the first present

So fellow travelers, on my annual holiday road trip to distribute gifts and hugs to my side of the family, we drove from windswept snowbound vistas through freezing drizzle in the Poconos arriving at last in not-quite-as-Sunny-as-the-show-claims-Philadelphia. Warm hugs, cheerful banter and hearty meals quickly dispelled the gloominess of grey skies. I woke this morning to find this post from my good friend Kate in my blog feed. This has been a holiday season with too many empty chairs at the table. It is good to have friends who keep the embers in our souls alive when the winds of change seem hell bent on extinguishing hope. As I read I could feel her rich tapestry of words wrap around me like a soft warm blanket. May peace and comfort bless us all.

Life With Horace

there are trees here too
grown out of deep soil pockets
heads above the hardy root dug
mountain friends of home
this gathered woody host a nest
to hold a house containing
every one I love
still sleeping as the light
creeps up all cloudy
through the rain
a christmas only minds eye white
with clear skied sunrise
catching tree tops
by surprise
red bronze briefly
glistened with strings of
love and memory
from those gone ahead
beams creak awake
almost the hour
for letting loose small bodies
counting moments since last night
behind me thumps and sighs
two sets of eyes meet mine
my patient dogs
the first gift of the day
belongs to them
and we are kitchen bound

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a small gift of words, a time filled with more love than things, christmas as it should be. my heart is very full.

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Solstice Circle

So fellow travelers, last night a good friend of mine from my Vision Quest years hosted a drumming circle to honor the Winter Solstice.

We  sent a big vibrant wave of energy out to enfold our world and all creatures living here.

Consider yourselves hugged.

You’re welcome.

 We all needed it, I know.

This morning as all the lights and bushes by my little pond were being blessed with a sparkling coat of new snow, these words rose from the silence~

Drumbeats call hearts join

Let Peace and Light hug our world

Solstice Circle Song

 Blessings of the season to all.

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


Mountain Magic

So fellow travelers, I woke this morning to the booming echo of Big Black Dog woofs ricocheting through snow dusted trees.


Peering through the frost lined window I can just make out the solid profile of Mt Monandnock against a pearl dawn sky.

I scrunch deeper into layered warmth of red and green comforters and watch the light change.

Downstairs I hear the rattle of kibble filling dog bowls and the happy tap dance of my friend Kate’s Big Black Dogs.

Listening closely I heard words from the distant Mountain.

Stand tall touch the sky

 Mountain magic steady strong

Stars of hope shine bright.

As I approach this winter season I find myself seeking something deep and elusive. I know not what it is,

not yet

While I search I will gratefully gather all the threads of Light I can find in good faith they will weave a strong braid of hope for the coming year.

Mt. Monandnock making magic with the Grandmother Moon.

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

… on the complexity of ‘all you need is love’

A Big Magic moment when creative hearts and minds connected and wove something of substance. Consider yourselves “Dingled” as we call it. It’s quite a gift.

just ponderin'

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Wind At Sea

Sailboats are more about knots than nets, so you’re going to have to bear with me.

The other day I was messaging with a friend in that very cool, smooth, to and fro way that friends who have invested in the creation of a history do.

At one point we were touching on some of the life stuff we were each seeing and feeling and she was half joking that she was going to write a ‘house on fire’ poem and I said I was half thinking about writing one about cults, but was having trouble finding words that rhymed with ‘cult’.

She offered a few close rhymes – dolt, colt, molt, volt.

I volleyed back that I was thinking of making up my own words.

Lult – as in I was lult into a false sense of security.

Mult – as in I multed under…

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Letting Ghosts Be

So fellow travelers, as I mentioned yesterday I am on an extended weekend trip visiting friends.

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Dawn at a rest stop

Taking a few days for myself at the end of the school year is something I’ve been doing for several years.  Whether I camp  at a favorite spot or take a quick road trip it’s my way of hitting the reset button. When I return home I am ready to tackle the substantial list of to do items which has accumulated during the school year. Yes, July and August are two reasons I love my job at our local high school.

For the past few years I’ve attended a bi-annual event where a growing number of people from a creative group gathered. Often we were meeting in person for the first time,  yet it felt as if we had known each other for ages.  That’s a tribute to what can happen when people are given a space to be open, honest and genuinely themselves.

There were of course the elements of darkness, which we all know are part of us, an inevitable piece of our flawed human condition. Over time the group fractured when the shadows grew too menacing and real to be ignored. My decision to leave came only after I had taken time to process my feelings and I was clear my reasons were a core decision not a reactive response.

Thankfully the friendships formed have remained intact, at least for me and several of those friendships are the reason I attended part of the events this past weekend. I meet with several of my friends for either lunch or dinner, wandered quiet nature spots and purchased beautiful treasures at the event’s art show. I was blessed to hear one friend give an inspirational sermon on Sunday morning and another read poetry from her book published just last year.

Yet there were echoes from memories of those I missed.  “There are ghosts here ” one friend said to me. Indeed. I knew there would be, which was why I went.

I went to meet those ghosts and make peace with what was both lost and gained. I was there because I believed connections forged from truth cannot be destroyed by lies. I stood knowing my faith in Light is stronger than my fear of darkness. Finally, I left thankful for the lessons learned and willing to let the ghosts be. They taught me well.

 

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

Morning Grace

So fellow travelers, I woke this morning to birds songs and golden light in tall pine trees

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Such sweet melodies following a pre-dawn serenade of coyote calls would be grace enough to fill my heart with happiness.  Yet blessings abound this morning as I take in the joy of spending some time with my good friend Kate and her canine companions Horace and Aggie

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This visit is one we had in mind for awhile, which for one reason or another didn’t fall into place until this year. It’s timing is perfect coming a week after a major family  transition and right on the heels of a weekend filled with ghost wrangling (post pending on that matter.)

