Ebb and Flow. Flow and Ebb.

#fromwhereIsit #morningview

The river is flowing again. Fast. Free. Fluid. Spring melt ripens slowly.

The water level rises, centimetre by centimetre. Day by day. Where yesterday, the log-jammed up against one of the buttresses beneath the bridge was fully exposed, this morning, only ridges are available. Soon, as the snowmelt begins in earnest in the Rockies to the west, the water will submerge it and wash it away downstream.

For now, morning brings higher water levels. By dusk, the water will have receded a few centimeters. The cycle will continue day after day as I watch, sometimes with trepidation, its ever-increasing flow, wondering, how high will the waters come?

It is the gift and the angst of living on the Bow.

Years ago, along with 99 Calgarians chosen for Peter von Tiesenhausen’s Passage’s exhibition celebrating the Bow River, I released a small wooden boat (slightly bigger than my hand), carved with a number and message on its side, and set it adrift into the rushing waters of the River. Each of the 100 boats contained information for whoever found it on how to share the story of the boat’s discovery online.

I do not know where my boat was found, or if it was. I know many were. Many weren’t.

Perhaps, like the log stuck against the abutment, my boat landed in the weeds upstream from where it was launched and became buried in the silt of spring flooding.

Perhaps, it became waterlogged and lies at the bottom of the river in some distant tributary.

Or perhaps, it floated and drifted, following the current all the way to Lake Winnipeg into the Nelson River and onward to the Hudson’s Bay.

I like to imagine it did. I like to imagine it sailed out of the Bay into the Arctic Ocean to become frozen in time under the Tundra of the far north.

Perhaps.

Perhaps still, the patches of ice that stubbornly cling to the gravel bar further upstream will melt and somewhere on their journey, a current will find my boat, still and silent, waiting for its release in a marshland far to the east.

Perhaps.

The river, like time, does not flow backward. My boat, like memory, fades.

The sun struggles to reach the ice clinging to the shore.

Somedays, I struggle against the flow, just as some days I struggle to release the angst of these past two years.

Somedays, I release myself to the flow, allowing worry and angst, fear and sorrow to abate into the River’s constant flow.

Ebbing and flowing. Flowing and Ebbing. Life moves on as time passes.

No matter if I struggle or release, the river is in constant motion, life abounds all around and I am carried by the flow.

Whether I struggle or release, Love is always flowing.

It is my choice to struggle or to breathe into its constant flow trusting that no matter where I go, or where I become stuck or end my journey Love will always carry me through.

Namaste.

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This is a video of the boat launch — if you look closely you’ll see me passing by the camera… 🙂

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Not Yet Spring.

In the snow below our upper deck, animal prints trail through the no longer pristine blanket covering the earth. Signs of this January melt that arrived on a gust of wind sweeping down from the Rockies, lie scattered across mother earth.

Once snow-laden branches stretch out bar arms entwining one another in a silent dance of hope. Has winter gone?  Is it time to get our juices flowing in anticipation of lengthening days beneath a welcoming sun? Is it time for spring?

Not yet cry out the geese, the ones who did not fly south and sit huddled up on icy banks along the river, squawking and honking in the morning light. Not yet.

Winter is not yet done.

This interlude of almost spring will not last.

Be patient.

And I spy my winter boots laying in the corner of the closet, my big puffy down-filled parka hanging above.

I want to leave them there. To let the sit forlorn and forgotten. To hide them away like Christmas cookies stored in tight containers in the freezer to keep me from indulging in what I do not need.

I want to indulge in these warmer days. To walk outside unencumbered by bulky clothing whose only purpose is to protect me from frostbite and cold toes and fingers.

I want to run free.

Be patient, honk the geese.

Winter will swoop in again. It is too soon for spring.

And so, I leave my parka hanging in plain view, my giant clunky fleece-lined boots lined up beneath them as if waiting for me to step into them again and take them for a walk in frosty temps and frigid air.

I leave my basket of heavy mittens and hats and scarves by the door, along with Beaumont the Sheepadoodles booties which he detests but is forced to wear when the temperature drops to Arctic zones.

