Monthly Archives: July 2016

The Return of Summer


Photo by Jyoti

It’s a beautiful day here at Elkenwolf Retreat. The light is dancing magically on the water and it finally feels like summer again. I had to move a few times from sun to shade to sun again, trying to find the perfect spot, the perfect temperature, the perfect view…then finally I settle on the little green bench in a sea of oxeye daisies overlooking Reflection Cove.


I am welcoming this gentle breeze that brings coolness after soaking in the heat of the sun. It makes me happy this return of summer, even if it is just for today. It is lovely to let it tickle all my senses. I go from being fully in the moment drinking in the beauty of my surroundings to the sweet memories of past summers in many different places that I have lived: the summers of my childhood in the Rhineland of Germany filled with riding my bicycle most summer days to the swimming pool or lake, summers in the Canadian Rocky Mountains when I first immigrated, later on Castle Mountain in the Boundary Country of BC where I raised my sons, summers in the beautiful city of Victoria, BC and many other places and now here on Cortes Island. Each chapter filled with many experiences some long forgotten, some etched in my memory as if it was yesterday.

When I think of summer I think of flowers, ice-cream, swimming in cool refreshing water, gentle warm winds, butterflies, hummingbirds and dragon flies, starry nights and beautiful sunsets. I feel like I am being filled with the wonder of it all again and again. Last night the moon surprised me on my late evening walk with Frodo. There it was peaking through the trees beckoning me to meet it out at sea. I talked myself out of it feeling too tired. Later laying in bed I wished I had gone. The water was so still. It would have been perfect for a nighttime paddle. Next time I hope I will say “Yes!”



What is one of your favourite summer memory or moment?


Dream Weaving

She is weaving her web in the living room of dreams….


I was sitting down for a lovely breakfast with my partner when I noticed this spider letting herself down like a circus acrobat in our living room. The light captured her so perfectly and I couldn’t resist trying to get a pictures of her bathed in the morning light.


Spiders always remind me of “creativity” and weaving the web of life. I love how Jamie Sams describes the meaning of spider in her book “Medicine Cards”:

“Spider …weaving webs of delight,

Weave me a peaceful world.

Carrying creation in your web,

Waiting to be unfurled!”




Movement from Stillness

What a sweet day….the sun did come out after all despite a cloudy beginning. I ran away from the lawnmower noise and hiked up to my favourite meditation spot with my camera, journal, pen and a remarkable little book called “The Way To Love” – The Last Meditations of Anthony De Mello.

Just before getting to my destination I had to step over two small fallen trees on the path. When I stepped over the second one my pant leg got caught and I nearly fell. I freed myself and shifted my weight to step over the log again, but for the second time my pants hooked onto a broken off branch and I almost lost my balance. This made stop and wonder…. It reminded me of a hike 6 months earlier where I had fallen twice trying to find a shortcut to the same meditation spot. My shoulder is still healing from that fall, so this time I decided to pause. I looked around and saw that I was only a few yards from the very spot where I had fallen before. This made me wonder even more. I stood there for a long while looking closer at the trees, plants and rocks.


Once again I felt reminded to “be still”. Just a few weeks earlier the same message was delivered in a rather unusual way. I was driving a friend home after work in the evening, when we saw an unusual sight: a large beaver sitting on the pavement at the side of the road with its’ paw suspended in the air looking straight across to the other side. We sat for a few minutes looking at this completely still beaver sitting on the pavement in awe and puzzlement. We were starting to wonder if he was perhaps stuffed and someone had put him there. Just as I decided to turn off the car with the intention to get out to see if he was stuffed, the beaver ever so slowly put his paw down on the pavement and turned his head in slow motion and looked at us. Then just as slowly he took one step at a time and returned to the ditch behind him that was filled with water from the recent rain. It was a very unusual encounter which has stayed with me ever since…With this reminder I walked the rest of the way to the bluff very slowly keeping my focus on what was offering itself to me in the here and now.


On the bluff I moved around till I found the perfect spot in the shade with a beautiful view of the ocean, islands and mountains. As I sat there absorbing the beauty around me and slowly immersing myself in the wisdom of the little book I had brought with me, an interesting little visitor appeared. He or she settled on my hat and seemed quite comfy there and in no hurry to leave. Again the message of “Be still” was reflected by this little guy as he sat there for a long long time.


I enjoyed his quiet company and watched his antennas move as I read him a few lines from Anthony de Mello’s meditations where he talks about relationships and love and letting each other be free to be who we are and saying this to each other: “I leave you free to be yourself, to think your thoughts, to indulge your taste, follow your inclinations, behave in any way you decide is to your liking.” Speaking these words out loud on the bluff was very powerful, letting me look at how often I want this freedom for myself but do not always give it to the other.

When my new little friend finally did take off he went straight up in the air sounding a bit like cross between a bumblebee and a helicopter. Noticing my own discomfort from sitting on the hard rocky surface, I enjoyed stretching my body on this wonderful lookout before packing up my treasures and returning slowly home, noticing and taking in the beauty and wonder all around me.