Into The Mystic

 

The very first time I visited Cape D’or it was a cloudy day with periods of sun but when I walked down the steep dirt road that leads to the lighthouse, proudly overlooking the entrance to the Minas Channel the wind picked up and I got to hear the foghorn whistle blow. It reminded me of  my favorite Van Morrison song “Into the Mystic” and it became one of those magical places that would capture a part of my soul and my spirit forever.

Cape D’or is a headland, located near Advocate, Nova Scotia on the Bay of Fundy Coast. The cape is pronounced by breathtaking 200 m (660 ft) cliffs on its western side and 30 m (98 ft) cliffs on its southern side guarding treacherous tidal currents in the Minas Channel. A basalt reef reaches from the Cape into the Bay of Fundy where it divides the savage waters of the Dory Rips, a rip tide spawned when three unpredictable tidal currents collide.

Most of the Cape is densely forested, but the areas beside and above the lighthouse are cleared and grassy affording magnificent far reaching views of the cliffs, sea stacks and tidal rips in favorable weather. The Cape’s sensational rocky panorama has attracted many photographers, tourists and dreamers over the years.

The second time I visited Cape D’or my youngest daughter Haley was about 10 days old. I was carrying her in a front carrier attached to me. It was Mother’s Day 2004 and although the spring winds were strong  we were able to make our way down the arduous rock path to the lighthouse. My oldest daughter was four and a half and her long dark hair billowed about in the wind and the misty ocean air caressed her face in a gentle welcome.

I remember telling my husband that this was my special place and that I would always come back here.

12 years later I returned to this enchanted spot that had captured a little piece of my soul several years before. I was fortunate enough to be accompanied by my youngest daughter so we could share some one on one Mom and daughter time in a magnetic place that she only remembered through my stories.

It was a beautiful day full of sunshine and blue skies.  The drive along the coast took us through Bass River, Five Islands, Parrsboro and Port Greville before a pit stop at Spencer’s Island Beach for some sun, sand, history and ice cream. Spencer’s Island is located along the Western end of Greville Bay on the Bay of Fundy (Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.) The community is named after a small island of the same name located offshore from nearby Cape Spencer.

The community of Spencer’s Island contains a historic lighthouse dating back to 1904, a beach, campground and cafe.The Lighthouse contains historical ship building pictures and artifacts. Spencer’s Island became a notable shipbuilding community during the age of sail and one the largest and most notable vessels from its shipyards was the Amazon built in 1861 which was later to become famous as the Mary Celeste.

Mary Celeste was an American merchant brigantine. The Captain; Benjamin Briggs, his wife Sarah and their 2 year old daughter Sophia set sail out of New York harbor on a blustery November day in 1872 with 8 crew members and carrying a cargo of 1700 barrels of industrial alcohol bound for Genoa, Italy. Weeks later on December 5 of 1872 the Canadian brigantine Dei Gratia found the Mary Celeste adrift in the Atlantic Ocean, off the Azores Islands. The ship was found in disarray but was described as being in seaworthy condition, under partial sail. The lifeboat along with the family and crew were all missing but their cargo remained intact. The last logged entry was dated 10 days prior. Personal belongings remained untouched and the ship had 6 months worth of provisions on board. None of the people that set sail on that November day were ever seen or heard from again. There have been many theories and speculations over the years ranging from pirates or sea monsters to mutiny. Mary Celeste was originally christened Amazon but was bestowed with the new name after a series of illnesses and unfortunate mishaps. Despite many attempts to unravel the enigma surrounding the ship with the storied past today one of the most enduring maritime mysteries remains.

I became enamored with the ambiguous mystery of the ghost ship Mary Celeste on a visit with family to Spencer’s Island about 14 years ago and I have spent many a free moment over the years researching the tale. Though I do not have a concrete theory  as to what happened to the Captain, his family and crew it is a puzzle that will always occupy some space with me.

Haley is 12 so a bit young to be intrigued by the history of the island community. She was there for the ice cream and the beach. I can recall laying on the beach with the hot ocean breeze blowing over me and thinking ‘this is what heaven feels like’ Every fiber of my being  breathed it in because I didn’t know when we  would make it back to the ocean again. Unfortunately heaven was eventually interrupted by annoying horse flies so we decided to pack up our beach bag and drive up to the cape where we were going to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring, have dinner at the Lightkeepers kitchen and retire for the evening in an ocean view room at the Guesthouse overlooking the ocean.

