Friday, December 30, 2011

Gardens of the Future

The light from the camera's flash in the perfect place...
We left the family two days ago and it already seems like forever. It was the best Christmas...I suppose other Christmases felt just as good at the time, but this one had just a little more added to it. It seemed there was just a little more loving energy, felt in all manner of ways.

Graydon and I became dentist and assistant as we played with his play-dough dentist kit. I made the teeth and placed them in Mr. Towell's cavernous, plastic mouth and Graydon drilled, made fillings and pulled any tooth that looked suspicious. And eventually...they all looked suspicious!

It was his favourite game...he even dreamt about being inside someone's mouth the night after we'd played hard with the toy. Perhaps he will become a dentist in future years...he may be surprised to learn, however, that not all patients want every tooth in their heads pulled!
My grandson Graydon pulling one of Mr. Towell's teeth, completely intent...

Brianna and I went shopping together on the Internet this year. She and I would go peruse the actual stores so often, when I lived close by. This year, we decided to try and shop together on the web and it worked very well. She found her items and I bought them...could there be any better way for a seventeen year old girl and her grandmother, who do not live near one another?

Our granddaughter Brianna, looking angelic, but do not be deceived...
She also modelled her graduation dress for us. Oh, my goodness! So many thoughts raced through my head as she stood before us in the glimmering, shimmery white dress! How could the baby I'd held in my arms, just yesterday, it seems, turn into this brilliant butterfly? I wanted to take a photo, but that will wait until the actual date. Suffice it to say, tears ran freely...

I enjoyed watching my super efficient daughter Heidi cook for the hordes of people who forever required food. I did make the stuffing for the Turkey...oh, and I made some butter tarts...but that was all I contributed this time to the holiday feasts.

My daughter Heidi washing the inevitable dishes...
Years ago, my daughter refused anything to do with cooking. She was sure it was not something she had any interest in whatsoever. But after a few years with her family, she's an amazing, passionate chef and loves to experiment with unusual ingredients. And after a summer spent in renovations, even her surroundings in the kitchen reflect her passion for foods.

A treasured ornament...
I am, once again, in awe at how the Universe works. You see, I am waiting for another surprise that is, most definitely, in store for her, another passion which will shock her with its intensity.

She will become a gardener. There are hints of it showing now. I want to chuckle; it is so obvious to me...

Once someone becomes passionate about cooking, about using fresh ingredients instead of canned or prepared foods, about finding out and realizing how many pesticides and hormones come in becomes interested in searching out the freshest, most local of foods. 

Yummy, cheesy biscuits...
At first, it is to showcase one's Art of Cooking. After all, one cannot show off a lovely salad with wilted Lettuce. But soon, interest turns to the taste of these foods. Surely, a row of Lettuce grown with love and care from one's own hands will reflect that love in its taste?

And this is how one thing, one passion leads to another...

Heidi, at some point, will become interested in the Soil and what it can produce for her, and I will be delighted to stand by and watch and offer advice, needed or not, heh, heh...

With extended families there is not always as much time as one wishes to have. We only spent an afternoon with our ten month old twin granddaughters...not nearly enough time for me to even distinguish the two with any certainty. I discovered, however, that they are intensely huggable, never mind which one it is...Kaleelah or Keauni.

Another suspicious tooth...yes, very slimy and disgusting, for sure!
Graydon was counting the days and nights we had remaining to our stay every day. When the time came to leave that little boy, my heart bled, as I know his did as well. It is the hardest thing for me to leave my family, all of them, knowing there are many things I will miss as they go about their lives.

Granddaughters Kaleelah and Keauni...
But. I am so grateful I am able to have great quality to our relationships, even if there is not much quantity. All of us in my family have worked hard to keep our contact with each other close, no matter the distance between us.

I find I love being a grandmother. I find it is, perhaps, my passion. It is so great to watch these little people grow into adults, with no more requirement on my part than to listen, advise and love, and with no expectations. What will be, will be. How different from parenting!

And so. Now I am at home, picking up the threads of my own life. What will be ahead, in the coming, tumultuous year?

