Every day I try to accomplish one thing in the unpacking/sorting process. Today it was to go through one box. It was mostly paperwork, things I had printed out that I no longer need. Of the few other things in the box, some will get tossed, some given to friends and some filed because I’m not ready to let go yet.
In today’s box I found two letters postmarked 1993.
Many years ago I was part of a Mindfulness Council, a powerful group of women who met each week to practice, to share and to enjoy the uniqueness of each other. Life happens, things change and people lose touch but I often think about that time and those women who touched my life. The first letter I found today was from a Council member. Included in the note was a quote by R.M. Rilke. I thought about that quote as I went back to my sorting. Soon I found another letter, this one from a different Council member but with the same quote.
As I read those letters again everything about today changed. I felt like I had been given the gift of peace. Those letter brought back memories, not only of the Council but of a very different time in my life. A time when I was only beginning to be aware of what possibilities the future would hold for me. I’ve tucked those letters away, but close enough to reach out to when I need to feel that connection and peace again.
Remember the rocks I had to put at the bottom of the fence to keep Ella from exploring? I was convinced we were under siege by a roving band of chipmunks. Every day I would fill in the hole that had been dug in the sand outside the fence. Every morning it would be back. I swore at them, put rocks in it and wondered how this was happening. I never saw them over there, and as far as I know, chipmunks aren’t nocturnal. What would they gain by coming into the yard but a swift and certain death by dog.
This morning, after hopefully dispatching a second nest of yellow jackets, I checked “the hole”. This is what I found.
It suddenly all made sense. I apologized to the toad and promised to leave his tunnel alone. I sort of apologized to the chipmunks by telling them they were lucky it wasn’t them. Not that I would have done anything to them but just in case they get ideas.
Ella and I left the toad to his business and went in to get on with our day.
Last night had to be the worst so far of the recent heat wave. It was 110 degrees on the porch in the afternoon. The air conditioner wasn’t doing much good and there was zero air movement. I woke up this morning to welcome an overcast sky and slight breeze. Once the dogs were fed, we all went out to enjoy it.
Ella ran over to the corner of the yard and I noticed a mound of sand on the other side of the fence. She was doing her best to stick her head under the fence to see what might be trying to visit. My mood deflated as it began raining. I figured it was as good a time as any to plant the seedlings that were patiently waiting to get off the porch.
Calendula, butterfly weed, and sunflowers were all tucked into the raised beds. The lupine that I pulled from the dog yard joined the others on the bank of the gully. I was feeling a little better so I smoothed out the mound of sand. When I went to get some rocks to put at the bottom of the fence I caught sight of a pale pink morning-glory I’d had no idea was there. I smiled as I stopped to enjoy it and felt the unmistakable shift. From the annoying aggravation of uninvited critters to the soft beauty of an unassuming blossom I was suddenly brought into balance.
With that gentle reminder, I got the rocks placed along the fence, weeded the front beds, planted 38 ‘plugs’ of Tansy, watered everything and felt better for all of it.
Somewhere, deep inside of me is the memory, the familiarity of weaving. I don’t know where it comes from. To my knowledge there aren’t any weavers in my family. I like to think that it is connected to some long forgotten ancestor. I used to work for a weaving mill, not in production but in the office. I was immersed in the culture of yarn, weaving, fabric and tartan goods that fueled my desire to learn to weave.
When life allowed me a little free time, I took advantage of some local classes. Stepping through the door into the building each week I could hear the looms upstairs. Shuttles sliding, treadles working, transporting me to a place I could only imagine. For a few hours each week I would lose myself in that rhythm.
But locally here doesn’t always mean “in town”. The classes were over an hour away and when the weather turned cold and snowy I stopped going. I had learned quite a bit in the two sessions I attended including that there was a wonderful mill in the western part of the state that also ran classes. I looked them up on-line and dreamed of taking a class there.
It took five years before I was able to devote a week to weaving but this year I did it. It proved to be everything and nothing that I expected. I was nervous, intimidated and I struggled with some things. By the end of the first day I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back. I reminded myself that I’d come all this way, at no small expense, and I was determined to finish out the week.
Three days later, on my way to class, it happened. I noticed a spider web hanging on a sign with the sunlight hitting it just right. I quickly pulled into the parking lot, ran up to the classroom, tossed my things on the table, grabbed my camera, ran out the door, and, as I ran down the stairs, it hit me. This is my passion. This is what I love. Wow. I’d sort of forgotten how much I love taking pictures. Since I’d been in the new house I hadn’t really taken the time to do that.
Although I missed the perfect light on that web, I did manage to take a few shots as I wandered around with my camera. I even made it to class on time. I don’t regret taking this weaving class at all. For whatever reason, I needed to be there. I finally learned how to warp my loom. I had no problem with the actual weaving – sure, I need a lot more practice but the concept is still very familiar. I loved experimenting with colors and different patterns. The class consisted of students at various levels and I was amazed and inspired by the work they were producing. I know that if I decide to – and I hope someday I will – pursue weaving on my own, I have a good foundation and more contacts should I need help.
My schedule for the rest of the year is full but now that I’ve been reminded of how much I love photography I’ve started lining up classes for next year. In the meantime I’ll be out practicing and wondering where the journey will take me next.
I have been struggling with vertigo at various levels of intensity since the ice storm we had last October. I am working through it and some days are better than others. Last Thursday was one of those better days. I took advantage of the beautiful spring weather and brought my camera with me when I took the dogs out into the yard.
