Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bear and Broken Tooth

Last week, as I was enjoying my dinner, I broke a cap on one of my teeth.  The cap was porcelain; when it broke, it felt like a broken shard of glass to my tongue.

It was time to find a dentist. This is one of the things which was put off, when we moved. And since I am not partial to dental work, it would have continued to be put off, had my cap not broken.

Procrastination certainly comes to the fore when it comes to dentists and me.

I made an appointment with a dentist to whom we had been referred. That was the easy part.

When I was a child, dentists seemed to be little more than cruel, grumpy men. One even suggested he might like to strap me in the chair, if I continued to move around.  And having work done on my teeth reminded me of a construction site...the sounds of the drill and other accoutrements of dental work were very like the whining, buzzing reverberating noise of a table saw, router or drill.

Only louder.

I did not easily heal from these early childhood visits, either in body or mind. There were constant infections which appeared after a visit to the dentist, auguring more and more visits to the very same dentist who had incurred them.

I've spoken with many people my age who have similar memories of dentists from their childhood.  We wonder...Where did these men get their training? And why were they all so cantankerous?

I lived in a small town where there were only one or two dental offices, as I grew up. Both dentists went to the same school, it seemed; there was no sense in trying the other for better care.

Friends of mine went to a larger centre for dental work; I was not so lucky.  I used to listen to their trips out of town to visit a dentist who gave them lollipops(!?) when they were finished, leaving me in total awe.

Time goes on, however, and as much as I ran away from any dental work as I matured, there came a time when my teeth required it.

I was completely surprised at the difference between the dentists of today and the dentists of yesterday. When I finally went, there was huge understanding and acceptance of the fear I had, and my dentist, at the time, did everything he could to make me comfortable.

I swore I would never use another dentist again. And then I moved...

I reminded myself of the difference between now and the past regarding dentists, as I drove into Williams Lake.  But the small child who resides within me clamoured to be heard. I became tense and nervous, as I listened to that small child who would not be silent.

The office looked and smelled and sounded like any dentist's office, except this one had a sculpture of a life-size Bear at the entrance.

Bear has guided me throughout life, as he has for many of the human population...the ones who held a Teddy in their arms as children know what I mean. I've told Bear many, many secrets, not the least of which was my fear of Dentists...

What were the odds I would find a Dentist's office with a very large Bear guarding the entrance? I smiled to myself as a great calm descended over me, when I stroked his giant claws. Had this Bear not been three times my size, I would have hugged him. And I wondered...how many others have been calmed by passing this huge sculptured wooden Grizzly Bear on their way into the dreaded Dentist's office?

The visit with the hygienist and the dentist went well...my new dentist seems very young to me, but she certainly knew her stuff!  She filed off the offending portion of the broken cap on my tooth, informed me I needed a new one...and oh, by the way, there is another tooth which requires a root canal and cap...

Oh well...ageing hits teeth as well. And certainly, at my age, it is time to let childhood fears go.

On the way out, I thanked Bear, stroking his long claws, and smiled to myself at the jolt of energy I received from Spirit through Bear.

It is reassuring to me that he is there, since it seems I will get to know him well during the next few weeks...and I am sure I will require Bear's special brand of energy again.

It is all very well and good to proclaim it is time to let childhood fears go; I know well that on the day of the dentist's appointment, I will need Bear's strength.

If only to help me stop the profuse sweating at the thought of the root canal...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Late Summer

As I went on my morning walk with the Dogs this morning, even with a tropical South Wind blowing her powerful, melodious song through the Trees, there was yet a sad and nostalgic feeling of Fall in the Air.

On the other hand, the strange, wistful and sad feeling is accompanied by anticipation of a new Season, one which promises stews by the Fire and warm, woolly sweaters on chilly mornings.

There are very few mosquitoes these days. The days are mellow and warm...sometimes even Rain makes an appearance.  The garden looks better than it has all Summer. Some of the Shrubs I planted did not make it through the hot drought we experienced here in the Cariboo.

But I live in eternal hope.  I have pruned them back, these Shrubs, and there are small, new leaves appearing on some of them. So they haven't entirely departed this Earth.

I have a huge bowl of Tomatoes, with more ripening in the greenhouse. There have been Cucumbers, Green Beans and Peppers.  I have even attempted Edemame Beans this year and each plant has a few ripening Beans.

