The Gift

So fellow travelers, this graceful image greeted me this morning when I opened my WordPress reader feed.

The sketch is by a friend I first met in our online creative group.  Her post credits the original artwork as drawn from the photography of another creative tribemate.*

The image invoked one word

JOY

A simple yet deeply liberating key to to a question I’ve been working through for a few weeks.

And then a comment I started writing on my friend’s post turned into a haiku.

Ribbons of summer

Petals dancing joyfully

Gift of gratitude

Ripples of creativity flowing across the miles, connecting spirits, expanding joy. A reminder too, we need more joy in this off balance world.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Editor’s note: color sketch by Kathy Cary from an original photo by Jeanette Randall. You can follow Kathy’s work on Instagram


Parting Thoughts

So fellow travelers, one song bird is packed and ready for the next leg of her journey.

The image brought waves of emotion. As I sat on the porch in the morning sun  to be with the feelings, a bluebird sang out bright and clear.  These words floated up on the tears

Sunrise comes

Bluebird sings 

New horizons call

Heartstrings stretch

Weave a bridge 

Reaching coast to coast

Love abides

Boundless strong

Paving journey’s way

Parting moments are so bittersweet yet holding tight beyond the moment would cage the beautiful souls I’ve raised to fly free.

Besides hugs will always be waiting wherever we call home.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.


Lighting Their Path

So fellow travelers, this last day of a long hard school year is filled with some tough goodbyes.

There are always shifts in staffing at the end of each year. This time around those shifts are hitting a group of friends pretty hard.

Today’s goodbyes are a reminder of another parting tugging at this Mom’s heartstrings. Rather than dwell on what’s to come I want to be deeply present in the time remaining.

This Zen moment from an evening spent with Favorite Younger Daughter at a traveling exhibit brought these words to Light.

Finding the courage

To send young ones on their way

Mothers love stay strong

Being present in the moments we have for as long as I can and finding joy in simple things like a walk through magical lanterns of Light.

lantern walk

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Threads

So fellow travelers, the importance of family has framed many of the choices I’ve made. Those choices have in turn directed which paths I followed on this journey.

IMG_3471edit

Navigating crossroads is rarely easy. In times when we struggle against an inevitable change, our resistance can blind us to possible options. Other times we are so to open new experiences, the options quickly become an overwhelming muddle of open ended questions with no clear direction. Either way a kind of mental-emotional paralysis sets in requiring some outside assistance to help us move forward.

As the mother of two bright, independent, strong willed daughters who are now in their twenties, I try to be an ally as they navigate the twists and turns of their adventurous lives. Sometimes that means taking a deep breath and standing in quiet support alongside them at a key crossroads. Nearly six decades of life experience might give me some perspective that things have a way of working out, yet I have not forgotten the feeling of uncertainty embedded my own crossroad moments.

Threads of life experience tie us together as a family. On Father’s Day evening, Favorite Older Daughter skyped with us from the top of a trail where she and some friends were rock climbing. I listened with a full heart to the passion in her voice as she described their hike and climbing adventure.

Up she goes (Photo Credit Mike Goris) This is not the spot she was skyping from. It’s a shot from a climb on a different day.

The next morning I captured this moment between my mom and Favorite Younger Daughter who is visiting for a few weeks.

 Her visit home feels like a long cool drink drawn from a deep well after a hard journey. Long distance motherhood is a tough gig. I am grateful for the precious time together. It strengthens the sacred threads which secure our hearts in love.

More than memories

The past becomes a compass

Future paths unfold

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

 



Birds of a Feather

Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him?” A Course In Miracles

So fellow travelers this quote popped up in my morning feed today.

My immediate response was ” Me!  I would! ” and while I understand the quote’s intended spiritual lesson is we deny too much the power we have within us, I know my response comes from a place of truth.

Osprey in flight Fair Haven Sate Park May 2017

 

Of course I marvel at the amazing grace and power of raptors, watching in awe whenever I am blessed with a sighting. Who wouldn’t want to soar above the trees and spiral gracefully upwards on thermal drafts? I’ve had dreams of flying like that. Yet the honest truth is I relate more in spirit with the little song birds who chirrup as they dash about the forest underbrush, diving down to snatch a cool drink from a brook, darting up into the air to snag a juicy treat, then dodging into a secret sanctuary among the leaves.  Tucked safely away I would feel free to sing the song in my heart without fear of reprisal.

The admonition is clear. You have been given tremendous power. Why hide it within a smaller self?  I contemplated this yesterday afternoon as I sat in my favorite chair by our little pond taking in the birds enjoying the feeders I had just refilled. Chickadees, finches, cardinals, juncos and grackles hopped back and forth between the trees, feeders and the ground gathering the seeds with great gusto. Occasionally one would hop daringly onto the rocks by the pond and, eyeing me with utmost caution, dip their little bills into the waterfall for a quick drink before dashing back into the trees.

