Waiting for Spring

This is the time of year when I am ready to come out of winter hibernation, however, the view beyond my window isn’t very inviting, so I hunker down and wait it out.  Temps finally went above 0 today, but it’s freezing rain so not only wet and miserable but treacherous to walk. Ugh.

I’m in a funk, so you might want to stop reading now. Just saying.

I woke to a glimpse of pink sky in the east which disappeared almost as quickly as it came, and what settled in for the remainder of the day was grey.

Grey matches the colour of my thoughts and feelings right now; my heart is aching for families, for a people, for a country that I love.

“Hope is the thing with feathers”….blah, blah, blah.  (Warned you I was in a mood).

Last Friday’s verdict and subsequent ripple of disbelief, anger, heartache, and hopelessness that has flowed from one shore to another has opened my eyes and ears to the degree of racism still rampant in this country. So shocking and unbelievable. There should be another emoticon on Facebook – sad isn’t nearly enough, and anger is just wasted energy that doesn’t lead to resolution of any kind. Certainly not the reconciliation I believed was slowly (finally) moving in the right direction. And this latter, above all else, is overwhelmingly adding to my grey state of mind.

So I opened my art journal and painted hope. Greens and blues and yellows and whites.  A butterfly and the hint of a bird flying from behind the shadows.

Standing on a rock beside flowing water…

…waiting for spring to arrive.


2017 Intention Journal Review

On this next to last day of 2017, I thought I’d share some snippets of collaged pages that went into my Intention Journal, and the words that influenced each months spread.

January – LISTEN:  This isn’t the first time ‘Listen’ has found its way into my journals, nor will it be the last. It’s a life-long lesson – to pay attention to the still small voice within; to inner wisdom and allowing my body/intuition to guide me; to listen to the wind as it moves through the trees, or to silence – it too speaks.

February – LOVE:  Loving others, loving myself, loving life…and loving that which isn’t always lovable. My morning prayer includes gratitude and asking that all my thoughts, words, and actions be rooted in love. “You see that sun rising? Sing songs to it, make your prayers to it, be present, and give thanks.”

March – LIGHT:  I was missing my son a lot and wishing I could fly back east to see him, but it was a busy month and just not possible. Noticing the big Alberta sky and how the light shifts over the land as I’d travel the highway, and knowing that the same sun rises and sets for both of us.

April – ACCEPTANCE:  This too comes up often, and is about accepting who and where I am in my life. It goes hand-in-hand with ‘expectations’, and becomes a reminder to be gentle with myself – I am exactly where I need to be.

May – BELIEVE: “When I find myself in times of trouble Mother Mary comes to me, Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.” ~ John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

June – WONDER:  There was a flurry of activity in June, cleaning up the yard, tending flower beds, and getting our little waterfall moving again. Mornings began outside with my coffee and journal, delighting in birdsong and the new day dawning. “When our eyes are graced with wonder, the world reveals its wonders to us” ~ John O’Donahue

July – JOY:  Earlier in the year I was introduced to making beaded bracelets using a Peyote stitch technique. It didn’t take long before I was addicted – and spent many an afternoon sitting outside under the pergola in joyful bliss, completely immersed in the process of creating, row by beaded row.

August – HAPPINESS:  Fun summer days playing with my grand babies in the backyard, or watching them splash in the kiddie pool. So much happiness – life is good. “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” ~ Unknown

September – FORGIVENESS:  I stopped counting how many times I put my hand inside my heARTstone bag and pulled out the ‘forgiveness’ stone. Hint, hint – It was past time to explore areas where forgiveness was needed, towards others and myself.

October – TRUST:  The month started out full of promise and possibility, but shifted mid-way – feelings of disappointment and anger arose and old betrayal issues were triggered. Worked hard to let it go and trusted there was a reason, even if unclear to me now. “Still ’round the corner there may wait a new road or a secret gate.” J.R. Tolkien

November – ENOUGH:  Early in the month, I started to slide down a slippery slope of ‘want’ and ‘scarcity’, but quickly reigned myself in.  Exploring spaces to hold creative art workshops resulted in an offering that was there all the time, and just required seeing with new eyes.

