Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Five Maples

Things are slowing down.

As I woke up this morning, I could feel a slight bite on my nose from the coolness of the bedroom air, the days are slower to start and there's nowhere better on mornings like this than the warm, coziness of our bed.  
I ran down the hallway and wrapped up an already awake but sleepy Leo tightly in my arms, then on tip toes, hurried back to the warmth of our bed, both of us cuddled snugly underneath the warmth of the flannel sheets and mountain of quilts.  
With squeals of pure delight, Leo seemed to agree.

This month has had it's share of dark days.  
Yesterday was another tough one as I prepared emotionally to say good bye to yet another dear friend.

This latest news sent me reeling, a hit that still had in it the aftershock of another friends passing earlier this month.  
The body and mind grieves in it's own good time, in its own way, with no rhyme or reason to it.  Suddenly sobbing with no visible trigger, body wracking sobs whilst unloading groceries from the car.  And as the sadness recedes 
anger rears its ugly head 
rage at the unfairness, the helplessness..trying desperately to find a reasonable explanation behind it all when there never is.

 This weekend we took a short drive up to our property, just over an hour outside of the insanity of the city lies 50 acres of blessed serenity.  
And upon these 50 acres of gorgeous rolling hills where the trees are just starting to be kissed by the crimson and golden hues of autumns paintbrush 
live 5 majestic maple trees.  
A power spot if ever there was one, you follow a slight bend in the path and there they stand..old and wise, as if there since the beginning of time.  
Like guardians of the forest they stand, larger than life and proud.

  It was quite breezy that day and as the wind swirled up, up and around the gnarled trunks and into the leaves and branches above, 
these wise trees had a lot to say.  
Never intrusive, always gentle, whispering words of love and wisdom into my soul.  
And as I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply I could feel my exhaustion fall away, 
the tightness in my chest that had been there for days now 
loosen it's grip on my heavy, heavy heart.  

It's the cycle of life.  

As people are taken from us, we also rejoice in the welcoming of new souls, tiny, innocent beings who will be making their way through our world.  
All we can do is greet each and every day with a new canvas, ready to leave yesterday behind and not worry so much about tomorrow.  
Hug those loved ones tightly and keep them close to your heart.  
Those who you deem not worthy of your time, let them go and hold no grudges.

Though the days have been dark lately, 
I find comfort in knowing 
that this too 
shall pass.

xo Blue Gnome

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mountains without Valleys

There can be no mountains without valleys; 
  There can be no rainbows without rain. 

                                                           First must come a thirst...and then quenching; 
And soothing only follows after pain.

                                                               Next year's blossoms cannot fully bloom
Until the current fade and drop away, 
As nighttime darkness must descend and cleave
The light of day from yet another day.

When our lives see illness, hurt and sorrow, 
Do not let the weight of this amass; 
Though we can't rejoice when full of sadness, 
We must not forget, this too shall pass.

By Matt Ward (c)1999

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Forever Young

Today has been one of those days..despite the sunshine and lovely company, my heart is heavy today and the only sky above my head was a grey one. 
 Thankfully, it's now the quiet of the night..the wee monster has been bathed, fed and tucked into his little bed, the glowing nightlight casting soft shadows that gently lull him to sleep.  
Tiny chubby fingers clutching the tail of this favorite toy, quiet whistling noises from his 
perfect puckered lips.

Tomorrow will be a hard day, a day when many of us will gather to celebrate the life of an old friend, to also mourn the loss of a life cut too short.  
Coincidentally, on the day I received the shocking news I also received news of a new beginning - a perfect baby boy born into the lives of dear old friends.  
Although the wonderful news did little to lessen the shock of our sudden loss,  I was made painfully aware of the clock-like efficiency of mother nature
as one life ends, another begins..

What can I write that hasn't already been said about you?  

A creative force to be reckoned with, a tortured mind that nobody could reach out and heal.  
You leave in your wake so many people who loved you, so many lives you touched and changed.  
To be quite frank, you knew the dirtiest jokes of anyone I'd ever met and loved the reaction of telling them at the most inappropriate times.  

You made us all laugh..and I loved that about you.
I can proudly say that I can now keep up with all the guy talk at work, thanks to the years of working with you.  

The time my car got stuck in the snow driving into work with you and as you stepped outside to give us a push, you stepped into a steaming pile of dog crap in the snow.  
Then you slipped and fell.  
Then you did a face plant while you were pushing the car and it suddenly became unstuck.
We laughed so hard I had to stop the car
and we got stuck again. 

It'd been a little while since I saw you last, we chatted not two months ago and we were going to try to get together in the next while so you could meet Leo.
How will you meet Leo now? 

How will your own little boy ever know exactly how talented and kind you were?

How will he know how much he was loved? 

You leave behind you so many broken hearts, 
struggling to understand, 
fighting to accept, 
wanting to forgive. 

And when we're all old and grey, 
you will be forever young, 
forever loved.

My heartfelt condolences to his family, M & N, and little A.  Sending you much love, light and prayers.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Photo credit: Yoshiko & Kasturo Kaji

We are home for a couple of weeks - and by home, I mean the place I come back to, time and time again to seek shelter from the storms and to escape from the hustle and bustle of "big city living".  Despite the growing popularity and booming population of this once sleepy town in the Okanagan valley, this place will always be a quiet, safe haven for me, a place where no matter how old I get, I will always be my parents daughter first, and whatever other identity I am out there, second.  
I suppose then that it's not so much the geographic location I call home, but home to me is truly where my heart is; 
with my family.

I've been experiencing an interesting bit of identity crisis since my arrival here - I've found myself on numerous occasions referring to my mother as "mama" to Leo..
then I catch myself and think, "wait a sec..that's your grand-mama..I'm your mama!" which even after 8 months is still a strange thought to me.  
When in random conversations I'm asked if I have any children, the knee-jerk reactive answer is usually no..
then a pause..and then the embarrassing, 
actually, um, yes, I have a son..
which you can imagine results in some very strange looks.  And because of all of this, I am forever paranoid that I might forget Leo somewhere..on a park bench, at the store..and have on more than one occasion had momentary panic attacks when I've had a sitter for the day and been out and about on my own, convinced that I've left him next to the back door, in his car seat, wondering where the heck his feather-brained mother's taken off to without him.  
Thankfully nothing of the sort has happened..yet.  And even if it had, I certainly wouldn't be admitting it on a blog!
And this trip has been an indulgent one with great food, great family, great friends.  
What more can a girl ask for?  And the scenery hasn't been bad either.

  Photo credit: Yoshiko & Katsuro Kaji

With fall just around the corner, I hope you're all getting outside and enjoying the last of the sun drenched days and crimson sunsets.  
If only I could bottle up a little of this Okanagan summer magic to take home with me..

xo Blue Gnome