Category Archives: On Thinking

It’s Not Just About the Destination

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“It’s not just about the destination” sums up my thoughts while traveling to escape the noise and fast pace of the city and my work-business life. It is not to escape who I am or what I love to do… my passion and commitment are firm, although, at times, I doubt the strength I have to continue on certain paths. Plagued by self-assessment, as anyone might be while trying to navigate the rough roads of every day, I often wonder if I should just run off on some other trail–change my direction–change my destination. Then, I remind myself… it’s not just about the destination because, in fact, we all end up the same place anyway. It is all about how you see your journey there and I am constantly reminding myself to stay in the moment without worry about what happens in the end. Therefore, I do realize that I see things somewhat differently depending upon my situation and location. This trip was about certain goals, but everything in between, before, and after is up to fate and fortune. What you make of a day is really what thought you put into it and the effort afforded to enjoy every moment. It will all be there when you return, so to worry about “what to do” or “what about” or “what if” is a waste of such a beautiful surrounding.

I am happy I am able to reflect on the time I take away–this time we were really tired at the end of the day and barely had supper and did a few mundane tasks before sleep claimed us. There is something about the mountain air and being out in the beauty of nature that fills you with enough that you are pleasantly exhausted. My knees couldn’t help but remind me that I did more than usual even though I try to do it on purpose, whenever I can, in order to claim every minute of the day in action. To bed early–one would think we’d stay up late writing… however, a tired body won out over a determined mind this week.

Day One arrival was nice and early and we could even check into our hotel room and then go exploring on Wednesday. We took a trip to the Beaver Boardwalk–my daughter recommended it last trip, but we didn’t make it there. Going this time was a treat. What a beautiful nature spot in Hinton! Yes, we have our ponds and walkways here at home, but sorry, Sherwood Park, the most obvious thing missing is setting… I sometimes (well, often) wonder why I still live here with so much soul/spirit connection to the mountains. This park was the perfect way to spend a couple of hours, wandering the boardwalk through the marshes and beaver habitat, traipsing some closer-in trails, and taking a look-out post in the tower to admire the view. I say closer-in because I am not one to wander onto the forest trails–hiking was a younger days sport for me due to my limitations, ones I have accepted, and am able to push to some extent enjoyment of the activities. Also, there’s the fact that we are in wildlife territory and bears and cougars just don’t excite me up close and personal. From the truck window, I am a brave soul – not on foot, however.

Trips away with my dear friend, Mandy, make me appreciate her even more because of the similarities we have –I don’t have to try to keep up and do things I feel out of my comfort zone with… we match in many ways–our appreciation for nature and its fragility to human invasion; yet, the strength and majesty and power of it awes us in the same breath. I could travel the same roads and see the same sights each day or weekend or whatever, and still be in wonder at the amazing embrace of nature–the bold colors of plants, the cuteness of a baby animal, the calming peace of water and wind, the warmth of sun–even if it only peaked through clouds throughout most of our mid-week trip.

We never lost sight of the reason for our trip, although it was in the back of our minds as we connected with the precious moments of each opportunity. The Beaver Boardwalk was more than just walking through a nature setting–it was about stopping and appreciating the finer details of plants, trees, the view, the colors, the sounds, smells, and feel of it all on your soul. Nature caresses one’s spirit with renewing qualities to create a mood of relaxation and connection. There was no sign of any wildlife–other than a couple of birds and fish in the ponds. I wondered about the lack of waterfowl on the ponds… Mr. and Mrs. Beaver must have been relaxing in the shade of their studious home–we saw signs of them being around, of course, but no chance sighting of the animals.

Impressions of the place are best in point form, because that is how they hit you when you are in the moment:

  • The song of the red-wing blackbird
  • The amazing arrangement of wooden walkways over water
  • The variety of flora with bursts of color that stand out so vivid against the greenery
  • The sound and tempo of the wind through the trees as it rises and falls
  • Sun peeking through the overhead canopy in an otherwise dull cloudy sky
  • The man who looked at me funny for taking an overhead picture… yes, look up, too!
  • Wire mesh protecting perimeter trees from industrious beaver clearing crews
  • Signs giving information about the place: make less noise to see more wildlife or be aware and cautious and informed of bears, cougars, wolves… :O
  • Picking up a couple of interesting stones from the rock pathway to commemorate
  • The lookout tower and amazing view of the nearby mountains through the trees
  • Patterns in nature–ripples on the water, long grass blowing in the wind, piles of drift-water-worn limbs

My thoughts may not match anyone else except for those who have the same appreciation for the beauty and magnificence of nature. But, even in that similarity, there are personal differences. The photos I take are not ones that another may take as I look for the shot that appeals to me; I don’t take people pictures; I don’t do selfies. I want the essence of the place where I am–what attracts me, what speaks to me. To each their own.

