Category Archives: presence

Perfectly Imperfect

For a moment everything appeared calm and perfect. Even the pigeons on the roof of the ferry building were closing their eyes after a good grooming session. It made me wonder if they felt as relieved as me that the sun had come out despite the rather gloomy weather forecast. Then without warning the peacefulness was interrupted by a crow joining the sleepy crowd. Everyone scattered making room for the strange visitor who nonchalantly moved to the eavestrough for a drink. Holding up a found treasure which looked like a white pearl in his beak he stared down at me. It felt like one of these special moments that invites you stop everything you are doing or thinking and just become present.

Not sure until the last moment if I was going to risk the predicted stormy weather to visit my sons on Mayne Island I am so glad that I went for it. Driving down Vancouver Island and making my way in stages I was enchanted by the fall colours and the dramatic changes of weather embracing the feeling of freedom.

From sun to heavy rainfalls autumn made itself known to be here. Rainbows graced the sky a few times making the long awaited visit even more special. It was my first trip since Christmas and it felt wonderful to be walking along the trails with my sons sharing the treasures and views along the way just like we have done since they were little except in those days we lived on a mountain top in the interior and now we were sharing the wonders of a little island in the ocean.

Every now and then one of them pointed out something they wanted me to see like a large snail crossing our path or a seagull rocking precariously on a moving log in the water giving me a glimpse of the past and of the wonder and curiosity in the young boys eyes seeing or experiencing something for the first time. Yet so many times I still have the experience of awe in nature and seeing with brand new eyes and I sense it is still there in them as well. Nature just invites this kind of opening and expansion.

Having visited Mayne Island quite a few times now the different landscape still surprises me each time I go. It is so much fun to discover more details and let my eyes feast on unfamiliar rock and sand formations that seem so unique to this island. Hearing also more about the rich history fills in the imagination of what it must have been like in the past and colourful sceneries come alive in a new way.

This trip my curiosity was drawn to the strange mounds of rocks scattered all over the forest. They look like little peaks where the ocean may have pushed the rocks into pyramid shaped forms a long time ago. It made me realize how everything changes over time and consider how high the water must have been at the time these came into being. What seems normal today may some day be something odd or strange, not quite fitting the landscape surrounding it.

Taking in the beautiful colours of the water surrounding the island it took me a while to figure out who was hiding in the kelp. All I could see was the whiskers of some mysterious water creature. It looked like a beaver, but I dismissed that idea not sure that beavers actually live in the ocean. So my next guess was an otter, but it wasn’t that either. Ever so slowly the animal’s head rose fully out of the water revealing a very sleepy seal, who could barely keep his eyes open to take a look at me before sinking back down until only his mouth and whiskers showed just above the waterline.

Standing still I watched it rise and fall, opening and closing its eyes, I imagine it was probably glad when I decided to join my sons and leave it be in peace. My sons were waiting for me around the bend and we got one last glimpse together of the seal hiding for an afternoon nap floating in the kelp before we moved on.

As short as the trip was the joy of sharing these special moments with loved ones was priceless and well worth the effort. I was so grateful that the weather was part of the wonder rather than stopping the trip before it even began. Watching the ferries go by and the dramatic change of clouds and light was like watching a silent movie together while we shared food, memories and what is current in our lives.

On my ferry rides and drive home I had much time to reflect and rejoice in the time we had together and feeling the fullness of my heart. Remembering also the recent visit of my dear friend and a special tapping session she did with me where she helped me embrace my “perfect imperfections“. Examining how much the idea of perfection had stopped me from doing certain things in my life because I knew I could never be perfect at it, her simple statement that I was being perfect at being imperfect brought tears of joy and relief. This I could be!

Laughing out loud on this perfect drive home I was so happy to embrace the beauty of imperfection. The freedom and joy I have felt since releasing this old belief formed such a long time ago is quite remarkable. Knowing whatever I do is perfect in its imperfection allows me to have a lot more fun with whatever I do.

The Days Of The Mess

A New Moon seems to be the perfect day to create another blogpost… especially a New Moon in Leo. Hoping that this time the fire of Leo will sustain my creativity and this post will actually be finished and shared when so many others have been written, abandoned or discarded, not ready to be seen.

