Tag Archives: photography

Come Suddenly To The Ground

Crossing the threshold into Fall my curious mind takes me on a journey exploring the origin of the word “fall”. Growing up in Germany I fell in love with the English language in my first lesson in Grade 5. It was instant and it has never left.

Reading through the different definitions of the word, both noun and verb, I come to a halt when I read “come suddenly to the ground“. It feels more like an instruction. Often when I am out in nature especially when I bring my camera along, sooner or later I drop to the ground to closely inspect what is capturing my attention. Lying with my belly and chest pressed to the earth the world looks different up close, clearer and always showing me something new or opening up a different perspective. This dropping to the ground is never planned, it just happens. I imagine creativity just moves me.

I look outside for signs of autumn and wish I was outdoors right now. There are no leaves floating gently to the ground. The Arbutus trees that surround me let go of their leaves in the summer, which is always so perplexing to see yellow leaves gliding through the air and covering the path thick with leaves in the midst of summer.

Yet Fall is undeniably here. Many of the birds are already gone and most flowers are done their blooming. I am delighted to see the little hummingbird sitting on the dead branches near the feeder every morning, wondering if it is the same one that kept me company all winter last year. The squirrel is another being that is here to stay while deer come and go and are rarely seen right now.

I welcome the cooler temperatures and changing weather and trust in the cycles of nature even in the craziness of our current world. I know that nature will continue to ground me and invite me to let go so that change can come from the inside out. My heart keeps me steady on course.

Yesterday I thought of Viktor Frankl, who survived years in the concentration camps and wrote the amazing book “Man’s Search For Meaning“. I wish to end this post with a quote from his book that confirmed what my heart already knows:

“For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.” 

― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Many blessings on this Fall Equinox!

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.

Still Celebrating

Wondering how to celebrate May Day on my own this year, I listen to the orchestra of the chimes ringing in the soft spring breeze with birds singing near and far, each taking their turn of listening and singing. I realize quickly I am not alone. Far from it. The buzz of nature around me reminds me that I am very much a part of this aliveness. Hummingbird hovers in front of my face letting me know that I am being seen. No, I am not alone. Soaking in the warm rays on this first day of May a little bird catches my attention before it flies to the forsaken nest above my bedroom window. My heart rejoices: they have returned. It looks like the cycle of life continues on. Yes, there is still much to celebrate: these little moments, this aliveness and the deepening sense of belonging.

Happy Beltane and May Day Blessings to you!

First New Moon Of Spring

Today we have the moon and sun joining together in Aries: a great day to set new intentions or make New Moon wishes. I can’t help but feel the excitement of spring in the air and joyfully discover each day new greens and plants that are waking up from their long slumber. The sun is promising more warmth and making the new greens look even greener and of course the garden is beckoning every day.

Bright New Moon Blessings to you on this beautiful spring day!

Sparkly And Fresh

It is the New Moon in Aquarius today. I can’t help but feel excited about this one. This wintry, sparkly New Moon holds so much potential. It is inviting us to allow something new to emerge in our consciousness. I wonder what new dream is growing in you? Where do you feel called to move forward in your life?

There is so much energy helping us tap into a new vision with the Sun and Moon and four planets all in Aquarius. May this New Moon show us new ways and new ways of being that bring us together and allow our true nature to shine.

Bright New Moon Blessings to All!

A Revealing New Moon

The sound of the woodpecker’s rhythmic drumming on the Arbutus tree just outside my window reminds me to light a candle for this New Moon in Virgo. As the flame flickers wildly I wonder what new beginnings and new ways of being this moon invites me to open to.

Looking more closely at the pictures that the Woodpecker so graciously allowed me to take I discover to my delight that some of the white shapes on its wings look very much like tiny hearts. This brings a smile to my face. Who would have thought that the woodpecker would be a messenger of Love?

Today seems to be one of these days where things that I have not previously seen come all of a sudden into my awareness. Maybe I didn’t look closely enough before or perhaps other things distracted me.

This morning for instance while sitting out on the bluff for my meditation I noticed to my great and utter surprise a little bump of land just behind Kinghorn Island that I had never seen before or don’t remember seeing. I have no idea if it is a part of the island or if it is another smaller island behind Kinghorn. This was a rather startling discovery as I have looked at the same view pretty much every day since I moved here a year and a half ago.

Perhaps this is what Raven had been trying to tell me this morning while we were watching Kinghorn island slowly appear as the veil of smoke began to lift. With no background of the coastal mountains to distract me the little bump of land framed by the smoke finally was able to attract my attention. The fact that I had been blind to it all this time made a different kind of impact than the mighty mountains that continuously draw my gaze with their undeniable majestic beauty.