The take-away for this activity–always invest in the time to enjoy “every precious moment,” as a friend posted. The emotions that grab me in the mountains are awe-inspiring, captivating, yet overwhelming, at the same time. The thought that this glorious world we live in surrounds us for so short a time in comparison to its own life span is one for self-contemplation. No matter what you believe, it’s what adds to a beautiful life–it’s not just about the destination.

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The Road Ahead

It is the first day of a New Year. I feel good and with that feeling are thoughts of starting things afresh while remaining real in my good intentions. Resolutions. Promises. Whatever labels you might attach, they are part of the road ahead… This immediately brings to mind the saying and I had to look it up in order to get it right… to me “the road ahead is paved…” made just as much sense and, for the purpose of my post, was spot on. In fact, the “hell” part didn’t even come to mind, but it was an interesting read and the underlying meaning was apparent after doing so.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” One meaning of the phrase is that individuals may have the intention to undertake good actions but nevertheless fail to take action. Procrastination, laziness, or other obstacles may be the cause of the failure. In any case, the saying is an admonishment that good intentions are meaningless unless followed by action. A different interpretation of the saying is wrongdoing is often masked by good intentions, or possibly that good intentions, even when enacted, may have unforeseen bad consequences (hence the “hell” aspect). (source: Wikipedia)

With all the projects going on I have neglected time for my own creativity. Lately, I have embraced the freedom the office gives me as I am able to leave the physicality of my company work in the office – I say physicality because my mind never turns off completely to the concept of publishing. I live for it. But, living it and then leaving it “at the office” has given me the time to do things at home that need to be done. It has also allowed me the opportunity to engage in creative actions that feed my soul – one of late is coloring my own sketches AND adult coloring books given to me by my sister. Throughout this trying year, my focus was on projects signed by Dream Write Publishing, and that is what made 2015 an amazing year – we published 15 new works!

In order to boost and infuse my own creative spirit, I shuffled ideas around in my head and challenged myself to come up with some plan that might keep me on track – for the day, the month, the year… There are those of you who know how well that goes for me! It’s all good – the putting to paper what needs attention – the infamous to-do list with its promise of organization and achievement – but I am embracing who I am and what I enjoy to make this year one that will bring happiness. If I want to color until 2:00 am… then I will. If I want to disappear into the mountains to track wild horses, I am going to do that, too. Slowly, one thing at a time, I am going to transform myself and my surroundings over the course of this year to embody happiness and health. I will support the people I love who mean the most to me and will love myself for who I am, not obsess about what I am not. It is in our own hands what we do with the time and talents we have.

I offer no resolution to fail. There is no “good intention” to go bad. There is no holding back because I intend to take the road that likes ahead. I left hatred and negativity on the midnight hour to fade into the nothingness of no longer important. The tank is full of passion and promise and that is all the fuel I need to work toward an amazing year of successes.

road ahead

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Smoke, Heat & Memories

The day has me distracted. I try to remain focused on my job and the work I need to do. It has nothing to do with being Monday. It’s not because I had a tiresome weekend nor am fatigued or overly pained. It is not because I am eager to get back to the work on my company projects. It’s not because I have an upcoming trip planned and am looking forward to hitting the road. It is merely to do with the date and something I have in mind that I need to write. It’s a good feeling – that need to write, and even if the thought that started this is internally sad it is not a sorrowful post. Quite the contrary, and I always give in to the urges when they are this strong.

