Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Gift of Snow and Ice



The snow will be leaving us shortly. Rain is expected tomorrow and for the next few months, I suppose. And, to be honest, I am not overly sorry to hear that. This is Vancouver, after all, the Teflon city in regards to the white stuff. That said, this last week of accumulated snow and ice has gifted me in the most unexpected way. With roads slippery and slushy, and the risk of ICBC deductables looming over my head, I ditched the car.

I didn't always drive. Two years ago, I was car-less and had been for almost 20 years. Then my father broke his hip and driving, at least for him, was no longer possible; I inherited his vehicle. There were benefits to this, of course—I could visit him more often and out-of-reach places were no longer a nightmare in bus transfers—but at first I resisted. 

Driving was the antithesis to my environmental stance, it was the gateway to laziness, and it was expensive. How could I justify it? I continued, therefore, to walk to work and bus into town, only using the car when bus travel just didn’t make sense. But the “efficiency of time” excuse soon crept in, followed by the “just for today ‘cause I’m tired” justification and finally the “damn it I want to drive” rationalization forgo the subtleties and broke down the door. The keys were in my hand and I became a driving fiend. It took less than half a year. And then the snow came.

I don’t have snow tires and I have no winter driving skills. Necessity made me park the car. And I realized
all the joys I could have missed out on if I had purchased winter tires and kept on driving.

Over the last week I have revisited the delights of a nighttime walk along the seawall, making my own foot prints in the snow and experiencing the quiet melting of a snowflake on my lip. I’ve been serenaded by the call of birds as they have gathered for the evening and debriefed the day’s events. I've stood under trees and experienced their magical stillness and the solitude of a street light limning the branches laden with snow. I've found  buds teased into opening from the breath of spring we had but a week ago and let my ears drink in the gentle lap of water as the tide played tag with the shore.

Its easy to get caught up in the I-got-to-get-home urgency that strikes us when the work day is over, and easy to forget that the earth is not a just a tool to get us from one place to another. Important and vital stories are waiting to be told by nature and all that springs from her—to be breathed into our souls, infused into our bone.

I give thanks to the snow and ice for this timely reminder and for bringing that message back home to my heart.


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Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Dance


Towering above me
the trees sway, their grace
an ancient power
moving within. I breathe in their gift;
the journey begins.

It’s not easy,
this path within.
I have traversed it many times only
to end up lost in the darkness—
retracing my steps
from the half eaten breadcrumbs
I conveniently thought to lay. I didn’t trust.


It is hard to trust when fear binds the way
but neither is it easy to move on. It is a dance
of uncertainty.

The trees pay no mind,
Just continue their sway,
their whisper a truth: fear
is but a myth.

I have walked with fear all my life:
of the dark, of authority;
of displeasing others. Mostly,
I have been fearful of not being enough—
of failing, and of others bearing witness
to who I thought I was.

I look up at the swaying boughs
as their whispers gains strength.
Impossible not to hear now,
have they always been that loud?

I ponder my fears and
the losses they promise: of control,
of power, of identity—
a tightening of the heart, a
squeezing out of light and joy.  A fear
of love.

A small bird darts past 
into the safe spaces beneath the trees, a raven calls
in the distance and the wind, always the wind, 
encourages me to dance to the rhythm
that calls itself fear.

I dance to the trees, to the earth, the sky and the waters.
I dance to the authority I feared and the power I lost.
I dance to the birds and the fern, the squirrels and the moss.
I dance to my jealousies and resentments and unfound judgments.
I dance to all the people I have hurt and to those that have hurt me.
I dance to light and joy. I dance to the darkness and fear. I dance. I dance.
I dance to love.



If you like this blog, please "like" my FaceBook page and get notices on your timeline when a new article is posted. 

Also check out my newest blog, the Modern-Day Renaissance Woman where you will find excerpts my new book, Notes from the Bottom of the Box: The Search for Identity by a Modern-Day Renaissance Woman.
 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Trees Speak Differently ...



Trees speak differently in the dark.
I can’t quite understand, yet
I feel their words.
No shape or tone comes forth,
just a longing
for something I can’t quite clarify.
A belief, perhaps, in something more.

I will myself quiet
and open my heart
but the words I so long to hear
are lost. In my humanness, I turn away
only to be called back seconds later. Was that my name?

My heart aches now in the memory of it.
It is one of longing, of loosening the holds—
 remembering something but not quite.
If I put words to it, my words, my own interpretation,
I say it is sadness or perhaps a vulnerability—
a desire to get it right layered over with the uncertainty
that I might never, ever
fully understand
these being of the dark wood
who invite me to hear with ears that must learn
a new way of listening.


If you like this blog, please "like" my FaceBook page and get notices on your timeline when a new article is posted. 

Also check out my newest blog, the Modern-Day Renaissance Woman where you will find excerpts my new book, Notes from the Bottom of the Box.