Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Make a Wish

I wish that I could catch a firefly in a jar, look at it up close and see how it glows, and then release it. I have never seen one before. Anyone live near fireflies? Can I come visit?

I wish the stars really were as peaceful as they seem.

I wish I could float past the planets and weave through Saturn's rings.

I wish tobogganing down Everest was a thrilling possibility.

I wish the dishes would wash and dry themselves.

I wish my brain could wrap around the inner workings of a telephone. I think that email and phones were invented in the wrong order. Text is nice, but to be able to hear a loved one's voice over a phone line or better yet, through does that work?!?!

I wish I could grow gills so I could swim with the creatures of the sea. I wonder what it would feel like to be a jellyfish? I bet it feels so free and fluid and graceful.

I wish I had the courage to travel solo.

I wish trees could scream out loud when someone approaches with an axe...maybe we would find other materials to build our houses with that didn't hurt the forests. I truly am a tree hugger at heart.

I wish my eyes could actually see the flowers growing. What do they sound like as they burst out of bud?

I wish I could remember being in the womb...being under the age of one...being three again, wearing pajamas with the feet in them...being young enough to believe that when you blow on dandelion seeds, your wishes really do come true.

What do you wish?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Beautiful

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thank You

I love looking at other people's living spaces and imagining what it would be like if I lived there. How would I decorate? Where would I put my beloved things? What colours would I put on the walls?

I walked by this old fence and felt such sadness. It looks as if it has been abandoned. If it were my fence, I would give it a fresh coat of white paint, I would adorn the steps with blooming flower pots and grow trailing plants down the rock walls. The gates would be open and welcoming. And I would invite all my new bloggy friends over to sit on the open porch in the sunshine and have home made, fresh squeezed lemonade and cupcakes. Each table setting would have a carefully handwritten message to each of you, expressing to you what I believe makes each and every one of you sparkle.

I feel so overcome with gratitude. I started this blog and thought to myself...well, it's a great space for me to express myself, and get to know myself better, a place to put my photos...and if a few like minded souls out there find me...wonderful! I wanted so much to connect.

I can't tell you how amazing this journey has been for me already! I am so grateful to each one of you for taking the time to come here and leave such beautiful messages. When I visit you, I see so much beauty and creativity and strength and honesty and I see how rich and abundant this world really is, through your's contagious, and it inspires me to see the magic in everything that I might have passed off as being ordinary. I want to get to know you better and I hope that this is only the first stepping stone of a long and hopeful journey together...of connection and support and love.

Thank you so very much for being there, and for making me feel as though I am a welcome part of this glowing are all so radiant. Your poetry and photographs and thoughtful insights leave me spellbound.

My gate is always open to you...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

April Snow

Today is a beautiful anomaly.

Snow doesn't fall very often in Victoria, even in the coldest months, so when it does the novelty never wears off. I felt pure childlike exuberance when I opened my eyes this morning and saw giant fluffy flakes drifting downward. I took extravagant pleasure in the freedom of being able to cozy up under the warm covers on a Saturday morning...nowhere to's cold outside, why not stay warm and comfie?

But I just couldn't stay there for very long! I could here my camera hollering at me from inside the closet. I put my warm woolies on and out into the garden I went before the snow melted away forever. The periwinkle were not quite as excited as I with this one last hint of winter...but they were stunningly beautiful, wrapped in an icy coat. *was thinking of you, dear Linni*

When I came back into the warmth, I wanted to linger in this state of childlike I did something I haven't done for years. I made french toast sprinkled with, you guessed it, a very light dusting of sugary snow (icing sugar in the morning?!?!?). But not to worry...I kept the Guilt Monster at bay by making it with whole grain bread and finishing with some delicious fresh fruit.

I think I will cozy up again, this time with a good book and a warm cup of chai. Perhaps there will be enough snow later in the day to build a miniature snowman. I wouldn't count on it is after all, spring....right?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Space Between

What lies behind this door, I wonder...
Is it a portal into the world of In Betweens?

