Spring Took A Leap

Spring Rhyme

What a beautiful day. Sunny here in the sub alpine, extremely warm in the grasslands,  and very sunny and 16 degrees in town. You could say too warm. I hate to complain.

IMG_1560

I saw three red-wing blackbirds in the marsh just before the flats. I took a walk with the dogs on the river dike and I could hear the meadowlark. Too soon, too soon.

meadowlark-1These are last years and two years ago pictures: meadowlark from the end of March and blackbird from May.

This is climate change. This changes everything. Time for a LEAP!

Sun_Social

And So It Goes

perdita

Perdita was a rescue kitten, from a 2002 SPCA seizure, she was bred  for no tail and Persian qualities. She died as a kitten in my arms.

I was stupid a couple of times. I owned cats and didn’t get them spayed in time. I had two litters of kittens. In  the first litter, the mom died and the kittens were all sick but I managed to find homes for them. Not until they pooped over every piece of furniture I owned.The second litter all died except the mom. We got her spayed and she lived to be 18 years old. She had a good life. Both those experiences make me the animal owner I am today. I try very hard not to be judgemental since I definitely am not without sin. I don’t go looking for redemption but somehow it tries to seek me out.

goat family

My first barnyard rescue, a family of goats.

Last Saturday the SPCA called to see if I would take a goat that had been hit by a car, and oh by the way she is pregnant. Yikes. Okay I will pick her up on Monday at the vet. Turned out she was a sheep not a goat and her injuries were so substantial that the vet’s decision was to euthanize her. Off the hook, yes but we do have two goats who are healthy, and  looking to be rehomed. The owner wants to surrender them. It only takes a little bit of guilt for me to say, yes I will go and look at them. So meet the newest additions to my little farm here on Paradise Lane, just off Paradise  Road.  Sugar and Spice. They are both wethers and dehorned. They will be perfect companions for Latte and Mocha, once the girls have finished showing them who is boss.

spice

Spice a Pygmy/Nigerian Dwarf cross

sugar

Sugar a Nigerian Dwarf

In the last two weeks there have been two puppy mills busted at the coast. The animals were in a deplorable condition. Its heart wrenching actually, the media likes the optics, for ratings. Yes, if you want to raise money there is nothing like sick children or sick or abused baby animals to haul the dollars in.

I know you can’t fix stupid and there will always be unethical sellers and naive or greedy buyers.  There is a market for designer dogs (mixed breeds guaranteed to be non shedding and every one knows that mixed breeds are healthier: there are no scientific studies, but lots of studies on purebreds and their health issues) and dogs to be status symbols or lawn ornaments. It will always be buyer beware.

 

So please, if you feel the need for a pet do your homework. Do your research. Buy a pet that’s right for your lifestyle. Don’t get goats no matter how little or cute they are if you live in an urban area.  Buy from a reputable breeder if you want a purebred, one who is listed with the breed parent club and can show you the parents of the puppy or kitten and will let you come to their home. Or better yet, get a rescue and get them spayed or neutered. Don’t breed, not even to show your kids the miracle of birth, it could also be the reality of death.  Just get a pet and love it for the rest of its life. You will be a better person for it.

Their unconditional love will be a great teacher for you.

BkgiVPCCQAAM3sL

The Shrinking Woman

“The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance. “

David Whyte

from Mindfulbalance.org

 

For some reason I am bombarded with thoughts and articles of women growing old recently. It has been annoying. The quote above is seriously annoying.

My oldest sister called this week. she has just returned from a month in Mexico. No big deal really, she is only almost 82. What the heck it was only a couple of years ago that she was in the Baja, sleeping in a yurt on the beach. But, hey that’s my sister. That is the sort of stock I am from. Strong, resilient women. Now keep in mind I am nowhere near 82. My sister could be my mother. I often think of her that way as our mom has been dead over 10 years and she was 95 when she died, in her sleep. I was born between my sisters first child and my mom’s last. I grew up as a grandchild, sort of. But back to being old. I could aspire to be like my sister!