This past weekend was marked by a special event – the marriage of two wonderful people who I am proud to call friends. They both looked amazing and the ceremony was inspiring despite the heat and smoke – it was an outdoor wedding so both elements played a significant role in comfort. Even bringing the party into the shelter of the nearby community hall for the reception didn’t reduce the sweat factor. I am sure everyone dropped a few pounds that day…

Robyn and Joe

I am happy to have a beautiful event mark this weekend in my memories. It is not that new events ever mask or replace old memories that might have marked the days, but it is nice to have rejuvenation to the ones that marred the memory banks. July 13th, 3 years ago, was a day congested with heat and smoke in the air – I won’t forget it. It was a day I found out something that changed lives forever. Changes, whether good or bad, have an effect on one’s life journey. Sometimes it means you go it alone. Other times, it means you have someone to share it.

Best of luck and lots of love on your life’s journey – Robyn and Joe – July 11, 2015

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Birds of Spring

Preface:

The love for spring and birds and all things beautiful prompted me to write this – the robin started it all and the progression to put the words to page ended up including thoughts about my mom. Both of us are spring babies and the appreciation she had for nature inspired me to follow paths where the wild things live. I am not brave. I fear death. Yet in my own way, I am an explorer and an adventurous soul. I am not sad. I am merely reflecting on beautiful thoughts that still bring tears.

*****

RobinWe sat on the back deck under the umbrella and chatted. We cradled ceramic mugs adorned with images of birds. The hot tea warmed us and cool spring breezes washed over us like whispered conversation. We had grown comfortable with the sporadic comments and the pleasurable silence that punctuated our early Saturday morning visit. The sun was still to our right but would soon be to our backs as we sat in shade of the house. Bundled in large knit sweaters, we settled back in the canvas chairs, sipping green tea and warming our hands. Overhead, crisscrossing jet trails cut the wild blue yonder into slices of pie.

“Why do they have to mess up the beautiful sky?” she would ask. We always looked up watching for birds and small planes and whatever else the countryside might offer. I knew she loved the view from the deck at the back of her house. The jet trails were something we always noticed and talked about. It was something we often speculated about – was it weather related air current type stuff, or was it a conspiracy to create cloud when there was none, or was it just because it was what jets do at a high altitude. Whatever the reason, it would come to be my way of knowing she was always with me – perhaps, even her way of showing support wherever I might be and whatever I might be doing. The jet contrails and the birds of spring, both beautiful and meaningful in their own way, are a necessary part of how I was able to move forward without her.

Because of her love for nature and her little house in the country, I began to take more notice of those things around me that drew me to her. Yellow eyed daisies growing in white waves always remind me of her, because they grew wild in her yard and as the years went by there were more and more of them. I see every full moon and remember her calls to me, “Did you see the moon?” I watch for the geese and their return to the northern climes after a long migration. Then in the fall when they coo and swoop in large masses collecting their formations way up high amongst the clouds, I regret their leaving just as I regret hers.

Winter was beginning to be unbearable and the worry about her living alone is one thing that weighed as heavy as the snow on her little roof. She did not relish moving into the Park to be closer to the civilized world; it was not in her destiny to move into any kind of senior’s residence, either. The fates took care of that concern, although I would have shoveled her driveway forever and took care of her when the time came. It didn’t come, though. Her journey was not with that kind of finish.

This year I noticed the robins more and their activity around me. It seems there a few around who accompany me on my day. One makes its home in the eaves above my apartment window and you can hear it singing in the still early morning. One stopped for a picture on a post outside my cabin window while I was in Jasper and another hopped up to the truck for a picture while I sat in the parking lot at Miette Hot Springs. Yet another hopped closer and closer while I loaded the truck with books this past weekend.

Everyone deals with loss in different ways. Recognizing the little things we used to talk about and remembering the things she loved is how I am able to move forward. Writing these words helps, too – as I am able now to express them from my heart without pain tearing into them before I even have a chance to put them to the page. The test would be to read them out loud – although I am sure I could attempt it, one never knows how one’s emotions are going to interfere at any given time. The wound is deep and will never going to go away, but it is healed over, protected from outside exposure.

*****

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” ~ Langston Hughes

 

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Introspective Perspective

Random thoughts while driving…

The meeting was set for 1:00 pm on Saturday in the quaint coffee house, Pebble Ridge, in Rocky Mountain House. My new author is from Red Deer and it would be a short drive west for him to finally meet to discuss his book project.