From Spenser’s Island Beach Rd. you head west to get to Cape D’or. It is a scenic 15 minute drive. The road can be a little rough in spots if the area has gotten a lot of rain but it is worth it. There are several oohs and awwws on the way there. I told Haley that she would need to wear sneakers for the trip down to the lighthouse. The gravel road is lofty and good shoes are a must. Haley as I mentioned is 12, therefore she knows best and believed that flip flops would be perfectly suitable for the journey down with her bags. She was also hurrying because she gets a kick out racing her old Ma and proving her youthful exuberance. As you may have suspected I was right in my warnings. Haley cut her foot open on a rock and though she tried to brush it off so I wouldn’t lecture her it was clearly causing her some discomfort.

We went to the restaurant and we were warmly greeted by the owner Darcy. He is a very fun and expressive man and though he jokes about getting stuck there as a sentence for being bad in his youth he clearly loves what he does and really enjoys meeting new people. He was happy to upgrade our room for us and we got the best room in the house with a private entrance and a fantastic view. We were lucky that we picked a day that only one other couple was staying at the house and we didn’t see them till late in the evening. Darcey asked if we were coming for dinner and we had read such glowing reviews that we wouldn’t have missed it. He questioned us about our likes and dislikes guessing correctly that I would be wanting seafood. Haley gave him her long lists of dislikes and he promised that the chef would put together something satisfactory for her. We agreed on a dinner time of 6:30 and headed to our room to drop our bags. I decided that it must be 5 o’clock somewhere so I poured a glass of wine while Haley showered the beach sand off. I relaxed on a lounge chair overlooking the water and felt very grateful and happy.

Haley snuck over to the kitchen and had Darcey cook her a grilled cheese to tide her over until dinner while I explored some little paths through the thick. When her belly was full we went to the lighthouse and carefully down the rocks. We really like to play word games so we sat on the rocks and played this game Haley had found on YouTube and we had a lot of laughs. I don’t think I had laughed that hard since we were playing the alphabet game in the outdoor hot tub at Kicking Horse mountain and the category was ‘things that are bigger than Nicky Minaj’s ass’ I can say with certainty that it was one of the most beautiful spots I have ever played a word game and the water crashing on the rocks in the background was nothing to cry about.

I have traveled a lot with my oldest daughter Morgan over the years but this was the first solo trip for Haley and I. We were so excited to be home visiting with family and meeting my newest granddaughter but sneaking away for a night just the two of us was a great idea and we enjoyed our time together.

Dinner was amazing and the dining view was phenomenal. Chef Garfield (like the cat, is what he kept telling people) should have roller skates because he was trying very hard to be everywhere at once. He greeted guests, took their orders, made and brought their drinks and made all of the meals and served them with a touch of sarcasm and a side of wit. Haley’s meal was prepared exactly how she had discussed with Darcey earlier in the day right down to the raw carrots. These were not just any raw carrots, they were cut fine and fancy and young Haley was suitably impressed.

One of the greatest things about the panoramic views at Cape D’or is how the rapidly changing light dramatically alters the view. It is a photographers dream. We met a very outgoing couple from Ontario that had stayed at the Cape all week and he was up at 5 am catching the early morning light.

After dinner we caught the sunset and chased the very last bit of light. We hung out for a bit under the stars in the cool ocean air before retiring to our room to play cards and chat about our day.

We met Darcey again at breakfast and he promised  to make us something special. We helped ourself to fresh coffee and juices and anxiously anticipated our first meal of the day which turned out to be french toast with fresh dairy whipped cream, nova scotia maple syrup and an assortment of fresh fruit.The couple we met from Ontario wanted some photos taken together and we obliged. They were kind enough to return the favor catching some extra special memories of Haley and I’s 2016 Nova Scotia trip.

I love Canada. It’s landscapes from coast to coast are so diverse. There are so many places I have yet to explore but there are places, like Cape D’or, that draw you back time and time again. Perhaps when Darcey’s sentence is up someone will sentence me to life at the Cape for the sins of my youth.

Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly
Into the mystic

~from Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic

Geographical information from Wikipedia.