The movie 45 Years played at our spring film festival. My Tom Courtenay, Strelnikov from Dr. Zhivago, OMG with a very capital O, my heart-throb. I dated a man who looked just like him in 1970, I was so in love and it was so verboten. He was an American and 5 years my senior. I was only 16 going on 17,  yikes. He was the first person that told me the universe had a conscious, I was mesmerized! And Charlotte Rampling as well. I aspired to be her. Beautiful, talented and skinny. I am so excited. The movie was sad and god they were old. Sad, sad, my life seemed parallel. Look at them!

45 years

Again, today  from a blog I read, BrainPickings

Weathering, yes well I am weathered.

old-1

“My face catches the wind
from the snow line
and flushes with a flush
that will never wholly settle.
Well, that was a metropolitan vanity,
wanting to look young forever, to pass.
I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty
and only pretty enough to be seen
with a man who wanted to be seen
with a passable woman.
But now that I am in love
with a place that doesn’t care
how I look and if I am happy,
happy is how I look and that’s all.
My hair will grow grey in any case,
my nails chip and flake,
my waist thicken, and the years
work all their usual changes.
If my face is to be weather beaten as well,
it’s little enough lost
for a year among the lakes and vales
where simply to look out my window
at the high pass
makes me indifferent to mirrors
and to what my soul may wear
over its new complexion.”

…..Fleur Adcock

And again from David Whyte

and this one is best…

“Mid life woman
you are not
invisible to me.
I seem to see
beneath your face
all the women
you have ever been.
Midlife woman
I have grown with you
secretly,
in another parallel,
breathing with you
as you breathed,
seeing with you
as you see,
lining my face
with an earned care
as you lined yours,
waiting for you,
as it seems
you waited for me.
I see your
inner complexion
breathing beneath
your outward gaze,
I see all your lives
and all your loves,
it must be for you
that I wanted to become
more generous,
a better man
than ever I could be
when young,
let me join all your
present giving
and all your receiving,
through you I learn
the full imagination
of every previous affection.
Mid life woman
you are not
invisible to me,
in you
I see a young girl,
lifting her face to the sky,
I see the young woman
in haloed light,
full and strong,
standing before
the altar of time,
waiting for her chosen.
I see the mother in you,
in your past
or in some yet
to be understood
future,
I see you
adoring and
I see you adored,
and now,
when I call your name
I want to see
day by day,
the woman
you will become
with me.
Mid-life woman
come to me now,
I see you more clearly
than all
the airbrushed
girls of the world.
I became a warrior
only to earn
your present
mature affection,
I bear my scars to you,
my eyes are lined
to smile with you
and I come to you
uncultivated
and unshaven
walking rough
and wild through rain
and wind and I pace
the mountain
all night
in my happy,
magnificence
at finding you.
Mid life woman,
In the dark of the night
I take you in my arms
and in that embracing
invisibility feel all of your
inner lives made touchable
and visible again.
Mid-life woman
I have earned
my ability to adore you.
Mid life woman
you are not invisible to me.
Come to me now
and let me kiss passionately
all the beautiful women
who have
ever lived in you.
My promise
is to you now
and all their future lives.”

— Mid Life Woman, from The Sea In You

David Whyte

old-2I am okay with mid-life woman. I can tell you I am not going to wake up and be unhappy with my life. Hell I just bought a horse that barrel races. Yahoo!!

 

Poor Clothing Choices

“This is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck. I have walked in the early spring through fields that will suck your boots off, a world so wet and woeful it makes you yearn for the return of ice. But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created.”

…..Parker Palmer

muddy barn yard

I was so jealous when I read Omid Safi’s essay for On Being this week. It was about the rain in Vancouver. Wet coast,  where I spent 48 years of my life. Rain, rain and rain.  I miss it so much sometimes.  Today, we had rain, but it wasn’t west coast rain; it was icy, cold and sleaty. It melted snow and then it froze again creating a skating rink in my front yard. Gates were frozen and if you weren’t careful the car slid back down the driveway when you were trying to exit. Disgusting weather. Too early for this time of year. It’s the torment before spring, the melting of the 4 foot drifts of snow leaving behind rivers that run downhill carrying sand and dirt from the road. Animal and human feet become mud magnets dragging all the shit silt indoors. You can wash the floor three times a day but you will never get it clean. You just mush it around. Depressing. I just wanted to see the beautiful green rain forest rain  that washed everything clean. Even the animals are depressed.

donkey

The funniest part of the essay is when Omid came across a Canadian saying

There is no such thing as bad weather.
There are only poor clothing choices.”

