TOWARDS WINTER SOLSTICE

December 15th. Winter solstice is just a week away. I had good intentions of being here regularly but I’ve only shown up twice. Bad on me! Intentions don’t mean beans when they’re not kept. But I am here now. My moods still can turn on a dime. The difference now is I know the exact instant they do. I pull out my tools and do an inquiry. I’ve read enough of Byron Katie’s The Work. I know to ask the 4 questions:

  • Is it true?
  • Can you absolutely know that it is true?
  • How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought?
  • Who would you be without that thought?

Then there’s Tara Brach’s RAIN. It stands for:

  • Recognize what is happening.
  • Allow the experience to be there, just as it is.
  • Investigate with interest and care.
  • Nurture with self-compassion.

Recognition of the moment gives me an opportunity to pause and to take note. I don’t have to react and behave in old patterns. I can choose how it is that I want to behave, therefore changing the way I feel. I tell myself that because this is new, I might not feel comfortable or good immediately or even soon. It will take time to gel. I tell myself it is a new adventure, a new skill like learning how to cross country ski, ride a bike, to swim, to make sourdough….

Going toward the shortest day of the year is a grand adventure this year. I’m thinking of the darkness as a warm nest wherein we can rest and sleep. Then we can emerge on the other side, rejuvenated and ready to face the lengthening days as we progress towards spring and all that it promises.

JUST TALKING

August 21 and day 21 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m starting to sound like a broken record. It’s another busy day. I don’t think I can finish this post but I thought starting might give me some inspiration. I’ve been feeling extremely busy and tired. I gave myself a pass from my aerobics class on Wednesday and Friday but I swam this morning. I rarely miss my Saturday morning swim knowing that the water always make me feel better. Most Saturdays I have the pool to myself. I had to share with another today.

Guess what? It is August 22 and day 22 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. It is raining in Saskatoon. I feel exquisitely tired, achy and grateful. It is not the best timing for rain for the farmers but I am sure we are all thankful for it. It’s not like we have a say in the when. And the yard and plants look beautiful in grey mist.

I like to stand inside the greenhouse (there is no place to sit) and just breathe in the sweet fragrance of the bitter melon. It’s especially restful on a rainy morning. My tiredness, aches and pains seem to ease in the warmth and breath of this living atmosphere.

I have 3 bitter melons on the grow, the third one just a baby. I hope it grows up. I disturbed the petals while trying to pollinate it. A couple of petals fell off.

Autumn is certainly in the air. Winter will be upon us before I am ready for it. The thermal rock wall is almost finished. It is used to moderate the temperature inside. It will absorb heat from the sun during the day and release it at night. I still have lots of growing things inside that’s taking up space – the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants not to mention the cucumbers which are still very productive. I have to think about finding space for and how to start a winter crop. Maybe tomorrow. And you know what they say about tomorrow. Maybe I can prove them wrong.

GLORY DAYS – Day 13 in a year of…

Day 13, August 4, 2016 @4:05

IMG_4303These are truly the glory days of August.  My garden is flushed with delicious vegetables.  Let me not squander the days away with stinking thinking, bad attitude, foul mood or low blood sugar.  Afternoons can be treacherous.  A cup of tea and a couple of chocolates to make me more agreeable.  It does not help that Sheba is dogging in my footsteps wherever I go.  Possibly she is also seeking sugar replacement.

IMG_6920Mornings are the best for setting intentions.  And so I sat with Melli O’Brien and Tami Simon of Sounds True and learned about total body breathing.  It is an episode from the Mindfulness Summit, October 2015.  Today I am focused on learning to enjoy the process of sewing a blouse – being patient and deliberate with each step.  In the past, I have rushed through to the end product, missing the beginning and the middle – missing the joy, missing a lot.

