Tag Archives: presence

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.

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.

Remembering Abundance

Lying in bed this morning with no motivation to get up, I heard a quiet voice inside whisper: “What is here is enough….it is more than enough. It is true abundance!”

This got me out of bed in an instance, wanting to write it down as it struck such a deep cord inside. The day before I drew an angel card as I often do, receiving the Angel of Abundance. It made no sense to me in that moment and couldn’t relate to it at all, feeling not well from the after effects of a tick bite, infection in my body and the antibiotic treatment I received that morning.

Now, however, it didn’t only make sense in my head, but I remembered with my whole Being what it meant and knew that I can trust in the perfection of what it is here…and as I watch the squirrel make its way to the bluff, I feel the invitation to follow it and allow my body to be gently moved.

Wishing you all a beauty filled day with so much love!

Circling Around The Heart

As I sat down at my little table the other morning facing the still white fields with the intention to write, a movement outside caught my attention: high in the sky birds were circling… and so many of them.

Rushing outside with my camera the birds were now even higher in sky and further north and looked like tiny moving dots. Their white tail feathers flashing in the sun revealed that these were bald eagles gliding upwards in a thermal. There must have been thirty or forty or more.

Running back inside to get my binoculars wanting to have a closer look, they all disappeared behind the clouds by the time I returned.

Standing on the melting snow and taking in the beauty of the day the birds were singing a happy melody reminding me of Spring, when suddenly four eagles reappeared performing their dance in the sky. Mr. Kitty also joined in, circling around my feet as the eagles were drawing spirals in the sky.

Thinking of the beautiful heart cloud that presented itself just before Valentine’s, a gift of Love appearing out of nowhere, I see how my mind likes to put every experience I have into neat compartments of “like” or “don’t like“. The heart cloud filled me with joy, while watching a seagull kill a little duck was heart wrenching to say the least, while an eagle was keeping a close eye on Mr. Kitty who had followed me down to the beach. I decided to stay and protect the cat rather then try to rescue the duck. It was a very weird moment recognizing that we are all predators and prey and that attaching any kind of label seems rather pointless.

This morning waking up from a dream with my heart pounding, I was glad to see the golden light of the new born sun shining on my pillow. Taking a deep breath and releasing the feeling of sorrow that I took with me from my dream in which I had met up with my golden companion Frodo, I jumped out of bed with excitement, feeling happy to be alive and have a day off on such a beautiful day.

The dancing light on the ocean was not to be missed and it didn’t take long before I made my way to the beach rejoicing in the pattern the freezing cold night had painted on the pond and the one single leaf left on the tree made me pause in wonder.

Discovering more delights on the beach, but also noticing the contrast between the pine tree so ladened with seeds announcing new birth while its branches are hanging low over dead logs littered all over the beach for as far as you can see. Trees that were cut down for a reason, but that never made it to their destination or intended use. Maybe not everything has to make sense like the seagull killing the little duck and then just flying away or so many trees ending up on our beaches never used for anything. Perhaps it is in the noticing and being with what life and death are offering that changes the lens through which we see the world. Certainly some experiences change us forever almost instantly and others, perhaps like the rocks being polished by the sea, take a long time to round out the sharp edges and letting in new awarenesses.

I’ve been loving the gift of winter that February has brought us here on the island with so many magical moments, but also the reminder of stillness and death. Yet I can almost feel spring waiting in its wings, ready for it’s turn to offer us its beauty and unique expression. I am looking forward to the changing of the season, ready for the new greens and buds bringing in new life.

Nature has so much to show and teach me and being in the moment is one of the greatest lessons I am learning. And in this moment the sunshine outside is encouraging me to get on my bike and give my body some much needed exercise, even if my mind needs a little more convincing.

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.

 

 

 

 

In The Heart Of The Fire

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Just when I am ready to give up on this post, a journal entry not only brings it back to life, but totally changes it and adds a whole new level of excitement of writing and sharing. I’ve been meaning to write a blog post honouring Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes, ever since I arrived here at the Kulana Sanctuary and felt the first tremor shake my little cabin where I was sitting and writing.

