Tag Archives: change

Blowing Smoke


“The fire, with well-dried logs supplied, Went roaring up the chimney wide.”
―Walter Scott


It’s cold! The smell of wood burning stoves and fireplaces is permeating the air. There is daily delivery of loads of logs up and down the mountain streets. Log splitters, chain saws and axes are humming and whirring. So far my log pile looks like this



I was hoping for this.


It’s not as cold as other parts of the country. No snow warnings yet and we haven’t had a frost. Hope this week of promised good weather will ripen my tomatoes.


I am picking peppers every day and drying them.



The bees are still in the bee balm and sunflowers, but these guys were hardly moving this morning. You can pick them up in your hand they are so cold.


Who knew that you only needed to blow a little smoke on them to warm them up and get them moving.

Fall is on its way. Enjoy change!


To Every Day There Is A Season

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;

Last week was the end of summer and the first day of fall in the astronomical calendar. In the meteorological calendar  autumn started on September 1st.     Here in the mountains you could have fooled me. This summer started off unusually cold and wet and September has been unbelievable warm and sunny. In agriculture the growing season or summer  is the period of each year when native plants and ornamental plants grow; and when crops can be grown. Everything around here goes usually goes by the ecological calendar.

  • Prevernal (early or pre-spring): Begins late March to April. Deciduous tree buds begin to swell. Migrating birds fly from winter to summer habitats. The bears start to wake.
  • Vernal (spring): Begins May . Tree buds burst into leaves. Birds establish territories and begin mating and nesting.
  • Estival (high summer): Begins July. Trees in full leaf. Birds hatch and raise offspring.
  • Serotinal (late summer): Generally begins mid to late August. Deciduous leaves begin to change color. Young birds reach maturity and join other adult birds preparing for fall migration.
  • Autumnal (fall): Generally begins mid September. Tree leaves in full color then turn brown and fall to the ground. Birds migrate back to wintering areas.
  • Hibernal (winter): Begins November. Deciduous trees are bare and it’s freezing! Migrating birds settled in winter habitats.The growing season is coming to an end.

Our climate and elevation , and the plant-crop selection, should be telling us summer is over, but when I came home today there seemed to be a quirkiness in the front yard. Even though I have seen the bees getting cold as they try to get the last bit of pollen from my flowers, the hummingbirds have come, moved north, come back and gone south for the winter and the bear has been feasting nightly in the back getting ready for his winter hibernation, I was still reveling in the beauty of my garden and the warm sun still there at the end of my day.

What a shock to come home and see the first signs of winter; dumped unceremoniously right next to my beautiful hummingbird, bee and butterfly garden.  Who dares to force such brutal change on me?


Nothing enunciates or  brings to life change more than moving from season to season; especially from winter to spring. Here in the grasslands winter has not given up its frigid embrace quite yet. There are signs though: birds are returning, seeds are quietly germinating underground and roots are awakening, calves are being born in the dark of night in cold pastures, the weather moves from sun, to sleet to hail and back again, constantly keeping us on our toes. We must be careful not to expect the joyous homecoming of warmth and new growth just yet.

Nature cleaves to her own schedule, not ours. The wild, Indian horses of Schiedam Flats have moved down from the hills, looking for the signs of forage on the grasslands. Last year there were many new foals and old friends who spent many summer days entertaining the observers who stopped their cars to visit. It will be exciting to see what this spring brings.

Just as nature moves at her own pace, so must we. Contemplating shedding my wooly winter coat and opening up to germinating in the warmth of the sun. Changes happens with every breath.

Losing my religion

That’s me in the corner

That’s me in the spotlight

Losing my religion

Trying to keep up with you

And I don’t know if I can do it

Oh no I’ve said too much

I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing

I thought that I heard you sing

I think I thought I saw you try

I haven’t said enough

But that was just a dream

That was just a dream

“Losing My religion” REM

I grew up in a relatively “religious” family. My mother was baptised United Church, her older brother was a United Church Minister. She came from a long line of Irish/Scottish Presbyters. My father, from a broken home of an already divorced Catholic mom and a reprobate (but fascinating) father, didn’t have much of a religious upbringing but in the 50’s, everyone believed in “God” and he deferred to my mother.