A young mule Deer welcoming us home, back to the Forest...
No matter. I will live life day to day, as I have practiced doing for the last few months. I am becoming better at it; the difficulty is with knowing which day it is in the mundane World. Living life in the now, this instant, has its drawbacks, at times.

I wish all of you, those of you that have taken time out of your busy lives to read this long essay and those of you that haven't, all of you...a happy and healthy and abundantly, loving year in 2012. May you all experience balance and serenity and joyful, peaceful energies in the year to come...


Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The Gardener
The last month has been rushed; with Graham not up to par, me becoming ill with a particularly vicious little bug who did not want to let go, there has been little time to write. 

Once, not so long ago, I would have taken any opportunity to write. I would surmise circumstances do take a toll, as one ages and gains a little wisdom from the results of pushing oneself too early into responsibilities, after a flu bug strikes.

There is one thing, however, which has given me peace and has kept me balanced...

Over the last while, for perhaps a couple of months, I have felt the increasing urge to draw faces. Of whom, I have no idea. But the urge is strong and I find myself drawing a face each and every time a pen and a piece of paper present themselves.

This is something very new to me. I am a painter of landscapes...drawing something is not a thing I have explored, letting alone drawing faces of people only I can see.
The Teacher
I am a doodler; a sketcher of wishes and dreams. The faces displayed here have been scanned. It seems blue ink does not scan as well as black and so much of the detail is lost. But there is much more character...lines and the faces than you see here.

And that is not something I would have thought I could do...fine detailing such as I have been doing would have been anathema to me, even just a few months ago. I did not have the patience.

But since the portals opened on October 28 and November 11, the urge to draw these fantastical faces, some of them, has grown stronger, if that could be possible. I find myself lost in time as yet another character appears beneath my pen.

The Librarian
And as well...I must tell you about the that has been recurring over and over for awhile. In the dream, I am in a classroom. The mood is joyous; it seems the entire class has passed a test, one that was particularly difficult. I do not feel as if I am singled out...I see my classmates and the figure whom I take to be the teacher, although he is vague. The dream becomes one so familiar, I  find myself sliding into it easily two or three times a week.

In the last dream, as I sat in my desk, putting papers was one of those old wooden desks we had in our elementary school, with the slanted top, pencil grooves and paste container hole, with scrolled metal sides...someone leaned over my shoulder. I remember being startled. No one had spoken to me before this.

I did not see him but I did feel his energy. He told me...Make sure you keep the drawings...

I did not think to ask why or what he was referring to. And in any case, I almost immediately woke up.

Keeper of the Hearth
After a cup of coffee, consultation with Graham and a very cold walk outside with Lucky, I concluded the fellow in my dream meant the faces I'd been drawing. There were no other drawings the dream man could have meant.

I had not been keeping any of the faces in order. They were took some time to gather them all up, learning to treat them with some respect, and scanning them. As I did this, I was astonished at how many there were.

It was as if I had drawn all these unknown faces in a dream, or at least without conscious effort. I had certainly not been giving them any respect...

I believe this is a lesson I had to re-learn. Once upon a time, years ago, I painted...mostly landscapes, as I've mentioned...and I took college Art classes for two years. It took almost six months in the class before I could take compliments on my work. Criticism was not difficult to take, but those who praised my work received short shrift.

The Poet
I knew I was not any good, you see, at painting. I took the classes only because I loved Art. I thought the people who actually paid money for my work were deluded.

This state of mind has its roots in a former high school Art teacher, who once told me I did chocolate box creativity there whatsoever. What I forgot, after a talk with the professor of my college Art classes, is that the high school teacher and I were at each other's throats, for much of the time I spent in his classes. And on a day where the World seemed too much for him, perhaps...on that day, he decided to lash out at his recalcitrant student.

I made an effort, after the talk with my professor, to look at my work with different eyes. I succeeded to a degree...but again, there was now someone in my life, my ex this time, who did not like my paintings or the time it took to do them, time taken from him...and once again, I let someone else decide the worth of my paintings. It was a very easy thing to do...I had not entirely shrugged off the
The Forester
idea that my paintings were worthless, even then. Having somebody corroborate that can see how easily I slid backwards.

