Eternal Spring

As I write this, it is 20 degrees below zero.  Spring, according to the calendar, is just a few weeks away.  Somehow I think it might take a bit longer to arrive here in the north country.

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It has been a brutally cold winter.  Yet I know it won’t last forever.  I also know that inside of me there is hope.  Spring will come and we will welcome her with open arms.

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I like to think that spring is eternal.

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It is within us all.  At any time of the year.

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 At any point in our lives.

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Spring can be felt and experienced and shared.

Spring is rebirth, growth, unfolding, opening.

It is hope, faith, optimism, joy.

 Spring is alive, vibrant, colorful, rich.

It is earthy, sultry, sweet, delicate.

 Spring is so much more than just a season.

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It is how life can be lived…eternally

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Breathing Under Water

Every so often I read a book that is incredibly powerful and inspiring. A book that causes me to think and feel and wonder and learn.  A book that opens my mind and my heart and my spirit. A book that affects me so deeply that it moves me to tears.

“Breathing Under Water” by Richard Rohr is just such a book.

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I had no idea when I opened to the first page that it would impact me so profoundly.

But perhaps I should have realized it would after reading this poem in the introduction:

BREATHING UNDER WATER

I built my house by the sea.
Not on the sands, mind you;
not on the shifting sand.
And I built it of rock.
A strong house
by a strong sea.
And we got well acquainted, the sea and I.
Good neighbors.
Not that we spoke much.
We met in silences.
Respectful, keeping our distance,
but looking our thoughts across the fence of sand.
Always, the fence of sand our barrier,
always, the sand between.

And then one day,
– and I still don’t know how it happened –
the sea came.
Without warning.

Without welcome, even
Not sudden and swift, but a shifting across the sand like wine,

less like the flow of water than the flow of blood.
Slow, but coming.
Slow, but flowing like an open wound.
And I thought of flight and I thought of drowning and I thought of death.
And while I thought the sea crept higher, till it reached my door.
And I knew, then, there was neither flight, not death, nor drowning.
That when the sea comes calling, you stop being neighbors
Well acquainted, friendly-at-a-distance neighbours
And you give your house for a coral castle,
And you learn to breathe underwater.

(Carol Bieleck, R.S.C.J. from an unpublished work)

And I cried. Not tears of sadness but tears of awareness. Because I am learning how to breathe under water.  And my tears come from a place of gratitude. Because the sea came into my life too.

And I thought I was drowning.

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So I let myself drown.

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And it was then that I began to learn to breathe underwater.

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This book reminds me to never stop learning…

How to breathe underwater.

Because the sea will always be a part of life.

I am a Lover

I am a lover.

I read the most beautiful and inspiring essay on Rebelle Society the other day. And I thought, what a perfect title for a post, because I am a lover too.

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I love the sky and the stars and the moon

I love the flowers and the trees and the grasses

I love the creatures big and small

I love the mountains and the fields and the ocean

I love the seasons and the clouds and the sun

I love the colors of the earth

I love to see, hear, smell, taste and touch

I love the hearts of my family and friends

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I love my feelings and my ideas and my dreams

I love the rich tapestry of experiences that have lead me to this moment.

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I love this life I live.

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I am love…

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I am a lover.

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To read the essay from Rebelle Society, click here: http://www.rebellesociety.com/2013/04/05/lovers/

Cabin Fever

Here in the north country, it’s been cold. Not just cold but brutally cold. Well below zero cold. The cold that you just can’t seem to warm up from. Cold that settles deep in your bones. And it seems there is no end in sight.

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Yes there has been an abundance of sunshine.
Yes there has been an abundance of snow.

A perfect winter you think.

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But it has also been cold. It is the kind of cold that prevents us from enjoying all that sun and snow.

And it causes a common ailment to occur:

Cabin Fever

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Cabin fever begins with a slight feeling of agitation. Bundling up just to start your car in the morning and it sounds like a dying animal. This then leads to irritation and resentment.  Complusively checking the weather forecast and then groaning when you see it. Next comes the glimpse of hope. It’s above zero. You go outside only to run back in because with the wind chill, it’s still below zero.

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You feel trapped. You find inside things to do but feel a bit lethargic and unmotivated. You daydream about warmer times and warmer places.

You worship your wood stove and try to find gratitude in the little things…like having a wood stove.

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Here in Vermont, we are hearty. We know how to dress for the weather. We know how to survive these cold spells. We have done it countless times before. Yet each year when it arrives again, we forget that we know what to do. We forget to have faith that this too shall pass. Because it always does.

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So we do the best we can. We read and write and create and pass the time. We complain to friends and family and strangers and we eat more chocolate…we eat more period.

The weather forecast for this weekend isn’t horrible. 14 above for a high seems almost balmy. Perhaps there will be a chance to get out and play. Perhaps we can alleviate our cabin fever for a few hours. Perhaps…

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I’ll let you know on Monday!

Wild Hearts

There was a time when I searched for hearts. Every place I explored, every mountain I climbed, every path I traveled. But I never found any. I believed they were not for me to find. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to see them, so I stopped looking.

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And then suddenly they were everywhere I looked.  These hearts from nature. Hearts that you find while not looking for them. Hearts that remind you that life is beautiful and wondrous and amazing.

I have come to see these hearts as symbols. Letting me know that the path I am on, is the right path. The right path for me and my heart.

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After a long period of healing, mending, and then opening and expanding. My heart is once again whole. And once again…wild.

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