With the garden in full bloom, fruits ripening on the trees and the heat of these beautiful August days calling forth in me an almost childlike joy to create and a wish to connect once again with all those who enjoy my photos and read my posts and I give myself once again to this process of natural unfolding.

A big mosquito stops the flow for a moment or perhaps adds to it and redirects it to a new mission as I defend my body. However it got away, which means tonight I either have to surrender and offer my blood or stay on the alert if the famous sound of the “buzz” awakens me. This is at least what my mind tells me are my only two options.

Each day brings new experiences even on days I am not going anywhere. A young buck might come barrelling down the path as if chased by a ferocious predator only to come to a sliding stop at the bottom of the path below my window to lie down for a midday rest, licking and tending itchy spots or bites and eventually going beneath my cabin for an even cooler place to hide.

Earlier this day I came across an interesting article called “The Mystery of the Tidal Phenomenon of Chalkida, Greece” written by Tasos Kokkinidis in which he describes the unique tidal pattern of the famous Evripus Channel. Not knowing much about tides in general I found this fascinating. In this channel that separates Chalkida from the mainland of Greece the sea current moves for six hours in a northerly direction, then becomes completely still for eight minutes before moving for six hours south in the opposite direction. This pattern is repeated four times each day, day after day, except for the 7th, 8th, 9th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th day of the lunar cycle. These days are called “the days of the mess” and the waters may change directions up to fourteen times or not at all and be still for up to eight minutes.

I don’t know why but I love this idea of the stillness of the eight minutes before the cycle changes and the strange predictability of the “messy” days, in which nothing seems to have a rhyme or reason. Just coming out of my own cycle of stillness after chaos which was so needed after a very stressful and crazy spring and early summer it is this stillness that also brought the clarity of necessary changes.

Like a snake who is in the process of shedding her old skin there is no going back. Trying to put the old skin back on is not an option. It takes a while for the mind to catch up and accept that life once again is changing directions. Sensing that this vibrant New Moon is indeed a New Beginning and a turning towards what I love to give the most and what fills me. I see I have been preparing the inner soil and the space so I can move forward in a new way.

It has been a very different summer for me. Remembering so many summers longing for the freedom to deeply enjoy this beautiful season, when it usually ended up being the busiest and craziest time of the year. This summer was different than any other I have known. The first half I spent mostly inside not having much energy for anything and allowing myself to feel the depth of tiredness from all the movement and changes. Now as my energy is slowly returning I am so grateful for this long pause that allowed me to just sit in the exhaustion, feel it and surrender to it. Often sitting out on the bluff I wondered if my own exhaustion mirrored the exhaustion of so many and that of Mother Earth herself and if this pause is absolutely necessary for me/for us to change gears and direction.

In the stillness I felt held by Nature who kept sending me signs of love and tenderness and of strength. Perhaps this new strength is a different kind of strength, one that is centred in stillness which can take a different softer form as it moves back out into the world in a way that is nourishing and nurturing, sustainable and thriving, and able to face the messy days yet to come.

The many blessings and wonder I received in this time especially since I decided to let go of the old skin and the old job and surrender to the Unknown were beyond anything I could ever imagine. Perhaps I will describe some of these in a future post. For now I hold them close to my heart trusting in the messages that came with each gift.

Last night another sweet gift in the form of this little hummingbird arrived who kept me company enjoying the evening breeze as much as I did and was even up to a mini photo shoot. Then we just sat there together, every now and then each of us taking a sip, me from my cup and the hummingbird from the feeder. The peacefulness of that moment is still with me reminding me of those eight minutes when all movement seizes.

Then the dark invited me to the bluff again where I have spent so much of this summer just lying on the moss feeling the firm ground beneath me watching the incredible display of the night sky with meteors flying like arrows through the star filled sky as Jupiter, Saturn and Mars hold space to be – to just be.

Happy New Moon in Leo, dear ones!

May it ignite the spark to shine our unique light in and for us all!

