Wednesday, September 26, 2012

my party girl ♥

I blinked my eyes ...

and now she is eight.

We have been a little crazy around here with celebrating.  Parties with her cousin whose birthday is 3 days after Cowgirl's ...

Celebrating at school, at home


And later this week with our official birthday party (which means I am trying - yet again - to figure out a fun goodie bag offering that doesn't include cheap plastic toys and/or candy.  Okay, so plastic dinosaurs are being slipped in, but what else?)

How much cake, ice cream and brownies have I eaten so far?  Only my thighs know for sure. Cowgirl proclaimed to the lady at the frozen yogurt shop  - we have been celebrating for awhile now -  that she was turning eight "and my mommy is going to be ..." Oh yes, she gleefully told everyone in line the milestone I will be celebrating far too soon.  All I can say is: More cake please.

 Meanwhile, I am incubating some big magic of my own (hence my absence here.)


Not to go all cryptic on you all, but since returning from Squam things have shifted in the old gray matter and let's just say inhibitions are being shed and an unfamiliar sense of bravery and "why not?" is pumping through my veins.  Stay tuned (and stay patient.)

Many wishes have been made, promises whispered and dreams spoken ...

Confidence is an eight-year old girl seizing her day.  I am following her example. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Squam 2012 - Top Ten ♥

I have been home for two days but I swear my spirit is still in transit from Squam.  This year was my third Fall retreat.  Somehow it seems fitting that even after multiple trips, a couple of us traveling in together still got lost as if to emphasize familiarity does not lessen the possibility of wonderment and magic.  Squam continues to enchant and inspire.

I've used a lot of words in past years to describe the Squam experience.  Loads of pictures as well.  Maybe it is my advancing age or travel fatigue (can one be fatigued by too much celebration? Oh yes!) but all I can manage right now is my top ten things I loved about Squam 2012.  In no particular order, they are:

Sharing conversations in the dark with a dear girlfriend (the best roommate ever!) I firmly believe sleepovers should be mandatory for all ages.  

kerry, please don't kill me for posting this!  but isn't she a beauty?!

There is something essential about conversations held while snuggled under cozy comforters, the blackness of night accentuating the cocoon like nature of a cabin room. Loon song in the background is a bonus.

 A daily commute on trails, through the woods.

A tribe of women welcoming you home after a full day of creating and celebrating.

the women of Brae Cove

Deep soul work with equally soulful women.  Who can hold your tears along with your laughter.

SquamLodge with Pixie Campbell and 8 other goddess wild women

The lake ... always soothing, healing and inviting (no skin diving this year, but many swims!)

Virtual friends becoming hug-able realities.

with new sister Erica and finally meeting Herb Mother Latisha

New connections made and existing bonds strengthened.

my sisters in Brae Cove cottage enjoying a final evening together

Magical moments everywhere.  Just look up ... 

or down.  

Opportunities to challenge and stretch myself; new perspectives and new experiences.

Loving teachers and friends supporting and sharing in the experience of possibilities widening, expanding and spreading out in our world.

with Maya Donenfeld who guided me through some sewing milestones in the creation of my story scarf


I've lost track ... is that ten yet?  I would mention the food except I was too engrossed with devouring it to take any photos. (This kind of work generates a hardy appetite.  That commute needs energy!)

I know in the weeks to come I will uncover more gifts Squam bestowed upon me.  That is the magic of Squam: it slips into your soul and travels home with you.

the prayers and wishes of our cabin dancing in the lakeside breeze

acorn spiral created for an Earth Art class by my cabinmate Liz


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

a message from our sponsors

A little something for your week: 

(I am taking Katherine Dunn's Capturing the Essence ecourse and have been inspired by the puppets of Apifera Farm.  And the fun just keeps rolling me along ...) 

coming soon: adventures from Squam!

Friday, September 7, 2012

the gesture of sunflowers

This is the time of year when seasons seem confused.  Back-to-school shoves me into faster pace and a regular rhythm, but summer maintains a firm grip.  Weeks of heat and dryness leave me feeling leached of the energy needed to make the eventual transition into Autumn's harvest time.  Apples are already appearing in the farmer's markets but I can't go there just yet.  This ebb flow of my being always comes and I try to remember this is my cycle, my rhythm.  What I misplace - which means I am gifted by repeated surprise - is the gesture which always returns me to higher spirits, renewed enthusiasm:

Diurnal migrations in my honda CRV move me through interstate, rural highway and city roads which offer subtle variations upon green, gold and grey.  At first I barely register the waving towers of sunflowers lining up along the roadways.  A few stalks here and there, a dot of color amid the dry grasses and weeds.  There is a moment in time - I believe it comes late August and early September - when seemingly overnight those few yellow scouts of the the prairie transform into full platoons crowding the ditches and open fields, clamoring over hillocks and spilling up to the edges of yards, fields,roadways.

Immediately I fall under the spell of their gesture to lift, reach, open to the light and sky. 


I pull over my car and wander amid their rustling stalks, seeking the perfect sunflower to photograph but perfection is not their gift.  I emerge with a camera full of inspiration and am golden stained and blessed for my efforts.  

I return to my car, frustrated by the fact I can never capture the sunny profusion that is a field of sunflowers.  The images in my camera just a yellow blur, missing the individuality of each flower contributing to the buoyancy of the whole.


For some reason, this leads me to think about my friends - my field of sunflowers scattered around the world.  Your presence in my life renews my spirits daily.  When I catch myself flagging, I need only turn to your words, your images, your creations and I find myself back in that space of hope and possibility.  I get frustrated by the distances - oceans and continents  and highway miles - that separate me from you but like the sunflower, your essence is always right there on the edges of my vision; the inspiration of your being moving directly into my heart. My physical life cannot hold all of you at once, but in the space of spirit and dreams, we are all together.  This is the gesture of sunflowers and friendship: love reflecting into infinity.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

love letter

My day started with this reading for my yoga class:

One regret, dear world
That I am determined not to have
When I am lying on my deathbed
Is that 
I did not kiss you enough. 
- Hafiz 

With that as my intention, I was blown away by the waves of emotion I felt throughout the day - watching an elderly man walking his fluffy lap dog, an Asian mother and her college-age daughters engaged in familial banter while making flower bouquets at the farmer's market, children lined up eagerly waiting their turn for a balloon animals, the man in his wheelchair offering for a donation to write your name in fancy script upon colored paper - my heart felt unusually soft and vulnerable but also spacious and energized.  

So I stayed up into the wee hours creating this little love poem, if you will.  The lyrics of this song by Wah! have dripped into my being and I return again and again to the simplicity and wisdom of the message:

Don't hesitate to bring yourself into the light. It's a journey you must take without a pat on the back or any advice.  What you find is your own. What you find is that your dreams grow well with love.  If you look for anything in this world, find things that draw you into the greater Love ...  
Wah!  "Ma Chant (kali)" from Love Holding Love  

Here is my offering of love.  For you, especially, on this day. Everyday. 

Now, go give your love a mighty squeeze.  Savor the juice.  xo