Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ah, a smile at the end of the hissy-fit

I think Mother Nature and Queen Victoria had a tiff this past holiday weekend and Mother Nature threw a hissy-fit. The old girls sure didn't get along that is for sure. We had wind, rain, cold temps and even a threat of snow, so a real damper was put on gardening plans, camping trips, opening the cottage rituals and sighting seeing tours. We had to dodge raindrops and fight our way through gale force winds on our jaunts around the region with our company, but we warmed the air with laughter and made our own sunshine, so a good time was had by all in spite of the weather.

Mother Nature calmed down yesterday, and by today she was feeling her old chipper self so we went out to enjoy her company. I have a house to clean, washing to do, letters to write, blogs to read, and plans to make for our next set of company, but today we just had to listen to our hearts, dust off the bikes and go for a ride in the sunshine. I packed a picnic lunch and off we went.

Lilacs scented the air all along the route and we found this delightful bench in a quiet spot beside a waterfall for our picnic lunch. I don't know who Kathy Roberston Gleeson is/was, but she does have a beautiful smile, and I enjoyed sitting on her bench and sharing the day with her.

This is a view of the garden we sat beside and AC has posted a picture of the view of the water our eyes feasted on while we munched our lunch. It was marvellous indeed.

Before we set off this morning, I was reading a new poetry book my sister gave to me on the weekend. Phrases from a Mary Oliver poem I just read, tumbled through my mind as I watched the water tumble over the waterfall.

I didn't want to "breath just a little" and "call it a life". I wanted to inhale deeply and experience it all. Could I shut out the voices of "caution and prudence" and "fall in", just like the water was falling freely over the waterfall? Splish, splash, fall in, fall in, fall in! Oh joy.

Take a deep breath and fall in with me. Yes!

Talk to you all later. Take care.

Here is Mary Oliver's entire Poem just in case you want to read it too.

Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches?
by Mary Oliver

Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches
of other lives
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey,
from the branches of the young locust trees, in early summer
feel like?

Do you think this world is only an entertainment for you?

Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy to let you in!
Never to lie down with grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over
the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life.

Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?

Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?

Well, there is time left-
fields everywhere invite you into them.

And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?

Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!

To put one's foot into the door of the grass, which is
the mystery, which is death as well as life, and
not be afraid!

To set one's foot in the door of death, and be overcome
with amazement!

To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
god the ten-fingered, sailing out of his house of straw,

nodding this way and that way, to the flowers of the
present hour,

to the song falling out of the mockingbird's pink mouth,

to the tiplets of the honeysuckle, that have opened
in the night.

To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!

Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?

While the soul, after all, is only a window,
and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep.

Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses:
deny me not
but suffer my devotion.
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them. Maybe

I even heard a curl or two of music, damp and rouge-red,
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.

For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?

Fall in! Fall in!

A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves, and what's coming next
is coming with its own heave and grace.

Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chanced, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?

And I would touch the faces of the daisies,
and I would bow down
to think about it.

That was then, which hasn't ended yet.

Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean's edge.

I climb. I backtrack.
I float.
I ramble my way home.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Is it soup yet?

I have no idea!!! I am not even in the kitchen these days, let alone near the soup pot. Sheesh! The mixture is on the back burner, way way way at the back of my mind and I am not tending it at all. We have been super busy since we got back from our grand holiday and it doesn't look like it will get any less hectic for the next while yet. Company arrives this morning for the long weekend and when they leave in the middle of next week, it will be full steam ahead to get ready for Lady Bug's visit and her graduation celebration.

Hopefully AC will keep you posted on what is happening in our little corner of the world until I get back into writing mode again.

It is a cold rainy day here, but the sunshine promises to make an appearance tomorrow. Yahoo! We want to visit all the nooks and crannies of this most beautiful part of the province with our company this weekend and it would be nicer to do it in sunshine than rain.

Hope the sun shines on you this weekend too and you have a fun but relaxing holiday weekend.

Take care.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


All the emotions from the trip are still simmering and stewing on the back burner of my mind, and hopefully soon, it will be "soup". I look forward to serving up a steaming bowl for you to enjoy with me when it is "soup", but in the meantime let me prepare a plate of appetizers of this and that to nibble on right now.

I seem to be sleeping the clock around trying to get back into this time zone and routine of everyday life once again. Each morning I rise a little earlier and that is a good thing. Maybe by next week, I will be back in the groove again. One can always hope anyway.