On our walk, I pick up large pieces of ash which are attributed to a catastrophic house Fire just down the road.  The house burned right to the ground; only the stark, lonely fireplace still stands sentinel over the blackened area.

I remember how anxious I became, on Sunday, as I watched a huge plume of dark smoke billowing up into a cloudless Sky, when our neighbour's house caught Fire. The Fire Trucks' horns were screaming, but at first, there was nothing visible...and then we heard a blast. At that point, because the smoke was in the same area, I thought it was the gas pipeline, which runs right beside the burning home.

The Firemen did not manage to save the tinder dry home; but the barn and outbuildings were saved, and there were no injuries.  The Fire did not spread, beyond the house's footprint.  Still...it was a sad Day.

I notice how some of the Leaves are turning on the Aspen Trees. The Cariboo is spectacular in Autumn. It is fleeting, as is the full, first flush of Spring...yet Creator uses His paintbrush to its utmost creative capabilities for a month or so, before the Cold enters.

I remember how, last year, the view of the landscape and the feeling surrounding me tugged at my heart strings. The golden Hills, the deep blue Autumn Sky and the golden Aspens present a warm, serene Light and a welcoming feeling in the midst of one's insides. I am looking forward to hearing and seeing Creator's harmony in colour once again.

I will miss the variety of Birds, however, over the coming Winter. Just the other day, as I stood with my hand on the railing, and looking to the side, I felt a featherlight touch on the back of my hand. I turned my head...and there was a tiny Nuthatch who had alighted upon my hand.

How light he was! Astonished, I looked at him, just as he was at me. I'm not sure how long we looked at each other...it was a few minutes...but I left the incident feeling all was right in my World!

A part of the sad nostalgia I feel at this time of year is linked to the ending of the gardening season. After Snow flies, it will be many months before I see anything resembling Soil again. 

During the coming Days, I will begin to put the garden to bed. I will tuck mulch around the vulnerable new plantings, and prune to below where I think Snow cover will be.

And I will make new Beds, extending the ones already there. A larger Bed will hold more moisture than the smaller ones, during the drought-laden coming months. Once again, Bulbs will be planted...I believe Owl and Hawk have done their jobs and kept the Squirrel population down. 

Perhaps, with fingers crossed, I will have Daffodils and Tulips in the coming Spring.

Endings, in most cases, promise some sadness. I feel wistful when I think Summer is over.

But they also promise new beginnings...a complete and perfect circle.

"Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature's delight.  Marcus Aelius Aurelius

And so it is.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Inner Barometer

After a hot, dry and Windy Summer, Rain has finally arrived. I woke to the sound of Wind and Rain beating against the windows this morning...and I will be forever thankful for it.

If the weather never changes, life, for me, becomes rather humdrum. There are not many people who dislike constant Sunshine, but I am one. Perhaps it is because I grew up on the Coast, where lashing, cleansing Rain is very common. Sun is the one who hides on the Coast.

Lifelong residents, here in the dry Interior of the Province, begin to dislike Rain after a couple of hours of it.  I've lost count of the number of people I've run into who comment very strongly that they've had enough! It is beyond their imagining, I think, that one could actually enjoy the slipping, sliding drops of Rain which fall with such unerring accuracy upon one's body...the ones which find an opening in outerwear and tickle.

Rain has some disadvantages, for us, at the moment. We are in the middle of placing utilities in the new Woodworking Shop Graham is building. This includes digging a trench from the house to the Shop, in which to place gas and electricity lines.

Well. For the first time in months, the Heavens opened on the day the closure of the trench was to occur. Rain fell in sheets...not just for a short time, either. 

Our contractor had already dug the trench previously. The gas and electricity lines were in place. On this day, since UV rays can affect the cover to the gas line, it became imperative to close the trench quickly.

But it had begun to Rain in the aforementioned sheets.

The Soil, over the Summer, had shrunk and dried with not a teaspoon of Water anywhere close to the surface. I personally thought the contractor would have no problem for hours, even with the torrent of Rain.

But within seconds, the Soil had turned into a gluey, slippery  slick mess. It clung to everything...my shoes gathered the mud, giving me at least six more inches in height. The excavator slid from side to side, trying, without success, to gain purchase.

