Friday, 22 January 2016


I am going to deconstruct the above subject line by defining each word individually.

The definition of Being is "the nature or essence of a person."
The definition of Free is "not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes."
The definition of In is "used to indicate that someone or something belongs to or is included as part of something
The definition of Nature is "the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations"

If I connect all this together the subject line means this. That the very essence of myself as a person wishes to belong to, or be a part of a phenomena that includes plants, animals the landscape and other features of the earth, while not under the control or power of another and be able to act as I so wish. Isn't that compelling? This is what I yearn to be and how to live.

As I sit here typing, my house empty but for myself and my two dogs, I am humbled to witness the beauty of nature outside my window. I sit next to a crackling fire that is burning wood from the very forest that not only provides us with the beauty that surrounds our home but also with much needed warmth and comfort inside. The sun has risen above the leafless hardwoods, and soft snowflakes fall from a blue sky, punctuated with the grey heavy clouds laden with snow. The wind is howling around the corners of the house, picking up the soft snow, as light as sand and whips into all the corners and crevices, creating drifts like the dunes on the beach. Large icicles dangle from the rooftop, lengthening as the sun melts the ice and the wind freezes again its drips and drops and creates a beautiful artistic rendition of water turned in to a mosaic of reflective color, clearness and depth.

As I see all this through glass, my heart leaps in to an excitement and a longing. I know that after I finish this post I will pull on my snow pants, don my toque and jacket, lace up my boots and head out in to the woods for a much needed dose of nature. My dogs will frolic through the snow, their joy of the outdoors mimicking my own. Free for a time.

My sense of freedom is fleeting, as I, like most of us have many responsibilities. Work, school, activities, all which can drive us away from nature and in to a world that may not be suitable or comfortable. For me, the more I am driven indoors, in to an office world, the more unhappy I become. My thoughts drift to the frozen lake at the cabin, or the lonely beach my husband and I hiked a few weeks ago in a snow storm. I think of the trails through the woods, or the birds that may be visiting my feeder. When I return late in the day, the evidence exists of a busy day for the birds. The empty feeders and hundreds of tiny footprints beneath it in the snow show the tale. Did the cardinal couple return that day? The doves? Before I leave for work in the morning, just as the light begins to turn the darkness in to shadows, I can see the flittering of chickadees, darting to and fro and I long to sit by my window, cup of tea in hand and watch the shadows turn to the grey light of morning, then see the orange ball of the sun begin to peak through the trees and rise up to the sky.

Stormy secluded beach in winter. Just my husband and I. Picnicked behind a huge rock out of the wind. Heaven!

The infinite beauty of ice

Skeleton of a leaf on rock. A reminder that life is delicate

This is what defines me. Not my house, money or things, just a pack sack and a thermos.

How does one balance the life that beckons inside to the one that we are required by society to pursue? As I grow older I find myself noticing more and more what has become important to me and what isn't. Money, houses, cars, clothes, these things have always been just a necessity to me. Things do not define me or my self worth. I long only to live in a small cabin, surrounded by forest and water, where I can BE FREE IN NATURE. I have attained that lifestyle before to a degree, but yet was not free, so I will continue my quest to find the answer to the longing that resides inside myself. But for now, I will take the moments that I can. Hike the beautiful trails and beaches of Nova Scotia, stand alone in the woods, where it can be so quiet,  you can hear the snow touch the ground as it falls softly from the sky. Life is good, life is short, and I will work to try and "be" in nature at every opportunity.

Friday, 13 November 2015


Well it sure has been awhile since type has graced the pages of this blog. Life and all its hurries and worries have gotten in the way of my writing. It is a grief that lingers in the recesses of my mind that I have pushed the joy of writing, hearing that click clack sound as fingers fly over the keys, so far in to the background of my life. I could go on making excuses, but they would sound hollow and mundane. The fault lies within me, and my own sets of priorities. I could put pressure on myself, make promises that I will write more, but all in all, I am probably setting myself up for failure. So no promises, just hopefulness.

But what has inspired me to write today, after all this time, was a little something I came across on the internet. It was a short phrase. Mono-no-aware. Now the funny thing is, I was looking up the symptoms of mono (I have a tired teenager) but had made a spelling error or something of the sort, and I'm not really sure why it came up, but hence there it was. So I clicked on it, thinking "oh, it must mean being aware you have mono" or something like that. But it wasn't. And it gave me pause. The meaning of mono-no-aware is as follows:

Mono-no-aware means literally “the pathos of things”, also translated as “an empathy toward things”, or “a sensitivity to ephemera”, a Japanese term used to describe the awareness of impermanence, or the transience of things, and a gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing.