Sitting on her sunporch, second cup of coffee on hand, I can actually feel the breeze gently lifting heaviness from my soul.  As the wind dances through the trees  I’m taking in the cheerful twitter of goldfinches and warblers, grateful that things happen exactly when they need to on the path.  Let the ghosts rise and fall with the shadows on the walls. My spirit is ready to take in their lessons.

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

Mother’s Day

So fellow travelers,  just some simple words and a gift from the garden this morning.

The opportunity to nurture life is the best gift.
To be nurtured by others is the greatest blessing.
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Whatever your reason may you celebrate this day with joy.

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

A Blessing

So fellow travelers,  I’m on a quick road trip to visit family.
The early light created some simple words this morning

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Easter morning Light
Peace and blessings fill all hearts
Let Love grace your days.

I hope you celebrate Spring and new life in the ways which bring you joy.

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

Stargazing Sisters

So fellow travelers, as far back as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the night sky. As a young girl I was that odd kid who asked for a telescope the year all the other girls wanted a Barbie Dream House for Christmas.  The first poster I bought when we moved to a house where I had my own room was a map of the moon.

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I remember the first time I saw the night sky free from the haze of city lights. It blew my nine year old mind wide open. I had no idea there were so many stars to discover.  In college I selected Intro to Astronomy to fill my required science elective. I don’t remember all the math I learned but I still have my “Guide to the Night Sky,” cassette tapes I used to listen to on my Sony Walkman (Hey! Don’t laugh that was cutting edge technology at the time!)  I carry around the current edition of  Stardate’s Sky Almanac, one of the few print magazines I still subscribe to.

Certain stars and constellations have become signature companions during the seasons. There is the annual cycle of Jupiter and Venus changing roles as the morning and evening stars, the Summer Triangle and of course Orion the Hunter, the glowing heart of Winter’s cold dark nights.

When a good friend of mine posted a poem she wrote about Orion I felt a burst of joy run through my soul.  Orion’s arrow could not have found a truer target than the bond of two soul sisters gazing up at the night sky. Like minds, shared spirits, woven hearts, we are indeed all connected.  The thoughts created their own little poem.

Orion’s Arrows

Even should my eyes play tricks on the mind

I trust my heart speaks true

Those stars of Orion,

stalwart guide through Winter’s long nights,

indeed glow brighter now

knowing you too gaze up

from where you are.

Editor’s note : Do  give yourselves the gift of visiting Kate’s blog Life with Horace  your life will be greatly enriched by her wordcraft and insights.

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

Listening for Truth

So fellow travelers, sometimes we learn a lot about people by their reactions when the consequences of their choices begin to set in.

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I try to listen for the voices of healing for those are the companions I wish to walk with on my journey through this life. I strive not to judge others for their reactions when they are angry or afraid. I have been in both places; it hurts.  All the more reason I am quite clear anger and pain are not justification for hurting others.

When relationships unravel and I am in between those involved I have learned to watch for the truth in the midst of the emotional interactions. Years ago a wise teacher and healer told me in divisive situations it is not really about who said or did what. What happens as relationships fracture under conflict is actually about how people are feeling and if you are one of those caught in between that is what you must listen for. While there most likely are some truths on both sides, the untruths are the ones spoken most frequently and loudly.  It is those who Shakespeare describes as one who “dost protest too much”  who bears the most guilt. Notice I said guilt not blame.  We can judge others, laying blame as thick as mud; we cannot make someone feel guilty unless they accept that judgment.

We put out into the world what we hold inside.  Life has taught me blame is a clear hallmark of something we are unwilling to look at within ourselves, a wound we have not healed. Beyond the instant when an actual event happens, everything we feel after that moment is a product of our own thoughts and feelings. If something happens that wounds us, it is our thoughts that follow which determine if the wound heals or remains. Naturally when there is great trauma those thoughts are filled with fear, pain and anger. If the trauma is relived mentally without any shift in perspective, then fear, pain and anger remain. Over time if we do not accept the moments of hope and healing we are offered we become cynical and hard. We can be very skilled at shifting perspective to make it appear we are victims and others are at fault, so we do not have to take responsibility for holding onto pain.

We chose to perpetuate our wounds because the pain we know is safer than the unknown path of healing and forgiveness. It sounds like madness.  In a way it is. Those who hold onto pain and fear have not found forgiveness for themselves or for others. It took me a very long time to reach a place where I accepted this and even longer to live my life from this perspective.

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Forgiveness has opened my spirit and empowered me with the gift of compassion. Am I perfect and healed?  Far from it. I have plenty of work to do while walking many more miles on the path to wholeness. But there is clarity more often now than confusion.

I cannot walk any path but my own nor is it my place to know what choices others must make to heal and find forgiveness. Still there are times when friends are hurting and I know I have to make a stand. It is not my place to judge others; I also know there are times when I have to add my voice to the chorus of “Enough is enough.” Forgiveness does not mean tolerating darkness. Being human and making mistakes does not give us permission to willfully, intentionally hurt people who have placed their faith and trust in us. I know when my heart is prompting me to make a choice to walk away from anger which twists truth to serve vengeance. I gratefully choose to move towards Light.  The choice itself was not difficult, it was the timing of when to take action that was not as clear until a zen moment spoke to my heart.

Whenever I have made the choice for Light, I have found kindred souls to walk with me. I know they are there this time too, a community that shares genuine connections, some known, some new. I recognize them because their actions and words seeks to heal not wound, even when their words are shared in sorrow.  They are the ones who create Hope and Joy, and yes even Magic, especially when things are dark.  They do this regardless of whether it is acknowledged or even appreciated (often it is not) simply because Light is what is needed in our world.

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