IMG_6936Now I see it is really not my stinking thinking or low blood sugar.  It is really a storm brewing in my head.  It has just burst open.  I’m tap, tapping to the rhythm of pounding rain on the aluminum roof of the deck.  It is very strange and beautiful.  The rain came raging out of nowhere.  I am very fortunate to have this wonderful space to sit and watch, surrounded by it all.

The rain have passed.  I can show you the glory in the garden.  Come, let me show you. It is my rainbow after the rain.

 

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BIRDS ON A WIRE

 

It’s another Wednesday and another photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers to tell their stories of approximately 100 words.  We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  Here’s my story of 100 words this week – inspired by this photo, the heat and Leonard Cohen.

grey-day-with-pigeons-roger-bultot
HOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

There was tension in the air.  You can almost feel it crackling like tinder under a match. Her heart raced and thudded.  It felt like a stallion was  galloping through her chest.  Any minute now.  It was coming.  She was sure.

The sky was grey and ominous. Enormous clouds hung over the rooftops.  The telephone wires drooped heavy with crows, gathered and waiting as if for a funeral.

Where could she hide?  Just then a bolt flashed across the sky.  She clapped her hands over her ears as thunder rumbled and shook the walls.  The rain came.  She was alright.

THE KISS

It’s not quite Friday, but close enough for Friday Fictioneers.  We are hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple.  We gathered every week to share fictions of 100 words according to a photo prompt.  You are welcomed to join in the fun.  Here’s my 100 words.

raindrops
PHOTO PROMPT – © Santoshwriter 

I remembered the last time he kissed me.  It was raining cats and dogs.  We were in a tight embrace, huddled under his big, black umbrella.  The kiss was long, sweet and wet as the raindrops falling around us.  I held onto him tight, trying forever, never letting go.

When will we see each other again? Will we ever see each other again?  What good are promises?  Oceans lay between us.  Continents separate us.  Years of history divide us.  Out of sight.  Out of mind.

So I held onto him, laid my face against his chest.  Teardrops kissed my cheek.

 

MORE RAIN AND NO SHINE

It rains still.  How many days now?  I have lost count.  But Sheba and I are strong.  Every morning we don our black rain gear and we walk our talk –  neither rain nor sleet.  Hush!  I better keep my mouth shut.  Even if it is the end of June, you just never know what the weather will do.

We’re not as glum as we look.  It’s hard to do selfies and to get both of us in one shot.  My arm isn’t long enough and the iPhone screen is not that big.  This is the best I could do.

Last night I was sitting at my desk in front of the window.  Sheba was at my feet. Thunder rumbled.  A big bolt of lightning flashed and crackled right before me.  I screamed.  Sheba jumped up, barking.  My window was opened.  The neighbour yelled “SHUT UP.”  The rain poured.

Wonder Woman. Art by Terry Dodson.

Such is the energy surrounding the home and hearth at times.  I know what Shakespeare mean when he writes something stinks in the state of Denmark.  But I am Wonder Woman, the warrior princess of the Amazon.  I can ward off stagnant and malevolent energies with my magic bracelets. I can lasso the demons with my golden rope.  So you are warned.

God answers back with a rumble of thunder.

RAINY DAY LAZIES

IMG_6680It’s been raining on and off all day.  It’s coming down hard as I speak, the rain spattering and running down the window. But it is one of those easeful, lazy kind of day.  It is the kind that spells REST.

Sheba and I did go for our walk this morning.  We both got dressed in our black rain gear and splashed our way through the puddles at leisure.  What’s a little rain?  The traffic around the neighbourhood was something else.  With so many road detour blockage, our normally quiet side streets were abuzz with cars going every which way.  Then a cyclist rode up behind us and rang his bell.  Sheba did not like that!  It was NOT relaxing.

IMG_0932I was not completely lazy.  I managed a thing or two.  I dusted my rock and seashell collection that I had brought back from Ghana. I listened to the music of Loreena McKennitt.  I drank tea.  Reading someone’s blog post on discovering your purpose and your calling, I discovered in that moment I didn’t want a purpose or a calling.  I wanted just to live my life for myself.  Would you call that selfish?