I started out from home at 8:00 am, filled the tank, and got a cold drink to go. I couldn’t understand why I was so thirsty so early, but realized it might have been the consumption of wine the evening before… Rested and raring to go, it was easy to rise and pack and hit the road early. Although another route was more direct, I chose the longer way to enjoy the journey. It’s not always about the destination – although that can be important – how you get there, too, makes all the difference sometimes. For one – heading west always feels right and, for two, taking the Cowboy Trail is a good choice because it feels right, too. I’ve been this way before a few times lately (highway 16 west to highway 22 south), but I love the drive – the feel of it relaxes me and sets my mind free of city encumbrances. Driving alone, however, is open game for thinking – good and bad. If I don’t want to think, I play music to drown out the persistent voices, the constant thoughts, the never ending discussion between the realist and the dreamer. The radio station fades away and I play the soundtrack from Cavalia or Maroon 5.

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A robin poses for a close up shot.

A bumblebee buzzes around the windows looking for in or through or whatever. Sunshine sits in the Miette Hot Springs parking lot looking like a big yellow flower in a meadow of concrete – tasty temptation for the timid little bee. I roll my driver’s side window up and two seconds later it attempts to say a closer hello. A robin hops nearby on the pathway along the trees, and I mega zoom in on it – magnifying its feathers and bright eyed curiosity. I sit contemplating my move. I remain there for about an hour, reading, calming frazzled nerves that poke in and out of the relaxing peace. I cannot explain the diametrically opposed pieces of my mind. Happy. Sad. Inspired. Depressed. Peaceful. Anxious. The parking lot fills up – it’s time to move on.

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I could see the same view day after day and it would still humble me, overwhelm me with its magnificence.

When I drive the mountain roads I cannot believe the feelings that wash over me. I often wonder if those people who speed by in fast cars, neglecting the stop at look outs, ignoring points of interest, not even slowing down to enjoy the wildlife – I wonder, if they ever feel the emotion I do in the mountains. Perhaps, they did the trip before and it’s no big thing. Perhaps, they are too focused on the end point to notice the points of interest along the way. My emotions run the gamut – my mind stops, starts, and suspends itself in the magnificence of my surroundings. I am soothed by its beauty, overwhelmed and humbled by its magnitude. I cry at the thought of leaving this world and never seeing such beauty again. Then, I admonish myself for silliness and return to revel in the moment.

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Distant waterfall cascades down the mountain.

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An eagle flies o’er mountain high…

At a roadside turnout, high above the river below, I stop along the guardrail to take in the vast panorama. Mountains with snow covered peaks, shimmering shale rocks, greenery of all shades. A distant waterfall cascades down the mountainside. The telephoto lens brings the river from the valley floor and the highest shimmering rock face to me as if in reach. Out of the corner of my eye I see it – circling, circling, circling… Soaring on upper air currents, the large bird covers the sky in wide spread wings, so high it is even a speck in my lens. I am not sure of the species of raptor, but the bird is magnificent. The words to the sound about love lifting us up, come to mind and ring in my head, prompting tears to spring to my eyes, again.

The trip wasn’t totally about doing everything I love, but it encompassed some of the ‘musts’. I already mentioned the Highway 22 South route – well, 11 West is a dream and being in Rocky Mountain House with a free night ahead of me meant I couldn’t pass up the chance to see things I love and traverse the route with such beauty. My travels now include limits, however. Due to health issues, there are limits I never had to consider before, but there they are, forefront in planning and executing events. Accepting I have limitations both angers and frustrates me. In moments of appreciation, I think of all the things I’ve done and all the things I still can do. I digress and say thanks – at peace with the body’s changes. With those thoughts, I decided I would explore some different things/places amongst the wonderfully familiar, while taking time to clear my head and rest my back and knees.

For the most part, driving is easy until I log too many hours in the Sunshine saddle – then the back begins to remind me of its chronic pain. I need to stretch and walk a bit to loosen up the muscles and work the knees. Refreshing road weary eyes is always a good thing, too. My stops are frequent because of the awe I feel – lots of pictures return home with me – but, I temper my attempt at each stop depending upon my ability. Many times, I am the best darned truck window photographer! Since I stopped at Athabasca Falls last year on the reverse trip, I decided I would stop at Sunwapta Falls this time. However, I couldn’t proceed past the parking lot because, although only a .1 km hike to the vantage points overlooking the water, all of the pathway is a downhill grade and that is a no-no for the knees. Acceptance of limitation. I listened to the roar of the water rushing below, thankful for my sense of hearing and sight.

