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/

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These Hills

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The first time I saw these words I felt something stir deep inside me. My heart expanding, my soul awakening, my spirit singing. These words…and the hills here where I make my home are what inspire and lift me up.

I went and visited the cemetery where this inscribed granite stone resides, again on Sunday. The peace I felt was immediate.

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This peace is something I feel often while gazing out upon the green and rolling hills of Vermont.

A peace that grows with every breathtaking view I’m blessed to experience.

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I’m finding that there is more and more peace inside me with each passing day. A calm serenity that often felt elusive in the past. Perhaps it’s because I am surrounded by  hills.

And these hills that I lift mine eyes upon, are truly a glorious gift.

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A Sense of Place

It is a feeling we have. A feeling of warmth and connection and identity.

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It is a place that is special and unique to us as humans…and as individuals.

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It’s our experiences and interactions with the land and space around us.

This sense of place is important. It creates emotions inside of us. It allows us to feel belonging and safety. Most of all, when we have a sense of place, we care. We care about and for this place.

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There are many beautiful and magical places on this earth. As people we deeply desire ways to bond with these places. These places that capture our hearts and our love.

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For me, a sense of place, is where I feel alive. And at the same time where I feel at home within myself. And where my heart opens and expands.

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I have felt connections to many places. Each is special and unique to me. And each place stirs different feelings. I fall in love with these places. And they become a part of who I am.

I truly believe that when we feel a sense of place with some piece of land or water, we begin to understand the role each place has on our planet. And when we understand, we realize how each place is necessary in the puzzle of life.

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From this comes a sense of responsibility. A sense of compassion. A sense of interconnectedness. A sense of gratitude.

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We look more carefully, we listen more intently and we walk more gently.

For this place…is our home.

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Our only home.

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The Adventure Begins

And it begins outside my comfort zone.

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As I embark on this new chapter, as I step into the unknown, as I open my heart to all the possibilities of life, I know it must be different. A new and different direction, a path not yet explored. And this beginning will require courage and strength and hope and passion. It will ask for leaps of faith. It’s time for the adventure of my life.

It started on a sunny day. A hike unlike one I had ever done. I didn’t know this at the time. It sounded like an ordinary place to hike on an ordinary day.

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It was not ordinary. It was steep. It was challenging. It was scary.

It was breathtaking.

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It asked me to push myself, farther and higher.

Up into the clouds where I could see the world.

I realized as I stood at the summit, that I don’t want ordinary anymore. I want extraordinary. I want adventures and journeys. I want possibilities. I want to stand on top of mountains and breathe it all in. I want to awaken every sense, feel every emotion, let my heart expand and embrace, and my spirit be wild and free.

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And so…the adventure begins.

Rocks In My Head

I have a thing for rocks. In fact it might be called an obsession. I can look at them for hours. I am fascinated by their shape, color, texture, and uniqueness. Like fingerprints. And just as often, I find myself taking some home, filling my pockets or backpack. There are rocks in my car. There are rocks in my house. I’m beginning to think there are rocks in my head…

Rocks tell a story about the place they are found and about our earth. Rocks have gone through cycles and changes. Rocks endure and transform. They get battered and tossed around in raging rivers and ocean tides. They undergo extremes temperatures and pressure. They can be polished smooth or left rough. Each one beautiful in its own way.

Rocks have a mysterious side as well. A sacredness to their ability to withstand time and the elements. They are present everywhere and have been used to navigate and guide and mark spiritual places upon the land.

Rocks symbolize strength, stability, and being grounded. They represent different things to different cultures and throughout history. They are a source of power and healing. They are mined and quarried and examined and even coveted.

Mountains are made of rock. Violently thrusted and forced upward from the earth to form towering peaks. Steep and treacherous pinnacles to gentle rolling hills.

Rocks broken down over time become sand. And then begin changing again…back into a rock. Different yet in some ways the same. Combining with new minerals, forming bonds, and rebuilding. To see the world in a grain of sand…is not just the start of a lovely William Blake poem…but a way of seeing things from a new and clearer perspective. Slowing down and truly noticing the infinite beauty of the world around us.

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Maybe having rocks in my head isn’t such a bad thing after all…

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Salt Water Cure

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One of my most favorite of all quotes.

And I have found it to be so very true…for me.

Tears

Tears of sadness. Tears of grief. Tears of heartache.

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All kinds of tears. Sometimes a thought or memory brings tears to our eyes .

Other times our crying is deep and long.

Agony and ache pours out from deep inside our hearts and down our cheeks.

I sometimes wonder how can I have so many tears?

But tears happen for a reason. They allow our pain a way out.

When something is no longer painful…the tears for it will stop.

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Sweat

There is nothing quite like the feeling that comes after a strenuous hike.

I may begin tentatively, unsure of my footing, legs and heart weary…But I keep going.

I keep going until the sweat pours down my face…and I reach the summit.

And for those few moments in time, everything is forgotten…

 I feel euphoric instead of sad. I feel successful instead of defeated.

I feel replenished instead of empty.

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The Sea

Everyone knows the healing power of the sea.

The ebb and flow of tides…so like our emotions.

Infinite and vast.  The sea and sky seemingly endless.

Our grief seems so small in comparison.

And the ocean reminds us…life goes on.

Soon…I will make my way back to the sea…to finish this healing process.

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Then perhaps I can say goodbye to this part of my life

Turn the page

And say hello to the next chapter…

There are Mountains to Climb

I love to hike.  And I live in the perfect state for hiking. There are mountains everywhere.

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 During the hiking season I usually try to climb a few…

You have come along with me for a couple of them.

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The perfect season for hiking is early fall.

Scragg Mountain, although I never found the top, was incredible this past fall.

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Camel’s Hump was challenging, but exhilarating.

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This past summer, before school began, I climbed Belvidere Mountain…

A long hike, but one I was determined to do.  It is a mountain that has always fascinated me.

Eerily quiet now.  But once home to the largest asbestos mine in the country.

The lower half of the mountain closed and monitored by the EPA.  The controversy continues today about clean up and impacts on the environment.  The upper half of the mountain, bursting with life.  A difficult hike.  A trail that seemed to go uphill the entire 3.6 miles.

The feeling of making it to the top is more than just satisfying.  It is a test…of strength and courage and heart. As in life, we all have our own mountains to conquer.  I like to think that hiking the real thing helps prepare me for the hills and mountains that cross my path.

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But I have never hiked a mountain in the winter.

I want to…

Mt. Hunger, just a short distance away, beckons me.

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It looms cold and stark.  A challenge.  Something I have always wanted to do.  This winter I am going to climb it.

I know the way now…