Selfish or not, I am elated that I have definite feelings about something.  I’m not willy nilly after all.  How wonderful that I’m not another sailor lost at sea.  I have a sense of direction.  Maybe that is what purpose is.

IMG_0934I did some filing and clearing of the desk, but somehow no matter how many pieces of paper I move, things didn’t look any better. But I remembered what Anne Lamott said about messes and clutter.

“But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived. Clutter is wonderfully fertile ground – you can still discover new treasures under all those piles, clean things up, edit things out, fix things, get a grip. Tidiness suggests that something is as good as it’s going to get. Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation, while writing needs to breathe and move.”

And she is right!  I am happily tapping away in my clutter, finding little nuggets in my piles.

TENDING MY GARDEN

IMG_0896The rain is done, but the clouds and wind are still making their presence felt.  I’m edgy with unease. Sheba is bugging the hell out of me with her demand to play.  She’s a barker and quite vocal about her needs.  Grrrr!  Good thing someone has taken her outside.

I dispelled some of my distress this morning on my perennial beds. I dug, weeded, thinned and mulched.  I still have a long way to go. But now, they at least have a definite shape and not just a jungle of greens.

The rains had made the ground soft and easier to work with.  I guess God is looking after me in his infinitely wise ways.  He smiled just now, beaming sunshine as I’m tapping away here.

The wind is still here.  I like to think that it is God, breathing, sighing and whispering as he looks over his creation.  I hope he is pleased with what I have accomplished.  My raised beds are doing remarkably well for their first year.  The kohlrabi and peas have grown with the rain.  The onions, radishes, lettuce and kale are thriving.  Then there are my tomatoes and peppers.

IMG_0899The main garden is coming along, too.  Now we need some steady sun and serious heat for everything to come to their full potential.

RAINING IN SASKATOON

IMG_6663It’s raining again.  I am sitting here watching the rain and listening to its beat on the deck roof.  And wherever I go, Sheba has to go, of course. She is happily listening along with me.

IMG_6654

Two doors down, I can hear the children of the daycare blissfully playing in the rain. Their laughter and chatter fill the air.  It is as it should be – spring, rain, the greening of the earth and the laughter of children.

Thunder rumbles.  The children are gone.  The rain stops and the sun comes out amid the clouds.  How strange and wondrous nature and the weather have been.  And equally, so is life.  Nothing can be taken for granted.

OF PROMPTS, COMMENTS & OTHER THINGS

NaBloPoMo_0614_298x255_prompts_0Wednesday, June 4, 2014 
Have you ever deleted a comment? What would make you delete a comment?

I have not ever deleted a comment from my blog. No wait, I have – spams, comments that have nothing to do with my posts.  That answers the second question, doesn’t it?  I would delete spams and hateful, rude, attacking, etc. comments.

And why not?  There’s no discussion in those kinds of comments. They do not gender connection or helping each other out.  They do not build positive outcome.  There!  Now let’s get on with the rest of the day.

IMG_5692We had a beautiful bike ride with Sheba in tow this morning. The streets were peaceful and quiet. The sky was overcast but the sun came out as we were riding out. There’s something about the early mornings that calm your soul.

I have finished planting the last of my tomatoes and onions.  I am feeling happy with my gardening efforts.  The tomatoes are looking great.  The Sunberris blooming.  Will I be baking Sunberry pies this year?  The onions, radishes, lettuce, kale and kohlrabi are all showing up.  How splendid they look!

IMG_0854I got caught in the afternoon rain.  Once I was wet, there was no need to hurry any more.  I was past the point of “keeping dry”.  The only dry part was my head, thanks to my hat.  I hung it on my new shoe rack on the deck, along with my pants.  No, I did not have my umbrella with me.

But all is well.  The rain is gone and the sun is shining brightly on this mixed bag of a Wednesday.