January 24, 2013


When I first moved to the forest I could not see the trees. It was a sea of green. Then I noticed the tops of the trees were different, and the bark, and the needles. I was aware of different kinds of trees, I did grow up in the sticks of BC and come from earthy hick stock for sure... but at that point I had lived in the cities for a decade and had acquired a different skill set and it took some time to unlearn.

I had a map of the ski trails that were adjoining the land that I lived on, I only had to hike further in the rail road grade and eventually I would meet up with these trails and I could see the dacha on the opposing hill top from my 'yard' so it didn't seem so far away. This was one of those hand drawn maps which make more sense if you know the area and are following ski tracks, but this was summer and very unfamiliar territory. So heading down in to the creek valley was simple enough, but there were a lot of confusing old logging roads on the way up the other side... lots and lots of climbing, and lots and lots of trees, so no viewpoint to judge how far up I had gone and more importantly how much further to go... every time I came to a flat point in the trail I would think surely this next hill is the last one... this went on for hours... or so it seemed. Check the map... hike some more... check the map... hike some more... try to decide at what point is it further to continue or to go back... and then there was that point where I just keep on climbing because I had gone for so long that it was bound to change...

And then I reached the lake. Which was not on the map, because I passed that area ages ago only didn't realize it because I was never really following the map and possibly never was in the actual area that the map covered... It is one of the most amazing places I have ever been. On the way back, I followed random roads because I had learned that amazing discoveries could be had on them... and I found a sign that marked a trail that was on the hand drawn map... and then the map made sense.

On the way home I was followed by a pair of pileated woodpeckers. They would fly from tree to tree calling and drumming. I lived there for eight more summers. I could draw an amazing map.

January 15, 2013

The House of Belonging
I awoke
this morning
in the gold light
turning this way
and that
thinking for
a moment
it was one
like any other.
the veil had gone
from my
darkened heart
and I thought
it must have been the quiet
that filled my room,
it must have been
the first easy rhythm
with which I breathed
myself to sleep,
it must have been
the prayer I said
speaking to the otherness
of the night.
I thought
this is the good day
you could meet your love,
this is the black day
someone close
to you could die.
This is the day
you realize
how easily the thread
is broken
between this world 
and the next
and I found myself
sitting up
in the quiet pathway
of light,
the tawny
close grained cedar
burning round
me like a fire
and all the angels of this housely
heaven ascending
through the first
roof of light
the sun has made.
This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,
this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long 
to learn to love.
This is the temple
of my adult aloneness
and I belong
to that aloneness
as I belong to my life.
There is no house
like the house of belonging.
~ David Whyte ~
(The House of Belonging)

January 11, 2013

It shames me to admit this... I am still pissed off that I don't have my plant guides, cookbooks, and first editions. I know it's not reasonable to carry this about for 4 years but most of them can't be replaced and there are so many moments when I go to the bookcase to consult a book... and realize I don't have it anymore. FACK!!

Thank you for letting me vent that long overdue frustration.

Perhaps now I can start going to used book stores again and looking for treasures... curious how you can't move on to something new until you release the old. Hmm... I hear intellectual men hang out in bookstores...

words to live by

January 5, 2013


December 18, 2012

You can spend your life hoping that
when only you get rid of the fear,
when you are a little bit more enlightened,
when you have built up your self esteem,
then you will show up and give it all.

Or... you can get out of your own way,
make yourself available,
and bow down to the One who plays you.

~Chameli Ardagh

December 10, 2012

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--

though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.

But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.

It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world.

~ Mary Oliver

The highest good is like water. 
Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive. 
It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.
In dwelling, be close to the land. 
In meditation, go deep in the heart. 
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind. 
In speech, be true. 
In ruling, be just. 
In business, be competent. 
In action, watch the timing.

~ Tao Te Ching ~