Friday, August 26, 2016

Live Free

Painted on a highway overpass.
Live free.
What do these words really mean
Live free.
What about the painter, did he live free?
I imagine him hitch hiking his way across Canada.
People still do that up here.
We often see them on the side of the number one.
Alone or in pairs, patiently holding their thumb out.
Sometimes they hold a sign scribbled with their destination.
I long to pick one up and hear their tale.
What makes them tick?
What are they so passionate about, that they left it all behind?
Put themselves in harms way to follow the call.
Live free.
Who can honestly say they live free?
Live free.
Wise words from a highway overpass.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Transformed

Am I in heaven?
Sitting in the shade with my dog
Content at my feet.
Listening to the jays jeer and squawk.
The sweet chatter of chickadees to my right.
Then the most transforming sounds from the Jay,
not the racous caw but a gentle coo.
An idyllic scene and I am grateful for this
peace in my day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Let it be

An old friend was coming to visit, one I hadn't seen in a few years. It had already been an eventful day having spent the afternoon with yet another old friend - one I hadn't seen in 29 years! So, feeling a bit flushed, I decided to go meditate for awhile to calm my brain.

My husband had put on an old Springsteen album in the basement and I could hear it's muted songs in the bedroom. This music had been a soundtrack to my life, and I knew all the words by heart. I lay on the bed in the coolness and I listened to my breath. I struggled to find my focus, find my centre, surrender to my breath. After awhile I felt the slip and I was in. Utter relaxation, a pure peacefulness encompassed me. I lay watching the light swirl inside my eyelids, morphing and rolling. For a moment a thought of "is this bad?", and then in another beat "what if this is good? just let it be."

Not soon after, my eyes were opened and I write this refreshed. I wish the same for all of you.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Getting away from it all

We decided to stay home from the cottage this past weekend. Part of me hates 'wasting' a perfectly good weekend in the city, especially during the summer, but sometimes that's the way life goes. So instead my darling husband surprised me with a couple of days trips to local towns.
On Saturday he took me north of the city up to Lake Winnipeg. I've lived here ten years and we have never taken the drive to see this 'ocean' on the Prairies. We drove up to Gimli, a small Icelandic fishing village, and our first stop was the Crown Royal factory. For years he has told me how every drop of Crown Royal is made right here in Manitoba and while the plant is fairly non-descript the sign does say "global supply".

After that he took me to the harbourfront and we walked the pier. It was easy to imagine I was in a seaside town in a more tropical clime. Sailboats filled the marina and dotted the skyline on a lake so vast the opposite shoreline could not be seen. Having been landlocked in the Midwest for the past 20-odd years, it was a refreshing reminder of days spent by sea. After our stroll we hopped back in the car and meandered our way home, stopping along the way so I could see all the little towns along the way.

Sunday morning we headed out, debating where we might go. I'm never sure if Jim has a plan all along or if he just drives aimlessly until an idea strikes. We ended up driving west out of the city on the number one highway until we got to Portage la Prairie. A sleepy farming community that looks straight out of the 1970's. We stopped and bought some vegetables and took the dogs for a walk before our return trip. We decided to wander our way back, soaking in the sunshine of an August afternoon, the prairies were in all their glory. No matter what country road we turned down the corn was tall and the canola was lush and green, but best of all the wheat fields had turned into amber waves of grain. 

It's hard to describe the beauty of those fields; they stretch out as far as the eye can see, glowing with goodness. The unbelievable flatness of the land and overwhelming expanse of sky never fails to thrill me. After ten years of prairie living, I still imagine I am Laura Ingalls peering out the back of a covered wagon not knowing what lay before me, but ready to face it. I am so happy to live here and have the opportunity to feel the vastness and see the sky as a great blue dome over my head.

We had such a lovely weekend together. Life has been a bit stressful lately and these day trips were a long overdue treat, made sweeter because of the company. No matter what gets thrown at us, we always face it together. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer storm

Like most of North America, it has been unusually hot here lately. At one point today the humidex was 44°c (111°f) and, while I relish the heat, I'm afraid that is just a bit too hot. Certainly too hot to cook, so hubby grilled a steak and I made a salad. As I chopped the veggies I thought about what I was going to do next week when I'm on holidays. I have some fun things planned but I kept some time open, to see what inspiration strikes.

After supper we put on the TV, but there was nothing but mindless entertainment and news. I am tired of the news from Cleveland, so when I saw a storm brewing I headed outside. The sky was positively green and the lightning near constant. My neighbour came out to photograph the clouds as they  were putting on quite a show. There we stood, necks craned to the sky watching the way they rolled and swirled and billowed like smoke from an imaginary fire. A few drops began to fall and each of us retreated to our respective stoops. Georgie, a devotee of all things outdoors, came to join me. It was still hot and I reached out my arms to catch the coolness. I rubbed it on my hot neck and felt the breeze. I made up my mind that next week, when the brain train arrives I will go and stand outside in the night air. I want to smell the earth and sky until I am ready to return to sleep. That sounds like a good plan. My little dog and I watched the spectacle side by side until we were more wet than dry.

Hubby said he was off to bed with Minnow and would watch the storm from there. Georgie and I headed out back to the screened in porch. The wind was roaring and the trees danced back and forth to an orchestra of thunder, illuminated by nature's light show. The rain eased and my girl seized her chance to play once more. And slowly the sky turned from grey green to golden. I stepped out to get a better view of the changing sky and was astonished to see a rainbow stretched across my horizon. Once again my neighbour appeared and we marvelled at its brilliance. A raging tempest turned into a colourful display. The light always follows the darkness and we must not forget.

The air has cooled, the lightning finally ceased and George is happily chewing a stick. It's time for George and I to join the others and prepare to meet the new day. I don't think that train will be stopping here tonight.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Awake

The Brain Train showed up at 3:57 am today, a bit later than usual but unwelcome nonetheless. I did all the usual things; fluff my pillow, close my eyes and concentrate on my breathing but I remained awake. My hubby stirred and reached for my hand and held it. But even his sleepy tenderness couldn't calm me back to sleep.

I longed to get up and stand in the yard. Smell the approaching morning and feel the cool air on my skin. Instead I laid still and listened to the morning wake. A blue jay called to its mate. And then a call back. A crow awoke and cawed his creaky good morning. I stayed quiet.

A half an hour passed and hubby woke for work, no alarm clock for this man. He wakes when he has to, a trait that I envy. He can also fall asleep faster than anyone I have ever known, something I can't imagine. I got up with him and he hugged me and suggested I go cuddle with my dog. I climbed back into bed and woke a comatose Georgie and hugged her like a stuffed toy. A quick kiss and an 'I love you' from the husband and I was left with just over an hour until I needed to be up.

I managed to fall back into a deep slumber and was startled by the alarm clock. The morning routine fell into place but 4am lingered in my mind. I wish I had the freedom to escape my bed and sit with the birds. To watch the moon set and the sun rise without any worries. I'm getting there, at least I hope I am.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

In the garden

I can't find the words to describe
The light through the lilies.

The bean vines reach higher and higher Towards the sun.

And even though the sun is setting
I have hope for tomorrow.