After the dream, I remembered my conversation with the professor; I decided to let the feelings of worthlessness...because really, that is what it is...fall away. It was time to let garbage like this go. For good and all.

It really doesn't matter if the faces I draw are any good or not. I love drawing them.

The Baker
I don't know who these people are. They are figments of my imagination. It doesn't really matter...perhaps one day, I will actually meet someone who strikes a chord, someone who looks a little like these drawings.

The Universe works in strange, truly creative ways.

Without the dream, I know I would have continued to draw, but I would not have kept them or had any attachment to them. They would have been relegated to a pile somewhere, anywhere. I would not have recognized the passion I have only just re-discovered.

The Photographer
Perhaps I will have another which will tell me who these faces belong to.

These days, I wouldn't count that idea out...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mysterious Skies

Graham has been really ill over the last month. It began with bronchitis, which turned into a lung staphylococcus infection. He collapsed during our visit with the family and was taken to hospital by ambulance for an overnight stay. The infection cleared within two weeks, yet Graham still wheezed and coughed and could not get Air into his lungs.

Once again, he was hospitalized, where he was given Oxygen and ventilizers and other medications.  His stay this time lasted for four days...and his doctor suspects his illness is COPD. In a few weeks, he will see a lung specialist for confirmation.

We hope, in this case, his doctor's prediction is wrong, of course.

During all this upheaval, I found I could do very little. I wandered from one thing to another and I was no longer able to voice my thoughts. It was as if I were living in an empty space...a void...where nothing could intrude.

But I discovered something that did intrude, something that is awe-inspiring, miraculous and exciting.

There is a lot of activity in the Skies these days.

I discovered this one night about a month ago when I took Lucky out for his last walk of the day. Each time it is around eight PM and of course, it is very dark around that time. There are no lights of any kind that intrude where I live; flashlights are the order of the day (or night) when Lucky and I venture outside.

I am accustomed to seeing satellites crossing the night Sky, and falling Stars and Meteors. On certain nights, it seems as if the heavenly bodies hang by a seems as if I could reach out and touch them. The atmosphere is so very clear here; one can see for miles into the deep, black Universe. There have been many nights when I have wished for a telescope for the ability to see farther into the Universe than the human eye ever could.

I am not looking for UFO's the first evening I spot them, as Lucky and I venture outside. I am only looking up, and marvelling at the Stars. To my astonishment, as I stare at a vivid little Star, a tiny round bit zips away from it, sending out an especially bright green flare. It flies South, then West, then back North again...back to its original "Star".

What was that!...I say to Lucky, who perks his ears.

The tiny UFO flew so fast...if I could only describe how fast!

I think my eyes must be tricking me...tiredness and emotional stress over Graham must surely have taken over...

But then the little "bit" zips away again...this time, heading South in a winking, wavering line until it is out of sight. There are one or two flashes of an...electric type of green and pink. I am not sure I have described those unearthly flashes correctly...they were quite unlike anything I've seen before in the night Sky. Even Northern Lights pale in comparison, and are very dissimilar in any case.

I tell Lucky...They must have forgotten their toothbrushes...

For many reasons, that first sighting, and the ones subsequent to these, fill me with a joyful expectancy. I feel as if I have been washed clean and clear throughout, with a loving feathery touch.

I become addicted to watching the Sky, feeling quite out of sorts when it is cloudy. But one night, expecting Snow, I look up in time to see a Cloud light up with that unearthly flash again. This time, the brilliance was of many colours, although it did not have any lasting effects on the Cloud. The Light was there and then it was gone completely.

Another night, it had been Raining. But, right above me, Clouds had parted in a circle, leaving heavy Stars to hang in the void. I was looking North, above our house. I see three tiny UFO's chasing each other, making impossible configurations. Again, they seem to be attached to a larger "Star".

As I stare at the bigger "Star", keeping the little ones in my peripheral vision, I notice it is different from what an ordinary Star might look like. It looks and feels harder. The brilliance of it is digital and static.

As I keep my eyes on the fantastic display above me, there is a flare from the Star, which I feel more than actually see, if that makes any sense. And then, as I watch in complete wonder, I see pulses of some kind of energy wash slowly away from the Star, towards the protective ring of Cloud cover.

