Now we're just tentatively peeking our little red noses out of winter, and of course layers are important
I don't want to be too hot, or too cold.
Yes, we are all very good at talking about unexpected drops and rises in temperature and the weather but what that does is just remind us of how important layers are.
When I was out for a wander the other morning, I got to thinking about the kind of layers we can have in our lives.
There are the cheap, useless, chill you to the bone layers that serve no real purpose, and there are the expensive, valuable and keep you from dying from hypothermia layers.
You know the kind you hanker after but rarely buy when you're in the outdoor shop...( well maybe that's just me!)
I thought...well the same goes for the layers we put into our lives, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, year by year. The quality of the moments, events, experiences and people, that we allow to surround us in our lives, gives us the quality of our lives and the warmth and support that we so desire.
This Christmas/New Year holidays 2013 I had the total delight of having the company of my youngest niece, she came over from Australia for a sad reason but proceeded to bring joy and laughter to our hearts, just to have her near and get to know her personality.
We got to talking one day about the last time I visited her in Oz. A time when she was only 7-8 years old. Only about 6 years ago.
Now, I talked with much heartfelt enthusiasm about my memories of the time we spent together, special and deeply held for me.
It was during this conversation that I was reminded of the importance of layers...no not because we were both feeling a bit chilly after having been outside for hours in the Scottish winter, but because she could not remember many of the details I remembered of the last time i'd visited Australia and spent time with her.
Of course, it hit me! This was only ONE short moment in her childhood, where this previously fairly unknown Auntie Jaimie rocked up.
She made me laugh! The only thing she remembered vividly about my visit was watching me put my contact lenses in in the morning and being freaked out by it :) HA!
This visit to Scotland was another beautiful layer on the cake of our lives. She, older and more aware of the wider world, now has a stronger memory, more meaning and context to what family is and means, especially extended family...before this she had only met a handful of us and found it hard to connect the dots
Without layers we are just passing ships with no anchor to each other.
We connect to each other by building layers of our lives together, building trust, building memories, respect and love for one another- and sadly all too often by negative means too..
Side by side, interlocked, touching at points along the path as we experience, learn and remember.
This visit, my niece and I built our layers by walking together with her dad and mine, in the common grazing, avoiding jagged Gorse bushes, and climbing fences.
We went walking on the croft, down to the woods, where she witnessed and heard stories of where her dad used to go ferreting when he was young.
We went together to the neighbouring croft to see the animals. Where we met dogs, charismatic cows, shy sheep, rare hens and freezing fish. And we came home up the hill I walked each school day as a child, talking about the dens I built at the roadside and hours I spent messing around in the burn by the house.
She asked me as we walked, ' do you think it's better to be a child or an adult'... I thought for a moment...it was a tricky question and I answered as simply as I could
'For me both have been and are pretty wonderful, but I make sure I'm childlike and playful as a grown-up as much as possible'
That's how i want to build my layers, as a grounded and gracious grown-up BUT with the tendency to follow my nose,to discover and uncover the potential for playfulness and wonder.
Now, that gorgeous girl is back in Australia, I miss her and I can't wait to build more special life layers with her, whenever that may be.
with warmth and wonder