In my current quest to come to peace with what is I find myself eyeing reality with the same caution as my little visitors. I have never been one to give in easily to situations which do not feel right and I am not about to start now.  The philosophical and spiritual foundations of  who I am have been built from hard won battles with both personal and global negativity. Maybe this grants me the wingspan and power of an eagle but if I am honest with myself, those wings do not suit me. I am simply more comfortable flying about on smaller, more agile wings.

A flash of color

A song sung true from the heart

Tiny feathered warriors

Guide me on my path

Tree Swallow Sterling Nature Center May 2017

Who’s to say power can’t be tucked into those little feathered wings ?

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Editors note: The poem is a flipped haiku format using 5/7/7/5 rhythm



Camping with memories

So fellow travelers, found this golden washed view of a day’s end in my “drafts and edit” file. It was an auspicious moment which blessed a camping trip taken last year with a dear friend soon after my mother-in-law died.

It captures some of the feeling I am often struck by when a trail brings me to a spot of magical Light.

I remember coming out of the woods to this view released a flood of emotions. It was so reminiscent of the many old postcards we found that summer when clearing out my mother-in-law’s house. The moment gave rise to deep thoughts about the long process of shifting through the mountains of things collected everywhere; my mother-in-law, God bless her, had thrown almost nothing away. Ambushes of memories and emotions were embedded everywhere, many of them dark and sad, yet there was also much love and joy and healing, oh so much healing in that process of release.

It has been a year since Joan left this life. Time and memory are tricksters of the heart and mind. The year which has passed since both daughters and our son-in-law flew home to bid their Grandmother goodbye has a distorted feeling, like an image viewed in a carnival mirror. Parts passed by so quickly the recollections are blurred, others extended so slowly the effect is painfully distorted.  Even though he rarely speaks of it, I know my husband misses his Mom and the fractures in his family left by her death are growing deeper. I am grateful one of our daughters will be coming home to visit later this week and we will be visiting my family over Father’s Day weekend.  My family is far from perfect, yet we stand by each other, just as my daughters stood with me in the church when I read the words I had written to honor Joan’s memory.

Dawn comes darkness fades

Pain becomes mere memory

Light calls Welcome Home

We are all in one way or another, together or alone, seeking the path which leads Home.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may peace bless your journey.

 

 

Marathon 

So fellow travelers, you know those times when days feels like weeks? When the finish line never seems to draw closer no matter how hard and fast you run?

No matter. Today is the last day of classes. After exam week is over this marathon school year will be done. Time to let summer break clear the mental debris, hit the reset button and move on.

It is what it is

Still change is not beyond reach

Hope is an option                                                      

Peony blossom ready to bloom

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Night Quest

​(SpotTheStation) Time: Thu Jun 08 9:58 PM, Visible: 3 min, Max Height: 89 degrees, Appears: WNW, Disappears: SE

So fellow travelers, this message popped up on my phone  informing me of the opportunity to see the International Space Station  in the night sky.

It’s a simple thing really. Just a bright light zipping across the night time sky . Not too hard to find~

Unless it’s obscured by clouds

Or tracks below the tree line

Or appears in the single digit hours before dawn when the thrill of a sighting is weighed against precious minutes of lost sleep.

Yeah, it might be a sign you are a science nerd when you’re willing trade sleep for a few minutes of tracking a tiny bright light zipping across the night sky.

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

 

Surrender

So fellow travelers, one of those pieces that has been waiting in the wings came together this rainy afternoon while editing a mediocre photo.

The monster came 

and spent 

I turned to face It

Deep in those cavernous eyes lay

an aching chasm of souless void

Exhausted and resolute I offer mine

An eternity passes in an instant

as I let go

shredded into a thousand pieces

Still I remain and now

there is much more of me

I am here 

                                  there 

e    v   e   r    y    w    h    e      r    e 

I am lighter 

softer

free to fly on the wind

nest with birds

sing cicada songs

and carry dandelion puff wishes

 to the listening ears of Heaven

 

In the process of recovering from a prolonged period of unsettling and stressful situations, my current focus has been on relinquishing the struggle against what is. This is not to say I am willing to accept anything which counters my core values. It means I realize no amount of resistance is going to change certain circumstances. Moving forward requires me to process the emotions embedded in these experiences so I can find new balance points. Surrendering to the depth of feeling felt like coming apart and yet created a sensation of spacious grace making it easier to stop struggling and regain my self awareness. Time to set a few wishes free.

 


Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.