I leave it all handy because like the geese who webbed feet paddle furiously beneath the rushing waters of the one thread of river that remains unfrozen, spring has not yet sprung. It is too soon.

But oh how I wish it had.

Oh how I wish I did not have to be patient.

But all my wishing and hoping will not change the course of the seasons here at the windward base of the Rockies.

All my dreaming of spring will not force winter to disappear like a distant memory grown too cold too remember.

All I can do is savour this interlude of spring-like weather and bathe in the gratitude that comes with knowing with every day that passes, winter’s return will not be as long now that its stay has been broken.

A NOTE ABOUT THIS POST

So…. I wrote my post in Word first this morning — it was a morning pages kind of exercise for free-fall writing. The purpose is to write without focusing on ‘the purpose’ but rather just the process of trusting in the process of letting whatever is seeking to appear, ‘fall out’.

I copied it and then got distracted and forgot to paste it in here before copying something else.

Oh no! I had forgotten to save it in Word and thought it was lost.

I have used a computer for decades – Word in particular. And in all that time, I was never sure how to find my ‘Clipboard’ other than the last saved item.

This morning, I learned something new!

wish I’d known it in December when I realized I’d inadvertently not saved the minutes for a board meeting for which I act as Secretary. (Until next week that is when I new secretary takes over and I step into the role of Vice-Chair – I’m pretty sure they’ll be happy to have me relinquish the role! 🙂 )

In the meantime, I am grateful to have discovered how to find my clipboard and retrieve things I copied after all this time! What a treat!

You Are Not Welcome Here

It is a conundrum I carry with me. It infiltrates my thoughts, creeping into every crevice creating ripples of fear that billow around my mind like smoke from a chimney, causing my breath to catch and me to gasp for air.

Which is where the conundrum lies.

Each breath is fear-laden yet, to dissipate fear, I must breathe. Slowly. Deeply. Steadily.

And I don’t want to. Breathe. At least not here, in a hospital where the air fellow humans have expelled could be laden with unwanted guests. Not in this place where my beloved has been resting and healing since New Year’s Day when a winter cold had turned to pneumonia necessitating medical intervention.

My mind scurries around ‘What if…?’ with the slithery adeptness of a fish moving through water.

What if that molecule of air I cannot see is rife with poisonous particles? What if my next breath draws in unwanted viral content eager to attach to my airways, its only mission to spread through my lungs?

What if…? I get infected and don’t know it and give it C.C. and… What if?

I imagine holding my breath. A long time. Like a looonnnnng time. And, even though I know it’s impossible and that in that one breath the undesirable is possible anyway, I catch myself standing outside the sliding doors of the hospital taking a deep, deep breath.

I hold it for as long as I can and exhale.

And take another, letting the power of breathing calm my jagged fears, soothe my worried mind.

And I walk in. Mask in place. Sanitizing my hands at every possible station. Keeping my distance from everyone I meet. As I step onto the elevator and use my elbow to press the button for his floor, I keep my mind busy with thoughts of well-being, chanting silently to myself words I learned years ago in a meditation class, “I walk in beauty now. Beauty lies before me. Beauty lives above me, behind and below me.”

And I walk into my husband’s room, calm of mind, gentle of heart, letting the smile behind my maskt be visible in my eyes. I greet him with a kiss blown from a safe distance and sit down at the edge of his bed for a leisurely visit.

Perhaps my fearless presence will remind this pernicious bacterial visitor who has taken up residence in C.C.s lungs that only love is welcome here.

Only Love.

She dares to steer her course into the extraordinary

In a sea of ordinary, she dares to steer her course into the extraordinary.

Thank you everyone for your kind words, your thoughts, ideas and empathy.

My ring is still missing but, as I often do when I’m feeling turbulent inside (and the wind is howling outside, which it is) I go into my studio and dive into curiosity and creativity, allowing whatever is seeking to appear, come to light.

The muse was all about exploring the question… “I wonder what would happen if I…”

In this case, the ‘if I’s’ were all about mixing different media to see what might happen.