I laughed so hard. Yes this is true. I change my clothes so many times a day. Barn in the morning, one set of clothes and boots. Go to feed my new horse, another set of clothes. Go to town, different clothes and a change for in the car in case I want to go feed Jenny, my horse on the way home. Driving out the driveway and opening and closing the gate myself, put on Bog boots with attached spikes. Hot Shot hand warmers in the car and at home. Remember to open a pair first thing in the  morning so they can warm up and go in my gloves.

IMG_9047Check the weather report for here, the local mountain and in town. Decide what coat and how many layers to wear.

 

To live happily we must be accepting of what comes our way. The weather, well it just is so make sure you make the right clothing choice and enjoy! So what if the wind ruffles your mane!

Pony

True to oneself

Yes!

Mindfulbalance

File:Buttons (504354910).jpg

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,

or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular

but because it never forgot what it could do

Naomi Shihab Nye, Famous

photo tony hisgett

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I Didn’t Do It

When you realize why all your felt pens are dried up!

graffiti

Ghost, Come Closer

This is one of the most moving videos I have ever seen. As a fly fisherman it is so bang on: the whole purpose of fly fishing is not about fishing.

“The point of fly fishing is to become reverent in the presence of art and nature.”

…..Howell Raines

It also opens up the whole discussion how do we handle the prospect of dying and what treatment is enough..

 

 

 

David Bowie: It Was About Us

Laurie Brown on David Bowie

Laurie Brown on David Bowie

 

David Bowie’s work was about us and the world around us — but he was the guy turning the kaleidoscope, says journalist Laurie Brown: http://cbc.ca/1.3398278

Posted by CBC’s q on Monday, January 11, 2016

 

Angels In Your Head

“You wouldn’t believe what once or twice I have seen.  I’ll just tell you this: only if there are angels in your head will you ever, possibly, see one.”  – Mary Oliver

Eagle

I consider eagles a spirit animal and I wear an aboriginal carved silver bracelet with an eagle on it always. I am very lucky to have the company of 46 eagles on my hikes with the dogs in January and into February. Wilderness is not a luxury.

Listening In Winter

 

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.

syslvester-fire

I went to the bookstore today, it has a Starbucks in it with a fireplace and I love to browse, maybe buy something or not and sit and have a coffee. I spent a good amount of time there before Christmas. Books are my favourite gift to give and I love to choose wisely and that means lots of looking and reading. I know that bookstores are probably bleeding red ink and have to diversify to stay afloat. The atmosphere had definitely changed. Christmas was gone, winter was gone and we had moved on to fitness, resolutions including a whole display on changing your life through you name it: mindfulness, meditation, yoga,  the slow movement, etc etc.,  oh, and don’t forget your Fitbit.

Pink was the colour, spring and valentines day. Healthy eating and cleanses. The mindfulness colouring books were all flowery now, winter animals were gone.

I am still stuck on sleeping in, warm beds with flannel sheets, fireplaces and good stews with lots of root vegetables. Hell there is 3 feet of snow outside.

Why does it have to be shunted off so quickly. Why can’t we just relax?  This is our time for reflection, our time to  hibernate, renew.

We are all so hep to start a new year, a new regime, find a new us. Don’t we know that:

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire,

 

The Winter of Listening
by David Whyte

No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every living thing.

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire,

what disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

What we hate
in ourselves
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.

Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.

All those years
listening to those
who had
nothing to say.

All those years
forgetting
how everything
has its own voice
to make
itself heard.

All those years
forgetting
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow
difficulty
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous
otherness.

Silence and winter
has led me to that
otherness.

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.