ME...in a nutshell
"The work of my heart is the work of the world's heart. There is no other art."
While visiting friends in North Carolina, they took me to an Iron Pour; an interesting process of carving your own design into a block of compressed sand, handing it over to the "iron workers," and walking away with a "tile" made of molten iron. It felt positively medieval.
I wanted my design to be meaningful; something to remind me who I was, and am, now that I was no longer partnered with Craig. I've always been interested in Celtic imagery, mythology, and Christianity. Maybe it's because I'm part Welsh. So, I searched the Internet for Celtic symbols.
After reading Wikipedia, one really stuck out to me...AWEN.
There are many versions of the AWEN symbol, but the basic design is a trio of lines emanating from one to three circles. These rays can represent body, mind and spirit, or sun, wind, and water, or love, wisdom, and truth, or the Christian Trinity. I designed my own symbol using tree branches for the rays emanating from the sun and flanked by symbols for wind and water.
Later that year, as I was journaling about this very subject...who I am now...a woman living solo after 35 years? I made a list of the old and new parts of me I wanted to focus on. When I noticed that the first letters of each could spell out AWEN...I felt touched and seen by Craig, by Spirit, by all those who love me from beyond.
"Awen is a Welsh, Cornish and Breton word for "(poetic) inspiration." In Welsh mythology, awen is the inspiration of the poets and bards; or, in its personification, Awen is the inspirational muse of creative artists in general: the inspired individual is described as an awenydd. Druids define awen as 'flowing energy, 'a force that flows with the essence of life'.
I have put words on paper most of my life...sometimes as creative stories and poetry, but almost daily as personal reflections through journaling. Several months after being widowed, I began a private Facebook group, where I shared with my closest friends my journey through grief. Many of the blog posts you can read here are the product of those writings.
In 2014, I published a book of nature poetry entitled, Sightings...Twenty-one Poems Observed.
In 2016, I lost the love of my life. It took years of grieving well to come out on the other side and begin to fall in love with my new life, albeit now a solo one. My blog, A Sacred Absence, details the raw, but very real, journey through grief, mourning, and lament during those first few years. I also hope to inspire as I share how this journey transformed me in practical and spiritual ways as I'm attempting to move forward.
The Wikipedia definition of an Ecoist is “an individual that lives a modern, eco-minded lifestyle. Ecoists have no particular age, race, nationality, nor a particular style. Their only common ground is the Earth.”
One of my passions is native plantscaping on my one and one-third acres, in order to create and attract as much biodiversity as possible. My property is part of the Homegrown National Park, as well as registered with the National Wildlife Federation.
In 2000, when I was 45 years old, I returned to college for a second degree in Natural History. My desire was to become an Interpretive Naturalist. One of my greatest joys is doing outdoor education. I love sharing the beauty and wonder of birds, plants, habitats, and seeing that spark of awe and wonder in both adults and children. I hope you will also be inspired from the photos and reflections through my Writer by Nature blog.
© Cindy K Steffen 2023