The reason this was so profound for me, is that I have never been able to put in to words that feeling I get when I am in nature. That intense awareness that brings such joy but also sadness. I remember once being in the woods with my son when he was really young. We were living on a small island in the Georgia Strait off the Coast of Sechelt, at the time, and it was a beautiful stormy day, just how I like them. It was windy, with dark clouds building on the horizon, white frothy waves on the ocean and we were surrounded by all these arbutus trees, giant cedars and firs towering towards the sky. And we were all alone in this place. The sheer immenseness of this feeling made me cry. He asked me why I was crying and I told him that the beauty made me sad. I can only imagine what he must have thought. Mom's lost her mind, or something of that nature, but honestly, there is no other feeling like that joy that is touched by sorrow. The sorrow at the realization that this doesn't last. You can't hang on to it because you know it will pass. So when I came across this phrase all these years later, I felt that thrill at seeing in words something that explains feelings I experience so frequently. That gentle sadness (wistfulness) at their passing. Beautiful.

And that's how I felt a few weeks ago, travelling the Cabot Trail for the Autumn Colors. What tremendous beauty.  As Alexander Graham Bell so eloquently said so many years ago, "I travelled around the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes and the Alps, and the Highlands of Scotland; but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all." And his words ring true. When I saw the colors of the hillsides as they plunged in to the Atlantic below, I was in awe. I was joyful, yet sad. Wistful. Wanting to cling to a moment, a feeling. And there was also that awareness of being so small, in such a vast existence of beauty, time, space.

I took this trip to Cape Breton with my elderly parents. I have always wanted them to see this beautiful place for themselves as one can't really put it in to words how it looks and feels, and pictures can't encompass the beauty either. This trip was monumental for me in the fact that it brought me feelings of nostalgia, of wanting to grasp the moment. I remembered taking trips with my parents as a little girl, my father behind the wheel, mom in the front, a bag of candies between them. They would make me a bed in the big back seat (we didn't worry about seatbelts then) and I would snuggle in as we embarked on our journeys, always leaving early, before the sun came up, "so we could beat rush hour in Seattle", as my father would say. It was a magical time for a little girl. It felt like an adventure to things unknown. And as I grew older, I would don my headphones and listen to my music, a teenager now, almost too cool to travel with Mom and Dad. Almost, but not quite. The Oregon Coast was our usual destination then, or California, the Pacific Ocean and the Redwoods. It was these journeys that instilled in me the spirit to always want to see what's around the next bend. So when we took this trip to Cape Breton together this past October , it was a time of not only nostalgia, but of the passing of life. I'm a grown woman now, my children are in the backseat and my father rides in the passenger seat now. My husband is now the father behind the wheel, taking us on our journeys. When I reach out and grab my mothers hand in the backseat and feel her soft skin as we take in the beauty around us together, I can, for a moment, feel like a little girl again. And as the leaves fall from the trees and the stark empty branches are silhouetted against a winter's cold, clear sky, we are reminded that it is fleeting. From the greens and newness of the leaves of spring, to the long days of summer, the decay and aging of fall, and the coldness of winter, such is life.

Friday, 1 May 2015


Well it has been a long while since I have posted on this little old blog of mine and to be truthful, I really miss the writing. I have been working full time the last while and just now, today, have gone back to part time, and I am so very happy. I really want to focus on whats important and that is living in the moment, cherishing all the beauty that exists around us all, and having a bit of time to just be. I feel very lucky to have the job I do, but it doesn't define me. And what I learn the most from where I work (Long term Care) is that life is extremely short. It goes by in a blink, and if we don't take the time now to enjoy it, there is no later on. So here I am, back and hopefully able to write a little more in the future.

So lets do a little catch up. Winter is behind us and what a winter it was. Snow, snow and more snow. I have never actually seen that much snow in my life time. I LOVED it. It was the winter of my dreams. That said, spring is now here and I am happy to see it coming. That's the great thing about seasons, just when you're getting sick of one thing, the next is just around the corner. Everything keeps moving at its own pace and if you take the time to stop and enjoy it instead of complaining about it, you see the absolute beauty in all that is. But now its time to get the garden going, seeds planted, soil tilled and some much needed spring cleaning. We also will be visiting our little piece of heaven at the lake and getting that aired out and opened up for the season. Last time we went to our camp, there was about 6 feet of snow and we had to hike in. It was incredible. The snow was frozen so you could just walk right over the top. At one point I was standing on snow knowing that my picnic table was somewhere beneath me. It was a sunny day, and you could hear the lake moaning and groaning as the ice was beginning to melt. The immense silence was broken by the loud explosions of the ice giving way. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. But now I'm excited to get back there, put my canoe in the lake and hear the first dip of the paddle as the sun rises over the hills. Life is good. I'm going to leave you now with a few of my winter pictures that give me the most pleasure. Each one has a very special memory attached which I will always treasure. Enjoy, and will write again soon.