I can find nothing anywhere that tells me what those slow pulses might have been. They were slower and more precise than those a pebble dropped into a pond might have made, but very similar.

I watched three emanate from the "Star", before I became aware of how cold I was. Lucky, who had become quite excited as the pulses washed over us from above, had been at the door for awhile. The neighbourhood Dogs, who had began to bark and howl, when the first pulse appeared, had quietened, seeming to accept the consequent pulses or rings of muted light.

I decided to go in and warm up. Later, I went outside again, unable to resist. The circle of Cloud was still there. I watched for awhile, seeing nothing, but just as I was about to go in, the burst of Light occurred again...and again, there were the rings emanating from the "Star".

I wondered if those strange, intermittent pulses would continue all night. 

The incredible activity in the mysterious Sky has stopped. It has been at least two weeks since I saw the last strange Lights. I feel rather bereft...

I'm grateful for my time with these tinkling, teeny Lights in the night Sky. They took my mind off  the daily stress I was experiencing with Graham's illness. Strangely, they gave me hope.

Look up on a clear Night and study the Stars. Watch for the ones that move...

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Bubbles of Joy

On the bridge over the Fraser River
I find it so incredible that Thanksgiving is once more just around the corner. Where did the last months of 2011 go?

Soon, it will be Christmas! And then New Year's Eve...and the year 2011 will drift away into the past.

Years ago, when I was in my teens, I wondered where I would be when I was in my sixties. I didn't realize, at that age, how quickly the years pass...and that I would be here, in my dotage, before I knew it.

The Williams Lake Stampede Grounds
And really,I couldn't grasp the fact that each day would quickly recede in my memory, into the mists of Time. In my youth, I truly thought I would remember each and every moment...of heartache, grief, intense joy and anger.

I do remember the dramatic, life-changing occasions...yet the details, the fine-tuning that occurred, what I did to learn the lesson that had been presented to me...those have mostly left me.

Williams Lake
Sometimes, something will come up, however, in conversations or events that jog pieces of memories I've buried deeply. Dreaming also reminds me of choices I might have made throughout the moments, days and years of my life.

Not all of those choices were fact, many of them weren't. And these are the ones that come up, during quiet or even not so quiet, moments. It seems quite strange to me...I thought I had put the past completely to rest.

The beautiful, green Chilko River
But every once in awhile, a sharp dagger inserts itself into my heart...a dagger which reminds me a former decision may have had severe consequences...maybe not so much for me, but for others in my life.

It is quite like an awakening.

Pelicans! Photo taken from information booth
I've learned something, though, with all these old thoughts and decisions I made years ago trumpeting their way back into my mind. This time around, when those past actions return to haunt me, I actually am able to face them, to unravel them, to allow the hurt to appear, to forgive others and myself, and then to let them go.

Something I quite obviously did not do the first time around, when these events actually happened. I'd guess the actions required to reach forgiveness were not done at the time.

Information Booth
It seems to me, during this flood of folderol which moves through my senses, I am happier after I've let some relatively small thing go...and so, as these past events assault me now, I have learned travelling to the other side...the forgiveness side...well, it might be difficult for a few moments, but once it's done...there are bubbles of sheer joy which flow throughout.

So even if time passes so quickly and memories fade with its passage, it seems events which turned out badly, if they haven't been dealt with, will come the age of sixty, or seventy or even older.

Hay field in the Chilcotin
I know a lady who is 95 years young, with an inoperable cancer. She told me she lived her life in pure denial. Every time harsh words were spoken, every time an accident occurred, she would take the words or the accident and shove them deeply inside. So deeply, in fact, that more often than not, she never thought of them again.

Until now. With a laugh, my friend told me it was impossible to get away with anything...those deeds that were hidden in a bottomless void in her mind eventually caught up with her.

At the age of 95.

Thanksgiving, of course, returns each and every year. As I write this, I try and remember past holidays, specific things about Thanksgiving. I cannot. They all meld into one. 