A Deeper Belonging

Deciding to set up my office outside today hummingbird zooms by a couple of times insisting it is time for me to hang up the feeder to welcome it home. As I prepare its “welcome home” feast I also feel called to smudge before I sit down in my less than elegant but totally enjoyable writing space. Watching the spiralling smoke as I set the smudge bowl onto the altar, I am surprised to see the restless patterns dance into the room. Mesmerized I am drawn into its wild dance wondering about the energy it is releasing.

Finally sitting down again outside I can reflect upon the letting go of the grief and pent up emotions over the changes and experiences in my life over the last several weeks. Raven glides overhead, the swishing sound of its wings feels strangely connected to the energy of releasing. Taking a deep breath I also tune into the sound of the chimes moving softly. Its song is surprisingly gentle and comforting.

There have been many uplifting gifts lately which I received gratefully as maneuvering through these strange times has not been easy. Deeply longing to just retreat from the world and become still, life had other plans for me and didn’t let me of the hook. I write this with a smile, because I recognize the opportunity of growth as I slowly break through my resistance, exhaustion and sadness around the unfolding of events not just in the world but here on our little island.

These two very special beings, Omar and Raven, from White Horse Sanctuary (https://whitehorsesanctuary.com/) have been helping me stay sane and are such incredible teachers bringing me back into presence and oneness as well as finding the source of self-assurance and what that actually means to me. They unfalteringly show me when I am not present and make me laugh. It is so good to laugh and delight in the many gifts of spring including the opportunity of gardening.

Last night’s gift was incredibly special. Perhaps you received it as well. Watching the light slowly fade after sunset and a pink glow appear in the sky announcing the arrival of the Full Moon, nothing prepared me for the sight as she crested the coastal mountains bringing me to tears with her golden beauty. Thoughts, emotions, everything vanished in this moment of witnessing something I don’t even want to try to put into a box of words.

Sitting in timelessness everything just fell away. The cold wind felt like a kiss of awakening blowing away any sadness or anger, taking me into a stillness and fullness that perhaps the picture of the moon can convey just a little. Many hours later making my way slowly back down to my cabin with the light of the moon illuminating the way home, I was filled with so much gratitude and joy and a sense of a deeper belonging. It is still with me now as I write these words and hummingbird takes its first deep drink of the season before it buzzes away again.

This morning after the best sleep I had in years the first light was pulling me from my dreams. Rushing back up to the bluff wrapped in a blanket the rays of the new day brought more tears of wonder and deep appreciation.

The recognition of how truly blessed and loved I am took my breath away. And as the light of the sun warmth me on this beautiful but still cool day of spring I am reminded once again of a truth that felt so distant in recent times: Love connects us all.

May the one heart shine brightly in each of us like the golden light of the sun and moon and may tenderness replace judgement, fear and separation. May we be kind to ourselves, to each other and all beings. And may we receive the teachings and blessings of this time with graciousness, openness and patience.

Five Years In The Making

Making my way to the bluff I take off my shoes as soon as I reach the moss covered ground. The moss is dry and brittle, but still soft beneath my feet. I drink in the heat of the sun through the soles of my bare feet as well as my skin. It is surprisingly hot after a few cooler days with just a sprinkle of rain. I don’t last long in the full sun, enjoying one last look of the gorgeous view of mountains, forests and ocean and retreat to my cabin that I am blessed to now call home.

Meeting a very friendly squirrel on the way back, it surprises me how it comes fearlessly all the way down to the path I am on, checks me out with gentle curiosity and then keeps on going past the bathtub on some sort of mission. With no rain in sight and already a Level 3 drought warning I let go of my plan to have a bath in the moonlight tonight. That will have to wait till rain is in the forecast and will be something to look forward to and celebrate.

It feels good to be back in the much cooler cabin and it feels incredible to finally have a year round and hopefully longterm rental and not only that, but such a special one. What a relief and joy after a year and a half of looking for a new home.

Painting it from top to bottom was well worth it, even though I had no idea how much work it would turn out to be and how long it would take. Preparing this space was a labour of love, not just for myself but even more so as a healing space for others. It felt like it was just made for it and I was so happy when the moment finally arrived and I was able to offer my first session here last week. It was like coming home on many different levels.