My parents were older. My mom 43 when I was born and my Dad was 50. Their upbringing was definitely Victorian so their God required that children be seen and not heard and if you spared the rod, you spoiled the child. God was not loving, kind or personable. He would punish. Learning boundaries as a child is difficult by itself but when you have a ferocious god watching everything you do it can be traumatic. One small deviation from the path would send me into spasms of guilt, which fed on and perpetuated its self, and gave me nightmares for weeks.

I went to the United Church until I was about 10. I became fascinated by the Salvation Army  and decided to go their at age 11. Loved the music.

I out grew the Salvation Army and god by 15. It was 1968 and my mind had been expanded by music, TV and literature. My parents and their religion had lost their influence on my life, but not me. The god of my early childhood had set up me up with core values, especially of my own unworthiness and diminishing self-esteem. I felt guilty for having “lost my religion”

By university I was reading Nietzsche, Jung, Timothy Leary, Kierkegaard and Vonnegut. I smoked, drank and had sex; I lived in Kitsalano and had abandoned the god of my childhood. The guilt of my childhood did not abandon me. I considered myself a child of the universe; my god was cosmic and superficial, just like me.

I tried many other gods on for size as the years progressed. Scientology, Zen Buddhism and finally settled on the Catholic Church as a place to raise my children.

Many experiences of loss, pain and grief drew me back to questioning faith, god and “my religion”

What else do you do when you have a dilemma, why go to the “internet all-knowing” for answers. There is lots out there and many opinions on faith vs religion. I had to decide what it was that I had lost or what I felt I was losing. Was it my religion or my faith or both. Could I even define the difference? I felt that religion tended to focus on  differences, while faith helped me to see similarities. My faith was personal, while religion made me feel part of an institution. Faith was my higher power, religion was definitely a set of rules to be followed.

I was looking for change in me. To become a more “enlightened, caring, loving traveller.
the best advice I found was from Rami Shapiro in http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/spirit/archives/well-start-perennial-questions

It made me responsible for me: Not  religion,but an ever-expanding faith.

I quote: “At its best religion is the way humanity translates its deepest myths — the metaphors, parables, and stories that carry our greatest insights into the human struggle for justice, compassion, and wisdom — into rituals and behaviors supportive of caring community.”

I love this about all religions.

“At its worst, religion is a story we tell ourselves to excuse our own brutal quest for power and control over nature and our fellow human beings.”

This is what bothers me even about myself.

“Religion is often expressed at its worst. As I’ve experienced it, organized religion is too often a fruitless attempt to tame God — to make God safe, benign, and essentially irrelevant. This god functions like a cosmic concierge granting your every wish. This god loves what you love and hates what you hate, bolstering the illusion that your politics is not yours but god’s, thereby sanctifying your every fear and prejudice. That god holds up a mirror and says, “Amen.” The god I believe in holds up the same mirror to my madness and says, “Change.”

All I can say is AMEN to that!

“When religion is at its best it preserves the stories and teachings of those saints, sages, mystics, poets, and prophets who challenge us to engage Reality without ego projection. Such religion is wild and wondrous, free from theology and piety, and demanding nothing less of us than our total commitment to justice, compassion, wisdom, and love.”

“The God this religion reveals is Reality, uncontrolled and uncontrollable, never safe or benign; this God’s love strips you of every hiding place, demanding nothing less than your being in response to this and every moment. If you hold back you are crushed beneath the weight of your own fear. Religion at its best teaches you how to live without fear, and in so doing to live transformed by love, which is what remains when fear is removed.”

What matters is not how religious or spiritual you are, but how just, kind, and humble you are.”

Rabbi Rami says “the religion versus spirituality argument is a distraction from the only thing that matters: realizing your true nature as God manifest”

“Don’t use religion to excuse prejudice and cruelty, and you use spirituality to excuse laziness and narcissism, you are all trapped in hopeless insanity. What matters is not how religious or spiritual you are, but how just, kind, and humble you are”

Let me be just, kind and humble. Get out of the hopeless insanity and have faith in my journey to CHANGE.

To follow in faith, St. Francis, Buddha, Gaia and Creator. It’s that simple. I haven’t lost anything.