I wandered around, enjoying the places where the snow had melted. The tree stumps and rocks are like snowbirds who’ve been away for the winter. I see things in them I hadn’t noticed before.
The spirals that the tree rings make are slashed with cracks, a reminder of the times that we go off course, then find our way back to the spiral.
One stump has two spirals with a scar between them. It creates a face and for a moment I catch a glimpse of that tree’s soul.
The jagged edges of wood left behind when the trees were felled become miniature cityscapes and I see that there is beauty even in death.
Carrying that thought with me, I notice a vine still clinging to a rock, waiting for just the right temperature, the right amount of sun, and the message from within that says it is time to stretch, to give birth to a new generation.
There are tiny spiders everywhere doing spidery things. I let them be since I am in their territory. We both know the rules. Outside is safe, inside they are fair game. It works, mostly.
I take pictures of rocks and shadows while those words circle through my head.
The wind picks up a bit. I watch a stem covered with the remnants of last years blossoms slow dance with the breeze. It amazes me that this slender plant had been held captive by frigid temperatures and mounds of snow for months only to emerge as if nothing had happened. I spy a spider on the top of the plant, holding on in the wind. I think maybe it has climbed to the point closest to the sun and like me it is enjoying the warmth and the light. And I think yes, there is beauty even in death.
I got up the other morning and let the dogs out. It’s our regular routine. I could stay up, start the day. I probably should. But it’s still dark and if I have no pressing plans I like nothing better than to climb back into my nice warm bed for an extra hour.
Lying on my side, looking out the window at the sky and trees in the almost light, I couldn’t help but notice two objects. Larger and brighter than a star I guessed they were planets. I had no idea which ones.* I gazed at them with the soft vision of almost sleep. It appeared as if the sky had eyes and suddenly I could see beyond what was outside my window. Beyond the veil of sky into a vast nothingness that is filled with continuous motion. It spins and dances the steps that are millions of years old. For all that time it has watched over the souls who have work to do here and it welcomes them home when the time comes. I was filled with joy and wonder that was at once childlike and ancient. I felt a connection and an understanding but I could never give a scientific answer if you asked me how or why.
There is a sense of peace when I look at the sky now. It replaces the confusion, frustration and impatience I used to feel. I am more comfortable with the work I am doing and with who I am. I embrace the experience of every new day and of every night sky.
*I’m pretty sure those planets are Mars and Saturn.
I took the dogs for a walk yesterday afternoon. A pair of crows were making quite a racket as they flew in and out of the woods along the road. I haven’t seen the crows around all winter so it was a pleasant surprise. I did wonder what their noise was about and asked them if they were fired up about the Superbowl. The look I got from them was answer enough.
Today was sunny and relatively warm. The dogs spent some time in the yard while I caught up on a few things around the house. I went out later in the afternoon to play ball with them. The crows were back, much to my delight. They were just as noisy as they flew around the house. Most of their calls were familiar but there was one I didn’t recognize. I wondered about it as I threw a ball for one dog, then the other.
Then I heard it. The unmistakable “whoosh, whoosh” and I looked up in time to see the Bald Eagle. Two wing beats and it was over the yard and off toward the wetland. I will admit that I stood there open-mouthed and wondered how I could have forgotten watching this same scenario last summer.
I ran in to get my camera.
The crows continued to patrol the area. I caught site of an eagle coming in from another direction then heading up to the top of a nearby dead end road. The crows made a few more circles and off they went deeper into the woods.
I was reminded that I’d been having eagle visions lately and felt it was somehow connected to the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps not.
No crow or eagle pictures to share but here’s one I took while watching for them to come back.
Check out this link if you want to read more about the relationship between crows and eagles. http://www.thewildbeat.com/2012/07/24/the-crow-patrol/
I’ve been waiting for this Super, Blue Moon, Lunar Eclipse like a lot of other people. Our weather has been overcast for the past few days and from what I had read, we wouldn’t be able to see the eclipse from here. I was afraid I wouldn’t see any part of the event but I did manage to take a shot of the hazy moon last night just in case.
This morning I got up at our normal 5:15 to let the dogs out. The sky was clear and the moon was incredibly bright. Without glasses, I grabbed my camera and took a number of shots, hoping for at least one good one.
I even tried to get a shot of the moon illuminating the path into the woods. It looked so inviting but I opted to go back to my nice warm bed.
The moon was on the front side of the house shining past my bedroom window. I sat in bed in the dark enjoying the view as I did my Attunement meditation. Suddenly it was as if someone turned a light off and I couldn’t quite figure out what had happened. This morning I was reading more about the timing of the eclipse and realized that the beginning of it was visible in the northeast and would have happened right around that time. I missed watching it but I did get to see it.
A few nights ago I had a dream about eagles. I was standing in a house, looking out a picture window when I spied an eagle in the sky. I called to another person in the house to come see it. As I watched, it landed in a distant tree. I was suddenly aware of more eagles in the sky. I counted twelve eagles as they all flew down and perched in the same tree.
The following morning, I looked up “meaning of eagles in dreams” and found that watching an eagle flying in the sky “represents peace and happiness in your life.” May we all find peace and happiness in this new year.
For more info on eagles in dreams check out this site: https://dreamingandsleeping.com/dreams-about-eagles-interpretation-and-meaning/