An old barn in the Chilcotin District
This is the thing, though. I am not in control of when the troubling past returns for me to deal with. I wish I was...hurting thoughts, from the past, can engulf me at the most inopportune moments. And then, I can find myself reacting to something in an angry or emotional manner. I find my reaction is fuelled from a past event...and not the present one at all.

It's a really good thing to know...

I feel much lighter these days, those bubbles of happiness much more prevalent.

This year, we will travel to the Coast for another Thanksgiving with the family. This year, I will go with a little more awareness of what makes me tick.

The years pass by so quickly, as if life were all a dream.

The Sun, Clouds and a green Orb!
Perhaps one day, in the near future, I will awaken completely, to a life no longer held back by dark, slimy sludge.

Sounds pretty good to me...

Happy Thanksgiving! May your day be filled with good thoughts, from the past and the present!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bird Talk

I've been experiencing and enjoying some odd events over the past few weeks. I have no explanation for any of them; strangely, the urge to find a reason for them has gone. Acceptance is the order of the day. It makes my life so much easier.

I must confess I wake up each morning with a certain wariness...What will occur this day to make me feel unbalanced and anxious? So much is happening in the World...even a 6.7 Earthquake, along with many minor ones, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island hardly makes the News, when there are hugely terrifying events occurring elsewhere.

I feel Mother Earth is re-balancing herself, ridding herself of eons of negativity and pollution the human race has placed upon her. I am not making light of the terrible Floods, Fires and Quakes which keep happening...I send Oceans of Light and Love each time I hear about another Flood, another Fire, another Earthquake. It is about all I can do, at this time.

I find safety here, surrounded by the Forest and its creatures.With tall Trees ringing the entire property, the World and its problems so easily disappear from mind.

Lucky, my dog, and I, go for long walks around the property each morning. I check out the garden and Lucky checks out who visited overnight. It is not uncommon for me to go out in my pyjamas and slippers...this is a reward for living on acreage in the country. There is no one to see and judge and shake their heads.

It is peaceful and calm in that early morning hour. Last year, throughout the Forest Fires and the Smoke, many Animals and Birds converged here in this Forest, seeking safety. This year, there are not so many.  The extremely wet Spring took care of any Fires which might have caused chaos and even though we experienced  a heat wave recently, the nighttime temperatures are becoming frosty. The likelihood of any big Fires this year is decreasing daily.

And so, I have not had occasion to visit with as many Birds as I did last year. But there are a few...

Chickadees. Oh my, there are Chickadees. Let me tell you a story about those Chickadees and Lucky and I.

I was standing beneath the only Birch Tree inside the fence-line, beside a garden bed filled with flowering Plants, all seeded directly into the ground in late Spring. I was marvelling at how lovely it looked, after all the Rain we experienced over the last Spring. The Plants were still lush and wildly flowering; my attention was focused completely on the pinks and blues, reds and oranges of the different kinds of Poppies, Bachelor's Buttons, Daisies, Digitalis, Coreopsis, Cosmos...

By this time, Lucky was waiting for me to open the gate and continue on our walk. But I heard a Chickadee in the Birch Tree just above me. I looked up, and without a thought, I mimicked his voice...Chick-a-dee, dee, dee...over and over. 

It seemed as if he answered me and then his head tilted from side to side, as he watched this two-legged creature try to speak with him.

I noticed another Chickadee settle on a branch...then another and another...until the whole Tree was covered with the small, fluttering and hopping Birds! Each one's attention was entirely focused on me and my continuing bird speech...Chick-a-dee-dee-dee, Chick-a-dee-dee-dee...

Lucky was becoming aware something odd was happening. Whining, he looked up at me, as if to say...Stop this! Who knows which kind of Bird will appear next!...

I stood there in awe, still calling. More and more Chickadees flew in...the Tree was alive with them. I stood there for a good half-hour, sometimes speaking bird speech and sometimes human. I have no idea whether any understanding was reached...I certainly had no idea what the twitterings and chirpings, chips and calls meant.

But the energy surrounding us...the Birds, the Tree, me and the Dog...was warm and loving. I wanted to stay all day in what seemed like a comfort spot. But Lucky became restless, wanting to continue his walk and wanting to go as far as possible from the Birch-Bird Tree, which was just too odd in his mind.

