Zufriedenheit (Towards Peace)

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When I think about the word “satisfaction” or feel into it, words like contentment and fulfillment arise. In my mother tongue (german), the word for satisfaction is “Zufriedenheit“, which loosely translates to “towards peace“. I love that!

What leads me towards peace? For me it implies taking some kind of action that moves me towards fulfillment or peace of mind. As I sit with the question, more and more answers bubble to the surface.

On the last New Moon I set an intention to write each day for at least 12 minutes. This has brought me more satisfaction and joy than I expected. It was the piece missing in my life: a commitment and making room for something I love doing on a daily basis. Of course more often than not, the 12 minutes turn into an hour or more, because time just doesn’t exist when you are happily flowing in the realm of creativity.

 

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Also there is something incredibly satisfying of capturing a perfect moment or the beauty of what I see in a photograph. It can be just watching a sunset or beautiful cloud formation, or discovering the unique patterns of a leaf or the mysterious bug on a flower. Often the satisfaction comes from being present and taking in fully the beauty or essence of what is before me or what I am experiencing, like the wind gently caressing my skin.

And then there is just being in Nature, no doing. There is nothing that brings me more joy and “Zufriedenheit” than that.  In our busy world it is a worthwhile question to ask ourselves: “What moves me towards peace?”  Perhaps as each of us move more in the direction of inner peace, the world on the outside will reflect more peace as well.

 

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Photo by Dancing Wolf

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: satisfaction

A Little Bit Unusual

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On a warm day in the spring I had been happily writing in the garden when some unusual activity on the other side of the bench I was sitting on caught my eye. Looking closely at the shape-shifting yellow ball, I discovered that it was made out of tiny yellow spider hatchlings (much smaller in actual size than the photo shows), which were just beginning to move out in every direction. Some found their way to my open journal page and one was even brave enough to take a ride on my pen for a little while till I released it in the grass below.

I am glad to say that most of the time spiders don’t evoke the fear that I used to have, thanks to a Tarantula that I met at the Bug Zoo in Victoria, BC, a few years ago. I have forgotten her name, but won’t forget those precious moments when fear turned first to admiration when witnessing her patient tolerance of the high pitched screams when she was placed upon the hands of others who perhaps like me were trying to overcome their fears.

When it was my turn and I held out my hand, admiration turned quickly back to fear but only for a moment. Then surprisingly the fear turned into love. I couldn’t help but be affected by the calmness and presence of this beautiful creature sitting so trustingly on my hand. She was here to help us overcome our fears. The moment I realized this, my heart completely opened.

Every now and then when I get startled again by a big spider and fear arises, I remember her teaching and the love and deep gratitude that I have for her. Now I can freely admire the beauty of their exquisite webs, their incredible weaving skills and the cute baby hatchlings beginning their cycle of life and taking their place in it. Well, and the big ones, if they are in our house, I carry carefully outside in a glass and wish them well.

 

 

In response to the Weekly photo challenge: Unusual

Little Pockets of Time

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Today I am doing something different, which feels really good. Today I am writing in response to a daily writing prompt that I had signed up for ages ago. Even though I faithfully look at each new prompt, I have never been roused into taking action. Today however I felt compelled to write by the one word offered to me.

Paradoxically, it is the word “dormant” which got me going. In the instance I read it, I realized that this is what I have been feeling for quite a while now. There is a part of me that feels like it has been in a state of hibernation. And isn’t it funny that the word “dormant” should be the one that awakens me from that state?

Perhaps the rain has helped, too. I can almost hear the sigh of relief from the plant world around me and a few humans as well. There is something about the freshness and smell of the air in the forest and garden after a rainfall. The garden is delighting us constantly now with it’s display of colours, new blooms P1160673and harvest. Many of these plants started as tiny seeds and are now dazzling us with their beauty or taste.  The rain reminded me that all seeds need water to germinate. This daily prompt “dormant” was the drop of water I needed to break open and feel motivated to write even if just this little post.