More than a feeling-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

Sunsets, sunrise, high tide, full moons…they are beautiful moments  but like most good moments they are fleeting. Like the wind in your hair on hot summers day with the dial turned up and the open road ahead of you and that momentary perception of pure joy. It’s a feeling, a second, a minute if you are lucky. These are the moments that make up our lives but often we need to coach ourselves to breath in, look around and enjoy them before they are gone. When we practice gratitude we experience more of these moments that enrich our lives.

How often do wish you could capture the feeling of a place? Maybe it’s your lakeside cabin or your grandpa’s farmhouse. It’s more than that initial awe that strikes you when you glimpse it for the very first time; it’s the feeling of unceremonious joy and gratitude you get when you are there that lingers in your memory and beckons you back. I am an East Coast girl living in the big bad West. I am equally torn between my love of the soothing ocean and the larger than life mountains. Every wave in the ocean and every glacial mountain peak cradle a piece of my soul.

Our lives are busy and they go by so fast. I always welcome any opportunity to get lost in a spot away from everyday stresses where time is told by the rise of the sun and the fall of the moon instead of my cell phone alarm.

We had a friend visiting his family in B.C. during his summer sojourn from New Zealand. We knew his time was precious and how hard it is to make time for everyone in a few short weeks. We were planning a little family getaway to the Okanagan region hoping to meet up with our friend before he bounced back to his island nation.

Time was getting short and we had yet to make a plan. This wasn’t my first rodeo so I knew how difficult last minute bookings in the summer can be, especially in the mountains. I was hit in the face with a summer cold so armed with a steaming cup of Neo Citron and my laptop I set out to find a place to suit us that would be a reasonable drive for our friend from Revelstoke, have brilliant scenery and abundant outdoor space, be clean and bright with a generous amount of comfortable capacity and be remarkably “uncommon”.  On top of all of this I wanted it to be fairly priced.

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I dislike hotels and when I go away I appreciate staying in places that have a great story.  I was coming up empty and not feeling very confident in getting what I had envisioned when I happened upon an ad for a solar powered eco retreat in the wilds of Larch Hills which was a twenty five minute scenic drive from Salmon Arm in the North Okanagan region of beautiful British Columbia. We were spending a couple of days in Mara Lake close by so the location was absolutely perfect.

The retreat is called Tin Poppy. It is a 1953, 32’ Travel Trailer built into a sizable, avant-garde abode. The 200 sq. ft. trailer is encased in a modern screened-in post and beam structure bringing the space up to 1200 square feet in total. The structure boasts a myriad of natural light, comfort, conveniences and charm.

The owner Maggie was in France when I contacted her but was very quick to respond and accommodate our request. I had been looking forward to meeting the people that had not only imagined such a space but had brought it to fruition. Unfortunately the day before our booking Maggie contacted me to say that their plane had been delayed and they were stuck in the U.K. but she had a friend make sure the space was ready for our arrival. It was spotlessly clean, fresh poppies were in a vase in the living space and luxurious bath robes and towels were laid out for us to take advantage of the outdoor shower. It was a hot day in the Okanagan so we chose to shower and change before our company arrived.

Though private and contemporary with hot water on demand, the outdoor shower is alluringly close to nature. The bathroom and toilet are conveniently located inside off of a spacious foyer between the living space and the stairs to the look-off. There is a door leading to the the bbq deck on one side, the opposite side takes you to the large entryway which leads to the outdoor shower and another separate sun deck. The other side of the retreat is embraced by wild flowers and Hollyhocks, it is reminiscent of an English country garden looking beautifully unplanned as if Mother Nature just happened to wave her wand on that very spot and mesmerized it. There is a huge rock fire pit overlooking the hills that is beautiful by the light of the North Okanagan moon. Tin Poppy also has a 6 person wood-fired Finnish style sauna to the left of the fire pit for some added luxury.

The kitchen is cozy and it is well equipped to cook full meals. The hosts have literally thought of everything.

We had a visit from a large cat that we found out later was named Leo and shortly after our arrival we had a visit from three dogs of varying sizes and breeds. My family loves animals so we were so happy for the company. The one dog had only three legs but a mammoth personality and he loved the interaction and didn’t want to leave us. He was quiet and loving and being around him made me feel peaceful and I wish I had brought our dogs. I spoke with Maggie and found out that they were their dogs and that a neighbor was watching them while they were away. The dog that didn’t want to leave our side was Sammi. As I  mentioned we are animal lovers and were happy to allow Sammi and Leo to keep us company and spend the night. I didn’t have dog food but Sammi seemed to approve of steak for dinner. If you have allergies or do not care for pets your experience would be different and Maggie would not allow the animals to come around but we felt comforted by their presence.