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A decision to stop for the day to rest weary bones offered me opportunity to stay in a place I never stayed before… another new experience.

The need to keep in motion produces undesirable effects. The conundrum being more movement = activity = weight loss, but more movement = pain = exasperation! The pills I am on to manage pain help with numbing it so I can sleep and I don’t get overtired, sometimes. Depending on the activity (and the weather) my pain is what it is – constant. At times, it is excruciating, forcing me to just take things easy. Doctor’s orders are movement, keep active, but my body’s response is anything but accommodating. I most likely will need double knee replacement surgery, but the weight loss is a must in order to proceed in that direction. The weekend needed to be modified with extended rest to recover bothersome knee pain. The prior long weekend retreat tired me out – 2nd floor rooms in a lodge meant stairs multiple times per day. I mentioned this concern to my doctor on a previous visit. I took it very slow. Writing, yes. Stair master, no.

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6th Bridge – the sounds of birds and rushing water soothed. When the small parking filled, I escaped with pictures to remember it by.

It was exciting to travel familiar roads, but also intriguing to discover new ones. I took some time to discover 6th Bridge where I sat for some time reading. I took some pictures of the water and the bridge, then vacated when it started to get busy. Bikers, hikers, and other sightseers. The road to Miette Hot Springs was awesome – winding, curving, bordered by cliffs, rises, and lots of trees. It took me deeper into the back country. Again, I parked and listened to the birds, did some reading, and took pictures. As before, I backtracked and headed to the highway and proceeded east on 16. East is not good. It means leaving behind something as profound as the images of the Rockies in my mirror that soon fade from sight. My mood soured despite respite in the glorious mountains. How can one feel so inflated, yet depressed? So inspired, yet so empty? So determined to do better with renewed vigor – all the while, feeling overwhelmed with all that lays ahead… Prospects and potential paralyze – how can that be?

The comfort I take in all of this is my ability to see the beauty, appreciate the wonder, realize the potential for danger or recognize opportunity, and even laugh at myself with good humor, as necessary. The feelings described above hit me every time I leave the mountains to return home, leaving me to wonder why I never moved there if such a connection rips my very soul by their separation from my view. I concede – I was fearless in my youth and have become jaded in my aging even though I would certainly consider the move – looking around the little cabin I rented I surmised – “I could live here.”

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Amazing colors… there’s probably shiny things and a squirrel in there, too 😉

So to end this blog about perspective and its inward retrospection while getting away – I leave you with a tip while driving throughout the Alberta countryside. Be aware that if Main Street is blocked off in Small Town, Alberta – and there are people pulling lawn chairs to the curb side – it could mean there is a celebration you are not privy to. I wondered why that little girl waved to me… All I could think was how lucky I was I had such a beautiful, bright truck! Sunshine was in her glory parading by the locals… oh, look, what a beautiful tree!

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Day 8 – Routine, routine, routine…

January 30-day Photography / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

Routine… sometimes I am consumed by it and others times it allows me to breathe easier… Day 8 blog image - Routine

The concept of routine can be diametrically opposed to a creative mind although it guides our everyday life. The familiarity keeps us in a place where we feel at home. We can feel confidence in that knowing. On the other hand, the repetition can be a detriment to free thinking. After doing something for a number of days, it has become routine, habit, the norm… but it also drains on the thought processes, to a degree, forcing me beyond what I expected to be easy, comfortable, and second nature. That expectation can cause disappointment and frustration until an idea bleeds through, prompting an attempt. It does not matter with a challenge to what extent you push yourself, it just means that you are at least making an effort. I appreciate routine. I loathe routine.

For the photo today, I decided to go for the #TBThursday and posted a find from another day – one that I found while taking a break from routine. And I added the special effects that I love to do to alter the already interesting shot. A throwback adheres to the routine of collecting favorites and remembering them when times are strained. A throwback is a tribute to something that was while you are considering in the moment what is. It is a comparison. It is unique. The directional finders above are indicative of my journey, which can go in any direction depending on the wind, with precision or precariousness. As long as I move forward, routine is fine.

