Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Brand New!

It's my absolute pleasure to introduce a brand new addition to our family...a 6 pound 13 oz. baby boy! He was born on March 27, 2007 at 2 PM.

His name is Graydon Lee H__ . He has his sister's inquisitive, heartbreakingly beautiful gaze. Just after a long birth, during which he had breathing difficulties and was taken by Cesarean section, Graydon was introduced to his family.

Wide-eyed and astonished, he met my eyes for a long moment, thereby imprinting his energy into my deepest being for eternity.

His birth ended a long, hard delivery. My daughter was taken to hospital at 2 AM. Gray and I traveled from Qualicum Beach to be with her and the rest of the family.

I am in awe of my daughter. She endured an excruciating time, with focus, determination and strength. When she was almost fully dilated, it became apparent that her baby was in trouble, yet she never faltered, helping the nurses and doctors do all sorts of invasive procedures to her body, while she was contracting. She earned the respect of the medical staff with how she dealt with her son's birth.

At first, there was no operating room available. Incredible as it seems, this was indeed the case. The baby was without oxygen, and it was our Doctor who knew how to keep him alive, during what seemed like an excruciatingly long time.

Then, suddenly the room was ready, operating staff were ready to go, and she was whisked away...with her husband left behind, with the rest of us.

There are no words to write, perhaps no words yet thought of, that can describe the next half hour or so.

And then the doors banged open, staff shouted, It's a boy!...and he's fine! And so is his mother!

I only finally saw my daughter for a few minutes after she came out of the recovery room, at 5 PM. Drowsy and spent, she remembered to thank me for my help during the labour. All I could whisper to her was that I loved her...other words left me.

I spent the remainder of the evening with tears running down my face, total joy and awe and thankfulness in my heart.

For awhile, during the latter part of the delivery, when mother and son were in distress, I kept a running litany with Creator...this time, as once before, I went straight to the top. This time, my prayers for a happy beginning were answered...with a well mother and little Graydon Lee.

He is still doing extremely well, as is my daughter.

A brand new baby has arrived amongst our family. Every time I've seen him, he has the most amazingly smug look on his face...he's congratulating himself for a job well done!

Friday, March 23, 2007


Everywhere I look these early days of Spring, there are seeds. Seeds that are breaking through the crust of Winter soil, seeing their first light of Day and greening Mother Earth bring delight to my Soul.

The weather may not be inviting; in fact, this morning, Seagulls wheeled above the house in huge numbers, signifying another Storm...

But Nature is not to be denied. She has a set pattern, a well-oiled Wheel that continues to turn. And so, Spring may be delayed a bit, as those Seedlings try to find the warmth that has yet to be given them, but She always arrives.

And the plants mostly adapt to aberrant weather. Some may continue to sleep, under their crusty blanket. Others chance it, pushing their way through, only to stall when there is no Sunlight and warmth. Others really push the envelope at times, only to die when their tender growth is nipped by a Frost they cannot withstand...

This particular Spring, I feel an embryo of change growing within myself. It is not time to break through the heavy Winter crust that I have covered it with. But it is beginning its movement. I am trying to make its environment as inviting as I can, when it finally breaks through.

I don't know what kind of Seed it is. Will it bear fruit? Or blossom into a beautiful nimbus of colour? Will it take years to mature?

There is anticipation, for I have ideas about the Seed's identity, only a vague, half-formed one, however. There are too many variables in my life, too many to pick and choose, too many cloudy, cold days that are not inviting just yet.

I must wait, emulating the wiser Seedlings.

But there are smaller Seeds, too. A new grandchild, date of arrival any day now, will pop through the soil covering my heart, carving out a new niche for roots of love to grow. There is a new Seed of respect for my mother's courage, as she wanders a well-worn path. Small germs of Seeds yet to emerge proliferate, within the deepest parts of me.

I catch a glimpse of the results, sometimes, when I meditate. Any one of those new germs of verdant adult plants would indeed be wondrous!

But, as any gardener knows, the Soil must be prepared first. There cannot be too many stones in the dirt, which would impede the hairlike strands of roots of the Seedling. The Soil must be kept moist, for the Seeds to emerge from the crust that covers their hearts.

Care must be taken that too many Seedlings don't emerge at once. It would make them all weak and spindly for lack of nutrients. It is necessary to thin and weed out what doesn't serve...

A difficult thing, sometimes, for a small germ of an idea, which, with wisdom and acceptance, one finally realizes will not grow to healthy heights, as yet.

But there is only so much room for roots to grow, only so much time in a day.

I ask my guides for help in giving me the wisdom to grow only the strongest Seeds, the Seeds that will do well.

I ask, also, that those other Seeds will wait for germination, until I have prepared the way...

