Beauty Lives In All The Seasons

Mother Nature and the Muse conspired to get me outside yesterday and breathe deeply into and with the beauty all around.

I stepped outside my studio door and autumn greeted me with wintery kisses.

The muse wrote words upon my heart and… because I’m working on my video editing skills… I made a video of the muse-inspired poem that fell onto the page.

Flight of Autumn Fancy

There is something inexplicably provocative about a Chinook darkened sky stretched across the western horizon pushing up against the sun rising in a clear blue sky to the east.

There is something beguiling about trees standing naked, limbs exposed, their branches bare of autumn splendour. Their sun-cast bodies create a filigree of negative space that fills the gap between the sky above and the earth below.

The forest floor is covered in dry and brittle leaves now. Slowly, they are turning back into themselves in a never-ending cycle of life flowing into death only to be reborn again in distant days yet to come. Once summer’s shade, they lay quietly fading from gold and rust to dank brown and black. Nature’s compost in the making. Their dying bodies will protect the roots from winter’s harsh breath. Their decay will nurture the soil in anticipation of a future spring.

I walked in the woods this morning.

I listened to the wind and the trees and the birds. The hum of traffic not far in the distance. The sound of the leaves rustling. The grasses hissing as I passed through their expansive nature.

And beauty wrapped me up in all its glorious sights and sounds, textures and smells.

And Nature whispered, “Come dance with me.”

And I danced.

Namaste

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Flight of Autumn Fancy

By Louise Gallagher

And the wind blew
and the leaves flew
and the trees stood tall,
naked limbs stretched out wide
to touch the sky.
And Nature whispered,
“Come dance with me.”
And the trees swayed
and the wind blew
and the sky soared
and autumn’s golden light
wrapped the world in beauty.

Out Of This World – a 49 word prompt

It has been a long time since I played with one of the many word challenges online.

And then, today I read Dale’s response at A Dalectable Life…

And felt moved and inspired.

The word for today’s prompt is “Megalith” (I had to look it up.) The direction is, to create something with the word and use 49 words to do it.

The founder of the prompt is Sammi Cox who posts a prompt every week. You can find all the links to this, her 175th prompt, on her blog HERE.

To read more about the prompt, and to read Dale’s moving and beautiful response, click HERE.

My response–

Out Of This World

There is a place
where birds twitter in trees
and fish swim free
where bears wander wild
and snakes slither undeterred
by man’s intentions
to build megaliths to himself.
 
It is gone. That place.
that used to be
before man’s intentions
drained beauty and nature
out of this world.

The Song Of The Trees

Yesterday, Bernie commented on “Nature Will Always Have Its Way“, “The sound of the leaves has changed and the crickets are silent.”

When I read her comment, I felt something shift deep inside me. Like a recognition, a knowing, a sense of wonder and awe opening up.

The sounds of the leaves have changed.

Later, when I walked in the forest, I stood surrounded by the remains of summer clinging in changing colours to branches and listened deeply to the whispering of the leaves.

Their song is crinkly now. Drier. Like a thousand whispered prayers breathed into the sheer, lacey veils covering the faces of kneeling supplicants at the altar of life.

“Thank you summer, for your warmth and beauty,” they whisper. “Thank you for the heat that encouraged our roots to release its sap. For the warm showers that fed every vein of our being here, standing together in this forest, where we offer shade in the heat and beauty throughout the seasons. For the breezes that blew away all memory of winter’s frost and spring’s slow awkward tendrils. Thank you for being part of our ever-turning story.”

It was a real page turner, the leaves seem to whisper. This summer of Covid. Of uncertainty. Of constant change. Of fires sweeping across vast tracts of land. Of floods and hurricanes and rain pouring down.

Do the trees weep for their burned out comrades? Do their roots ache in sympathy of the dying embers of the skeletal remains of their compatriots who lost their lives to the scorching flames?

I stand beneath the trees and feel my heartbeat slow. My breath becomes deeper. My eyes close and I welcome into my body the song of the autumn kissed trees.

Their song is full of memory. Of connection. Of stories carried by the wind. Of birdsong and chattering squirrels.

Soon, there will be but a few skeletal remains of summer tenanciously clinging to the branches.

Soon, the song of the trees will become more weathered, more seasoned and weary. Their limbs wil stretch out, stark and naked against the winter sky. Their song will be heard in creaking trunks and sighing limbs swaying with the cold air rushing in from the north.

Do trees shiver in Arctic blasts?

Do they feel the sting of frost nipping at their limbs?

Perhaps they are more accustomed to weathering the storms than we humans. Perhaps they trust that the seasons will turn and what once was winter will become spring. Perhaps, in falling leaves they have learned to accept the cycle of life is an unending, constant circle of rebirth.

Their song sounds crinkly to me now, as if their veins are contracting in preparation of The Great Fall.

And I wonder… if I had no sight, if all I could do was hear the seasons turning, would I know it was Autumn by the song of the trees?

I hope so.

Namaste.

____________________________

Thank you Bernie for your comment and the inspiration to wander in wonder amidst the trees listening deeply to their Autumnal song.

Nature Will Always Have Its Way

Autumn leaves turn green to gold to rust. A bluebell clings to summer’s embrace.

The calendar turns another page. Memory clings to falling beauty.

The seasons turn. The sun rises and sets and rises again. The river flows and freezes and flows again, a fluid stream of time flowing freely through memory’s frozen banks.

The end becomes the beginning of spring becoming the end again and again.

And through it all, beauty ripples in seasonal glory unblemished by memories of clinging vines locked in winter’s icy kisses.

Seasons turn.

Life moves forward with time, never back.

Nature will always have its way.