The day is what you make it… follow along or change it up if you don’t like routine.

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January 7th, 2015 – 30 day Photo / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

January 30-day Photography / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

Day 7 – Change to Come

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of…” ~ Jim Rohn

When I checked the list today to confirm my challenge, I just accepted the words as I would any other normality in my life. As I look ahead, I see 2015 as one of increasing magnitude in all areas of my life; hence change to come is inevitable and so appropriate. I have claimed over the years that I am not afraid of change… but, as I grow older the ability to implement some changes just takes a little more time. I know that moving ahead and leadership involve change all the time, whether in life, love, or business. Again, as with the other challenges that were not so obvious (i.e. clouds) I was moved to think of the options during the day. I came up with a couple of choices while assessing my own life – move to a bigger residence, move to sharing a residence, perhaps own instead of renting… hoping to focus more on my own writing while still coordinating the publishing dreams of my authors and valued clients.

Then! Oh, the humor hit me. Change to come. Change the channel. Change one’s attitude. And as I counted change for the set up shot, there in front of me was the pile of paper on my desk that might be change for everyone in Alberta. And the weather changed… swirling and blowing to just hit everyone. There are many changes in the works and I hope this little composition finds my readers well and entertained, sympathetic and supportive.

The day is what you make it… embrace the changes.

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January 2, 2015 – 30 day Photo / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

January 30-day Photography / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge   

Day 2 >> What You Wore

It is amazing the places the mind goes…

I guess that is the purpose of a prompt – to take you places you might not have gone on your own. To inspire new insight, to remind, to force creative outlook, to spark imagination, to create consternation and wonderment… I really love the idea of the list created by someone to whom I have no connection. The randomness of the challenges will allow me to go beyond the usual and will most likely ignite a whole new perspective for 2015.

What you wore… it could mean so many things and to each person a different meaning. It also produces different effects depending upon the context of the statement. Point of view is a major concept in writing. Is the list speaking TO me? Or, am I reading it as if I am speaking of YOU, someone other than myself? It provided much food for thought over the course of the day and even though I am not going to get all uptight about “what am I going to write” … it did give me ideas as my mind ran the gamut of memories, but what could I take a picture of for the challenge? Depending on when… what I wore varied:

  • yellow knit bonnet and booties on the ride home – April 1957
  • pink leather lace up walking shoes when just a year and a half – 1958 (I still have these)
  • leg-warming leg-covering colored tights in elementary – 1963
  • orange fish net stockings and brown fake leather mini in junior high – 1969
  • white tennis dress in high school – 1972 (I still have this)
  • matchy matchy ski outfit on the mountain slopes in my 20s
  • Satin wedding dress for marriage #1 – 1984
  • Satin western outfit for marriage #2 – 1990 (I still have this… somewhere…)

So you see my dilemma. Of course, if we turn the phrase around and point it at YOU, well then the concept of YOU depends, too, on who YOU are. If I base it solely upon one aspect, again it depends on who YOU are:

  • A black leather jacket
  • A grey suit
  • A western hat and boots
  • A shirt and tie
  • A t-shirt and jeans…

Day 2 - 30 day challenge What You WoreJanuary 2nd continued on with the momentum of winter as the snow fell overnight and well into the day. Eventually the sun broke through and it looked inviting even though cool upon embrace. I ventured out to clear the snow from Sunshine and plowed out onto the Sherwood Park streets. Nothing keeps us home anymore – there is never too much snow or too little traction to keep the determined from outside action. You could tell the weather was colder with the sun’s rays reflecting “sun dogs” in the ice crystal laden air. Traffic was heavy, but it always is on a Friday afternoon. I wore my down filled jacket, warm winter boots, and ensured I had my new gloves and sunglasses with me. I was ready to make the day mine.

I recall lying in bed this morning thinking of the waning vacation days and decided coffee was in order so I didn’t sleep away my time off. My thoughts immediately go to all the things I didn’t do instead of thinking of what I did achieve and the memories I acquired over the holidays. It is just natural to think of it that way – I must get into the habit of doing otherwise.

Life is what you make it.