This feeling of being in the right place surrounds me here among the Arbutus trees. Even the dead ones still hold a powerful energy and beauty and remind me once again that endings are tightly interwoven with new beginnings. This is the place I first stayed at on Cortes Island five years ago over a long Easter weekend. I fell so in love with this beautiful island then, that I didn’t want to leave. Little did I know that my yearning to be here and my sense of belonging would fulfill itself in such a way, bringing me back not only to the island but to the place where it all began almost exactly five years later.

Trusting that life has opened this door for me for a reason, I delight in being here, feeling so happy to be surrounded by the beauty of nature and feel so welcomed in this neighbourhood. Amazingly I am doing exactly what I had envisioned five years ago: sitting by the big window amidst the Arbutus trees and writing on my computer. What a confirmation of manifestation….

With so much gratitude to all my wonderful friends that helped me paint, move, build a gate, decorate and support me in so many ways on this journey…thank you so much!

In The Garden Of Now

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Leaves are fluttering softly in the ocean breeze singing a song I haven’t heard before with birds adding their own melodies here on the south side of Cortes Island. I am slowly settling into my new very temporary home where I am housesitting, allowing its incredible beauty and expansive ocean views to touch and open me.

My two very affectionate canine companions that I am looking after for six days, have finally settled down beside me. Each is lying curled up on either side of my chair, waiting patiently and often not so patiently for the opportunity to receive more attention, a meal or another outing. I have to admit the sunshine glistening on the ocean and the sandy beach getting more and more exposed as the tide goes out is hard to resist. This invitation to fully experience the dramatic beauty offered here so freely beckons every time I lift my head and look outside.

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Since arriving here on Friday I have noticed myself taking in my new surrounding more slowly and carefully than I usually do, but certainly with as much wonder and delight. It almost feels like I have stepped into a beautiful dream, which I don’t want to wake up from.

The many flowers, the sacred feel of the garden as well as the beauty of the spirit of this land bring me gently but deeply into the moment. I notice an inner response, a feeling of something lifting and finally once again letting go of needing to know how life is going to unfold. What a sweet relief to keep surrendering!

P1240094The exquisite scent of roses, honeysuckle and other sweet smelling plants absolutely captivate me, stopping me in my tracks. There is no way that I can walk by and ignore this heavenly calling to breathe in these potent and yet delicate aromas.

As the clouds come and go, flowers in all stages of blooming and decay declare their place in life, reminding me of something I read recently in a book called “Caves of Power”. The author Sergio Magana Ocelocoyotl  describes how in the Toltec and Mexihca oral traditions “the lines of your face show everything you’ve ever experienced, but above all the way you’ve lived your life on Mother Earth.” It makes me look at the lines in my own face in a whole new way and makes me appreciate each part of the journey.

P1220207I am so grateful that the sun keeps surprising me, despite the forecast which has been anything but encouraging. Yet the artistry of the moving clouds is undeniable as the view shifts and changes from moment to moment. Noticing that as I keep opening to the precious now, the encouragement that I feel to carefully select and plant seeds of what I want my life to look and feel like, while at the same time honouring the dream and love that brought me here and appreciate and be present to what is here now.

P1240213As I explore more of this garden of Now, I get to learn and see what needs to be nourished, weeded and let go of, as well as allow myself to receive the gift of the giant bouquet of flowers that life is offering me with wide open arms and heart and so much gratitude.

 

 

 

 

The River Of Creation

 

 

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Observing the month of May unfold with its bright greens, new blossoms appearing daily and the incredible vibrancy of so many birds adds to the awakening and liveliness all around. The sense of new beginnings fills the air, even if the temperatures still rise and fall, letting us know that trying to predict life and nature is impossible. So why even try!

Yet all is not unfolding as peacefully and harmoniously as the beauty around me suggests. The energy of the Scorpio Full Moon waxing, coming into its full power and now waning, undoubtedly has added to some of the intensity that I have been experiencing.

