bit of overload as we approach Christmas, Doña may also help you find some strategies for resetting your mood.  I encourage you to give it a try.  To read her complete post, point your browser to Nurtured Mama.

6 Responses to Hitting the Reset Button

  1. Barbara Malaspina December 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    After the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas chores and completing some of them, I have been sitting back and thinking about family and generations. Your post was right where I was today. Thanks.

  2. Marlene Bumgarner December 23, 2014 at 2:09 am #

    Thanks, Barbara. I think we all need a reminder to stop and rest at this time of year. I’m pleased that Doña and I were able to share our experiences with you.

  3. Carla Gershenoff December 24, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    Thank you for your wonderful blog, Marlene; I feel as though you were right here chatting with us! We received your Christmas card yesterday – loved all of your usual pictures. I have misplaced your email address, so when time is convenient could you send it on to me please.

    We would love to have you visit us here in Salida and show you our interesting town; perhaps then next time you are in Colorado?

    Enjoy your wonderful stay in one of your favorite places.
    hugs to you, carla

  4. Marlene Bumgarner December 24, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    Thanks, Carla! I’m so glad to hear from you, and of course I’ll send you an email so we can stay in touch. I expect to visit Colorado again very soon in the Spring; after this month in Yorkshire, it won’t seem so cold as it did the first year I was there.

    After this trip to England and some musing about my novel which is set in a mill town in Yorkshire, I shall be writing about and for boomer grandparents. I believe you are also a member of that club, so I hope you’ll stay tuned and contribute your experiences and ideas to that conversation.

  5. Eunice December 28, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    Hi Marlene, Got your lovely Christmas newsletter today and just read your blog. Makes me wish I was there too. Hope your writing time continues to be productive and your stay over there all that you could wish for. Love, Eunice.

  6. Marlene Bumgarner December 29, 2014 at 3:32 am #

    It would have been lovely! Perhaps another year.

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