And I ask for patience in accepting there is a mysterious pattern at work in life. I understand that there is an intelligent and orderly plan behind seemingly random changes.

I understand Spring and her well-oiled turning of the Wheel, on her own Time.

My Seedlings will grow, with love and gentle care and Creator's time.

Friday, March 16, 2007


I was given a copy of Susan V. Bosak's book "Something to Remember Me By" for my birthday in 1998. Bree signed it, at the age of three, with beautiful, varied squiggles. This book is one of my treasures.

I never fail to cry when I read the story.

So it is difficult for me, when I read my mother this small story, to keep the tears at bay. I never know whether or not she understands the whole of the book, but she surprises me always. At some point in my visit, the story will have nudged a memory or two...and we'll return to the past for a short while.

The story is about a little girl who visits her grandmother, usually receiving a memento from her at the end of each visit. Some are strange, some are wonderful, but the little girl keeps them all.

As time passes, life changes. Then it is the little girl, now an adult, who gives to her grandmother. And she understands, finally, why her grandmother gave her all those gifts, and what the most important gift and happiest memory of all is...their love for each other.

I remember as clearly as if it was yesterday, a time when I thought my mother was the bravest person on earth. We remembered that time, she and I, the other day. Her memory is different from mine...but when this incident happened I was about three years old...and of course, she was a grown-up.

We were on a scooter, my Mom and I. My mom was standing; I was sitting behind her. We came upon what looked to me like a very steep hill, deep and long. I gather it wasn't such a steep hill, but to my young eyes, I couldn't imagine going down that long winding hill, without losing control and crashing over the side. To me, it looked as if the road sat on top of a cliff...a drop-off with no end.

But my mother took me and the scooter, and faced that "hill" with panache, letting the scooter travel faster and faster. My heart in my mouth, my eyes as big as saucers, I clung to the seat of the scooter, not at all sure I would make it to my fourth birthday.

At the bottom of the hill, my mother skidded the scooter to a stop, turned to me, said something like...we made it! Her eyes shining, her hair windblown, to me she seemed like a warrior princess. She had faced that "hill" head on, with excitement and anticipation and yes...even as a toddler I felt it...a little fear.

I was in awe of my courageous mother.

And now, as she drifts in and out of reality, the snippets of her memories and mine become more precious each day. My mother was not a saint. She made many, many errors along her life path. Pigheaded, she is only now beginning to understand her life. And she is beginning to forgive, herself and others.

At this stage in her life, those old hurts and sharp pains take on a misty, faded quality. Suddenly, they don't really matter to her much anymore, less and less as the days go by.

Mostly, she lives in the immediate present. Breakfast, a meal partaken of just two hours ago, is forgotten. And that's okay.

The main thing is, she has not forgotten that courage I was so impressed with, when we traveled together down that hill. On a scooter which, she told me later, had terrible brakes.

Some might say it was a foolhardy act...taking a small child down a hill on a scooter with on- again off- again brakes. But my mother told me she knew she could get us down that hill, else she would never have attempted it. She tells me it wasn't a big hill. I don't believe her.

I would rather believe what she taught me that day. Perhaps what loomed as a steep road with terrible drop-offs with no end was not what she saw, but I did. Perhaps a small ditch would be a giant crevasse to my toddler's eyes. From my point of view, Mom faced a huge, seemingly insurmountable problem with awesome courage.

Just as she's displaying now.

This one simple memory is one on which I have based my own hurdles. It is a key...a remembrance which taught me to stand and face my fear, no matter the circumstances.

I have only to conjure up the memory of my mother's eyes shining as she turned to me and said...We made it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


The neighbourhood thrums with activity these days. With daylight savings time coinciding with what one might presume to be better weather, the sounds of hammers, lawn mowers, woodpeckers seeking their territory, and the whine of saws and machinery gives a different beat to the day.

It was odd...time changes usually bother me no end. But this one passed with nary a whimper from fact, it seems as if I might have finally understood what living in the timeless manner I strive for is all about.

Better weather?...Well, our March weather is quintessential early Spring...warm, misty rain one day, cold, howling hurricane force winds the next, bringing along a clear and dry warm day...and so it goes.

But time marches on, no matter what the weather is like...Birds are busy scurrying for soft pieces of dog hair with which to line their nests. Their busy chirping, mating calls, and territorial fights almost drown out the sound of saws from the next door lot, where there is a new house being built.

Woodpecker drums on any surface he can find, marking his place in the Universe. Unfortunately, our Woodpecker drums mostly on metal surfaces. And the resultant noise of his incessant drumming on the metal flashing around our chimney is driving me slightly off kilter. And if I feel that way, can you imagine how Woodpecker must be feeling? Headachey, to say the least.

Too, I will have to get used to big concrete trucks, delivery trucks and vans, trades and construction workers arriving next door on a constant basis...driving the dogs to distraction.

