Always Believe in the Magic

When I was in my teens, we lived in a village in southern Germany not far from the Rhine River.

On Sundays, my father and I would take Bijou, our black standard poodle, for a walk along the eastern bank that lined the river and soak in the beauty of life all around us.

Barges floated slowly along the waterway laden (I liked to imagine) with tea from China and silks from India and spaces from mysterious far off lands.

Sometimes, I’d see someone on the deck of a barge and I’d wave and they’d wave back.

Sometimes, a small pleasure craft would float past and I’d watch the people gathered on its deck laughing and eating and drinking beer and I’d wonder, “Where did they come from? Where are they going?”

And I’d make up stories about their lives and tell my father and he would harrumph and say, in his gruff, matter-of-fact way, “They’re just out for a Sunday cruise.”

And then, he’d stop and point out a ball of mistletoe growing high up in the bare limbs of a tree and quote a line of poetry that made my senses tingle with the delight of the words. Or he’d bend down and show me the beauty of a fallen leaf lying on our path and he’d tell me to always look for beauty. Always. And I’d know, like me, he believed in the magic.

Those days of walking the banks of the Rhine, of watching barges float by and stopping at a Gasthaus on the way home for a lunch of Weinerschnitzel and frites and hearing my father laugh and call out “Prosit!” to a stranger at the next table have drifted lazily into the past like the mists floating along the river this morning.

Yet, on mornings like this, when fog envelops the river and the trees stand barren and tall along its banks, I remember those days and say a quiet prayer of gratitude to my father.

He was a mysterious figure to me. A man of mercurial moods and sudden tempers that could blow in as fast as a summer storm.

He held many secrets. Yet, some days, walking along the riverbanks, a tiny fragment of his story would reveal itself in his words and I would feel like I was bathing in a ray of sunshine streaking through the clouds that hid the blue sky above.

It was in those moments I knew magic was everywhere because my father believed in magic. He believed in pots of gold at the end of every rainbow and genies sleeping in brass teapots waiting to be awakened just by the right touch and a whispered incantation of a magical word.

He believed I could do anything if I set my mind to it.

He believed in me.


The mystery of peace: the ultimate un-guide to surrender.

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I went to the river yesterday. I went to visit the place where the 2 heart rocks we laid last summer for Ellie The Wonder Pooch are tucked into the trees.

I wanted to tell her about Beaumont. About his arrival next week into our home and how he has already taken up residence in my heart.

I wanted to let her know it was okay. That my heart has room for only love and she is always a loving presence in my heart.

Ellie. Life. The Universe. Maybe just summer and its tangled overgrowth, had a different idea.

I could not find her rocks. I’d found them just last month on a walk along the river. I knew they were there. But I could not find them.

I laughed.

Oh that trickster Ellie. That wonderful, loving, caring girl. As always, she wanted to make it easy for me. She wanted to let me know, “It’s okay.”  She’s not worried about Beaumont’s presence in our home and hearts. She knows there’s always room for Love.

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When I was at the river, I hadn’t really thought about the date. Hadn’t noticed that tomorrow, June 23rd, is the day she left us last year.

The serendipity and the mystery of it all is astounding to me.

In my post last year about Ellie’s passing, Jodi Aman wrote, “Thank you Ellie! You were a guide in this life, but now it’s time for you to guide from the other side. Still connected, but even more powerfully!”

Is this part of the mystery of life? That when we leave this place we have the capacity to guide, even more powerfully, from the other side?

Life is a powerful and mysterious journey.

Yesterday, walking by the river, through the woods, sitting listening to the gurgling of the water as it flowed past, I was immersed in the awe and the beauty of that moment in time, that place on earth.

I felt the spirit of Ellie splashing in the water. Felt her warm, wet body leaning into mine.

I felt a part of something bigger, more grand, more spectacular than anything I could ever imagine.

I felt part of life.




Being all around me and within and part of me.

I felt in the flow. In the moment. In the place where I sat.

I felt at peace.

At ease.

At One with the mystery and beauty and wonder of life flowing all around.

The mystery of life is not that we live and then we die. It is that we are born.

That from one natural act, one sperm survives its journey to unite with one egg to become the uniqueness, and the sameness of each and every one of us. That from that one act, we are created and emerge into this world through the gift and mystery of life becoming matter.

It is that a seed falls into the ground and a flower grows. A sapling becomes a tree. A blade of grass becomes a field of grasses waving in the sun. That a bird flies, a cow moos, a rooster crows.

It is that a river flows past until it reaches the sea. That nature abounds with bounty. That life creates itself again and again and again.

There is so much I do not know, do not understand, do not comprehend in this world. There is war and death and dying and man hurting one another, killing one another, destroying one another, and still, life keeps creating. Re-inventing itself, again and again and again.