Maybe you find yourself teeny tiny, skip roping across the bubbly fleshy surface of half a giant pink grapefruit...

Maybe you hang from the big hand of an old grandfather clock, tick tocking around the half hour point...

Maybe you are crater jumping as you walk, arms outstretched, along the fine line that separates the light half of the moon from the dark...

Perhaps you find yourself floating in that peaceful ethereal space between the dream state and wakefulness...

What if you woke up to find yourself reliving the day you turned exactly 23 and a half?

Maybe you find yourself hanging upside down from a tree limb, no longer a caterpillar, almost a butterfly as you patiently wait for your new wings to dry...

Or maybe, you find yourself swaddled in the vibrant glowing colour of the present, the now...the infinite sweet spot of time moored between a moment ago, and a moment yet to come....

In this precious moment, the glass is definitely half full.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Travel Journal and a Lesson

Be careful what you wish for....

Lessons in loving are being cast my way...this time it took the shape of my brother.

I spent the weekend reconnecting with him after his three month trip through Africa. He came back to us a changed person. How could you not, really? He knew that he would be consistently facing the well-meaning question "How was your trip?" and how do you give a short answer to that question after you've had a life-altering, soul-evolving experience in a beautiful land so far from home? Personally, I wouldn't have been content with a condensed version of his experience, and what I ultimately received from him was deeply moving. He put his travel journal in my hands and asked me to read it.

My brother is a "live life large or you will waste it" kind of guy. He thrives on adventure, a good dose of adrenaline, and a certain amount of risk. This is what makes his world go round. He lives life outwardly and wants to absorb everything he can out of his experiences. So when I opened his journal, I expected to read a good adventure story ~ close calls with charging hippos, near misses with protective mother lions, interesting culinary affairs, bungee jumping off the highest platform in the world (which he did...surprise, surprise). He told many great adventure stories, but what really grabbed me was the stories between the stories...I was able to catch a glimpse into his inner workings, his growth, his insights...the deep stuff...the things most important to him. I saw a side of my brother I have never seen before, perhaps even a side HE has never seen before he embarked on this amazing journey.

I read this beautiful journal, and sat alone in silence for a long while afterward. I felt such incredible love for him. Trying to sum up how my brother and I relate to each other in a short paragraph is just as absurd as trying to tell someone you met on the street how your trip to Africa went. We are two very different peas from the same pod. To put it very simply, he lives mostly on the outside, I dwell mostly on the inside. Many times we have rolled our eyes at each other because we just don't "get" each other. But we have been great teachers to one other throughout our one has taught me more about myself than he has. No one has challenged me to really learn to love myself more than he has. To be trusted with such a personal account of his experience brought us closer together than I ever could have imagined. I was able to put away the judgements I had been carrying and see the truth of him. What a gift, and a powerful lesson.

I was hoping to put a picture of a baby elephant at the top of this post. Although I haven't seen it yet, he did get a picture for me...he sat in the grass one afternoon and had lunch with them! All trunks and sweet...I can't wait to see!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I still Want to Believe

I wish sometimes I could go back to a time when I was really young...when I knew nothing and believed everything.

I remember waking up one night really late, waiting in anticipation for the tooth fairy to come collect her goods in exchange for a small fortune. I could have sworn I heard a tapping sound and I believed it was her sparkly wand tapping at the window, as she cast her magic window- entry spell. I think I was more terrified than I was enchanted.

When my cousin was young, she decided to capitalize on the tooth fairy's generosity. Her grandmother was visiting, and had left her dentures to soak overnight next to the bathroom sink. She woke to find them missing, and after an intensive search throughout the house, where should she find them, but under Kayla's pillow! She was quite the little entrepreneur for a five year old.

