Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snowdrifting






I was away visiting family over Christmas, and it turned out to be the whitest Christmas on record here on the island. It was a quiet and magical winter wonderland enlaced with many gifts...peaceful walks under sunlit sparkling trees, feeding apples to an old lonely horse, watching deer come right to the door in search of a snack, warming toes by the fireplace, sipping tea and nibbling on shortbread.... feeling cozy and comforted and so much in the Christmas spirit.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I look forward to visiting you over the next little while, to catch up and share in some New Year's cheer.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Icebound




As the temperature dips lower and lower, the yellow flowers are coated with snow and icicles hang like wind chimes outside my bedroom window. I've been trying to keep the hummingbird feeder from freezing. There are at least two little birds who depend on me as they puff up and try to keep warm. They hover near the window and watch as I warm their hummer-juice and start drinking before I can hang the feeder up! One almost flew into my cupped hands the other day. I'm sure he could feel the warmth...and maybe the love?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shiver


The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?

~J.B. Priestly

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Enduring Petals



Not very December-like is it? But I am still finding flowers! And I can't help but be drawn to them. They say it might snow over the weekend, so I might be photographing flakes rather than droplets for the next few posts. Still dreaming of a white Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

December Blooms



The oddest little bush grows outside my window. It drops all of its pretty leaves in the winter, but then it begins to bloom! The other day I even saw a bumble bee orbiting around its buttery blossoms....in December!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Moving into Silence


When words become unclear,
I shall focus with photographs.
When images become inadequate,
I shall be content with silence.

~Ansel Adams

The fires of Autumn become extinguished as December approaches with frosted windows and sparkly wonders. It is a month of loving, believing and journeying to the heart of childhood. We become alchemists of memory...reminiscing the old and creating anew.

And for me, it is a time of quiet reflection and peace. An opportunity to express myself to you through silence....and images. No words will be posted here throughout December, but I will be sharing glimpses of my visual world as I capture them from day to day.

Beautiful Darlene has brought back December Views, and I am blissfully taking part. May you find yourself swirling in the magic of this month of cinnamon comforts and sugarplum sweetness. I wish you a most enchanting December.

xoxo

Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Enduring Landscape


There is only one landscape on the surface of the earth that has remained unchanged for tens of thousands of years. It has not been carved out by erosion or shifted by earthquake. It hasn't cracked from drought or been eaten away by the virus of mankind. The revolving seasons leave this landscape relatively intact and the simple colour palette remains fairly monotone.

Find yourself floating on the ocean, far away from land, and you will know what I am talking about. The stretching surface of the deep sea was seen in much the same way by pterodactyls and breaching whales. And although little has changed here, it is the largest landscape on the planet.

Yet, it is in a constant state of metamorphosis. Its chaotic patterns of wave and chop and swell are constantly moving and changing, never remaining the same even for a moment.

And what is interesting is that no matter how chaotic the sea appears to be in its movement, once the heaving waves complete their long journey to the shore, the dizzying patterns turn into regular steady parallel lines that break on the sand in a very repetitive and soothing pattern.

The ocean and her mysteries have provoked my melancholic curiosities. Her form, ever-changing... her patterns, ever-reliable, leave me quiet and contemplative. She is full of paradox, and so am I.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Trees on Fire



A tangerine and russet cascade
Of kaleidoscopic leaves
Creates a tapestry of autumn magic
Upon the emerald carpet of fading summer.

~Judith A. Lindberg


Last time I was still in the green. But really, truly... I love Autumn most of all. So before the last leaf falls, I come here to celebrate what I most adore during this time of year...

Apple crisp ~ Sure, apples are available all year round in any grocery store, but I only crave apple crisp when it is crisp outside.

A walk through crunchy leaves, hands curled around a mug of tea or cider, red rosy cheeks and a colourful scarf to match.

Wind storms ~ trees dancing a wild flamenco, casting off leaves into swirling funnels to provide a better view of the stars.

Nesting ~ cleaning house and preparing for a cozy hibernation indoors as the days get shy and the nights prominently step in.

A moving inward. I find that I seek novels and movies at this time that have more depth... stories that pull you in and cling to your attention as you forget the realities of the day.

Staying in bed just a little bit longer. As far as I'm concerned, if it is still dark outside, it is still nighttime ;)

Making homemade soup and basking in the hearty aromas as it simmers and bubbles, taunting you to have a little taste.

Colour, colour and more colour! Nothing else can brighten a November day better than a tree on fire.