Our daughter had been out of touch with her friends for a few days so she took advantage of the wifi while Kirk caught up with our friend over music and cold drinks and I whipped up a big dinner.

We enjoyed wine and great conversation over a late dinner and watched as the moon slowly fell below the tree line and the temperature fell with it. The hot sun that had streamed in through the screens was replaced by a cool breeze. The guys built a fire in the pit and we spent some time under the mountain moon in a star filled sky with a fire crackling in the background. We felt miles away from the ordinary and I consciously reminded myself to breath it all in.

Our buddy chose to sleep in the lookoff under the star filled sky and our daughter chose the cozy second bedroom in the trailer. Long after they drifted off to sleep my husband and I made snacks in the kitchen and settled in the cozy trailer nook and turned the heat up. We streamed some very old music and opened another bottle of wine, curled up together and wondered aloud how many people had gotten to enjoy this space since 1953. We felt like we were among some great company. Tin Poppy has some great old bones. We sipped and sang until the wee hours of the morning feeling gracious and fulfilled before retiring to the cheerful queen room.

I woke early but the sun rose before me. I made coffee in the French press and started breakfast in the cast iron frying pan while everyone else slept. The light of day at Tin Poppy is as equally impressive as the dark of night. I was as enamored by the expansive light filled Poppy as I was by a crackling fire under the Okanagan moon.

We ate a hearty breakfast before saying goodbye to our friend, a short but sweet visit before he journeyed back to his home on the South Western Pacific Ocean. Though miles and oceans of time may separate us daily we truly felt that we all discovered a magical place together and we know that our friendship coupled with Tin Poppy’s magnetic charm will draw us together there again.

Tin Poppy is perfectly suited to family holidays, a getaway with friends, mountain and or/beach vacations, winery tours, romantic holidays, hiking and biking, ski vacations in the winter…it is multi functional. If you are bored of ordinary, Tin Poppy will not fail to charm you. Thank you to Maggie for providing me with some of the photos, some of them are from our early July stay.

If you are planning a trip to beautiful British Columbia I would definitely consider Tin Poppy. Below I have provided some links for you.

Tin Poppy on Facebook

Tin Poppy Website

Tin Poppy on AirBnB

July’s W.I.S.E. principles are welcome, innocent, special and enjoy. Tin Poppy has encompassed all of those things for me in a short but memorable visit!

I hope you are enjoying a fabulous summer and welcoming time with family and friends, enjoying special moments and the innocence of new beginnings.

I am traveling to Nova Scotia this weekend to properly welcome my new granddaughter and enjoy my own family and indulge in special times and create new and lasting memories. Cheers to you as July winds down.

Chat soon,

Michelle xo

Naked and Afraid-Marriage in the 21st Century -Podcast 3 part series

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I decided to do a three part  segment on Marriage and some things I have  learned during the last 14 years of wedded bliss and almost 18 years in a relationship with my husband in which we have  faced our share of adversity and struggles.

Marriage can be fun, beautiful and so rewarding, but the one thing that nobody tells you on your wedding day is how hard it is, how much work it requires and if you do not nurture it it can very quickly wither up and die, like a flower in the desert heat!

I entered into my marriage pretty idealistically and with a lot of silly expectations. I brought with me way t0o much sass and this incredible need to be right all the time. My husband brought his own ideas and idiosyncrasies. Adding us together, mixing us up, throwing in some good times and struggle on top of struggle there have been some dark moments. The thing we are proud of is that though there were times where we almost got lost in the struggles, we dug in, put in some very hard work and today we are lucky to not just call each other partners but we are best friends.

There will be times that we may not like each other but those are the times that we remind ourselves how much we love each other. We have shared some great times together and some times that have made our heads spin. My need, or desire to share this with you comes from a good place in my heart that wants everyone in a relationship that is facing hard times or  daily struggles to know that you are not alone and it is normal. I even share some tips about things that have worked for us.

Join me for a fun and honest look into being Naked and Afraid in a marriage in the 21st century.

