Sunday, 2 November 2014

Love the One You’re With

Sometimes I am blind to the beauty in my city. All of us humming along, lives unfolding in ways we want and ways that surprise us, even devastate us. The way we live here in the city, side by side, intimately affecting each other yet not even looking into each other’s eyes, can feel alienating. And yet when you do look, you feel, and life unfolds before you, mysterious and poignant, raucous, reckless, heartbreaking and humbling.

There’s a powerful beauty in the human landscape here, yet I sometimes berate my city for being so big, for the incessant construction, for the car culture and crazy drivers, for the way the city swallows time when you try to traverse it.

There are days when the city closes in. I long for a horizon uninterrupted by anything made by human hands. That is when, in this city, I must go down. Because below it all are the often overlooked places that, when you make time for them, when you remember to enter them, hold the power to restore. And I don’t mean the subway system! ; )


Mine is a city of ravines. Its geography requires us to go down into nature, descend into it, like a memory of what this land was before us.

We dip into the ravines where the rivers of old still run, a shadow of their former selves, but still moving sacredly along ancient pathways to the Great Lake. Walk there and the city falls away as we fall into nature.

It’s like a metaphor for who we are. Our exterior selves, like the city, can be bright and shiny, or hard edged and worn down, a million different faces and facades. Sometimes we present our authentic selves, but not always. Often we present what is presentable. What else can we do?

But below these surfaces we so carefully manufacture is something so precious—our essential nature, which, like the ravines of this city, offer such breathtaking beauty. A beauty that is exactly right just as it is.

It seems a powerful reminder to, like the song says, love the one we’re with—which in the end is our Self.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Being Quiet

We need quiet to hear ourselves—our deeper selves.

In the cacophony of city life my mind makes plenty of noise—I hear my anger, frustrations, worries. Laughter and loving thoughts, too, but it all flashes like a series of brilliant reflections—thoughts into emotions, and on into moods and actions without “me” being aware of the originating thought, the original source of light.
That’s when a sense of un-ease sets in. And I get quiet here, in the virtual space of this blog, because I have nothing meaningful to share. And, truth be told, I might just be afraid to slow down enough and hear what I really feel underneath the noise.

There is an antidote to this.

I know what needs to be incorporated into daily city life to calm my heart and mind—it’s meditation, writing, making space for the inner voice to be heard.

But I’ve been reminded lately of something else that works, and with very little effort on my part.

It is going to nature, sitting with the elements—air, water, earth and fire. I don’t even have to do anything there. I can sit on a rock, lean on a tree, walk like a zombie on a forest path. And when I come out of nature I am grounded. Nature has grounded me—I did nothing but Be. Nature did all the work.

I feel peace. I see beauty. I am connected to this lovely planet. Touched by its grace.

To me, that is prayer. Simply go to your God and Be. Since my understanding of God/Source/Creator is indivisible from Nature—the wind, waves, sky, stone, tree—I need only present myself to Her to be soothed.

Then I hear myself again, or I hear something that is more than myself. Is there really any difference?

Thursday, 8 May 2014


All moments lead to now.

Last Saturday, I saw this sunset over Lake Huron.

It is impossible to see such a thing and not be grateful for every moment that led to this witnessing. I mean every moment of my life—the ones I’ve celebrated and those I’ve resented and railed against. Each of those moments led to my witnessing this miracle. So I am grateful for each and every one of them. So grateful to be in this body and see such sights. I acknowledge the immense privilege.

It is enough.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Longest Winter

What a good winter it has been for hibernation. If I’d had the option to curl, snout to tail, into a little ball back in September and slept and dreamt away the season, would I have?

Perhaps, but I know how the old stories go. There must be long winters, hard and cold, in every heroine’s tale. Times when the sun doesn’t warm and sets quickly. Times when although we can see the beauty that is every day before us, we can’t feel the beauty. The realization takes us by surprise, and it frightens us, and perhaps adds a chilling layer of longing. The longing to feel again.

But after every winter the light does come back, slanting into our rooms at a new angle and illuminating what was there all along in a way we haven’t seen before. Suddenly we feel a stirring again. A stirring toward something, that unnameable thing we know and don’t know.

The light shifts again, so quickly, and the feeling passes. The days are still short, but lengthening.

But the reminder of the “something else,” of the “something that calls to us” has washed over us and we are not the same. Something inside has quickened and we must tend to it.