AC is busy working on pictures everyday and posting lots on Flicker. When I haven't been busy catching up on my sleep, I have been unpacking, washing, restocking the fridge, and doing other fun things like that. Company is coming on the May 24 weekend, and then we are off to visit Lady Bug and Power Puff so I have to get my act in gear soon. Slowly but surely I am getting there.

We went grocery shopping the other day, and when we were done with that task, we indulged in an extra large Tim's coffee, thick with rich cream. MMMM good! We took our treasure to the park to savour it there. We sat in that most beautiful spot by the Unmighty Mississippi River and soaked in the lush green beauty of spring bursting forth all around us. After the dry dusty countryside of Sedona, Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly, I felt like my body soul and spirit were taking a long deep drink. The grass and trees were so green and moist, the river so wet and blue, and the sky so bright and clear that I just sat there and gulped it all down deep into my being. It was sooo good to be home. Canada Geese frolicked by the river's edge and my spirit rejoiced as I watched their antics. Ah, home sweet home. I loved the trip to the Grand Canyon, but it just makes the beauty of home all the more special.

My bed and pillows are the best and most comfortable in the world; the sheer luxury of puttering down to my own kitchen to make coffee in the morning, a real treat; greeting the day out on our little sun porch, the best place on earth to do it; a walk through our neighbour and along the shores of the Unmighty Mississippi truly wonderful; a bike ride in the spring sunshine of our little town, a real adventure; coffee at Tim's and a visit to the park, thirst quenching for body and soul. Yes, the trip was wonderful and I have a plethora of happy memories, but home is where I love to be.

The trip has given me new spices to add to the "soup" of my life, but the stock and substance is where I live and I love it.

Let me sprinkle a few spices from our trip on this small plate of appetizers.

Sunset at the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. What a wonderful time of day to be there. After the long plane ride it was a treat to get out and stretch our legs and end the day in this peaceful place.

The garden had myriad iron sculptures placed here and there to add contrast and companionship to the many varieties of cactus. This sculpture spoke loud and clean to me in that quiet space. - take time to listen more and maybe not talk so much. There are so many wonderful things to learn by listening, really listening.

The only cactus I had ever seen before this trip were tiny little specimens in plastic pots at the supermarket. The size of these beauties stopped me in my tracks.

As the sun set I listened to bird songs accompanied by insect chatterings, and I heard sounds that never touched my ears before. Marvellous, just marvellous. Take time to step outside your door tonight and listen really listen to what nature is saying just beyond your door. You might be amazed at what you hear.

Hope you enjoyed this little appetizer. Soup is almost ready.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Home sweet home

AC and I at Desert View point in the Grand Canyon.

These two weary travellers are home safe and sound from their trip and are now trying to get bodies adjusted to this time zone again.

Oh, we had a Grand and glorious time indeed, and we sure didn't let any grass grow under our feet. Our motto was - we can sleep when we get home - so we were up early each morning and didn't stop till late each night in order to squeeze as much as we could into every day. I think we packed three weeks of sight seeing into one week!!!! Yikes! At the end of the trip I was on sensory overload indeed and felt like I couldn't take in one more breathtaking view.

I am going to need a few days to let everything sink in and gel in my mind before I can write coherently about our trip. I have so many sensations tumbling through my mind right now I don't know where to start recording thoughts and feelings about them. Seeing the Grand Canyon was something I dreamed about for many years, and now that the dream has come true I am having a hard time articulating my feelings.

I was overwhelmed and awed by the beauty of nature all around me with each step that I took. The Grand Canyon, the red rocks of Sedona, the intricate etchings in desert sands, the tortured and twisted canyon trees, the fresh beauty of oasis trees, the diversity of cactus, the strange beauty of lava cones and flows, the delicate beauty of desert flowers, the thrilling sound of bird songs at sunset, the ever changing desert skies, the rocks shaped and decorated by Mother Nature, using only her tools of time, wind and rain. Oh my, she is such a talented artist. I am totally in awe of all that I saw.

Complimenting the beauty of nature was the touch of friendship. Meeting old blog friends and hearing the sound of their voice was such a treat. How amazing to meet for the first time, yet feel like old friends.

AC has lots of pics over on his blog, and will be posting more each day, so be sure to check it out.

Now it is time to make some lunch, pick up at coffee at Tim's and go sit by the water and let the beauty of home wrap its arms around us and refresh us after our rather wonderful but exhausting trip.

Hope you find a refreshing spot in which to sit today. Wrap yourself in the beauty of home and enjoy.

Talk to you all later.