I must go capture more of its delights before the gold turns to white...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pearl Drops




I didn't go looking for the rain...or the green.
I went in search of golds and ambers, rusts and ochres... the brilliant hues that make Autumn blaze and smoulder. The lingering afterglow of summer.
But instead, I was completely taken with the green.

On the mild west coast, Autumn is a season of rain. And the rain brings the green again. While the earth's flora and fauna prepare to settle into the quietness and sleep of the enduring winter months, some beautiful things are emerging as though we've leapfrogged right back into spring. I think I have fallen in synch with nature this time around....I feel as though the green is emerging out of me. New feelings, new callings, new dreams are flourishing within me just as the moss and baby ferns are absorbing the pearly raindrops and awakening again after a long dry summer.

Maybe next time I will share the colours of Autumn that I love so much and certainly haven't ignored.
But today, I am all green.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Witching Time


Backward, turn backward,
O time, in your flight
make me a child again
just for to-night!

~Elizabeth Akers Allen

How I miss the anticipation and excitement of Halloween as a child. Darkness couldn't fall fast enough, and dinner time couldn't have passed any slower.

My brother and I were partners in crime on this night of crisp fall air and moonglow. Forget those teeny tiny plastic orange pumpkins...to carry our loot, we needed something much more substantial. But despite our best efforts, a pillow case just cannot be filled completely during these fleeting trick-or-treat hours.

Nevertheless, we managed to satisfy our own personal candy quota and would hold trading and bartering sessions once we got home, each of us slyly thinking we got the better end of the deal.

I love Halloween. I love the spooky ambience and the nostalgia of it all. The smell of pumpkin guts is really not a pleasant smell...but it becomes so when it is connected with early childhood memory.

Nowadays, I am not much of a costume girl. But Taro couldn't wait to don his wizard hat and wish you all a frightfully Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Love Offerings


Love is everywhere....

Can you see it in the softening faces of people waiting in line at the grocery store as a baby smiles and coo's nearby?

Can you see it in the delight of that baby as she makes eye contact with each person in the line, flirting with their smiles, drawing them in one by one?

Can you see it in the luminosity of the first light of dawn...the sun's slow gentle yawn as it quietly rouses the bees and the butterflies?

Can you see it in the way a heart shaped leaf detaches itself from a tree limb and sails and floats and turns and flutters through rays of golden sunlight as it softly touches down amongst its sleeping siblings?

Can you see it in the delicate brush strokes of a painting? The beautiful way the artist has captured the light falling off the edge of a flower petal?

Can you see it in the way a woman carefully cradles a tea cup in her hands as though it could shatter if she grasped it too tightly?

Can you see it in the way your lover's eyes catch the light of the sun moon and stars when he looks at you?

Can you feel it in an unexpected compliment passed on to you by a friendly stranger? Can you pass on that feeling as your smile radiates outward and infects other passing strangers?

Can you see it in your mind's eye...two lovers walking the beach on a rainy day? One umbrella, four feet and a million secrets shared between connected souls.

Can you feel it in the warm embrace of your home as you step inside after a long day? You are enveloped in comfort as though the walls are saying *Welcome back...I've been waiting for you.*

When you are in love, you see it everywhere, you feel it in everything. The world becomes a sensory explosion and all things become vividly extraordinary.
Do you see it? Can you feel it? Where is love tickling your senses today?

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Very Own


What each must seek in his life never was on land or sea. It is something out of his own unique potentiality for experience, something that never has been and never could have been experienced by anyone else.

~ Joseph Campbell

I love this quote. In a world where there is so much conformity, it is a beautiful thing to know that my imagination, my memories and my experiences are truly my very own.

As I wander through my life, and take in the outside world around me, there is a rich inner universe that only I inhabit. I see things in a way that only my eyes can see... Is my version of green the same as yours? Do the colours yellow and purple together bring forth the same pleasure to your eyes as they do to mine? Does a pomegranate taste the same to you as it does to me? How about a brussels sprout? When I hear the soothing voice of the one I love, he speaks a language only I understand...pure poetry that dwells in my heart. When I hear violins playing in unison, nothing brings me goosebumps and a shiver up my spine in quite the same way. A specific scent can fling me back to my early years of pink tutus and soft ballet shoes as I recall the smell of the dance studio.

The things that make me laugh until my sides hurt, the things that bring tears of pain or joy, the things that make me want to withdraw and hide under the covers and never come out, the things that make my heart burst open and take my breath away...these are the things that I hold close as my own unique experience...my very own.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blankets in the Sky



Beautiful white anemones are quietly blooming in my mother's garden. Until yesterday, it seemed as though summer was enjoying her stay so much that she wanted to linger just a little longer this year.