Another thing that is different for me today is that I realized while washing dishes and looking at the empty bay before me that I don’t need a lot of time to create as I thought I did. I can take little pockets of time here and there and do what I love. So this excuse is no longer valid. Deciding to let go off this belief is moving a big hurdle out of the way and allows me to do what I love even when life is busy and full with many other things that are all calling for my attention.

I wonder if a seed might feel a sense of excitement and possibility, when it gets planted in the ground or the wind carries it through the air into the unknown. There is something very special about imagining what nourishment or conditions are needed for a dormant seed to awaken and bring forth it’s potential. And what a miracle it is that a tiny seed can grow into giant tree or carrot or flower….

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Daily Prompt: dormant

 

Puddle Mirror

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The beautiful reflection of the trees and blue sky in a puddle caught my eye the other day. It is amazing what a simple puddle might reveal…. This was too sweet to pass by. It took a while before I finally succeeded in taking a picture without my own reflection in it. As I circled around the puddle a few times, trying different angles and directions, my own image kept showing up.

It was not until later when I looked at the photographs on the computer that I became aware that the puddle really had insisted on showing me my own reflection. So the next day after a rainy night I decided to go and take another look.

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As I walked the familiar path I came across a squirrel sitting at the side of the road. It watched my approach and I had the unexplainable feeling that it had been waiting there for me. I expected it to race up the tree at any moment, letting me know in no uncertain terms P1160286that I was the intruder on this perfect morning with drops of rain glistening everywhere. But it didn’t. It sat there quietly on the ground and I stopped a few feet in front of it. We looked at each other for a while and not until I decided to take out my camera, did it run up into the nearby tree. From it’s new perch it looked at me with it’s kind and steady gaze, making me wonder what he or she was seeing.

As I moved on and rounded the next corner I was surprised seeing a small deer standing at the same side of the road. It looked at me with soft eyes. I couldn’t resist and raised my camera to take some pictures. This time I wasn’t wondering what she was seeing, but instead I was very aware of being seen. Finally I decided to take a step towards her. She  raised one foot, then another, and very slowly moved deeper into the forest to watch me walk by from a distance.P1160817

Soon I found myself standing in front of a puddle, then another, gazing at my own image in the different shapes of puddles and backgrounds.

I don’t know why it felt so liberating to look at my own reflection in the puddle mirror. I stood there for a long time, looking with curiosity at the image in the water and taking in what squirrel and deer had seen. It felt strangely comforting, like coming home to myself, embracing and acknowledging my own presence. I was both the observer and the observed.

I also had fun taking pictures of myself in the puddle. Instead of avoiding my own image, it now became my focal point. All the seriousness I had been feeling left in that moment as I smiled at myself in the puddle mirror. I could almost see the little five year old girl who used to love racing barefoot through the summer puddles, not caring if she got dirty or wet.

The smile turned into a grin when I said out loud: “Mirror, mirror on the path, who is the fairest one of all?” Could I dare see and claim my own beauty? The puddle mirror whispered: Yes!

May we all walk in beauty and in our beauty on this earth!

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“You suppose you are the trouble
But you are the cure
You suppose that you are the lock on the door
But you are the key that opens it
It’s too bad that you want to be someone else
You don’t see your own face, your own beauty
Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.”

~Rumi

 

Flower Power

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Opening….allowing….offering….receiving….

The crows came for a short visit this morning, landing in the trees close to the house. Peeking into the window they delivered their message and were gone in a heartbeat. This is Raven territory, so crows are a rather unusual sight here at Elkenwolf.

Later I went into the garden and was looking at the many flowers that are opening, offering their sweet nectar with such grace despite the grey and cool weather. Watching the bees drink joyfully from the vibrant centres, I allowed the fiery colours of the poppies to awaken in me the truth to follow, what makes me come fully alive, and burn away any fears that stop me from doing that.

Thanks to the flowers, the message is now clear.

 

 

 

 

 

Almost Open

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It’s not every day that Hummingbird brings me a message so loud and clear and this one wants to be shared:

You can look at beauty or you can look at problems. You can’t be immersed in both at the same time. If you choose beauty, you will respond and take care of what needs your attention in the moment with openness and love.

The message was so perfect for me and I decided to get out of my head and instead immerse myself in the beauty all around me. A short while later I discovered that the one and only rose blossom is about to open. The wonder of it all! I can’t imagine a more perfect symbol for beauty.