I didn't know how to say good-bye to all the little Chickadees who had graced my morning. I didn't want to leave them, either. But I raised my hand, said a final Chick-a-dee-dee-dee, and walked away.

And the Chickadees flew off, as well, to do their daily foraging, I imagine.

I felt like a child on Christmas morning...what a gift Creator had seen fit to bless me with!

Lucky cannot forget what happened that day. When an Eagle flies overhead, most times they will call...and now, I try and copy the eerie sound they make. Lucky goes ballistic. I'm sure, in his mind, all he can see is Birch Tree filled with Eagles.

He has problems with the Raven who lives in this Forest, as well. Raven and I have had many conversations, his usual call being quite simple to emulate, although it can hurt my throat. The other day, though, Lucky had occasion to go outside, just as Raven was filching some of Lucky's marrow bone. Lucky rescued it, of course, and Raven flew up onto the Birch Tree. When I came outside, after watching the kerfuffle from a window, Raven began the most awesome speech.

He made glottal sounds, burrs and purrs, sounds like a motor running...Raven had quite a repertoire. His head bobbed, around and up and down. His long, black wings were spread at times, to give him balance, as he danced along the branches.

I wanted to answer him, in Raven speech, but could not mimic his sounds. So I spoke to him in Human speech...and it seemed as if he listened. He would stop his movements when I spoke. He would tilt his head towards me, and when I had finished what I had to say, Raven would continue his awesome talking.

At first, I wondered what he was saying. But then, I noticed that warm, loving energy again...and I found it really didn't matter...

But our Lucky is not so cavalier. He has taken to watching the Skies as well as the immediate surrounding areas, just in case I might decide to call another Avian. And when I tease him, by imitating Bird song emanating from the Forest, he becomes super excited, searching the Sky and the Trees.

It was interesting to hear from an acquaintance of mine, just after the Bird episode I experienced, how she was convinced that a Deer who visits her home every day seems to hold a conversation with her. She shook her head, as she spoke with me, telling me it was not a good idea to be that friendly with a wild Deer, but that she could not seem to help herself. She tells her Deer friend about her day, what she is having for dinner, etc. She tells me she swears she can tune in to what the Deer tells her, in return. And she says she only feels a little strange about the whole thing, although she also concurs that she rarely tells anyone about her Deer episodes.

I smiled. Welcome to my World, I say...

I find more and more people tell me about odd occurrences involving Animals. I believe it is because I don't judge, I only accept. If they say a thing is so, I know it is.

After all, it happens to me, more and more.

I feel the times are such that waking up wary is keeps me aware...the World and her re-balancing will go on for awhile.

There is nothing I can do other than accept this is the way it is, right now. 

Acceptance and learning Bird speech or Animal talk, even if Lucky disapproves, will see me through.

The Animal species knows a lot more about Mother Earth than I do...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Leo and Me

One of the gifts Graham received for his recent birthday was a gift certificate to a book store. The two of us whiled away some time perusing all the titles before one of the books Graham (and I, heh!) chose was  Georgia Nicol's book You and Your Future, a book on astrology.

Both of us watch Georgia on Global News on Sundays and have enjoyed her sense of humour and her accuracy. But I had no idea she would teach me something as profound as the Rising sign.

The Rising Sign is based on the time of day you were born, as opposed to the Sun Sign which is based on the day of the year you were born. Most of us know our Sun it Pisces, or Cancer, or Taurus, etc.

Georgia writes that the Rising Sign is my persona. It is how I project myself outwardly to the World, with my appearance and my personality. She tells me it's the style I use to get what I want, now and in the future. It indicates to me how I will make things happen in my life.

Now, I have always been happy with my Sun Sign of Pisces. It seemed to cover most of the peccadilloes in my personality. It sat right with me.

Georgia says my Rising Sign shows how I survived in my family.  Upon looking back, had I only had Pisces in my sign, I would have been swallowed whole in my family group, instead of only some parts of me.

Keeping Georgia's warning in mind about her Table of signs as being too simplistic (she suggests using an astrologer or Googling the Rising Sign Calculator in order to find your accurate Rising Sign), I found my Rising Sign to be....Leo!!

