Thursday, September 24, 2009

Trust to Thy Heart

"Feeling is deep and still;
and the word that floats on the surface

Is as the tossing buoy,
that betrays where the anchor is hidden.
Therefore, trust to thy heart,
and to what the world calls illusions."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie

So sensuous are his words they make me run my fingers along the page with longing, oblivious to the world around me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Transition from Squam

playing with clayboard and pastels

I'm having trouble finding the words to write about my experience at Squam this year.

There were no earth-shattering epiphanies like last year. There was no breakthrough achievement of driving solo to NH in my little Civic to join a camp full of strangers for art making. There is no all-encompassing high to carry me through these first few days back at the office.

There is contentment, fatigue and uncertainty about what comes next. Sometimes there is even a disconnect, wondering if it really happened at all.

But it did happen.

Because there were gentle insights, and smiles and hugs. There were reunions, tears of joy and the witnessing of transformation before my very eyes. There was much, much laughter. There were silent tears in the forest, comfort in deepening friendships, and exuberance in song. There was celebration, growth and art. There were chilly nights by the fire, stars on the dock, and honest conversation. There were pauses and snapshots along the journey to capture the moment.

I don't know how to process this yet, why the disconnect or where to go from here. But maybe that's OK. This is my transition space; there'll be plenty of time for specifics later.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Signing off...

lanterns at Havenwood cabin - Squam 2008

... for a week of play in the woods of New Hampshire (that's two weeks playing in the woods in less than a month - lucky me!).

See you on the flip side!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cottage Comforts

I thought I'd share a few snippets of last week's cottage getaway comforts...

view from the dock

outdoor art - kindred spirits were here!

a favourite spot in the screened in porch

fuel for warmth on chilly September nights

comfort was curling up on that couch with a book
in front of a crackling fire

beauty in the small touches

moose on a ledge full of cottage trinkets

I didn't get a good picture, but I was smitten with the contents of their Billy bookcase library. Who wouldn't be with titles like "The Amateur Naturalist's Handbook", "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson and "A Country-Lover's Guide to Wildlife" - not to mention all the field guides: birds, animal tracks, trees, reptiles, insects, to name a few.

Sigh, kindred spirits and comfort indeed. Is it any wonder I didn't want to leave? :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Seeking: A Lighter Shade of Grey

morning sun and mist on Bennett Lake

I have dipped in a post-vacation slump. Les bleus. Blah.

Last week’s stay at the cottage was balm for the soul. Blissful. With no obligations or schedule, it gave me space to breathe and escape the to-do’s of the previous weeks and those of the weeks to come.

I read. I slept. I curled up by the fire and fell asleep on the couch. I paddled around the lake with D. I let the bird geek in me shine. I re-connected with nature, simple and country living. I discovered that I’m not always comfortable with the night when there’s no ambient noise or light. I attempted to reconcile with the night by listening to its sounds, stargazing and cultivating a curiosity for what goes on while we sleep. I observed. I logged our activities and wildlife sightings in my journal. I ate chips - a lot of chips. I went to bed at 9:30pm and woke up at 7:30am, eager to discover what the lake and its surroundings had to offer each morning. I lounged on the dock in the sun and did nothing. I hung out with D. in comfortable silence. I hiked a new-to-me trail in Algonquin Park. I heard a wolf howl for the first time under a moonlit sky, accompanied by 800 fellow wolf howl enthusiasts. I scored some books at not one, but two used bookstores. I spent time with Sis, Bro-in-Law and a dear man who inspires with his love of life. I experienced contentment. I experienced anxiety. I experienced peace.

Today I feel tired and frazzled, dipping into a familiar territory I am reluctant to acknowledge. After last week’s colourful high, these past few days have been a shade of grey that’s quickly becoming darker in contrast. So today I’m allowing myself to rest, rest and see what balm my soul needs to bring back some colour - or at least a lighter shade of grey 'cause really, grey can be beautiful too:

lake dancers in the mist