Wishing you all a beauty-filled day!

May Offerings

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The month of May has always been my favourite time of the year. Perhaps having been born in the fifth month makes me a little partial to it. This year May has been much cooler and wetter than I can remember. Still it does not take away from it’s special beauty. The birds are singing wholeheartedly while Mother and Father Goose are cautiously showing off their three little offsprings for the first time, yet almost to the exact day every year.P1240842

After a restless night I could feel my body was more than ready to get out of bed this morning and release some of the aches and stiffness. As I slowly rose, the first thing I noticed was the water in the bay shimmering emerald green with the sun about to rise above the tree tops. I got quickly dressed in order to get in the kayak and be part of the magical moment when the sun bathes everything in its golden light. Well, I made it out in time, but the clouds had quickly covered up the sun, hiding it’s magical rays behind them.

It did not matter! It was so sweet to just be gliding through the clear water that had looked so green from a distance. I headed towards the channel between the little islands that protect Reflection Cove and create a sheltered lagoon. Noticing the pink hues on the little island closest to me, I had to stop and investigate. Soon finding myself totally enthralled by the abundance of wildflowers covering the islands. Everything was bursting in full bloom and many colours from a sea of pinks IMG_0507with sprinkles of whites and yellows to the mysterious checker lily that completely stopped me in my tracks with its unusual beauty.

Every step I took there was more to be discovered. Even the things that looked dead surprised me, like the skeleton of a small Arbutus tree with it’s haunting beauty. Yet on closer inspection it had one shoot coming from it’s root that was very much alive. Life and death seem to be intimately entwined on these little islands where the harsh winter storms show little mercy to the plant beings that are brave enough to live there.

Suddenly the powerful call of a loon rang through the silence. I rose from where I had been captivated by the pink flowers growing in the midst of a young juniper bush beside a much larger one that had not survived the winter. My eyes searched the sea for the lonely caller. There it was! The Loon was keeping a safe distance from the little island, but kept me company till it was time for me to leave the little paradise I had found.

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As I turned around towards home I looked upon my beloved bluff where I often sit and where Sea, Earth and Sky meet. From there I often admire the snowy white peaks of the mountains rising up into the heavenly blues and on a few rare occasions whales or dolphins can be seen. Now looking at the bluff from this different viewpoint made it appear so much bigger, more real, yet mystical at the same time. It made me wonder how often I look at something through the narrow lens of a certain perspective. What would it be like to see something from many different perspectives and viewpoints? I have a feeling a whole new world could open up for me as it did for me on those little islands today. Everywhere I turned another gift was waiting for me. It brought back many memories of exploring as a child, lying on my belly in some field to see something really close up or climbing on cliffs because something was calling to be discovered at the top or perhaps on the other side. I remembered that May for me has always been a month of delight and discoveries, where the natural world is bursting forth with so many colours and scents and without holding anything back, celebrating new life in the most magnificent ways.

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When I arrived back to where I started out from, I sat for a while looking out at the familiar view of the islands that I had just visited. Somehow they didn’t look the same anymore. After exploring them in much greater detail and having found so many treasures that delighted the senses to no end, I know I see them differently now. They have come to life for me in a whole new way, just like the wildflowers in their undisguised wild beauty. Two hours had passed there as if there was no time at all. As I began writing about my experiences, the faintest scent caught my attention. I looked up immediately, my whole being becoming alert. Instantly something in me recognized this scent, yet not in the way that I could say it came from a certain plant or the sea. Instead it triggered a memory of beingness that I experienced on my first visit to the Big Island of Hawaii, where I had the magical experience of feeling completely free to just be me, where for the first time I completely trusted and felt so loved and taken care of by the Universe. It is this freedom, innocence and trust that was awakened once again in me on my magical journey to the little islands so close to home at my favourite time of the year, when the lilacs bloom, Beltane is celebrated and people still weave ribbons in dances around the Maypole. It is the month where we celebrate and honour our Mothers, who have given us life, and for me it is the month that I came to be here. There is so much to be grateful for on this May day.

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