P1220986While walking out to the bluff the other day, I heard a lot of splashing in our little bay and to my dismay watched as an eagle repeatedly was diving down, attacking a beautiful small duck. I had been observing the little drake for a week or so as it has enchanted me with its peaceful presence. As I rushed to the water’s edge both birds were getting more and more tired, the eagle from repeatedly diving into the water and rising heavily with wet wings and the duck from diving under and barely getting its breath before the next attack. It seemed a matter of who would give up first. I have to admit I was breathing a big sigh of relief when the duck was able to fly away after the eagle retreated to a favourite treetop lookout.

To my surprise the brave little duck came back a couple of hours later, his mate joining him for an evening paddle on the water, before returning to sit on a nest hidden somewhere nearby. I still feel a bit of unease whenever I see one of the eagles sitting in the trees around the bay, especially when the tide is getting low and the drake is all alone on the water.

P1220952The ravens haven’t been happy with the eagles either. They are also nesting again this year after a two year break and their young ones have obviously hatched, according to the noise that goes on up there. My guess is that Mother or Father Raven is bringing some delightful morsel home for the young brood that causes this much noise and excitement. We know from experience that it will only get noisier as they get bigger and believe me, it is not the prettiest sound by far.

However, the raven parents gang up and chase any eagle bravely away if he comes a bit too close for comfort, which obviously benefits the ducks as well. Everyday I observe this kind of life and death drama unfold around me, holding my breath, knowing that every one needs to eat, but still it does not make it any easier to witness.

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Making a video with the poem I recorded for the radio show, which I mentioned in my last post, was much more complicated than I had thought it would be. It was also a lot of fun to co-create and see where the river of creation would take this. In the end, all the effort, patience, persistence and surrendering to the process was all worth it, with every challenge an important piece of the creative unfoldment. All of it manifested a deep sense of fulfillment, joy and wonder, as the message of the poem and our love for Nature was guiding us and leading the way.

And now I am finally able to share it with you as promised and hope that this video and my reading of Mary Reynolds Thompson’s beautiful poem “Song Of A Wild Soul Woman” will speak to you and delight and awaken your senses and wild soul:

In response to Daily Prompt: Observe

The Turning Of The Wheel

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As I watch the last days of Winter dance and intermingle with the first days of Spring, showing me once again that life doesn’t happen in a straight line, nor can it be predicted or controlled, my mind has a hard time to surrender to “what is” at times. Whereas another part of me is glad, that this is so, for it allows the experience of awe and wonder, keeping us connected to the great mystery of life.

Witnessing the great wheel turning and seasons changing, I open myself to whatever the new day might bring: perhaps another round of snow, or sunshine and the sweet fragrance of Spring, that makes me long to be outside and receive it with every cell of my body, or even hail or thunder announcing both an ending and a new beginning.

P1220674With winter ending in this part of the world, I notice many changes and awakenings around me as well as inside of me. It has been a long journey, that felt a lot like having been deep under water, only coming up for a breath of air here and there. Today as the sun is warming my skin and the birds are singing ever so sweetly, I experience a feeling of lightness, reminding me of what it feels like to float on the surface of the water without any resistance, allowing the current to carry me gently to an unknown destination.

P1220720The last six months have been intense, expanding, beautiful and hard. Letting go of a partnership is a deep process with many doubts, fears and old patterns, all rising to the surface at once, yet giving the opportunity to meet them in a new way, as well as allowing myself to take a deep honest look at myself, the relationship and what is prompting the letting go. Sitting with one another in the love, the pain and the grief, witnessing each other in this process, so unique and different, yet shared with such sincerity.

Today I feel the wheel of life shifting not only the season, but my life into something new. I have no idea of what it will look like. Lying awake in the early morning hours, listening to first stirring of the day, wondering where life might take me and hoping to find that special cottage or cabin, my own little nest in Nature somewhere on this island, that feels right for me, where I once again can immerse myself in the work that I love so much: Vibrational Alignment sessions, transformational coaching, writing, blogging and creating to my heart’s content.

P1220711Feeling the deepest gratitude for the powerful and rich experience of coming together five years ago, following our dream here to Cortes and now shifting into a new way of relating, as we cut the cord and untethered under the Libra Blue Moon, where we offered this relationship to the fire, acknowledging the support we have given each other through the many emotional waves that letting go have stirred up in us on this journey, meeting the deep call of growth. Love has been our guide and has brought us to this point.