Time. Unplugged. Unpressured. Unstructured.

There is something sublimely magical about time spent in the mountains.

Time. Unplugged. Unpressured. Unstructured.

So rare in these days of constant connection. So challenging to attain in these times of pandemic and environmental disasters and political discourse straying far from the peaceful way.

Num-Ti-Jah Lodge from the far side of the lake

I am back from my sojourn in the mountains. Back from time spent savouring unmapped moments along the shore of Bow Lake and Num-Ti-Jah lodge.

I am back but I carry with me those days of breathing clear mountain air and hearing nothing but nature calling me to slip into reverie beside her running streams.

I carry those moments with me and still I struggle to hold onto the untrammeled path, the silence and the space to simply be present to whatever is unfolding in this moment right now filling my heart and mind and body with its beauty and possibilities.

I struggle and in my struggle am reminded to let go.

To let go of ordering time and managing my thoughts into what I want to be present.

I let go and remember the glacier high above the lakeshore, spanning the gap between two mountains. It has lain there throughout time watching in majestic silence life unravelling and passing by. It has been witness to the travels of Indigenous peoples who called these mountains home long before the first settlers arrived. It has lain unphased through the wars and pestilence befalling humankind and held space beneath clear blue skies turning dark.

I spent an afternoon painting by a window of the lodge. This is what I saw. Watercolour on watercolour paper – 7 x 6″

The glacier is smaller now. Receding. Drawing back. Releasing its ice cold waters to the streams and rivers flowing steadily down the mountainside. And still, it lays in silent majesty, watching, bearing witness, baring its bones, revealing the land beneath its icy blanket.

I close my eyes and breathe deeply. My pulse quietens, my heart slows down, my mind and body meld together. I become the peace I seek. I become the quiet.

And I wonder. Does the glacier love the mountains holding it against the sky? Does the sky give thanks for the glacier’s icy ways? Does the waterfall give thanks for the water?

I think it is so.

And I give thanks. For this day. For the time by Bow Lake. For the quiet along the trails and the moments shared with friends around a dinner table. For the beauty of this moment right now and above all, I give thanks for the love that fills my life.

Here I am, I whisper to the sky and the trees outside my window and the river flowing by. Here I am. Thank you for this day. Thank you for these blessings that make my life so beautiful and rich and oh so full of love.

Namaste.

_________________

As a side note — it was easy to keep social distance as the lodge is closed for the season — it’s gracious and generous owner, a dear friend, chose not to open it under Covid’s risks. It gave him an opportunity to keep a small staff onsite to do maintenance work.

It also meant, he occassionally invited a few friends up to spend time with him in the beauty of his home away from home.

What a beautiful gift of time and space. Thank you TW!

Love Will Always Find You

Lost and Found

Lost in the darkness of my fear
there was no hope for me,
I could not see the light
beckoning me to surrender
and fall fearlessly into Love.

All hope is gone, I cried
and Hope whispered back softly,
its breath gentle as a lover
kissing my eyelids awake. Come,
Hope promised, there is light
beyond the darkness
and joy beyond the sorrow
and Love beyond the fear.

Trusting in nothing but hoping it was true,
I opened my eyes.

And there was Hope waiting to greet me
with arms full of possibility and a heart full of Love.

And so I fell into Hope’s embrace
and that’s where Love finds me still. Always and forever.

_______________________________________

I saw an acronym for H.O.P.E. the other day. Hold. On. Pain. Ends.

My mind immediately thought, Love doesn’t. End. Love Endures. Love Captivates. Love Overcomes.

Hope is a gateway to Love. Hope holds onto truth in darkness, light in fear, possibility in despair – even when we feel like all hope is lost. Hope is holding on to us.

Thoughts of hope drifted into my mind this morning as I read the quote by Fenton Johnson that David Kanigan shares on his blog, Live & Learn.

I remember a time when I felt like all hope was lost. Hope of ever getting my life back. Of ever getting free of an abusive relationship. Of ever walking in the sunshine and feeling its warmth against my skin without feeling the fear stalking my every step. Of ever seeing my daughters again. Of ever being free to Love fearlessly.

And then, one beautiful May morning, there was hope. Shimmering in the sunlight. Beckoning me from the shadows. Encouraging me to step away from the darkness into the light. To choose Love.

I have been choosing Love ever since that morning 17 years ago when I had given up on hope and fallen into the darkness.

I have chosen Love in my despair. Love in my fear. Love in my every day.

It is one of the most inspiring aspects of life I experienced working in the homeless serving sector for so many years. No matter how dark, or grim, or chaotic life was for those experiencing the harshness and pain of homelessness, every morning people woke up, rose out of their makeshift beds in large rooms filled with others sleeping in the same space, breathing the same air, and they felt HOPE. They had survived another night of homelessness and could take another step today.

There was always hope.

I remember a couple who wanted to get married at the shelter. One day, the soon to be bride came to me and said, “Tell me I’m doing the right thing.”

I told them I couldn’t tell them that. It wasn’t my place. What I could tell them was, “Love prevails. Always. It doesn’t care about titles or the number of degrees or recognition you’ve gained or the colour of your skin or your address. Love prevails. It will find you no matter who you are or where you are.”

And it does.

Find us where ever we are.

For always, no matter what is going on, or where we are, or how we are, Love is always there. In everything. Always and forever. Love. Is. Everywhere.

And always, in everything we do. Everything we say. In every way we step into this day, hopeful. Scared. Sad. However we step, we can, and must, choose Love.

Because, while pain and storms and turmoil will end, Love prevails. It has no ending, nor beginning.

Love just is. Love.

Always and forever.

_____________________

Thank you David for the inspiration this morning.