Wednesday, December 31, 2008

First snow

Winter was spitting its first tiny white flakes onto city streets. Just enough to signal drivers to allow the slapping of wipers across their windshields. To some it was the dreaded dawning of cold weather embalming the world for three long months to come- or more. To others, mainly mitten clad children, it was the beginning of sledding and snowmen season as they frolicked down the icy sidewalks barely able to conceal their glee.
My son and I were travelling around paying bills and running errands. As the cold white matter began to tap the car windows, I felt my own personal despair rumbling in the pit of my stomach. Oh how I hate the freezing cold and trudging over ice and snow for what seems an endless season of stormy weather. As I settled into a frustrated ball of emotions, my son eagerly turned up the radio.
"Let it snow, let it snow..." The words of this seasonal song began to shake the interior of his vehicle and he laughed to see me rolling my eyes. My son, usually shy and quiet around strangers, rolled down the windows to share his glee with anyone who looked out upon the street as we rolled by. Still laughing, he began to sing loudly and pantomine the song's message.
For several minutes, I watched him interact with total strangers as their attention was drawn to the Nissan stopped at a traffic light and booming in spirited song. Some threw their arms up in surrender, others joined in his singing and smiled while passing by. This young man with a face-wide grin and an attention grabbing personality was foreign to me. His energy and positive manner were contagious and I found myself restarting the song just to watch his presence connecting happily with all around us. It was amazing to see him so open, so vulnerable and so able to spread joy and remain totally unashamed.
As we parked the car at home and headed into the house to warm up, I thought how wonderful it had been to peek at this new side of my son's personality. More, how amazing it was to see uninhibited joy radiate from one of the most unsuspecting people I know. Guess we never can tell where pure goodness will show its face next. Maybe that is precisely what makes joy so joyful.

Home Again

It was like going home again.
The sun cast its rays upon the waves leaving millions of sparkling diamonds crashing on the beach. With each slap at my feet, the water retreated to its depths for yet another cycle. Continuous. Endless. Peaceful. Pure. As I stood gazing ahead lost in the beauty of what truly is, the magnificence of the moment mesmerized my very being...glued to the ultimate reality of what matters most.
My heart synchronized its beating to the breathing of all that laid before me. The windy silence had a warmth to it...a calm pulse...almost touchable with my palms as they whisked away watery foam to grasp an opalescent shell from the shore. As the autumn sun hung brilliantly overhead, an incredible feeling of oneness united my soul with the beauty of this afternoon.
There was nowhere else on earth I would've chosen to be for this moment in time. Magnetized to the sandy shore, I walked under the bowl-shaped sky as every fear, every sadness, and every uncertainty washed away with the tide and all that remained was a quiet inner jubilation.
Fearlessness had led me here to the safety of this undeniable vulnerability and like the seagulls gliding across the waves, I floated calmly, trusting in the goodness of the moment.
As the night approached to reclaim the darkness, the horizon blended the skies and waters into one entity. The world had gone to sleep until morning when the sun would awaken the beach to breathe another day. I had come home and now fully believed in 'what is.'
Daybreak found me surveying the waters before my departure and the enormity of my shared oneness with the sand, surf and sunshine were enough to birth happy tears in the corners of my eyes. Evidence of my own inner peace and joy.
Down the highway with plans to return, I knew I'd found a special place where I could run to, relax within and find comfortable solitude anytime I felt the need. Magic had been created as I breathed the salty air.
There's no denying how incredible the weekend came to be...but its specialness will only be known to those who chose to feel its beauty and relax into its silence...I'm glad I took the time to live through my senses for a few moments in the 'nth' degree.
Here's wishing each of you a special time when the world stands still and touches you deeply.


One last burst of warmth before winter's cold tightens its icy grip upon us. It was one of those crisp autumn days when we feel restless. Unwilling to let go of fall's sunshine and almost afraid to look ahead toward winter's snowstorms, already peaking over the horizon. Watching the end of the colored leaves spiralling to the ground, I decided to take a walk through the local park.
Children were sneaking in one last afternoon of swinging, sliding and other outdoor activities. Their giggles floated on the air and tickled my ears as I passed by the playground toward the fenced off pond. A spot I had discovered earlier in the year when spring fever had me roaming the neighborhood.
It was quiet by the water. Only the sound of a slight breeze through the almost bare trees. Even the water was still as I stood reflecting and searching inward for a peice of calmness.
Since leaving behind my world of chaos and anxiety, I've spent many days sorting through ideas, thoughts, and yes, even memories. Boxing, labelling and storing away what was worth keeping. Letting go of more than I saved.
Most definitely this has been a transition year. A year of change. In fact, there have been times where I've stripped away so much, I don't even recognize myself anymore. Or at least, the person I've always known myself to be.
No, today was not a "mind in crisis" day, it was more of a "coming together of body, soul and mind" kind of afternoon. Redefining who I am. The truth of "what is" and full acceptance of that reality.
So many things I've longed searched for have been directly in front of my eyes and though I would like to use the excuse that I was blind to them, the truth is I was afraid of what their reality would entail.
Today I met fearlessness. I had touched it before, briefly. That awesome feeling of oneness with all things in my life where the sky could fold into itself and it wouldn't matter. I would be okay. Better than okay, joyous. The epitome of happy- from hair folicle to toe nail. Inside and out. Then slowly, my visits with this feeling became more frequent until today when it all just gelled.
It wasn't an earth shattering jubilation, but more of a quiet satisfaction warming from the pit of my stomach outward until my whole being became alive and radiant. As I meandered through the park, I could almost feel my thoughts, plans and dreams line up with a plan greater than my own.
So many questions no longer needed answers. I had found purpose for every obstacle I had ever overcome. Better still, I had found reason to celebrate every day of the rest of my life. Awestruck by the enormity of the universe, I couldn't help but wonder why I ever questioned life on life's terms, even for a second.
What an awesome feeling to know, and fully believe, we always end up where we are meant to be. We don't need to stress that fact. It just happens. When we stop fighting and find acceptance for this truth, wow, how much of a difference it makes. Our minds are no longer cluttered with mental garbage. We gain clarity.
How wonderful to be able to stand by a pond, surrounded by the beauty and wonder of nature, and know, no matter what, the sun will shine another day, the snow will fall, the spring will come and dandelions will again paint the country fields. Yes, all will be okay- including us- without our control.
Jumping back into my car, fully aware of all that's beautiful in my world, my insides remained warm and quietly grateful. Before turning the ignition key, I paused to breathe. One long slow breath. The exhale seemed to last an eternity, but once complete, not an ounce of stress remained.
My life may not be unfolding as I once imagined it would, but it sure is wondrous just the same. In fact, far more happier than I've ever had the capacity to dream.