December – REST:  Once again reminded how much I need to honour this fallow season; allowing myself to rest, review the past year, and “feed in secret what needs to thrive.”


As the sun goes down on yet another day, I wish you much love, creative goodness, and wonder in the coming year.  May it be so.

Listen: A New Song

“In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.” ~ Mark Nepo

Some years back, I adopted the ‘choose a word to guide me’ exercise, and it’s been a great way to focus and allow that word to grow and inform me over the course of a year. However, this year just wasn’t working – no ‘one word’ was coming. Instead, many words presented them-selves, and since there’s no hard and fast rule to this exercise, I gave myself permission to change it up, including how and when I did my Intention Journal.


One the first day of this new year, I sat down with images and words and collaged my intentions for the month ahead. ‘Listen’ was my chosen word, and I gathered items to add to my window ledge alter. A stone was painted, and my releasing bundle  prepared.  Both came with me on my trip to California.


It was great fun road-tripping with my long-time friend, beginning in Palm Springs, through Temecula, and on to our final destination in Carlsbad, CA. Though it proved to be more difficult than I thought to find a place on the ocean within our budget, the resort we stayed in was perfect- easy walkability to restaurants, shopping, and most importantly, the ocean.

I wasn’t intending on bringing my bundle with me, but the days preceding the trip were so cold, and the thought of trying to shovel away snow to build a fire in the chiminea just didn’t appeal. Besides, it seemed important it be done on my birthday, and so I listened. After dinner, we headed down to the beach to catch some stunning sunset photos…

The week passed much too quickly. We had sunny days, overcast skies and rain, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time and creating some wonderful memories. On our last day, we took a final walk along the water’s edge, darted incoming waves, and dug our toes into the sand, both of us lost in our own thoughts. Giving thanks for life, and family, and a friendship that has spanned 45 years.

Listening to the ocean’s roar…and making sure I remember its song once I’m back in my prairie home.


Walking The Pilgrim’s Way

This snow-covered bridge is an appropriate image for today. Outside, snow has been softly falling off and on since early morning and any foot tracks would soon be covered. I feel as if I’m standing there, ready to take a slow walk to the other side, with only my footprints showing as I glance back.

I have a birthday coming up in a few days time and for months I’ve been thinking that I should celebrate it in a grand way. Some would say this is a milestone birthday, but really, it’s just a number and doesn’t reflect how I feel. Yet, there are moments when the thought “omg-how did this happen?” washes over me. I suppose I’m coming into the autumn of my life now – actually my favourite time of year. Certainly not early or late autumn – so how long does each season last when you’re talking decades? (haha-grin)

I wonder if I’ll feel differently once I’m on the other side of that bridge? There’s no map for the path ahead, but I am learning to listen, to ask and trust an inner guide that leads the way. And that is enough.

The Map You Make Yourself

You have looked
at so many doors
with longing,
wondering if your life
lay on the other side.

For today,
choose the door
that opens
to the inside.

Travel the most ancient way
of all:
the path that leads you
to the center
of your life.

No map
but the one
you make yourself.

No provision
but what you already carry
and the grace that comes
to those who walk
the pilgrim’s way.

Speak this blessing
as you set out
and watch how
your rhythm slows,
the cadence of the road
drawing you into the pace
that is your own.

Eat when hungry.
Rest when tired.
Listen to your dreaming.
Welcome detours
as doors deeper in.

Pray for protection.
Ask for guidance.
Offer gladness
for the gifts that come,
and then
let them go.

Do not expect
to return
by the same road.
Home is always
by another way,
and you will know it
not by the light
that waits for you

but by the star
that blazes inside you,
telling you
where you are
is holy
and you are welcome

~Jan Richardson