Tag Archives: Mystery

Entering The Night

Settling on my blanket on the bluff last evening I felt so glad that I had packed up my basket with the usual: my camera, wool shawl, journal, pen and glasses. The setting sun was painting the clouds in broad strokes of orange hues. A mountain peak or two were still lit up as I felt the movement of the ocean moving me in some unfathomable way.

It felt heavenly to sit on the earth with solid rock and soft moss beneath me. Having listened to some brilliant story tellers just before I was called outside, their stories, their words, the mystery contained in them, was still alive in me and moving through me in this present moment. My heart was tuning in.

Slowing down to the speed of now I watched my hand move the pen across the page while listening to the birds settling in the last glow of light. Their voices becoming fainter, less frequent, quieting one at a time, until only the sound of the ocean and wind remained.

My body’s need to stretch in the much cooler air made me shift and something outlined in a tree in the distance caught my attention. The camera revealed the shape of a bald eagle also settling in for the night. He must have been there all along, silently witnessing the ending of the day from his perch. It suddenly dawned on me that this is probably the same eagle in the same tree that surprised me a few weeks ago while I was looking at a beautiful new house being built not far from me. As I was admiring the new creation something suddenly had made me look up in the tree beside me. Yes, something in me just knew that this was the same eagle.

As the first stars appeared in the darkening sky I appreciated his presence. It was lovely to share entering the night with him.

Immersion In The Mystery

IMG_1759 The world was shrouded in layers of fog, as I opened my eyes this morning. Deeply enjoying the view for the last time, I lay there watching the fog shift and change, giving me little glimpses of the hidden inlets, mountains and ocean.

It was time again to pack my bags and let life take me to the next place, as it has for the last three months. Cleaning and packing, while still taking in the expansive and ever-changing view, I took notice of a deep inner calmness of allowing life to unfold without me trying to control it and feeling into the magic of this immersion and trust in the mystery of life.

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Gently I wrapped up the sacred objects I had brought with me and soon the house was ready to welcome back its owners who had build and created this beautiful home. I retraced my steps from a few days ago in the hopes of finding my lost camera. And sure enough, it was exactly where my intuition had told me it would be: at my neighbour’s home. I was very happy to be reunited with this precious instrument, that inspires me to share the incredible beauty all around me.

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Walking carefully on the wet rocky path, the mossy rocks invited me to take their picture, tickling my senses with their vibrant greens and unique shapes. It had been a wonderful week, where I felt my own expansion as both the beautiful spacious home and the wide angle view opened something inside of me. It even inspired me to do Yoga each day, creating a feeling of expansion in my body and breath as well.

Meeting and getting to know some of the neighbours added to the richness of the experience, offering me different views from their homes and their hearts and loving the wonderful and surprising expressions of creativity I encountered, that made me long to enter into that beautiful creative flow again.

P1210392I loved what I saw and who I met, each experience bringing me deeper into the trust that I’ve been feeling since returning from the Big Island of Hawaii, that life is taking care of me and providing me with what I need, not what I think I need. It has taken me to several different homes and unique places, making me fall deeper into love with this mystical island and continuing the lessons about water and flow.

Being here at the very potent time of the Full Moon Lunar eclipse and watching the moon come into her fullness, helped me move towards an inner fullness, where I recognize that home is on the inside and is always with me no matter where I am.

Doing ceremony at Reflection Cove around the fire on the evening of the Eclipse, drumming and singing with two people very dear to me, was so powerful. With each person bringing their own medicine offerings to the fire, we allowed ourselves to be guided and spoke from our hearts.

Sharing space with Boko, the cat, has been another gift and delight. He took a while to warm up to me, but it was so worth the effort, when at last he let me pet him for the longest time and rewarded me with such a deep purr of love. On the last evening while sharing the couch, he even let his paw rest on my foot, which I didn’t dare move. It felt like such precious offering.

P1210453As I walked up the hill to my car with my belongings, I met yet another neighbour who kindly offered me a hand with my heavy bag filled with books, journals and treasures, which I have a lifetime history of carrying from place to place. With each of us grabbing a handle, the weight was shared and so was our mutual appreciation for this very special part of the island.