Layer upon layer. Additions. Subtractions. Layer upon layer.

Like life. We try on a new pair of shoes and if they don’t fit, we try a different pair.

My art process yesterday worked the same. I tried spray inks and acrylic inks on top. Gesso through a stencil. Inkpad on top. Again and again and again.

No hesitation.

No judgment.

No groans of disappointment.

Just pure, unabandoned experimentation.

Because… in a world where confusion, disarray, and dismay become the ordinary tidings of our days, sailing into a rainbow world of magic and mystery is a wonderful way to transform every day into something extraordinary!

Namaste.

Some Mornings…

Some mornings take my breath away.

One moment I’m immersed in typing, head down, fingers flying across the keyboard, always pushing with just a bit more force on the ‘e’ which has started sticking. Lost in thought and words appearing as I type, I look up without looking, fingers still flying and then, it captures me.

The view outside my window. The world bathed in golden autumn light. Not red. Not yellow. Not orange. An indescribable gold kissed rose that wafts and floats through the trees like a ghost on All Hallows Eve drifting through candle-lit gravestones shimmering in the light of a full moon glowing bright.

My fingers stop moving. My mind stills. I jump up, run to the deck door, fling it open as I call out to C.C. to wake-up and, “Come see!”

There is beauty in everything.

Mystery everywhere.

And always miracles.

Because, the miracle this morning is that in that one looking up moment, I caught sight of morning light in its full intensity, it’s full unfolding.

I would have missed it had I not lifted my head to consider the thought that had just entered my mind as I was typing an email to the CEO of the organization with which I’m working. I was considering the thought, ‘how do I phrase this?’ when I lifted my eyes without really seeing the world beyond, only to be awoken by its beauty.

How many times does this happen?

How many instances of beauty are missed because we’re so immersed in the doing of what needs to get done rather than the being with all that is present?

There is so much beauty in this world. So many miracles unfolding right before our eyes.

Today, I awoke and found myself embodied in nature’s sunrise, awash in life’s glorious beauty bathing the sky in autumn’s glow.

What a beautiful awakening!

Like a Leaf Falling

I am deep in meditation when a leaf flutters down through my awareness, drifting effortlessly into view within the deepness of my knowing.

Softly it whispers. “Like a leaf falling, time moves without your hands guiding its passage.”

What the…?

My first reaction is to shoo the thought away. I mean seriously! I am in meditation. I’m not supposed to be having thoughts!

It won’t be shooed.

There it is again.

I sigh.

My breath deflates.

A thought rises up out of my belly. Resistance is futile. Meditation isn’t about emptying the mind. It’s about being present within all my body to this present moment. And in this present moment, a leaf is whispering to me.

As gracefully as I can muster, I yield to its presence and allow it to settle gently onto the crucible of my knowing, I am held in this present moment, embodied within all that is present here and now, within and all around me. We are all connected.

That leaf and me. That breath of wind. The tree releasing its golden gifts. The earth catching them on its fertile ground.

We are all here, embodied in this present moment. Effortless. Complete. Timeless.

And I breathe.

It is the timelessness that surprises me.

I mean, isn’t all of life about the passage of time?

Time is a man-made construct, some voice within whispers.

Huh?

The construct of time was created by man to somehow make sense of and claim nature’s natural nature to Release. Let go. Be.. Be present. Man doesn’t like the present moment. Man is caught up in fixing the past or designing the future.

In nature, there is no concept of ‘time’. No past. No future. There is only this present moment where all things that are present exist fully alive, fully here, being and becoming.

In this moment, the invitation is to Release. Let go. Be. Release. Let go. Be.

In Philip Shepherd’s work on The Embodied Present, there is an exercise where trainees are invited to walk outside and allow the body to guide them to stop periodically beside a tree or flower or leaf, neither intentionally nor non-intentionally, and state, “I am here.”

The ‘here’ is not a declaration, a claiming of ownership, a marker placed judiciously in time and space. It is simply a statement of communion with all that is present wherever the body has guided you to stand and state, “I am here.”