Breathing into this turning of the wheel, I allow myself to inhale deeply, allowing the gift of life all the way in, where it expands my belly, my chest, my awareness, before releasing it slowly, channeling it through my heart deliberately, then through my throat and out my nostrils. With each deep breath in and out, I feel the space in my heart expand and a softness in me welcoming this new day and season, holding onto trust that all will be well. Writing this, I remember the dolphins attending our ceremony around the Solar Eclipse, not only supporting us on this journey of untethering, but raising the vibration so high, and that there could only be joy.

P1220016Right now I also feel deep joy in writing and sharing with you once again. It has been a while since this urge to communicate and share got strong enough to break through, whatever resistance or process I was in. Yet in this long pause I have also learned to trust deeper in the Muse to guide me and show me to give room for this inner turning that is going on, much like the seeds in the grounds preparing for the right moment to break through the earth into the light.

And for my dear friends who haven’t heard from me in a while, please forgive me! I needed to give myself this time and space to fully immerse myself and honour the deep process of letting go of my relationship and the expansion that was being asked of me.

P1220166As I looked into my now former partner’s eyes today, I saw the same lightness also reflected in his eyes and I have never seen him more radiant.

I am so very grateful to know and see you and be known and seen by you. To a new way of “relating”! And to Love!

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Daily Prompt: Radiant

 

The Ancient Ones Are Calling

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Grandmother Turtle was calling me in her mysterious way long before I even knew I was returning to the Big Island of Hawaii. Her vivid image kept appearing in my mind’s eye when least expected. She had been there to greet me when I arrived on my birthday last year and to my surprise and delight met her again in the exact same spot on the day I had to leave. She had a curious mark on her shell which helped me recognize her immediately and there was something special about sitting with her at a respectful distance on both my first and last day on the island. Her ancient presence held me spell bound. It felt like she was transmitting something on an energetic level that cannot be put into words.

As soon as I got back to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago, I returned to the same sacred spot where we had met. Somehow I already knew that she wouldn’t be there, it didn’t matter. I felt her presence as clearly as on the first and last time we met. I stood there watching two much younger turtles make their way home into the ocean surrounded by many visitors capturing their escape on camera.

Leaving the beautiful sunshine and heat of the Kona area behind, as well as the sweetly familiar landscape and landmarks, I made my way towards the Volcano National Park. Turning off the highway a few miles from the park entrance, where eventually an unpaved lane led me to my new temporary home at a rustic artist sanctuary at a much higher elevation with much cooler temperatures and huge amounts of rainfall.

Settling into the jungle and rustic cabin was easy, feeling welcomed by the other women as well as nature. The wild pigs had opened up the path to the rustic cabin I am staying in, which the rain turned into mud. Feeling the squishy mud beneath my feet as I carried my suitcase to my humble home, I had a sense of stepping deeper into an unfolding mystery and this might turn out to be quite different from the dream that brought me here.

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Within a few days of my arrival three of us drove to a beautiful beach near Hilo where the sun gifted us with some heat, which was most welcomed after sleeping with four blankets at night to stay warm in my unheated little abode. Exploring the beach and cliff, I was immediately captivated by the dramatic and stunning contrast of the green vegetation against blue sky and the turquoise water and white waves crashing against the black lava. The wild beauty was stunning, bringing me deeply into the present moment.

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Yet I felt strangely vulnerable standing out on that cliff covered in black uneven lava rock with huge waves rolling towards me. Both fear and exhilaration took their turns in me as wave after wave crashed against the rocks, some so unexpectedly big and powerful bringing the water way too close for my comfort level.

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Deciding that I wanted to find more peaceful surroundings, I made my way back to a channel I had waded through to get to the cliff. Soon I discovered a perfect spot right at the edge of this channel, where I could watch fish of different shapes, colours and sizes enjoy the calm water leading into a sheltered pool.

It took me a while to notice her. She was sleeping underwater, her shell blending completely into the rocks she was lying on. It was almost a shock when I realized that the giant rock in the channel beneath me was really a giant turtle. This one was even bigger than the one I met last year. A new friend of mine sat on the opposite side of the channel and we both sat silent in the presence of this giant ancient being. People came by, some noticed her and some not. One made a comment that she surely must be dead as she was lying completely motionless on the bottom of the water.