And in that creation is the hope, the faith, the knowing that to create is to give birth to the possibility of Love overcoming hatred, fear, discrimination, self-loathing.

In life creating itself again and again is the knowing that until we find ourselves at peace, sitting by a river, or just sitting beside one another where ever we are at and loving one another exactly how we are, life will keep creating itself again and again and again.

That’s the true mystery. We keep creating life even in the midst of all the turmoil, angst, war and hatred that abounds on this place called earth.

And in the midst of it all, that a wonder pooch knows better than me when it’s time to let go, time to move on, time to create again a place in my heart and hearth where a four legged friend can roam and show me the way to be at peace in a world that sometimes feels like it’s gone mad, and still, always has room for Love.

In the presence of Love, the wonder pooch once again teaches me to be at peace no matter where I am in the world, no matter how fierce the winds or hot the sun. To be at peace and know it is only when I am at peace I create peace all around me.




Elizabeth at Almost Spring invited me to take up the challenge of posting a photo a day and writing a story/article about a word related to the photo.

I took the photo above on the ridge above the river yesterday. I was enchanted by the wisps of the seed pods, the delicate tendrils of its feathering strands protecting the bud.

This post is also my first exploration into the word ‘mystery’. A month ago, I made a decision to explore what I don’t know about  surrender, hope, faith, mystery, loss, God, and the power of love. To seek the unknown is to journey into what I know and allow space for ‘what else’ to appear. It is to live within the question, not knowing or needing the answer.

This is the first post of five on ‘mystery’.  I’m curious to see what will emerge.





Being a mother is a journey of faith: The ultimate un-guide to surrender.

Happy Birthday Alexis!

Happy Birthday Alexis!

On May 21st, I made a commitment to myself to explore the unknown of all I think I know about surrender, hope, faith, mystery, loss, God, and the power of love. 

Today, I begin the journey into ‘mystery’.

But first, a few final thoughts on faith.

Twenty-nine years ago, on this date, I became a mother for the first time.

I hadn’t planned on being a mother. My then husband and I didn’t really think children fit into our lifestyle and, given I’d had two previous ectopic pregnancies, the doctors didn’t really think it would happen anyway.

Alexis had other ideas.

When evidence of her presence within me was made known, the doctors thought it was another ectopic. They operated only to inform me, I wasn’t pregnant. I had an ovarian cyst.

I was adamant.

I am pregnant.

I insisted they do another pregnancy test. My body didn’t lie. I was pregnant.

Given I’d had major abdominal surgery and my history, the risk of miscarriage was high.

“You need to stay in bed for the first three months,” my doctor told me. He had been away when the drama of the ‘non-pregnancy’ surgery took place and was livid it had happened at all. He was not about to let anything happen to this child.

Neither was I. I willingly went to bed for three months and chose to make it an exploration of the mystery and awe of motherhood, holding firmly to the life growing within my body.

There was one thing that carried me through those months of uncertainty. I hadn’t realized it before until I spent the past few days musing on ‘faith’. To carry my child to full term, I had to have faith. In my doctor. The medical system. They mystery of life and the capacity of my body to nurture and nourish this tiny embryo growing and evolving within me, and the desire of my unborn child to come into the world.

Faith carried us through.

Alexis turns 29 today. It has been faith that has brought us through the ebbs and flows of life in all its mystical and magical intricacies.

Faith that Love truly is the answer.

Faith that Love is all we need to hold onto, to support us, to surround us.

Love is the all of everything we’ve imagined possible. Everything we’ve desired. Everything we’ve known.

Since becoming a mother 29 years ago today, (longer if I count the pregnancy!), I have learned a great deal about surrender, hope, faith, mystery, loss, God, and the power of love. 

My daughters have been my greatest teachers.

Being a mother has been my greatest journey.

For it is in being a mother I have had to learn to surrender, to keep hope alive, to have faith in life itself and to delve fearlessly into its mysteries. Being a mother has taught me and challenged me to surrender to loss, make room for the Divine and to give into the power of love.

There is so much in this world I do not know. So much about life and living and loving fearlessly I have yet to explore.

Before I became a mother, I thought I knew it all. I thought I had life figured out and that once I did become a mother, it would be a pretty clearcut, straight forward journey of raising them and setting them on their path with the prerequisite education, tools and hope chest filled with all they needed to live adult lives in an adult world.

Being a mother has taught me how little I knew then about Love, and how much I don’t need to know about anything else now because, in Love’s light, everything else pales.

My eldest daughter turns 29 today. For 29 years she has taught me the true meaning of surrender, hope, faith, mystery, loss, God, and above all, the power of love.

I am grateful. I am blessed.

Thank you Alexis for being my teacher, my guide, my gift upon this journey.

Much love and Happy Birthday!