All within minutes. The excavator gave in...to tackle what should have been a simple fill, another day. Soil here has properties all its own.

During the same Storm, Rain held Graham back as he struggled with placing the panels of metal for the roof. A hole had been cut for the chimney, letting in Water, which leaked upon the stove. Again, there was some measure of urgency which required him to be on the roof, in heavy weather.

There was danger involved here, however, and I am sure only Graham's extensive Mountain and Rock-climbing experience brought him down safely. My heart was in my mouth as I watched, even as I intuitively knew he would be alright.

More and more moments of pure "knowing" are occurring these days. Perhaps they were always there and I am only now becoming proficient at drawing upon them, but lately...!

I have discovered I have only to visualize a thing...and it arrives.  If I am looking for something and ask for help, I will find it within minutes. If I want a person to call...he or she will get in touch. It felt odd, at first...and now I mostly accept each occurrence with an extension of gratitude to the Powers-That-Be.

Yet, these are all, without a doubt, small things...small miracles. Big things, things which have many strings attached, are beyond my ability.  I cannot stand aside for these things, as yet. If it matters to me a great deal, I tend to meddle in the purity of the vision.

But the pure "knowing" if an event will turn out favourably or badly...this ability seems to never leave. It is an inner barometer.

Just now, the weather barometer calls for more Rain.  Thunder and Lightning is predicted.  But just at this moment, Sun has found a break in the thick, dark cloud cover...and has shown what Rain has really done.

Every item, from our home to the lowliest Bush, shines and sparkles, water droplets winking and blinking their scintillating smiles everywhere.

Mother Nature has been cleansed and rinsed clean.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I heard a little tidbit on the economy this morning which made me laugh...and remember.

Apparently, sales on men's underwear are up. Now, I don't believe this means men have suddenly decided to upgrade their decrepit, torn and stretched underwear, on purely whimsy...and neither does Alan Greenspan.

Over the years, tracking men's underwear stocks have shown, during bad financial periods, men don't renew their underwear...at all. Not even one lonely pair. Apparently, the usual flat line of underwear sales even begins to dip.

But as soon as a recession begins to wane, men's underwear sales suddenly spike up from the aforementioned flat line. The deduction?  Financial matters are on the upswing.

I don't believe for one minute it is actually the man doing the buying.  Rather, it would be his significant other.

Every man I have known forms an inordinate attachment to his old undies. Replacing them (on their own), recession or no recession, would require extreme intestinal fortitude...

But I don't believe it is only men's underwear, which women are buying, that should show an upswing...recently I felt flush enough to try and replace my old pair of undies. 

There again.  I also feel an inordinate attachment to one pair of underwear which I've had since the beginning of time. Certainly they have been with me through two marriages and a committed relationship.

At times, they have been very large, other times they're snug, and then there are the special occasions when they fit just right.  The material has worn thin, the cotton which covers the elastic has eroded...yet I am still comforted when I find them, clean and folded, in my underwear drawer.

According to Greenspan, it should be bras I am buying, since bra sales go up, when money is more readily available.  But it is not bras I seek. Rather, when I go underwear shopping, it is a quest to find another pair just like my old pair.  

And perhaps men are wiser than I. In this case, at least. Perhaps they already know replacing the old is more difficult than I think. It is a quest which undoubtedly will end in failure.

And so, they hand the chore over to their other.

In a rather convoluted way, my conclusion is not that of the financial experts, which says men put their underwear last on the list of expectations they feel they must fulfil first.

I think men feel similar to the way I feel, about my old pair. We've been through a lot together, those old panties and I. They are thin, the tag has long since faded, but they have comforted me through many crises.

The World feels better when I wear them.

I believe this strange attachment...and I know it is a little odd...has its roots in our two-year-old need to have a favourite blankie or toy near.  Recently, I read those sometimes decrepit blankies are objects of trust by these toddlers. In case Mom or Dad leaves, the child still has an essence of his parents, which he's transferred to the blanket he so loves and trusts for comfort.

Some children don't require loved objects to give them comfort. As adults, then, perhaps they are the ones replacing and buying new underwear, since attachment to something is not their way.

And how did I get on this subject?

Perhaps the chuckle I received when I heard the economy could be on the rise since men's underwear sales have gone up lead me to a strange muse this morning...