With the smoke limiting the view considerably it also seems to accentuate or bring into focus little details I have never noticed before. I have a feeling this New Moon in Virgo may also be encouraging me to look more closely at the little details in my life that I have not looked at or have not been able or willing to see.

It was fascinating to watch the boats go by and notice that they were all kind of colourless, blending in with everything else, which stood in sharp contrast to the rising sun’s fiery light on the water. Somehow the smoke makes everything appear to be the same except for the sun. It stands out like a beacon in the sky changing from vibrant red, orange and yellow – the same colour as the fires that are burning.

All of a sudden a different kind of smoke fills the air from the burned out candle as I type this. It seems I am meant to be present with, rather than resist, the fumes both on the inside and outside and what they wish to expose. It is not lost on me that it is another New Moon that inspires me to write and share once again.

A little later in the morning as I sat with my friend on the same bluff eating a late breakfast both of us in the same moment discovered the spiral on the button of my shoes. My friend spoke first as I stared at the beautiful swirls. I couldn’t help but laugh because I have owned these shoes for a few years now. The spiral reminded me of the mystery and the sense that life isn’t linear but full of swirls, illusions and moments of joy, moments where our hearts crack open and moments that may feel so challenging that we wonder if can rise to the occasion.

Ever since the Sun has entered Virgo I have felt the need to de-clutter and organize, discerning what needs to be let go of, what is aligned and what isn’t. This has also given me the energy I needed to move forward in my life and offering my services – coaching, counselling and Shamanic energy work – to those who are in need of support in these turbulent times as many of us are being called to give our gifts and rise to the occasion. Doing this work fills me in a way I can’t put into words and I am aware I have come full circle.

Now looking at the picture taken a few mornings ago of the sun rising over the mountains behind the smoke I allow myself to enter into the mystery of the glowing fiery circle with a trusting heart and open to what else wants to be unveiled on this New Moon where the sun and moon meet in the sky.

Beautiful New Moon Revelations and Blessings to you all!

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.” ~ Elke

First Day

Wet green moss beckons

as she steps barefoot into the New Year

Out of time into the warmth of Now

Love illuminates the barks, mosses and leaves

while stag moves slowly 

towards her unmoving presence

Golden Elephant breaks through

the last clouds in her heart

offering her the universe in one drop

Laughter bubbles to the surface

inviting one numb foot after the other

into the welcoming womb of unexpected bliss

Sailing away into the misty moment

she lets the seaweed caress her skin

on this first day

Happy New Year, everyone!

Beyond Duality

Looking at the sky early this morning while standing out on the bluff I wondered what the day would be like. The sky looked like it had a hard time making up its mind. The clear division of sunshine on one side and dark heavy clouds on the other made me laugh reminding me no matter what, that I have choice through which lens I want to see the world and meet what life brings me.

As it turned out it was a mixed bag all day, quickly changing from sunny to cloudy… back and forth. However the flowers on my deck still wet from the gentle rain last night and shining vibrantly despite the cloudiness were calling me to take a picture of them. Perhaps it was the greyness of the moment that made their beauty even more pronounced.

I love taking pictures after a rainfall. Each glistening drop sparkling, containing and reflecting the mystery of life to all who care to take a closer look, just as each flower speaks to us of a beauty far deeper than what can be seen by the eye. Perhaps that is why gardening is so deeply satisfying as it allows us to enter and commune with both the very tactile grounded earthiness and the mystery contained in each seed planted. I do not have a garden here as I literally live on a rock, but the planters on my deck filled with herbs, greens and a few flowers gift me with the joy of being connected with the cycle of life and feed me in so many ways.

As the summer is deepening I allow myself to slow down and take in the gifts of the season… it’s scents, colours and delights. The Humpback whales have been hanging out nearby and I can’t describe how deeply it moves me to hear them breathe and speak to each other and perhaps even speaking to me and my friend as we sat under the starry night listening and watching stars fly through the sky. Neither of us had ever heard whales speak. Such incredible magic!

Yesterday the whales were slapping their fins and breaching for a long while. What a magnificent sight that is! It made me long for a better camera, as I kept missing those perfect moments. However I know I did not really miss anything as I allowed myself to take in the joy and exuberance that was being offered with my whole being.

I feel so blessed to have a place to call home and not just any place, but such a special one. And I get to share this gem with others who find their way here for a session or come for a cup of tea and hang out in the magic with me. Each moment is so precious and I love the gentle relaxation after a crazy busy spring, just being, still healing and enjoying this incredible beauty, the abundance all around me and the many fun and heart connecting community gatherings.

Yet just as sunshine and dark clouds meet in the sky and the whales dive again deep into the depths of the ocean I am aware of the duality we live in, which contains it all: birth, life, death, joy and grief… and the pearl that can be found in all of it: the love which takes us beyond duality.