When I was three or four, I believed that if a burglar broke into our house in the middle of the night, all I had to to was ask him to be my friend and everything would be ok. I thank my lucky stars I never had to test that theory. The innocence of childhood...

What brings about this train of thought? I saw something earlier this week that left me quite shaken and tearful. It keeps haunting me and I find myself wanting so much to go back to being that little girl who believed that all people are innately good, even if they do horrible things. We humans have such a vast capacity for love, so why does it seem that some unfortunate souls are incapable of feeling empathy or compassion? What is their story? Is it fear? I suppose I will never fully understand, and I guess all I can do to counter such cruelty and hatred, is to love with all my might, all of my heart, every living, breathing, growing, beautiful being until I know nothing else. I believe that what we focus on expands. And I still want to believe that no matter what our story is, we all have goodness inside...we just need a little love.

Is that an over simplified and childish way of looking at the world?
Perhaps, but I would like to dwell there for a little while...

If only I had a tooth to put under my pillow tonight.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Liquid Sunshine

It was kind of funny. I woke up this morning with sunshine flooding my room, smiling at me, whispering at me to come play outside. The sun has been shy these days, hiding amongst the clouds, peeking out from time to time, but never for too long. As I cradled my tea cup in my hands and looked out the window, I noticed that the lawn was getting rather long. How serendipitous for me because when the sun shines on the tall grass early in the morning, it looks as though the ground has been coated with millions of tiny fairy lights. Normally I am pretty sluggish first thing in the morning, but I knew this glowing display was very fleeting, as the sun doesn't shine on my side of the house for very long. So I got my rain gear on (so I could lay down in the soaking earth and get close to my beloved subject) and ooooo'd and awwww'd as I captured the sunshine. I then came in and prepared to leave for my (almost) daily mountain trek. I was only gone just over an hour, and what should I see when I came around the house to my entrance? The lawn had been mowed!! Ha! I love it when spontaneous bouts of creativity pay off...just in the nick of time.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Deep in the Undergrowth

Nature will bear the closest inspection.
She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf,
and take an insect view of its plain.

~Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Out With the Old, In With the New

It's only early afternoon, and already I've had a day of unexpected surprises!

I finally got my procrastinating derriere into the garden this morning. How good it felt to clear away all of last year's overgrowth, and allow room for the new to grow. This is such a metaphor for so many aspects of my life right now. Many new shoots were hidden under the rubble, waiting in longing for me to come around and clear away some space so they could see the sunshine. I love the smell of the fresh overturned earth, I love how clean and clear my outdoor space looks, and I adore so much the tiny hummingbirds hovering overhead, inspecting my work. I hope I have pleased them.

As I was digging and clearing my little piece of earth, I could hear my phone ringing inside, but decided to let my voicemail take it, as I was covered from head to toe in dirt. When I finally came inside and checked my messages, I was so thrilled to hear my brother's voice, sending me love from the other side of the world. My brother and his wife have been on a 3 month trip through Africa. The only word we get from him is an occasional email to say that they are ok and enjoying every minute of their adventure. He called to tell me that they will be returning next week and would like me to meet up at my parents' place.

I am so anxious to hear how their trip went! About a year ago, they sent an email out to everyone they know asking them not to give them gifts of any kind for the rest of the year. Instead of receiving birthday/anniversary/Christmas gifts, they hoped that people would give money to their "unknown cause fund". They wanted to take what they had raised to Africa with them and help people that they met along the way. A friend of theirs did the same thing a few years ago, and were able to change the lives of several families. One woman used to sew to support her family. When her sewing machine broke, she had no way of fixing it, she could not afford to buy a new one, and as a result, she was having trouble keeping her children fed. My brother's friend bought her a new sewing machine and changed her life! I can't wait to see what they have done with the money they took with them, and to hear all of their amazing stories. They will be different people when they return, I'm sure.

Also, I made him promise to take a picture of a baby elephant for me. I luuuvvv baby elephants! Is there anything sweeter on this Earth?