Both of them are so tired at the end of the day that they are hardly interested in waking up to eat their dinner. It is extremely stressful, they tell me, to keep tabs on the comings and goings of all these strange people, who are doing who knows what right next door!

But this afternoon a part of the panel of our fence separating the two properties fell over, the result of an altercation with the Excavator. I wasn't even aware of it, until I saw Lucky casually sauntering towards the opening. He was using his investigative body movements...tail straight up, ears alert, not drawing any attention to himself, moving slowly. Something's always up when Lucky looks like this!

Ahhh...the doorway to freedom!

And not only that. Other dogs and cats can get in, as well. Well, the excitement was not to be borne! And, without much surprise on my part, there was not a construction worker in sight, they having all decamped for parts unknown, before the fence fell.

It was their machinery which did in the fence, ergo...they should fix it, by all accounts. The workers will return at some point. Hopefully, they understand the good neighbour policy!

So here we sit, the dogs and I. My plans to join in with all the busy behavior of Spring by wheeling barrows full of mulch to garden beds have come to nought. Until either I or someone more knowledgeable than I when it comes to building fences, although I'm not averse to trying, comes along, the dogs are banished inside the house.

I can't bear to leave them in, when they can see me working outside. There would be many tears shed. And Nate has a way of holding sadness in his eyes that can tear me apart. Lucky would howl the house down.

The best laid plans...

Normally, plans that are thwarted make me jumpy and uneasy and scattered. I started out that way, this afternoon when I couldn't have my gardening fix. But the Universe keeps throwing situations at me where I beat my head against an immovable wall. It's time to learn to shrug my shoulders and let things go a little more.

I find myself railing against circumstances which cannot change. I find myself asking for the Wisdom, Courage and Serenity more and more these days, when not so long ago, I was working and using the Serenity Prayer before the Wall showed up.

It was a small lesson, but one which I heard loud and clear. It is too draining to fight situations which just aren't going well. Energy flows away from me when, after trying this and that and the other thing, a situation is still not resolved.

At some point, I have to recognize where to stop. And usually, I am good at this, before my body tells me, in no uncertain terms.

But, just as the builders next door, just as the birds and bees and flora and fauna are...I am constructing a bridge to further enlightenment in the school of life. Just as the builders work with unforeseen circumstances, so is my bridge halted, at times.

And so, this time, when the Wall showed up...I took a nap.

Construction can wait.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Images of Spring

There is nothing like the scent of newly mown grass to invoke the feel and emotions of Spring, in side of me. The weather has been mixed; on this day, I decided it was time to mow the front lawn.

I had already given the back area its first haircut a couple of weeks ago. Now the front seemed dry enough to labour through the growing Moss and Grass with the lawn mower.

Many people don't like Moss in their lawn. In fact, a few years ago, I thought I was the only one who loved Moss...but lately, I see that Moss has come into its own with the fashion aficionados.

My mostly Moss front lawn can get quite hilly; little hummocks of the most unbelievable, fresh green Moss can make the whole look unkempt. To other people, mind you...I think it looks charming.

On the other hand, there is something to be said, too, for a wide, impossibly green, smooth swath of a Moss lawn expanse, in the early Spring. It rests my eye from all the brown, twiggy plants that are just now showing green shoots.

And it pairs beautifully with the Winter Heather, giving a the front yard a vibrant personality. Spring's handmaidens are clothing the garden, in preparation for her full-blown arrival.

Birds twittered and sang in the shrubbery, as I rested for a moment just before I finished mowing. I pushed on...and then the roar of the Red Monster was stilled; in that moment, just after the growl had been stifled...there was pure blessed silence.

Then the World's hum restarted. I put the Monster back into the garden shed, and went for my new Camera, a most appreciated birthday gift from Gray.

For people who know about such things, the Camera is a Canon A630. I know that it has functions, many of which I shall explore at my leisure. But what I love about this camera it that it is an updated version of my old Canon digital Camera. So I already know how to use it. There is not much of a learning curve...leave it to Gray to know exactly what would please me the most!

I also prefer the Auto setting. To use the rest, I would have to hesitate, take my attention away from the shot. I am more interested in the tiny window of the World that I capture with this wonderful tool. And it does a pretty good job, but I use Photo Editor, too, for the shot within a shot.

On this sunny morning, the Breeze whispered soft promises of Spring...tickling my ear as if a feather had wisped past. I was warm from mowing, so I took off a layer of clothes, grabbed my new camera to see if I could find any Blossoms holding court with Sun.

There were wonders everywhere! Tiny, unfurled buds, open blossoms and the in-between lay between warmed Stone and sheltered corners of the garden.

