Life in progress


#SoCS – It Spoke of Life

It’s funny how life finds a way. Though it’s rarely spoken of, we instinctively seek out the things that keep us alive. The sun, for one.

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I found these when I went outside this morning. The same flowers that the other day, before the ice storm, were in such lovely bloom. Their warmth is apparent from the way they seem to have melted their way through the snow.

I went for a walk today along my usual path by the water. I always go alone, and today was no exception. But I just happened to be on the phone with one of my kids when I got to this gazebo, seen in an old picture:

It’s often used for wedding pictures–I see photographers there with couples doing practice shots on a regular basis, and I’ve even seen a wedding party there once. What I realized today when I was on the phone is that it looks much more romantic than it literally sounds.

Today, for the first time in the years I’ve been going there, I spoke while I was standing under the roof. It’s made of metal. My voice echoed tinnily (is that a word?)–my voice echoed off the metal roof making me sound like I was speaking somehow through a transistor radio. I hurried out of there before I said much. I seemed very loud to my own ears.

It occurs to me that that’s an illustration of how our words can ruin an experience.

Sometimes it’s best to just stay silent, and take in the beauty: let it speak for itself.

This introspective post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link to find all the participating posts in the comments and see how you can join in!


#JusJoJan 2018, the 21st – Silence

Ah, silence. It’s something I experience very little of during the day. I’m very quiet most of the time, but there’s always something going on in the next room, cars going by outside, and all the other noise that generally goes on in the background, in a house in a suburban neighbourhood.

Quiet–mainly the lack of motors–is why I love the country. Birds chirping I can handle. Leaves rustling in the breeze and waves lapping the shore are like music to my ears.

I don’t need complete silence. I need nature. Yeah.

This post is brought to you by Just Jot it January, and in particular, prompted by the word “silence,” provided by Willow! Thank you so much, Willow! You can find Willow’s JusJoJan post by clicking right here. Please go and say hi! To participate in the prompt, please visit this post, where you’ll find the rules and you can leave your link in the comments.


Intuition, Fear, and What a Bird Taught Me

Imagine it: you’re just puttering along, living your life as usual and then suddenly an opportunity arises. You have a chance to do something you’ve dreamed of doing for years – something completely different from your ordinary life. Something so “out of the box” that the mere prospect scares you as much as it excites you. It’s not something that’s too good to be true – it IS true. But it’s so far removed from your comfort zone that you begin to wonder – is it fear that’s making me hesitate? Or is it my intuition kicking in, telling me there’s something wrong with the picture, or that if I go for it, something bad will happen? What do you trust?

Many people I know would pray for guidance. Some would trust that if the universe dropped the ideal scenario in front of them, they should take it. But what if you had no actual faith? This is where I lapse into the story of the bird.

It was about twenty-five years ago, back when I owned a horse. I arrived at the barn where I had him boarded one day to find a young barn swallow stuck in the window. The walls of the barn were thick – if I was to guess I’d have to say eighteen inches to two feet, which was about the depth of the window sill. The door was only a foot away from the window, and the other members of the bird’s family were frantically flying in and out of the barn. I had no idea how long the one who had missed the door and hit the window instead had been flapping around in the window but it still had plenty of energy. I couldn’t let it die there, so I decided to try to help it.

After a few fruitless attempts to catch it, which only resulted in tiring it out so much that I was afraid it would have a heart attack, I rested my hand on the sill. It stopped trying to get out; it watched me instead. Gradually I moved my hand closer to the bird until I was able to touch it. Still, it didn’t move. Rather than trying to grab it, I nudged its breast with one finger and the tiny, frightened bird stepped on my finger.

As I stepped back away from the window, hoping the bird would stay on my finger, I marveled at the weightlessness of it – of its breath, so fast, its little eye staring at me, weighing with its own sense of self-preservation whether or not it should trust me. It did stay on my finger as I passed across the door post and as I reached the door, one of its siblings flew past my head and with it my little bird took flight.

I’ve never forgotten that experience.

Back to my original scenario: the opportunity may not be one of life or death, but imagine if it’s no less scary than trusting in something as unknown as a human to a wild bird – as unknown as God or the universe to a human. Was it intuition that drove the fledgling to trust me?

So you’re faced with an opportunity: something that’s entirely foreign and yet it’s something you’ve always dreamed of doing.

What do you trust? How do you know the difference between fear and intuition? Or do you simply have faith?


Line-y Maple

CAM00296 There’s something about this maple tree that intrigues me. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. The lines on each branch – and I mean every single branch – follow the length perfectly. By the size of it I’d say it’s not really that old and yet it looks …. wrinkled. I encourage you to click on the picture for a closer look.

Neat, eh?


Open Your Eyes

Open your eyes
to swirls

and diamonds

Jewels of nature
right outside your door.

(Click on the pictures. You know you want to.)


Force Of Nature

Remember the pretty icicles?


Look! No more icicles!

no icicles

And no more eavestroughs too!



Be Nice to Your Kids

In light of recent events, most of which include having my mother live with me for more than a week while she waits for her room in the retirement home to be ready, I’ve been thinking about the saying: “Be nice to your kids – they may be looking after you one day.” And the conclusion I’ve come to is, depending on your nature, chances are it’s not going to matter whether or not they were nice to you. You’ll probably do it anyway.

I moved out of my mother’s home at the tender age of sixteen because I couldn’t stand living with her anymore. We’ve never been what you could call friends – she’s of the old school way of thinking that she’s not my friend, she’s my mother. She said so many times when I was a kid. In more recent times, when she has come to stay with me and the kids it’s been hell – she can’t communicate with Alex and he takes advantage of the fact that she can’t effectively explain to him why he shouldn’t do the annoying things he does: he laughs at her when she’s angry. I, usually, end up breaking up the fight as I might between two siblings.

And yet despite all this, I find myself calm now. I have more patience than I’ve ever had. She’s going through a transition in her life that is probably irreversible – going from living alone for the past 30 years, on and off, to going into a place that is scary in that it’s an unknown entity.

It’s funny the things I’ve found myself being able to handle when put to the test. Whether or not my mother and I have ever been able to get along, let alone live together, is put aside – it’s become irrelevant. The more difficult and challenging things get, the more I’m able to cope with. I just take it one step at a time.

I would wish what I’m going through right now on anyone – and yet I wouldn’t. Yes, it’s hard. But it’s teaching me something – that whatever I may have to deal with, my nature will allow me to deal.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to be nice to your kids. And while you’re at it, help them to discover their true nature.