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Remember, Remember

November… is all about the “remember.” It’s about remembering it’s still fall although winter sometimes imposes its icy cold hand over our land and our windshields. It’s a nice rhyme for those given to poetic urges when golden mantle is now carpet and barren branches reach toward a still blue Alberta sky. It’s about remembering to tune up and retread and retire… all those things that you might not have gotten to by the end of October. While the weather holds you batten down the hatches and stack the wood in preparation for what’s inevitably next…

Yes, there is the infamous “Remember, remember the 5th of November… of gunpowder, treason, and plot…” Guido Fawkes’ notoriety is forever in our history with his attachment to the foiled Gunpowder Plot of blowing up British parliament and all who were in attendance. Who knows what effect the successful completion of such a plan would have had on the day, let alone what might have transpired and what effects might have filtered down through history.

We have also always honored Remembrance Day on November 11th “…lest we forget.” To celebrate those with eternal gratefulness for their service to our country, to protect and defend us, most often with the biggest sacrifice one can offer – their lives. A day in honor is the least we can do. I do not remember it having to ever be a holiday, though, while growing up. I recall school tributes and moments of silence on the 11th hour, the 11th day, the 11th month while in the classroom. Now, as an employee, we receive the day off as a statutory holiday – not sure when it was instigated, but it is something we all just accept now, as the norm.

My own remembrance in November includes the passing of my mother in 2012 and I’ve stated several places… time has its way of moving on, yet all wounds do not heal completely. I will always pay tribute to this day, November 3rd, as I move forward to celebrate my own life in memory of hers.

And, of course, last but not the very least, considering my desire to write in any fashion – National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo, to those in the know… I remember with overwhelming contentment my connection to words and writing and the craziness that transpires as we heap the attempt upon our already full plates. I remember my love for this obsession and I remember my decision to narrow my focus to be a writer, become a published author, and help others by being a publisher.

Remember, remember…

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.”

~ William Shakespeare

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Chasing Wild Dreams

It is 10:57 pm on the evening of March 11th and it is +7 degrees. The window is open and a gentle March lamb breeze bleats through the screen, shuffling the shell chimes as it passes through – a shy melodic ripple that stirs my sense of freedom and imagination with its soft, beautiful sound. As I finish my posts for the night, I last perused the many pages of wild horse pictures. I scrolled, amazed and awestruck, through the slide show from a photographer recently at the William’s Creek capture point. The corral is to be taken down; this season’s cull now over. I read that only 15 horses were captured and that, to me and many through the province, is 15 too many. Why they are not protected is beyond me… see the pictures, look into their eyes, feel their essence, and then tell me you don’t sense their magnificence and harbor a rising need to protect and respect that spirit.

It’s now 11:32 pm and +6 degrees… cooling off over night but there are warm temperatures in store for Alberta – we wait the spring with bated breath, tired of the too long, too cold, too much winter. It is no more or no worse than any other but we were teased in January and need this to be done so we can move on. Other things are soon to be done, too – to move on and close this chapter; however, remembering forever the story upon its pages. It is a bittersweet week as things come to completion in some respects, and remain forever incomplete in others. It brings me to the closure of exposure yet the openness of vulnerability as my heartaches, my body aches, and my mind tries in vain to justify the extremes. I feel accomplishment yet know there is so much more ahead to be done.

While chapters close, like in writing my novels, I am thinking ahead to what is to come, what is yet to happen, and what purpose drives my character to those ends. I read many quotes and wisdoms posted each day in an effort to inspire change, encourage improvement, create thought, etc. Today, the following quote resonated with me:

“Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before.” 

                                                                                           ~ Dalai Lama

I am in the planning stages of a personal trip that will see me go to the wild horses of our province. I am hoping only to take pictures and experience their freedom first hand. I want to look into their eyes, hear the wind as it whips through their mane, watch as they graze upon Alberta’s foothill grasses. I do not want to disturb them as that would go against all my beliefs, all my respect for their need to just… be… To be close enough to feel them with my very soul shall be complete.

It is 11:52 on March the 11th and it is still +6 degrees… as I turn in for the night and look forward to another day, I am thankful for the things in my life, the people who make it worth living, and the passion I hold in my heart for writing, horses, and freeing the creative spirit. 

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Filed under On Dreaming, On Life, On Thinking, On Writing