I wandered along, amazed at the speed of this Camera, as compared to my elder one. I didn't have to think and wait; I just shot pictures. The results are displayed here.

I planned walks along places of interest, as I wandered. The weather had been gray and foreboding more often than not lately, and Elder Camera did not work well with inclement weather. But this new one!

I planned to start a photo blog, showcasing my backyard and neighbouring points of interest. With this new camera, I could meander along and take photos at will, of whatever happened to catch my eye. I could explore the miniature world more...the world of insects, tiny buds and blossoms just about to appear.

I could wander down to the Beach, and take photos of angry Waves, or capture the serene kiss of the Water upon the Sand.

And who knows, I just might happen to capture a fairy or two...

All sorts of promises to myself appeared before me, as the scent of the cut Grass...the smell that is so recognizable, and so welcomed! engulfed me. It is the scent of rebirth and renewal. It showcases new options and gives a sense of anticipation.

And even though I know the reality is somewhat different, where my time is at a premium these days, some of these promises or goals the scent of Spring evokes are just sprouting seeds, reaching for the right time to break into the light of day.

They will happen, in Creator's own time. And my soul knows this.

The day left me in peace; sure of my goals. This is Spring's gift...the offer of renewal. It is up to me to find the wisdom to know when the time is right.

The New Camera appeared in my life, as a wonderful gift. It is up to me, too, to use it.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Storm Clouds

Storm clouds gather, on the emotional front. I can feel them, as an amor- phous black mass that shifts and pulsates around me.

Sometimes, a little Light shows through the mass...and I find some illumination in those rare flashes.

This Storm that involves family ties, however, has yet to break. I have watched large, seemingly... innocuous looking, puffy, white Clouds change their colour to grey and then to dark, undefined tones. They gather, the Clouds, with strong intent.

And the dark, weighty feeling that is the mass intens- ifies.

This is not the kind of Storm which peters out, which, after great foreboding, melts away into the Sun's light. This Storm will force a great cleansing...but not before a great conflict is endured by everyone who is part of the knotted tangle of cords.

A conflict where I will be challenged to face old beliefs...beliefs that are ingrained in every part of my life. The Storm will require me to cut, irrevocably, ties that no longer serve me well. It will require me, above all, to gather strength from my faith; to use full awareness, authority, clear intent, and impeccability.

Because amongst the conflicting emotional clouds that surround me, shape shifting into surreal points of view, I am catching small glimpses of the serenity I might find after the impending Storm.

There are sudden moments, when the ear-splitting sounds of Clouds clashing has abated, when the Air feels fresh and full of promise, when the scent of Earth replenished and reborn wafts through, and calm regains its foothold...these are the glimpses that give hope. And which make me realize I must stand and face this particular Storm, without running for cover.

I hear the promise, sent on the Wind, that there is tremendous new energy that will be brought to life, after the Storm breaks and is endured. There will be new freedom from the shedding of old ways of thinking. Shedding old beliefs that I hadn't even recognized as erroneous, they were such a deep part of me, also gives rise to sadness. I will mourn those ways of thinking that arose from wearing rose-coloured glasses...not seeing the fullest reality...only that which I wanted to see.

These are the promises; the Storm has not burst upon us yet.

It feels strange to watch as the arguments, the debates and quarrels escalate, and know, without a doubt, that they are absolutely necessary. It feels odd to explore a new order in my life, one where I dash many childhood beliefs, breaking them into smithereens...

And it hurts. As more and more of the garbage left over from years past find their way to the Light of Day, the more I must endure those shafts of pain in my soul. The baby part of my soul, the one who hasn't grown up yet, the one who so wanted to believe an ideal...that little part is very sore, very tender.

I must be very sure the baby part of me does not gain the upper hand in the upcoming bursting of the volcano of emotional lava that is suffocating my sisters and I, as we go through the tremendous change in all our lives by my mother's declining health. I want the balanced part of me to face this huge Storm that will soon be unleashed.

I have made my preparations. I want to go into the Storm with as many tools as I can gather. I must have clear, balanced thinking, not letting myself sway on the tightrope of life. I want to be very sure of the path ahead for more meandering along. I must be sharp.

This Storm of emotion is common, when a parent fails. When old hurts, old sores re-open...and there is a changing order that comes into play, one with a dark underlay. Who to believe? What to remember? Where is the gain or the loss in the parcels we have hidden in the dark, tunneled recesses of our collective minds? And when will the tied bits of string around those parcels...break?

Storm clouds gather, growing ever more ominous. It will be the bursting of the abscess that has grown, hidden, for many years.

Just as a tumultuous, passionate Wind and Rain Storm nourishes the soil and cleanses the dusty detritus off of Mother Earth's will these emotional drops that fall from the impending Storm nourish a new beginning.

One where we walk without the old, tattered parcels of pain.