Part One- Setting the Stage

Part Two- Stupid things your spouse does and taking the good with the bad

Part Three- Make-up sex, fighting fair and why cuddling has it’s time and place.

 

Thanks for joining me, I would love to hear your feedback and I adore your marriage stories.

Cheers,

Michelle

 

In the still of the night-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

I woke early to the soft tap of rain on the cabin roof. I boiled water outside on the bbq and made the most fabulous camp coffee ever made. I built a big roaring fire in the wood stove that has quickly lulled my husband back to sleep. My daughter is gently snoring in the loft. I am curled up with a soft blanket sipping coffee on a comfy chair by the fire. I am charmed by the crackle and snap and the serene quiet of this wooded retreat and I am full of gratitude.

I want to go for a quiet walk in the woods and find the little waterfall the owners told me about but I am a bit nervous knowing that there is a mama bear and her cubs close by. The owners of the cabin say they haven’t seen them by their house but they like to eat from the neighbors fruit trees. I would love to see them from a distance but not face to face alone in the woods. I circled the immediate area and delighted in birdsong and the sounds of nature instead of early morning traffic.

This cabin gives the illusion of being deeper into the wild than it actually is. It is a short drive or five minute walk into the woods so once you are here you feel very far away from the stresses of everyday. Our hosts Chantal and John put a great deal of love into this little getaway and it is evident in the little touches. The solar power is something that I wasn’t familiar with but besides a few common sense things it is pretty straight forward. Want not, waste not!

I know it is not my family’s cup of tea and they humor me a lot, but the truth is when you take away electronics, clutter and conveniences we are forced to live in this moment instead of the next one and we connect more as a family. They cannot deny it. The fact that my husband has drifted off into untroubled slumber several times this morning alone speaks volumes.

Last night we had a tasty camp dinner and played 5 second rule and charades. There were a lot of laughs and I was happy for the quality family time. Our daughter  was terrified of going to the outdoor washroom and hadn’t peed once between four and midnight. She is such a city girl. She insisted she didn’t need to pee at all but I dragged her out there and she managed to not get murdered or eaten by bears. She made us barricade the doors so that mice, bears and woods cabin murderers couldn’t get in and thank god because we are all living this morning.

Despite her fears she fell asleep almost immediately after settling down in the cozy loft. I caught her talking in her sleep several times. The still of the night here is very still. Though I was up early because it is light in here with all of the windows I feel extremely rested.

I am immensely enjoying this place. It feels like you are miles away from everything which is clearly more of a comfort to me than it is to my daughter. I do think it is a memory that as an adult she will cherish and hopefully she will take her own family on similar adventures. When you are an adult you really appreciate getting away from everyday worries.

Mara Lake Beach

She was quite excited to go to the beach today and though we originally thought it wasn’t going to be a beach day the sun won it’s battle with the grey clouds around 3 pm and it is quite gorgeous.  Mara Lake beach is located in Mara, between Salmon Arm and Sicamous in the Okanagan/Shuswap region of British Columbia. It  has a white sandbar and deep blue water that is refreshing and rejuvenating. It is the first time my daughter forgot that she doesn’t have wifi. I loved swimming with her and watching her build herself into a sand mermaid. You cannot have that experience in the city.

It is easy to be mindful in a place like this. The slower pace and lack of distractions forces you into it.  The quiet and the soft glow of candlelight is not so bad either.

I would highly recommend this place for a quiet retreat or for a couple looking to reconnect. There is no fridge or stove but there is a bbq with a side burner and the cozy kitchen is quite equipt. Frankly there is a coffee pot and a wine opener so I felt very much at home. I am fascinated by the tiny house movement and the “less is more” lifestyle so this was an enjoyable experience for me.

If you are planning on traveling to B.C. and would like to have a serene stay in a solar powered cabin in the woods check out this wooded retreat in Mara HERE

I talk about the Sweet sound of silence HERE, grab a coffee and have a listen.

Just a reminder that the W.I.S.E. Principles for July are Welcome, innocent, special and enjoy. I hope you are welcoming new and exciting experiences, seeking innocent and guiltless adventures and quiet time to rejuvenate. Treat each moment as if it is special and unique and live in the moment fully before moving on to the next.

Be W.I.S.E. friends. Chat soon.