Ouch. Leo was my mother's Sun Sign. It was not until a year or two before she died that I grew closer to my mother, that I began to understand her. I wonder what my mother's Rising Sign was; there is no way to find that particular nugget now. Leo has never been a favourite sign of mine, keeping my mother's persona in mind.

And in looking up family members' Rising Signs, I find Brianna, my granddaughter, and Graydon, my grandson, have Leo Rising,  Graydon and his Dad both have Aries in their makeup (one as a Rising Sign and one as a Sun Sign), that Graham has Pisces Rising, and Heidi, my daughter, is a Pisces with Libra Rising. The twins are Pisces with Aries rising.

How very strange to find how intertwined we all are, in the eyes of Astrology!

I find the section on Leo with trepidation. I know quite a few people whose Sun Sign is Leo; I've liked and even loved them. I wondered what the negatives were in regard to Leo...had my mother been stuck in that contrary area?

And sure enough, the pessimistic words flew off the page on the negative qualities of the Leo archetype. Arrogance, pride, extravagance, ostentatious, egocentric, patronizing, opinionated, didactic, and uncompromising...all of these fit my mother well.

And then I all these words fit me, as well?

But according to Georgia's book, Leo's are also generous, principled, honourable, warm-hearted, forthright, energetic, brave and intelligent. Certainly my mother's friends thought so of her.

Georgia presents three broad qualities of the sign of Leo. She states the sign of Leo is creative, generates warmth, radiance and generosity, is a leader with a need for recognition.

AAAargh!!! The last part...the need for recognition...that part does not sit well with my Piscean sensibilities. But oh! did my mother ever require recognition! There were never enough compliments to make my mother happy, and I cringed each time she sought them.

Suddenly, in a strangely obscure way, I understand why I secretly love compliments, yet spurn them when they arrive as unimportant (Piscean)...and why my granddaughter, a Sagittarius with Leo rising, loves recognition, accepts compliments with grace and loves to create happy situations.

My mother loved to create situations, as well. However, many of hers were not as happy as I might have liked...

As I think about all this, I realize I have much to thank my mother for. My mother had many tough times, many crises in her life. She chose to become embittered; her choice led to my being strongly averse to living my life in that way. I watched her as a child and later a teen, at home, and I made a very strong, conscious choice to use optimism and hope, instead. I made the choice to work my Leo aspect in the most positive manner I could, even though I didn't realize how important Leo rising in my sign was, at the time.

Leo is the sign of the Sun. Leo is the Lion. I learn, by reading Georgia's book, that Leo can be timid, but will rarely show it. How true that is...I will face down any situation with a roar, yet tremble inside the whole time I do it.

Georgia went a little further for me, after I'd written to tell her how much I'd enjoyed her book. She actually drew out my Natal Chart and sent it to me, along with the other signs I need to read. She also told me I had the stronger Leo aspect, while my mother was the 'authority' in my life...and Georgia says...Of course you would clash!

Of course! I wish I'd known this years ago!

Georgia also advised me to read all twelve signs with reference on How to Be Happier  Chapters. Within the first few paragraphs on the Piscean chapter, I find familiar waters. I find, more than any other sign, Pisces people have the strongest ability of all the Astrological signs to manifest their core beliefs. Whatever Pisces thinks about their World becomes reality. 

For example, were I to wear rose-coloured glasses, as I try to do, most of the time, the World becomes a wonderful, magical place. Yet, were I to believe the opposite, I could become my own worst enemy...because the World, or at least my World, will become whatever my negative thought patterns conjure up.

No kidding.

A happier Leo, on the other hand, should forego their
pride and much a part of this sign. I hope my Sun sign of Pisces will help me achieve the positive parts of pride and arrogance. Georgia, in her book, explains the difference.

I've heard Georgia say many times, on television, that astrology is all about math. Looking at my chart, I believe looks like some mathematical test I failed at some point in my school years...

Astrology is great fun for me...I check where the stars and planets are every morning on the Cosmic Calendar. I have the added bonus now of having two signs to help me make sense of my day.