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Living only a few miles from the volcano, these tremors are a regular occurrence, and you can’t help but feel her tremendous power. I so loved the welcoming rainbows, the loud calls of hawks and many other magical moments, that gave me a feeling of being blessed by her and a reminder of my own power, whenever I went to visit and hike in the park.

I remember seeing a mysterious orange glow on our drive home from a sweet day of adventures at the Punalu’u Black Sand beach. My friend and I had stayed till after sunset and soon after we turned onto the highway heading home, we saw the glow in the distance. It was mesmerizing and mysterious and we decided spontaneously to take the exit to the National Park entrance, not knowing if it was open or not. To our delight it was open and we were told to drive up to the museum to get a closer look at this glowing wonder. We witnessed with deep awe and respect the spectacular orange, red, and yellow fire and steam rising from the Halema’uma’u Crater. It was stunning to see and to feel the aliveness of this volcano. It felt to me like the heart of Pele, pulsing and fiery with all of her tremendous force just beneath the surface.

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Wanting to find a way to say “Thank you!” for her warm welcome and her teachings around passion and aliveness, this list felt like the perfect way to do just that, allowing myself to feel the excitement of what life is offering me and sharing it with others. There is such tremendous power when we locate and follow our highest excitement in life.

Our Lava Heart Rock – Photo by Ana Cristina

So here is my list of yesterday’s Highest Excitement as I wrote it down spontaneously in my journal last night bringing me so much joy:

  • My insight about my fears and sharing it with one of the women here and how these conditioned fears remind me of heavy luggage that I no longer wish to carry. Throwing it into Pele’s fire on the New Moon on Sunday seems like the perfect way of releasing it.
  • Listening to Mooji and reading Eckhart Tolle’s “Stillness Speaks”, bringing me back to just being
  • The lush green of the Irises that are spreading wildly on the path to the meditation spot and that I am replanting to give them more space
  • The amazing crescent moon shaped like a bowl surrounded by stars….the night sky here in Hawai’i is utterly breathtaking
  • A hot shower, my first in a month! Not luke, not cold, but hot….so heavenly!
  • Sitting on the deck of the new cabin I moved into, called lovingly “The Tree House” and writing in the sunshine…there is nothing sweeter than this.

I don’t know why but sharing this list makes me happy. What about you, what made you feel alive today?

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The Tree House

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.

In The Softness

 

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This morning I pulled a card from my beautiful new Yantra Deck, the Art of Being Present, that I found in Nelson, BC, on my little road trip. The card was Simplicity’ and it inspired the following journal entry, which I would like to share with you on this Thanksgiving Day here in Canada:

“I love being in the here and now, immersing myself in the peacefulness that I find beneath the busyness of my mind. The soothing freshly brewed nettle tea brings warmth to the inside, while the crackling fire in wood stove wraps me in its warmth on the outside.

Life feels so simple in this moment and so full, as Raven glides by, clucking its unique sound in agreement perhaps. The ‘trying to figure it all out’ mind has receded into the background for now. I can tune into it if I wish, but I don’t, staying instead in the contentment felt in this moment, where breath, sounds, the beauty around me, all call gently for my attention, just as the hand holding this pen glides softly across the page, mirroring the softness I feel on the inside.

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I’ve been noticing it a lot lately: this softness, when I yield to what is in the moment, rather than resist or try to change or stop what is happening. Allowing all the emotions and the changes to occur in me, in my life and in the world has somehow brought me into this more open, vulnerable state of acceptance, allowing and embracing the not having any answers. As I soften to whatever arises, I discover the joy of  my heart opening to receive it all.  In this softness I can hear a whisper “All is well”. I hear my mind faintly protesting in the backseat while my eyes fill with grateful tears: Yes! All is well!”

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Happily giving thanks for this moment and all it contains, especially this softness and love permeating from the inside and coming to me in so many forms and disguises on the outside. Giving thanks for life, each breath, each moment, each opportunity to discover, receive and express love and life, meeting and welcoming it as it is, not as I want it to be.

Sweet hummingbird comes and looks at me through the window, bringing more tears of gratitude and joy to my eyes. And with that image of beauty in motion left behind by hummingbird like a soft imprint on my heart, I want to come to your window of awareness and say Thank you for your offering of your love and presence in this world.

Wishing everyone a “Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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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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