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When another giant turtle swam through the channel right over her, she lifted her head and soon made her way to the surface. Watching her take a her first breath after being under water for a very long time was like watching a baby take it’s first breath. As she looked at me and acknowledged my presence, I had the same feeling I had a year earlier when Grandmother Turtle greeted me. Then she turned her head slowly and looked at my friend on the other side before sinking back to the bottom resting on the matching rocks. My friend and I looked at each other, neither one of us had words to describe this experience. “Awe” doesn’t even come close.

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As I sit here writing this, “Flash Flood Warning” messages appear on my phone every couple of minutes as the heavy rain keeps coming down relentlessly, and I wonder what we could learn from these ancient ones, what messages they might have for us if we cared to listen.

As I slowly break through my resistance of the endless rain drenching me each and every day, keeping me awake most of the night with the intense drumming on the metal roof of my cabin four feet from my head, teaching me to surrender, rather than resist what life is bringing me, encouraging me to open to the gift that is waiting to be fully received in this moment.

I remember last year around this time I volunteered at an amazing fundraising event for Standing Rock on our little island, bringing so many of us together, recognizing the incredible importance of water. The event was a huge success beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. “Water is Life” our small community choir sang at the benefit. The powerful words are still ringing in my heart as is the power of people coming together and stand together for what is sacred.

Each day the lessons around water deepen and bring greater awareness. Yesterday we decorated our new “African Shower Bucket”, that has brought us immense amount of delight in decorating, as well as much appreciation for being able to wash our hair and bodies with warm water. After many cold shower this is truly heaven. And it is not lost on us, that there are many in the world who have little or no access to water. So I am letting go of my dream of sunshine and embrace both the incredible abundance, the lesson and the gift, as the frogs start singing their nightly song regardless of if it’s raining or not.

Return, Return, Return

 

P1190884Waking up to Kingfisher’s loud and distinct rattling call, I opened my eyes to see what was going on. The little ducks, that come to stay in the bay and grace us with their presence every winter, have returned and for some reason this is either not to Kingfisher’s liking or perhaps he is just very excited that they are back to keep him company during the darker winter months. As he is announcing their arrival to the whole world, I watch him fly low over the ducks from shore to tree and back again, over and over while rattling away.

This summer to my delight I was lucky enough to capture three of them sitting together on the rope by the dock, a favourite resting place in the mornings, after diving in and out of the water many times for their breakfast. But lately I have seen only the one coming to sit there, pruning itself in the sunlight after the morning swim and meal.

P1170257Looking at the Kiwis lying on the table being kissed by the early morning sun, it is hard to describe the joy I feel looking at their fuzzy bodies and also felt while I was picking them as the snow was coming down in silent reverence a few days ago. Standing on the ladder twisting and turning to get those hard to reach treasures, while icy cold drops from the leaves dripped on my face and neck, running down and making me shiver with aliveness, I could feel joy spreading inside and filling me, as I picked one by one and carefully placing them in my basket.

These old Kiwi vines are a huge tangled mess and I had to laugh when my hat kept getting pulled off by the branches and pretty soon my long hair also got tangled in the vine, making it at times impossible to move. It felt good to laugh out loud, slowly untangling myself and filling the basket with so much abundance. It wasn’t lost on me as I freed my hair of how it was reflecting the untangling that is happening in my own life. Now seeing the hundreds of kiwis lying on the table, I feel awe and gratitude for Mother Nature’s incredible generosity and teachings.

P1200005While picking the fruit I was singing a favourite song I learned in choir: “The Earth, the air, the fire, the water….return, return, return!”  Standing on that ladder while snow and rain were taking turns to awaken me, I couldn’t help but hear the elements around me calling to become truly present: Return! Return! Return!

As my awareness deepened, I saw pictures in my heart’s eye of how we used to honour and celebrate together the elements, the seasons, the sun, moon and stars, and our mother…how we used to dance together around the fires celebrating all that sustains life and how deeply connected and intertwined we were with life itself.