But this morning, the faint melancholic sound of a foghorn pulled me from my dreams, and I woke to see a white glow coming from the window. I could see nothing but white...no ocean, no trees, just cloud. And I smiled as I welcomed Autumn. My most favourite time of year.

The mountain is a magical place when the fog rolls in. The higher I climbed this morning, the more dense the moving mist became. And it moves so fast. I looked up and saw a peculiar line in the sky. A very distinct grey line rolling over the mountain like a dying ocean wave rolling endlessly over the sand. I have seen clouds of mist move swiftly over the tree tops, swallowing them hungrily, but never a solid line rolling forward. It felt as though a blanket was being pulled over me and my mountain, inviting me to settle in and feel at home.

A few steps ahead of me, a fawn coloured rabbit hobbled along the path, grazing the tall honey grasses. His sweet brown eyes showed no sign of being bothered by my presence. Further up, I watched two fuzzy black feet and a little tail hop over the hill...and then he was gone.

As I walked through the deep forest on my way back, I noticed that the leaves are still very green here... except for the few random beauties that have turned golden before their time, glowing in the fog like little lanterns, guiding the faeries home.

Welcome back Autumn...thank you for your gifts this morning.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

For a Season




Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

~ Albert Camus

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

~* Ooh La La *~


Wishes really do come true...

A few weeks ago, I posted about my craving for a cupcake. A white one with white icing, and maybe a little flower on top. I mentioned that we needed a good cupcake store in this town.

So the other day, I was driving down the road when what should I see? A cute little sign that said "Ooh La La Cupcakes"

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I almost pulled a U'ey right there and went in...but then I thought, no. I will wait until I have another craving. I don't know what I am missing right now, and once I know what I am missing, I might not be able to keep myself away from this sweet little mirage before my eyes.

I lasted about 4 days.

Went in there today... Just happened to be in the neighbourhood. It's a delightful little shop. A pretty green on the walls, a pretty little display of several different flavours and colours. But I knew what I wanted before I walked in the door. White and white.
And there it was. Maybe the object of my desire didn't have a little flower on top, but it had a pretty little pink bead nestled atop like an angel on a Christmas tree. After the nice lady behind the counter described to me all of the different cupcakes she had today, I asked for the white one....she called me a simplist. Yes. A simplist, with a simple wish for something sweet.

I have to tell you...it was difficult photographing this little beauty. I had to get it all the way home and then take the time to make a picture for you before I could sink my pearly whites into this sugary delight. And now, as I write this, half of it is already gone. I saved the other half for after lunch.

So we now have a cupcake store in my town. Does the law of attraction really work? I might have to do another experiment. What do I wish for next?
Hmmmm.....

;)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Reality Check


Every time we start thinking we're the center of the universe, the universe turns around and says with a slightly distracted air, "I'm sorry, what'd you say your name was again?"

~ Margaret Maron

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Creature Comforts


My state of mind feels as fragile as this little flower these days. A soft blossom perched so delicately upon this tiny twig. But its petals are open and welcoming the light. I find myself trying to stay connected to what is most essential at this time...self care.

I find comfort in the simple things....

My camera is my most favourite means of escape. Exploring something through the lens takes me away from everything but the world I am peering into.

I love to watch people do things. When I was young, I used to pull up a chair and sit near the kitchen counter and watch my mom cook or bake...I still love to do this when I go to visit. I used to watch my dad build things. He had a large room downstairs that was designated entirely to his model railroads. I remember the smell of the steam that used to come out of the tiny engine. My brother and I loved to control those little trains, watching them go in and out of tunnels and pass through miniature towns. To this day, the smell of sawdust reminds me of my dad sawing up wood to make the base for these railroad systems. Now, as a grownup, I still feel like a kid when I get to just sit and observe someone make or build something.

Water, in any shape or form makes me feel at ease. Although the ocean is the most powerful draw for me, a bath, the rain, a raging river, a still pond or even a bog will have the same effect.

Not only do I find comfort immersed in a good story, but bookstores themselves are magical places to escape into. So many tantalizing titles whispering at me to pull them off the shelf. Sometimes I love to wander through the children's section and look at all the beautifully illustrated covers. You know you've found a good one when you want to step right into the world on the cover and make it your own.