Driving home to Reflection Cove and Elkenwolf Cottage, I noticed the joy of returning to this place which still feels like home and probably always will, and where my golden companion Frodobear lies in his final resting place with the golden elephant watching over this sacred spot. I still see him curled up in the special blanket we wrapped him in on another Lunar Eclipse last August, as we stood at his grave. Surprisingly his shape looked so very much like an elephant and his huge golden presence is still shining in my life. And I have a feeling he is still teaching me about love from the other side.

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Forever grateful!

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.

Owl Medicine

The day was drawing to a close, when all of sudden I had this sense that I needed to go outside. I had been captivated by a novel for most of the day and was happily lounging on the couch, when this feeling to go outside nagged at me. I put down the book stepping out of the world of fiction and into the Here and Now and out onto our deck, just at that mysterious threshold of dark and light.

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Pulling the fresh sea air deep into my lungs, I gazed at the beauty of the familiar surroundings. And that’s when I saw her! Forgetting about my breath or anything else for that matter, I looked closely at her sitting on the lowest branch of a Fir tree in her beautiful grey plumage, very close to where I was.

Standing transfixed and gazing into her black eyes, I knew that she had been the one calling me silently. I sat down on the top of the steps and we continued our dyad holding each other’s gaze. Time stood still. In fact everything faded away as the bottomless blackness of her eyes drew me deeper and deeper into the Mystery.

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Suddenly a movement on my left caught the corner of my eye. Breaking the spell, I turned my head to see what it was. It took a moment to figure it out, as I watched something move zigzag in and out of view from beneath the house. Finally coming to a still-stand, just a few feet from me, was a rat.

Astonished by this development I turned my head back towards the owl who was now completely focused on the rat with such an intent, that I could feel the tension rise in me. The rat, protected somewhat by the overhang of the roof, seemed totally unaware of either our presence and began grooming herself. I have to admit she looked rather cute and innocent in the waning light. My gaze went from owl to rat, back and forth, wondering what will happen. I could feel both the rat’s relaxed way of being and the readiness of owl waiting to pounce at the perfect moment.

Then the rat moved out into the open and straight towards owl. Holding my breath I stared at both of them. In the next instance rat turned back, perhaps now sensing the danger, zigzagging back beneath the safety of the house. Taking a deep breath in, I felt both myself and owl relax once again. We looked at each other but without any tension. There was just a deep presence welcoming me, holding me in the black pool of her eyes.

A moment later she dropped silently into the Salal beneath her. Again no luck! Taking off to a tree by the water, I was amazed how P1170814my eyes had adjusted to the dark and I could see her land. Rising slowly from my seat I felt deep gratitude and wonder.

The next evening she visited once more. First I heard her hoot, then saw her land in a tree not far from the house. Dropping everything, I grabbed my camera and ran outside. She let me come very close, but as soon as I lifted the camera owl flew to another tree. I just had to follow her. Noticing that I had forgotten to put any shoes on, I continued on barefoot. Owl led me up the hill towards the bluff, then disappeared out of sight.

Being this close to one of my favourite spots, I decided to climb down the hill, making my way carefully with no shoes. When I got to the bottom I lifted my head and to my amazement there she was again right in front of me. Once again I felt deeply drawn into the dark mystery of her eyes.

As I stood barefoot before her, memories arose of past encounters like when she came a few weeks after my father had transitioned. I was sitting outside with my dog journalling and I had noticed the owl sitting on a post not far from us. Engrossed in my writing I suddenly felt her big wings right over my head. I could feel the power of the wind from her wings and Frodo jumped up immediately to protect me and barked at her. Owl swooped down over him as well. It felt like she touched us both with her wings. I wondered at the time if my father, who had been very fond of Frodo, had sent her. It sure felt like it.

I remembered other times, too, but the one most dear to me was when owl sat outside my window in the pouring rain for hours, watching me pack with a heavy heart getting ready to move to a new place. Her presence was so comforting at the time.

Once again it feels like a time of transition for me and I am glad Owl has come to guide me through it. My sense is all I have to do is trust and know I am being guided!