 

xo Michelle

 

Ain’t no mountain high enough-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

Photo credit to tinpoppy.ca

I managed to miss all of the Canada Day celebrations this year because I was struck down by sickness on the first day of my vacation. I hate to belly ache about a tiny cold but it was the fever that made me useless. 

After several dizzy spells and having to sit down every two minutes I decided I didn’t care if my house was messy, sipped on chai tea with honey and binge watched Homeland on Netflix. 

This morning I felt 85% better so I challenged my daughter to a one on one to try out the new basketball pad her dad built. I think I did better yesterday when my equilibrium was off. 

Tomorrow we are leaving on a little mini-vacay road trip to the Okanagan, staying in a solar cabin nestled in the woods with no wifi and then onto a fantastic eco retreat in the wilderness. I figured this was a good time to put my W.I.S.E. Principles down in black in white because there is never a time that I need these reminders more. I know you are probably thinking that I am going on vacation what could I possibly find to stress about? Well…everything. For instance as much as I would like to believe and for everyone else to believe that these long dark locks of mine have not been diminished with age the truth is that shock white hairs grow along my hairline and most recently they have started to grow staight up and out of the top of my head. I dye my hair very sparingly because root touch up always took care of everything I could see until I discovered last week when I was playing with my hair at a red light that my long locks were not only lack laster on the back of my head but there are white strands growing amid the dull and lifeless brown ones. Because I was sick all weekend I decided to nice and easy box dye my hair and immediately after have been stressing about going to the beach and having black dye streaked all over my face or on white cabin pillows or luxurious bath robes. Our eco retreat has a sauna so I can imagine stepping out with black dye mingled with sweat running all over my body. 

When I was 12 years old I was on our quad driving through country fields with wild abandon. I remember how glorious it felt. Sweet freedom with sun in my face and wind in my hair, the moment took over and I closed my eyes to enjoy that warm, carefree feeling of summer  and drove through a barbed wire fence. I have blocked a lot of the incident out, mostly due to embarassment and shame. I gave into a moment and then I had to explain to my mom and my torturously bratty brothers how the fence jumped out at me. I don’t even think they have bothered me about it ‘much’ over the years but the memory still mocks me. I am reminded of that embarrassment a lot.

I am sadly pretty tame in my advancing years but a while back I was convinced to smoke a joint and watch a comedy show. We were on vacation and I was laughing hysterically but immediately decided to go to bed because I thought I might laugh too hard at something that wasn’t funny and embarass myself. What was embarassing was crying to my husband and begging him to make me “not high” anymore. So as you can see mindfulness and living in the moment doesnt’t come naturally to me. I have had to overcome some very ridiculous fears about shame and learn to lean into vulnerability. Baby steps…

  I am learning really quickly that shame is a roadbloak and it is impossible to be authentic without a little vulnerability. 

There ain’t no mountain high enough to keep me from enjoying this much needed break from the city so laughing till I pee a little is in and worrying about laughing till I pee is out!

My July Principles are:

Welcome- this is a month to welcome new things and new experiences. Also very soon I will be welcoming a new granddaughter. 

Innocent-When I think of innocent I think of babies and I am certain this was a thought back in December when I wrote out the principles but I also think it would be great to see people through ‘innocent’ eyes. No jade…no judgement, the way one would view nature or a child.

Special- I want to reconize that special moments are fleeting and they should be enjoyed to the fullest without rushing onto the next moment. To live in the moments and bask in them a little longer is my ultimate goal. 

Enjoy- I want to give myself permission to enjoy myself. Even if my house is a mess or I need to get up early the next day I need to give myself over to completely enjoy the moment. 

I love road trips but they are not without their challenges. I love coffee but try to abstain while travelling because I need to pee to frequently. I think I am nicer when I have had caffeine but I am going to try my best to leave in the morning with fun, happy, not a care in the world Michelle and not be annoyed by hubbys heavy foot. I will even play and win all of the road trip games. 

Wish me luck. 

I will be leaving shortly to stock up on wine. That should help.😉

“Jobs fill your pockets but adventures fill your soul!!

Ordinary Day! -W.I.S.E. Project 2016

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June. Where did you go? You were full of endless days of tripping the light fantastic and electric summer nights catching falling stars in moonlit fields. Crackling campfires and long kisses on the end of weathered piers, toes in the water as I sought advice from the man in the moon. I blinked and you were gone.