Sometimes all I need is to just sit in silence. Exist at the amoeba level for a little while and quieten my mind. I wonder sometimes if that is how Taro (my bunny) exists from day to day. Just observing him can be comforting. The way he flops over on his side, loppy ears splayed out, stretching his large feet out behind him as he starts licking his front paw as though he is sucking his thumb...eventually falling asleep. Makes me smile everytime I see him do it. Some days I wish I could trade places with this peaceful happy creature.

So tell me....what do you do when you need to take a little bit of extra care of yourself? What brings you comfort?

Monday, August 25, 2008

About a Flower


What a swirling beauty she is...her full potential not yet realised.
What secrets is she hiding within those coiled petals? What will she look like when she opens her twirling dancing arms to the sun and sky?

How brave she is.
Despite her fragility, despite all the threats taking shape as nibbling insects, heavy raindrops, greedy plucking hands, she will gracefully unfold into a sunburst of vibrant colour. She will paint the garden with her smile, enticing the bees with her radiance. And she will flourish with a gentle confidence. She does not question...she belongs here.

And when her fleeting time here comes to a close, she will curl up once more and retreat back into the earth where she will leave a beautiful legacy, nourishing the soil for future generations of buds and beauties.

She may be small, but her lessons are profound.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One Word


Being a girl of few words these days, I thought this little meme that I found over at Relyn's lovely blog would be a perfect thing to post...as it requires few words. Specifically, one word answers.
Feel free to play along :)

1. Your cell phone? extinct

2. Your significant other? starlight ;)

3. Your hair? sunkissed

4. Your mother? nurturing

5. Your father? artistic

6. Your kids? possibilities

7. Your favourite thing? nature

8. Your dream last night? bathtub (?)

9. The room you are in? cozy

10. Your fear? spiders

11. What you're not? ordinary

12. Last thing you did before logging on? raingazing

13. Where did you grow up? lakeside

14. What are you wearing? jeans

15. Your computer? connecting

16. Favourite place? ocean

17. Your mood right now? observant

18. Missing someone? longingly

19. Something you're not wearing? snowpants

20. Your life? wondrous :)

I'm off to the ocean again tomorrow...maybe I can find my voice again while I'm there.
See you all in a few days!
xo

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stillness



It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility.

~Rachel Carson

Friday, August 8, 2008

Word Play


I've been feeling rather quiet the past little while. Not a whole lot to say as I drift through these lazy days of summer, and I'm trying to listen to my own rhythms. But despite my lack of things to say, I have noticed that since I started blogging I have developed quite an interest in words.

I was walking up the mountain the other day when out of nowhere, I had an intense craving for cupcakes. A cupcake. A white one with white icing, and maybe a little flower on top of it. Rarely do I give in to these cravings because if I made them myself, I would not just have one, but one dozen, and all I really want is one. We need a good cupcake store in this town.
Anyway, as I was thinking of this little cupcake that I so desired, a thought occurred to me....why are the words *icing* and *frosting* used to describe something you top a cake with, when they are related to snow and ice? Unless it is a frozen cake, it is neither icy nor frosty.

The word *understand* is another one that puzzles me. If you stand under something, can you get a better sense of it? Is that why we say we understand something? Personally, I think if I stood under something, I wouldn't see very much. I might get a slightly different perspective, but still...the bottoms of things are not all that revealing.

I have many favourite words. I'm not attached to their meaning, so much as the sounds of the words themselves. For instance, I love the word *helicopter*. I have no real interest in helicopters...it's just a cute word, and it's fun to say. Helicopter.
And *orange crush*. Just say it out loud to yourself right now. Isn't it great? It makes me thirsty... not for Orange Crush, but for something more satisfying and thirst quenching. Speaking of that, I always used to say "I need to thirst my quench" by accident when I was little..the words sounded better in that order to me. I still have to stop and think before I say that phrase to make sure I put it in the right order.

I don't speak any other languages fluently (yet), but I have discovered some wonderful sounding words. Julie once wrote a post on language, and she mentioned some interesting danish words. One of them made me laugh....the danish word for marshmallows is *skumfiduser* I LOVE that word!! I wish I could use it functionally in a sentence...I will have to find a way.
My friend's grandfather used to call her his *kukla mou*. It's greek for little doll. So sweet.
And I have fallen in love with a new french word. * Coquelicot* (pronounced as koklieco) is french for poppy. A beautiful word for such a beautiful flower...I have lovingly embraced it for many secret reasons.

There are so many wondrous words. I might have to post about this more often as new words come to me. All of you positively *pulchritudinous* poets and writers who visit me...do you have any favourite words or phrases?
My thesaurus doesn't seem to uncover many of the most beautiful gems. Maybe it's because often, words sound best when they are carefully strung together to form their own unique melody..their own music. A daisy chain of beautiful sounds that gently roll off the tongue and linger in our hearts.