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Weekly Photo challenge: Waiting

Mysterious Connections

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A Great Blue Heron is sitting perfectly still on the walkway to our little dock. It has been there for a few hours now. The possibility of capturing this rare sight made me rush outside in my nightdress early this morning, only to find that my camera has stopped working. As I stood there shivering in the breeze, I noticed my resistance to accepting the reality of my camera having died without warning. It had served me so well. Then I remembered my commitment to trust life. Making my way back to the warmth of Elkenwolf cottage I considered the joys and possibilities a new or slightly used camera could bring.

Watching the sun illuminate the tidal water, the vibrant spring greens and the Heron’s feathers in the most magical way, I gratefully witness this morning’s offering. As I find a picture on the computer that I took last summer (see above) the Heron starts walking up to the land, talking softly with each careful and graceful step. Spreading it’s wings for a moment, calling now loudly, he then turns around and goes back to the same spot in the middle of the walkway hovering over the glistening water. There he begins his preening ritual, calling every now and again. I can’t help but wonder if he is calling for a mate on this unpredictable Spring day. Silently watching and writing, I feel a deep sense of connection and being a part of what is here.

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Last week I began walking to my car which I park over two kilometres from our home near where the pavement ends, rather than driving our old pickup truck on the off-road section. On one of these walks I noticed myself being caught again in the torrent of thoughts about work and the busy-ness of my mind, almost missing what was actually there for me in that moment. So I looked a little closer at a ditch filled with rainwater and a leaf beneath the surface beckoned my attention, as did a robin on a storm-topped tree. We gazed at each other curiously in the stillness of the morning.

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However it was the bubbles in a little creek further along that were the most unexpected gift and reminded me of a favourite childhood delight and the mystery of blowing bubbles out into the world. As I entered fully the here and now, the discoveries were numerous and some astonishing like the face that stared out from the rushing little stream. If you look closely perhaps you will see it too. P1160149 A sense  of wonder spread through me and I became aware of another strong memory, one I’ve been getting glimpses of on these walks.

It is a fluent memory of a walk last May to the Panau-nui Pu’u Loa petroglyphs on Hawai’i. Pu’u Loa, means the “long hill” or “Hill-(of)-long-(life)”. It is a sacred place with over 23,000 petroglyphs carved into the hard lava stone. The hike to the petroglyphs had a very special quality to it. It was something I knew I needed to do on my own. As I hiked to the site I met a few tourists on the path, but soon found myself completely alone. It felt like each step took me further into timelessness and something so ancient and yet so vibrantly present. I remembered reading about the old custom of the Hawaiin people that were connected to this sacred land whose families brought the umbilical cords of their newborn babies to this ancient site, leaving each in a carved hole covered with a rock and special symbols praying for a long life for the child.P1100165 I couldn’t help but wonder how many had walked this path in reverence and had prayed here asking for their child or grandchild to be blessed with a long, well-lived life. I felt myself being called here and there, standing before each carving and just being completely present in the mystery and the story that each one contained. One of these carvings stood out in particular and spoke to me in a very deep way. I heard myself speaking words of prayer and gratitude with tears filling my eyes. It was hard to leave, but when I finally turned to go, I heard people arriving filling the stillness with their voices. To this day I have no idea why this particular carving spoke to me in such a way. But on these walks to and from my car, as I put one foot in front of the other, the memory of that particular hike on the black lava stone and the mysterious connection I felt there, comes alive in me, leaving me in the great wonder of how it is all connected.

The Heron is still here, gazing now quietly out over the bay while standing on one leg. It’s complete calmness and balance calls me into the centre of my own being. May the wonder of these mysterious connections stay alive in all of us, open and guide us on our individual and collective journeys.

And once again a poem wants to be shared. This one is called “Stone” written by David Whyte.

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 The face in the stone is a mirror looking into you.
 You have gazed into the moving waters,
 you have seen the slow light, in the sky
 above Lough Inagh, beneath you, streams have flowed,
 and rivers of earth have moved beneath your feet,
 but you have never looked into the immovability
 of stone like this, the way it holds you, gives you
 not a way forward but a doorway in, staunches
 your need to leave, becomes faithful by going nowhere,
 something that wants you to stay here and look back,
 be weathered by what comes to you, like the way you too
 have travelled from so far away to be here, once reluctant
 and now as solid and as here and as willing
 to be touched as everything you have found.
  
 ~David Whyte