The earth, the air, the fire and the water are singing their invitation to all of us to return, return, return…

 

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A Sacred Journey

P1180481Putting another log on the fire, I nestle into my soft blanket as the day comes to an end. I am surprised to see the soft glow of the moon in the East already, while the intense pink sky in the opposite direction announces the departure of the sun. Settling into the stillness of what is ending and beginning all at once, vivid memories from my recent trip return. I remember clearly my feeling of excitement and some fear as I sensed that this trip was just the beginning of a much bigger journey, as I stood at the back of the ferry watching the little island I call home disappear in the dense fog, leaving a sparkling trail of light.

Three ferries took me to the mainland and my car, after sputtering unhappily for the last two years, was finally back in its full power and taking me effortlessly across the mountain passes back to where my sons were born more than twenty-five years ago. My heart was beaming with joy as I drove the familiar route through the mountains, both delighting in what I saw and the memories that kept resurfacing of two little boys and a big golden dog and all the sweet adventures we shared with their grandparents that came faithfully each summer for an extended stay from Germany, helping us on our homestead.P1180693

I must have stopped at least fifteen times, drinking in the scenery and beauty of the changing season with all my senses, reacquainting myself with the different, yet achingly familiar, fragrances, plants, birds and wildlife like I would with dear old friends. Taking my time to rediscover special spots and stopping whenever I felt the sense to pull over, I was filled with deep gratitude and wonder. For once I had all the time in the world.

As I drove through the fall landscape with beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow I was reminded that this is the season of my life now and that there is beauty and new experiences waiting to be discovered by the woman who I am now, not the young mother I was then.

P1180866It was such a sweet joy to visit with my dearest friend and as always share deeply with each other both the blessings and the pain. One of the many magical highlights was going for a hike together, climbing her favourite little mountain. My muscles were screaming by the time we got to the top. The little mountain was much bigger than I had anticipated. But the view overlooking Grand Forks and the wonderful feeling I always get when I climb a mountain and can leave behind old ideas, confusion and any heaviness I might be feeling, made more than up for the discomfort of my body.P1180939As we sat on the top of that mountain, dark clouds began moving in quickly and we watched a lonesome crow ride a thermal right in front of us. We remarked on how unusual it was to see only one crow and wondered why a group of them is called something as strange as ” a murder of crows”. No sooner had we spoken the word when more and more crows joined the first one. All of sudden the murder of crows had appeared out of nowhere. There were more crows than we could count, all dancing with the strong winds right before our eyes. It was exhilarating and quite the show to watch, making us wish we could join them.P1180780But there was another gift waiting for us. When we got back down to the bottom of the mountain, my friend found a Praying Mantis right by my car and we took turns holding her for a little while. I couldn’t help but feel profoundly touched by the encounter. P1180797This Praying Mantis with one broken antenna captured my heart as she sat there looking at me in complete stillness, helping me find my own inner stillness and connection to the Sacred.

Visiting my sons on Mayne Island on my way back was just as special and filled another part of my heart. More delightful hikes and discoveries on this small Gulf island with the highlight of a fun ride on the back of a motorbike through the autumn woods with a picnic by the Sea. Probably the most magical moment was hearing the most astonishingly beautiful song by a raven I have ever heard. It took us a while to identify who made these enchanting sounds as we sat in wonder and listened. Eagle watched carefully as two families of otters came for a drink of water and passed beneath the tree he was sitting on and disappeared in the woods perhaps for an afternoon nap.P1190046When it was time to go back home and the ferry pulled away from Mayne Island at sunrise, I felt quite differently than when I started out on my trip. And one thing that became clear is that my journey isn’t over. As I allowed myself to first entertain the possibility of listening to a deep inner calling to visit the Big Island of Hawaii on my own, that possibility quickly took on a life of its own. I will be leaving for the next part of this journey in just over two weeks. My heart is filled with much gratitude and wonder, but also fear arises in the dark hours of the night, as I continue on this sacred journey into the Mystery.

A sacred journey

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing.

Make sure before you go,
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you towards
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life;
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

~ John O’Donohue

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In response to the Daily Prompt: Gratitude