Even in times of angry disputes with my mother, a Leo, somewhere inside, no matter how ridiculous her assumptions, I knew where and how she had arrived at her conclusion. Somewhere inside myself, I understood her.

Georgia's book was really cheap at the price, if it means I move that much further along the completely convoluted journey of life.

I'm so glad I was with Graham, when he went shopping for his birthday gift...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Strange Times

Jack Layton and his granddaughter
I asked my Muse this morning to help me write something...anything. I seem to have no...oomph...for writing these days, and it seems the Muse doesn't either, since she hasn't stimulated me for some time.

I believe it is the events the World is experiencing at the moment. One cannot turn on the news without some catastrophe just waiting to pounce, just waiting to destroy any peace I may have gathered through the night.

I could list them. But it would just exacerbate the whole thing, magnifying them in my mind.

The one thing I will mention, however, is how Jack Layton's death from cancer, at the age of 61, affected me.  He was the leader of the Opposition in the House of Parliament, a New Democrat.

Jack Layton, with his granddaughter Beatrice, and his wife, Olivia Chow
How odd that a man I have never met, a politician of and for the people, could have me in a state of mourning, along with, seemingly, the rest of Canada, no matter their political bent.

I was in a state of shock the morning I heard about his death. I had known he was ill, of course. I saw him making his last announcement, when he said he would be back in September. As ill as he looked, I believed him. I thought he would be back in Parliament, holding all the rest accountable, as he had done for his whole life.

To me, he was like a Terrier or a Bulldog, worrying and tearing at the Conservatives without restraint. With a four year term of a majority Conservative government, I felt so much better in knowing Jack Layton was the leader of the Opposition. I felt, if anyone could, he was the one who would hold the Conservatives to account.

Flags fly at half-mast
The strange thing is I am not terribly political. When I vote, I usually vote for the person and not specifically the Party he or she is leading. But Jack was and always will be a man for the people. For him, it was forever about the people and their well-being in Canada. And I understand is how I hope I would be were I in politics.

I felt he had our backs. And when he died, I felt bereft. Who could possibly take his place?

I was astonished when I cried, really cried, for him, for his wife and family and grandchild, and for Canada. And I was truly amazed at the wave of emotion that overcame the Country. I'm not sure I remember this ever happening before.

He wrote a letter to Canadians the day before he died. In his very personal letter, he urged all of us to remember not to let others say we can't do a thing our minds are set upon. He addressed his Party, his caucus, other people suffering with cancer, the youth of Canada, Quebecers who believed in him enough to vote in huge numbers to give him the opposition Leader's seat. And he addressed his fellow Canadians.

At the end of his letter, one that must have been so difficult to write, he wrote..."My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful, and optimistic. And we'll change the World." 

I wonder if I could have had the fortitude to write something so eloquent if I faced death. This man remembered the people of Canada, knowing well his time was at an end. This was the kind of man he was...and the words above were words he truly lived by, in all accounts.

As the World enters strange times, where nothing seems certain, where Earthquakes, Tornadoes, terrible accidents and civil unrest seem almost the norm...I will take Jack Layton's words and enter them deeply within my soul, never to be forgotten or misplaced.

Let us, indeed, be loving, hopeful and optimistic. Let us not give fear the upper hand. Fear is a and hope fill the heart, giving more strength I believe we will all require in the coming months and years ahead.

Jack, I will miss you and your smiling face. I will miss your witty, sometimes even snide, comments. I will miss the love you projected to us all, even though I never knew you personally. It does not seem to matter, to my complete and  utter astonishment.

We are living through strange times. I do not blame myself for not wanting to write about despair and fear. As odd as it seems, Jack Layton's death opened the hearts of people as nothing else might have done.

And perhaps, this is the point. This heart-opening, this outpouring of love, the collective astonishment that this could be so for a politician's untimely death...this taught us all to be more open, more heart-centred.

Imagine the possibilities...

This morning, I had a conversation with my Muse, the wondrous lady who sits on my right shoulder as I write.

And she did not let me down.

Rest in the greatest of peace, Jack, your time on Earth has ended too soon. 

It is time, now, to take up the cudgels, the loving truncheons, on your behalf.

And I will.