"At middle age the soul should be opening up like a rose, not closing up like a cabbage."
-John Andrew Holmes

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Oh Canada!

There are way too many photos. Canada is amazing. 

We are living on an island for three days right now, off the coast of British Columbia. The flowers, old growth forests, carvings, wild mushrooms, tide pools and lack of mosquitoes are off the charts! 

We are catching a ferry to the mainland tomorrow and crossing back into the country of our birth. Wish us luck and safe passage! 

I am hoping to buy a styrofoam cooler or a cold bag or something tomorrow so that we can avail ourselves of the salmon fishermen and crab sellers we keep seeing on the sides of the road. 

Also, AirBnB is amazing. Check it out if you haven't. It isn't always cheaper than a hotel but often it is and getting a washer and kitchen space is worth a lot if you are me. Our hostess for the past three days welcomed us with a bowl of blueberries when we arrived, has scented poppies growing along the  front walk and introduced the boys to her extremely peaceful chihuahua while I was trying to pack the car for the day's outing.  

So far, the notable, wild animal count in Canada goes as follows:

•one snake (garter!)

•one lizard 

•many wild, black rabbits 

•one owl (barred, I think)

•four or five whitetail deer

•a sunflower sea star

•many green sea anemones 

•two black bears (EEK!!! So exciting!)

•many purple and orange sea stars

•four sea lions

•two minks

•purple sea urchins 

•a gigantic jellyfish 

•banana slugs

Get ready Washington State, we are coming for you next!


Thursday, July 17, 2014


My tiny nephew Lance has been hospitalized and my auntie heart is distracted to the max. No other post on my mind, so at my sister's permission I am going all out auntie mode and just spending my energy praying for him and thinking of him.

If you are the praying kind, send your ardent words skyward along with mine. He's being tested extensively and so far they don't know what wrong with him.

Love him with me. One enormous group hug, all the way across the country to help him heal and help his mama and I to sleep. xoxoxo

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hummingbird Messages

How strong is the magnetic power of the mind? Strong enough to bring a hummingbird nest to me in the wild?

Research continues to show us that our thoughts are more predictive and prophetic and full of power than the skeptical, modern scientific mind might be willing to believe. (Hello, placebo effect!) I have had a few kind of unexplainable experiences in my life, one of which is kind of "willing" certain things into my life. I'm a praying kind of chick but I can't honestly say that I specifically prayed for these things, just thought fondly and hopefully, maybe even confidently about find them and then they showed up. Its always things. I am thinking of a certain food or movie and then someone else brings it over or suggests it (this happens with A and I fairly frequently which we joke is our private ESP), I am hoping for a particular kind of dishware or a specific item of clothing and lo and behold they show up in my local Goodwill, and then recently....a hummingbird nest came my way. I made a New Year's Resolution to find a hummingbird nest in the wild. I know that sounds kind of loony but as I mentioned, I've had enough of these experiences to feel like its possible and so I just stepped out and wrote it down.

There are the boys and Aunt Sheila right before we walked down the trail and saw the nest.
Then this spring, during a miniature hike at one of our local parks with my Aunt Sheila, we stopped under a scraggly wild apple tree for a minute to admire a woodland pond and I just saw a hummingbird dart above my head and when I looked up, there was the nest, right over me with the mother, snugged down inside it.
There it is! See it?

How about now? Astounding, right?
Life is amazing. Like I said, I have had this kind of thing happen to me before but it isn't daily and its so powerful and special feeling when it happens that I still feel really astonished and elated when it happens. I want to tell everyone and shout, "You won't believe what happened to me!!!" from my sunroom roof.

Just like my previous, mysterious visitation with woodcocks, I'm enough of a mystic to go hunting for meaning in these kinds of experiences. I believe God speaks, I believe lessons are everywhere, I believe that all of nature is the realm of the Spirit and I believe that paying attention matters.
Hummingbird color plate from Ernst Haeckel's ''Kunstformen der Natur'' (1899) via Wikipedia
Hummingbirds beat the symbol for infinity into the air around themselves over and over, "forever" is their lift. I love that idea. May the idea of forever lift me. They are able to pause, midair even in the midst of flight at tremendous speeds, which is a wonderful vision of presence and attention. They built their tiny little nest out of lichen scales and line the inside with spider's silk, which is both incredibly strong and also very flexible and basically means that they create an expandable, elastic home that grows to allow their babies more space as they mature. So fabulous, yes? I aspire. (That gives me shivers, y'all!) May I mama like a hummingbird, in this and every home. They also are connected intimately with flowers and cannot survive without them. I've always been a flower lover and have let my Master Gardener training go but its a good reminder that I belong outside, that I need blooms and buds and petals in my world and that I should keep gardening in my tray of possible pursuits when I pick my career options in my next life stage. They are also amazingly resilient in hard times. Like many birds they have astounding caloric needs and require a very hefty food source. If food is scarce or at night when it gets cold they have to ability to willfully put themselves into a meditative state with drastically slowed heart rate and breathing and they will even appear dead in their survivalist stupor. When conditions are right they will "resurrect" and go about their business. Wonderful, no?

I waited until the mama had finished raising her young ones and abandoned the tiny little nursery and then the boys and I went back to collect it. Its sitting on my window sill now. So wonderful to have these messages sent our way....watch your world, friends, the truth is out there!