What first drew me to Ciara Brehony's blog Milkmoon were the stunning photographs she takes of her home and family in Wicklow, Ireland. What has kept me coming back every week for the past year and a half are her words. A born storyteller, possessing wit and heart in equally generous doses, Ciara was one of the first people I met in the blogging world, and truth be told, she is one of the bloggers I've looked to as a model for what a really great blog provides both reader and writer: intense beauty, fantastic writing, reflection, a good laugh or a good cry (or sometimes both), and a strong sense of community. It is a joy to have her contributing to the Legacy series. If you haven't met Ciara yet, you are in for a treat.
(Legacy: inheritance, heritage, endowment.)
First of all, a huge thank you to the lovely Gigi for doing this wonderful series. I do hope I live up to both her expectations, and also the standard already set!
Also, today, the 6th, Milkmoon is three years old, and I am more than beyond thrilled to be celebrating it here on The Magpie's Fancy with my first ever guest post. Thank you for sharing this with me.
I have a penchant for nostalgia. Whether my own or others! And I am blessed to have a housefull of old and worn and loved objects that have significant meaning to me, that have their own family stories to tell. Things that I have written about before, things that have pieces of who I am sewn into their seams, that have the memory of where I come from embedded in their grain. But I have found, on this occasion, that my mind has taken off and rambled off down another leafy pathway, towards something else entirely.
In my ponderings and musing on the title 'Legacy', I took a little wander back through the pages of my own bloghistory, as though scrying for what it might mean to me, for it was a word that immediately held huge resonance for me, yet was one I couldn't seem to pin down.
Ah there! There it was, floating to the surface with little effort : the centre of my mandala was where the answer lay.
We all have our own mandala around us, that living, growing, changing circle of all that we love and need and cherish. That cocoon of people, and places and necessities that iswho we are, that is the beat of our heart, the breath in our lungs, the very essence of 'I'. It is something that we never need to think about, for it is lead by our hearts, and has roots so deep we cannot fathom their beginnings.
And at the very centre of our own, unique mandala, is the thing we hold most dear, the treasure that is our anchor, our very meaning.
For me it is Family.
Where we came from, our place in it, and all those things that make us who we are. And it is something so immense that I cannot even begin to classify it. And time and again I have written posts about how I feel about the enormity of my responsibility to my children, of sending them off on the rocky, leafy pathways ahead, and wondering if I have given them all the right essentials! For what are all the right essentials?
But what I do know is that all I can do is hold true to the things that were given to me by my parents, the things that have stood the test of time. And when a friend, (who did not know me in my wayward youth..!) described me as an 'incredibly civic-minded person', it was one of those Insightful Moments of Self, when it felt as though I had been given a title I had, somewhere along the way, grown into.
For although it is something I recognise as an inherent trait, passed on by my parents, it is also something that I have made my own. A mindfulness that expands beyond our own Self, and takes care of how we influence the world around us, every day.
And though I look back and have no memory of how I got here myself, I have complete confidence that my parents hadn't a clue either, but they still somehow showed me the way, and that alone gives me the confidence to keep on going!
Because as I write this, there upon the notice board on the wall I have written: 'Just be the best person you can be. That's all.' And I understand that that is what I have been given.
A civic mind.
And I understand now that the Legacy I have inherited, is the Legacy I will pass on. A desire for a trustworthy world, a dependable society, and a conviction of my own effect. For we all have a voice, however small, and if our children hear our voice then isn't that good enough?
"And though it is just another moment in time, we are standing together, choosing the bright new threads to add to this weave we are part of, our tiny part of this family history that goes back into the mists of time, each thread an essential thread, strong and full of purpose, and each one equally as vital as the next.
And I take my little child by the hand, show him how it is this story is woven together with many hands and hearts.
And somewhere along the way we let them go, knowing their map overlaps with ours, knowing their threads are firmly caught. We let them go, a little at a time, in the certainty that those threads will never break. And that someday they will hold out their hand, and a child will ask to hear their story, will ask to know their place in it all."