Sometimes I have a tendency to overcomplicate things. It’s all very simple really. Everyday the sun rises in the East, this usually happens way before I am ready for the filtered sunlight that peaks in through the bent slat on my bedroom blinds, before I am quite mentally prepared to embrace the gentle song of the birds, put my big girl pants on and adult. The certainty is, ready or not it comes like clockwork every day. I try to get myself and everyone else out of the house with a chorus of “I love you and have a good day” instead of frantic yelling because we are all running late. We all go to the places we have to be, not necessarily where we would choose to be if we had been born rich instead of so damn good looking, but we try to go with a gracious heart and a kind soul and the choice to make it a good day. Even the good days are tiring and mostly they fly by too quickly. Before we know it the moon has replaced the sun and the darkening sky welcomes it’s best friends the stars. The birds are lulled to sleep by the mystique of it all and out come the crickets to play their favorite summertime melody just as we are pulling cool sheets around our ears and settling in for a hopefully long and dreamy nap. A similar version of this happens on repeat everyday without fail, with some filler in between.

It all goes by so quickly. I just have to remind myself to look around more, breath more, be thankful. Remarkable moments are all around me, it doesn’t have to be about what I look at, but more importantly what I see.

More realistically, June was made up of a bunch of ordinary days and some subtle extraordinary moments,  many that I may have failed to see because I was too busy searching for these moments that would take my breath away, instead of just breathing and being in awe of the simple, wonderful moments that make up my life…the filler.

My principles for June are WOW, Incredible, Serenity and Enthusiasm.  I definitely had a bit of a setback  this month because instead of recognizing the Incredible WOW moments when they found me I went on a desperate search for them. When I didn’t find these ground breaking moments of wonder my enthusiasm quickly subsided. I neglected the whole premise of my own project, being mindful and focusing on the present moment to create a deeper experience of joy. I forgot to practice gratitude and in turn I caused myself a lot of unnecessary stress.

A former boss once said to me “A day doesn’t make a week, a week doesn’t make a month and a month doesn’t make a year”. That being said as June winds down and July lies in wait, I did learn some very valuable things about myself during month six of the W.I.S.E. Project and I have been reminded once again to stop complicating things.  I need to give up on my urge to fix things and as much as I can just let things be. If I spend too much time focusing on what is going to happen next I am missing what is happening now.

Those moments when I am blown away by the candy pink sky or enthralled by the uncomplicated relationship between the moon and the stars or I see a glimpse of my children’s budding character and the people they are going to be in the future, those things are gone in an instant but will find me if I am being mindful.

I am still finding out who I am and who I want to be. The W.I.S.E. Project is my Journey. May the crooked roads it leads me down be paved with white gold and swiss chocolate, curiosity, patience and gratitude.

And may it all slow down just a little bit….

never been kissed

 

Saturday in the Park

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Hurt, fear, anger, disappointment, pain.

It has been an incredibly sad and emotional couple of days and though I wish I could numb the cruel sting of it we cannot selectively numb pain because when we shut out the darkness we also shut out the light. We have little choice but to feel the emotion, the fear and the discomfort of the uncertain days to follow.

John Lubbock said that happiness is a thing to be practiced, like a violin. It is times like this, when tragedy strikes and innocent lives are lost that I have to be reminded. I am embraced in sadness and disbelief over something I have no control over and even knowing how important it is to not let hate win, happiness in this moment feels wrong.

To all of the wounded and heavyhearted souls in Orlando, I see the wreckage that you are staggering through, you are achingly overburdened with grief and sorrow and so many of us wish we could help. Losing a loved one has it’s own anguish, losing a loved one to violence is unimaginable. When your loved one is murdered for simply living a life without boundaries, for being themselves, for loving freely and wholehearted there is simply no words I can offer to ease the pain or make any sense of it. The LGBTQ community is in mourning, the world is in mourning. We share in your grief.

I wish I could help you navigate your way through the horror, to take the weight off your chest, to tell you that someday you will smile again.

 

I feel helpless and you feel hopeless.

We have to remember to breath.

I promise to use my voice to share hope and not give hate an audience. I need to recognize the helpers because that is where I will find love and  peace.

I am going to take five minutes to pretend it is Saturday, in the park along the river, just you and me and the falling stars…

In that five minutes I will seek light in the darkness. I hope that someday soon you can do the same.

“it’s the kind of heartache you can feel in your bones”