What's another word for thesaurus?
~Steven Wright

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Synchronicity


I think there just might be a large invisible bullseye on the back left bumper of my car. I can't see it, but I think everyone else on the road can, and they are using my car for target practice.

I have had my new car for 5 months, and in that time two people have run into the same back corner. The first incident happened two weeks after I got the car...in my own driveway! I got it fixed...all was well. The second happened yesterday. .. and here we go again.

This leads me to think of the synchronicities that have happened in my life. They seem to happen all the time and most of the time, they are good ones, but could there be a flip side in the world of coincidence?

I would like to tell you the story of my most significant synchronistic event. Before Taro came into my life, I had another little bunny named Jasper. He was born with chronic health issues that couldn't be cured. I put him through one surgery when he was about 4 years old, and I told myself that I would never put him through that again if I was faced with the same problem down the road. And I knew it was only a matter of time before I would see this issue arise again.

We had another 4 happy years together, and when he was 8, I could see his symptoms appearing again. He was visibly uncomfortable, so I knew deep down that this would be a one way trip to the vet for him. It was one of the hardest days of my life. Not only was I saying goodbye to a long time friend, but despite his health issue, he still looked young and healthy. My friend that accompanied me asked me, "Are you sure you want to do this? He still looks so full of life."

But I knew. I knew it was time, and I didn't doubt my intuition. He passed away in my arms, outside in the sunshine. I went home devastated.

About a week later, I had just started the car and was on my way up the road when something caught my attention on the radio. A man was narrating a story on CBC ( a unique Canadian station that tends to focus on the arts) I had never really listened to this station before, but here it was... and this is what I heard...

"And then there was Jasper....He was only eight...The doctors told us that they could prolong his life if we wished, but his quality of life would never be the same."

I almost crashed my car into a telephone pole. I literally had to stop on the side of the road and take a few deep breaths. Did I really just hear that? I had a Jasper...he was eight...we could have prolonged his life too, but it would have been selfish of me, and he would be living in pain for the rest of his life. Besides, eight is quite old for a rabbit.

I turned the car around and went home to call my dad. He listens to CBC all day as he paints. Maybe he could tell me a little about what I just heard, and if I heard it correctly. Sure enough, he was listening too, and he told me it was a continuation of a story about a little boy named Jasper who died of cancer.

I am not a religious person, but when things like this happen to me, I can't help but wonder what greater force is at work...or play? This wasn't the first time I was struck by such a synchronicity, and it certainly wasn't the last. They happen so often, I'm not all that surprised by them anymore. I just smile and thank the universe...and it leaves me with a comforting feeling...as though I am right where I am supposed to be.

And everything is ok.
Even my poor little injured car.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

As the Sky Cries, I Smile


I feel all childlike inside today. Memories of my younger days are swirling around me like the steam from a cup of hot chocolate on a rainy day. It's raining out today, and you know how I feel about the rain.

Climbing the mountain in the rain, and walking through the dense forest takes me back to early days...camping in the woods, hearing the soft tapping of the heavy drops on the top of the tent singing me a lullaby as I fall into sleep, squirming towards the middle to avoid the damp sides of the tent...opening the zipper door in the morning and awakening to the fresh scent of the fragrant cedar trees. Camping just wouldn't be as adventurous without a nighttime shower.

I miss thunderstorms. Terribly.
I grew up in an area where the storms could be fierce. I loved to watch the deep purple clouds crawl in over the distant mountains on the far side of the lake. All would be calm, sunny even, but the anticipation of what was to come was so exciting. You could hear the distant echoes of the thunder, and catch a flash or two if you happen to be looking in the right direction at the exact perfect time. I didn't want to blink and miss it. And then, it would be over you. A torrent of rain and wind and light and sound. At night, sometimes the lightning would be so intense, it looked like broad daylight for several seconds. And then, just as fast as it came, it would be over...and once again, you could hear the faint grumbling of the restless clouds drift farther and farther away...brewing...stewing...preparing to release its fury once again in another far off place.

Today isn't one of those kinds of days. But it is equally wonderful. It's a soup and crackers kind of day. Reminds me of rainy days when I was a child, when my mom would bake something in the kitchen that would engulf the whole house with comforting scents, while we played hide and seek...puzzles and games strewn across the floor.

It's all about comfort. I love to feel warm and dry, wrapped in a blanket, a cup of tea in one hand, a rich novel in the other. And a window to watch the sky cry.