This morning, as I sat in meditation, a leaf fluttered into view carrying with it a reminder to get out of my mind and into my body. To let go of having to know. To Release. Let go. Be within all that is present in the world around and within me.

And in that sacred nature, to be open and alive within the vast, ineffable mystery of a falling leaf as it drifts effortlessly on the wind’s whispering incantation to Release. Let go. Be.

Namaste

Frost Kissed Skies

In deference to autumn’s chilly morning temps, I have been bundling up on my morning walks with Beaumont the Sheepadoodle lately. Nighttime temperatures have been sinking below freezing. Frost covers the ground.

But, in one final gasp of bravado, I attempt to defy Mother Nature. I haven’t pulled out the remains of summer from the garden. Yet.

I don’t think Mother Nature cares. She just keeps doing her thing.

Which, in the case of this city at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains north of the 49th parallel, is to sprinkle autumn mornings with hints of winter days to come.

Resistance is futile.

Mother Nature will always have her way.

And Mother Nature’s way is always full of beauty and wonder.

The Path

Every morning I follow the path to the park, Beaumont the Sheepadoodle in the lead, eager to reach the area where he can run off leash.

For the past two weeks I have been taking a different path. We walk up the hill to the escarpment and walk along the ridge overlooking the Bow River winding its way through the valley bottom below.

The fall colours have been breath-taking.

Golds and rust and bright yellows compete with the still green leaves clinging to the last vestiges of summer.

Every morning I follow the path knowing eventually, it will lead me home again.

There is comfort in that knowing. Comfort in its familiarity and predictability.

This morning, Beaumont and I chose to walk the path along the river, forgoing the steep uphill climb to the escarpment.

Winding our way through the woods, listening to the dry, fallen leaves crunch beneath our feet and the water lazily babble its way to the east, the muse drifted in and settled in for a visit like a good friend coming for tea.

Words and images, thoughts and ideas scampered through my mind like dry leaves being lifted and scattered by an autumn breeze.

Sometimes I followed their drift. Sometimes I simply nodded in recognition of their presence and let them drift out of my mind’s eye.

Always, I knew they were leading me home. To my heart. My hearth.

I walked the path I haven’t taken in awhile this morning.

I walked with the knowing, the path lead me where it always does. Into beauty, wonder and awe.

Namaste

Ready for the Fall

I took the photo above on my walk this morning with Beaumont the Sheepadoodle.

An autumn breeze teases the leaves with its whispering incantations to “Let go! Let go”

And Mother Earth whispers, “I am here. I shall always catch you.”

and the leaves cling until tired, they can hold on no longer.

Leaves crackled beneath my feet. The river flowed in lazy consort with gravity’s pulling it along towards a distant unseen sea.

And Beaumont scampered through the fall-dry grasses and my heart felt light and easy.

I hope you are having a wonderful day in where ever you are on Mother Earth.

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and… Beaumont has a lot to say today about my She Dares Boldly calendar (he thinks I should do one called Beaumont Dares Boldly! — Do come join him and please…. help me talk some sense into him! 🙂 What About Me?

It’s a beautiful morning

Sitting in morning meditation the idea floats into my body/mind/spirit… “I am not alone.”

I call it an idea because it is more than ‘a thought’. It is a feeling, a sensing, a knowing… “I am not alone.”

It is the sensitivity to being wholly present, embodied within this moment with all of life, nature, everything and everyone in this world.

It is all I am, all that is, all that grows and breathes and lies inanimate in and all around me.

The idea floats into my being, present and connected, and as it begins to flow gently through my body, like water drifting down through pebbles in a glass, I feel a sense of peace embrace me and fill me up.

I sip from its nourishing waters and tears gently begin to flow down my cheeks as I fall effortlessly into the beauty of all that is. Present. Here. Now.

When I open my eyes the world outside my window is bathed in carmine-hued morning light. The leaves are tinted autumn gold and the river flows past in reflective homage to the day breaking through night.

It’s a beautiful morning.

Namaste