Thursday, 4 September 2014


Here we are, September. Another summer behind us as we send our children back to school, harvest our gardens, watch the leaves change and marvel at the morning dew clinging to the spider webs that abound through out the yard everwhere. Sunflowers reach for the sky, their great yellow heads beckoning us to take part in the last burst of summer.

 There is a hint of nostalgia as we begin our preperations for the months ahead but there is also contentment and excitment. We look back over the pictures of summer, reliving the special moments. The ones that stand out as memories never to be forgotten. I had quite a few of those kinds of moments this past summer. Ones that will stay with me throughout the cold nights that are surely ahead. There was the time when I lied in my tent and watched the fireflies up high in the trees, twinkling, little lights everwhere. They only come out once a year and last only a little while. I am so very glad I have a tent that has an open mesh ceiling that I can uncover on special nights such as those ones. I snuggled down in my sleeping bag and gazed at the night sky, stars, fireflies and towering pines. Another special moment was taking part in a Native Sunrise Ceremony. Myself, my husband and my daughter stood together with 20 other brave souls that morning and took part in a ceremony that I will never forget. Strangers bound together by a beautiful sunrise celebrating creation together as one. A new morning, a fresh start. Each day we are on earth we are presented with this every morning. Amazing.

 There were nights sitting by the lake where the stars were so abundant they reflected in the water creating a world of sparkling wonder. Moments where you feel the need to speak in hushed whispers as night falls, because you don't want to disturb the immense beauty around you. There were the mournful cries of loons in the night, the rustle of deer outside the tent as we were sleeping, owls whoo hooing as our eyes slowly closed. There were white sandy beaches, cold oceans, warm lakes, country roads and the smell of woodsmoke on our clothes. But most of all, there was the times of just being together. Having these moments with those that I love the most. When I look back over the last couple months there were times of hardships too. Losing my beloved dog Barley, work pressures, crazy days and some sleepless nights where the worries seem so much more daunting than they do in the light of day. But the special moments, the ones that make you feel like you are part of something much greater than we can ever imagine, are the ones I choose to remember. Focusing on the wonders of life that surround us all. The free gift of nature that is worth more than any million,  is there for us each and everday. We can count on the sunrise and we can count on the sunset. We can set our clocks to it, it is that loyal. Nature never disappoints. It can be rageful, like the hurricane we experienced this summer, and it can be cruel, but it certainly does not disappoint, whether it is in its powerful beauty, or its gentle hush. I loved summer, and now I look happily forward to the Autumn approaching. Where there will be more moments to cherish and enjoy. I can't wait. I will end this post with some of my pictures of summer. Enjoy. Happy September everybody, may it be filled with love, laughter and cherished moments.

Monday, 28 July 2014


Well, from hurricanes to destroyed veggie gardens and downed trees, summer came off with a windy start. No internet for weeks after and having to wait for the rural repair people to fix us up and then leaving for vacation to our camp which has no internet was something to behold, let me tell you. But we are back home, our internet is back up and running and life is returning to its somewhat normal routine. Its amazing when you take away the electonics, how life changes. The games battleship and crib made an appearance after collecting dust in the back of a cupboard somewhere. All the many world crisis' that occurred while we were offline went virtually unnoticed as we didnt' listen to the radio either. We were in a non electronic bliss and all was well in the world.

Of course this self induced bliss can't last forever and we came back to the land of the living to hear of horrific plane crashes and war, but the thing that I noticed most was that, even though I heard about it after the fact, because it was in the past and not the current news story, I was mostly spared all the graphic images and stories that often accompany news items such as these. And that was a welome relief. I really do think its ok to take a break from all that stuff once in awhile, and that's what we did this vacation. I have been experiencing a lot of stess these past few months and they have taken a toll. So what we did was focus on ourselves this vacation and have a little hubby and I alone time. I read 5 books, went canoeing, hiking and fishing. We explored quaint little towns and dirt roads that lead to lakes and rivers and sandy beaches. And all this was at our doorstep. I feel very blessed to live in such a magnificent little place in the world. Listening to the loons lonely cry at night as the darkness fell and the fire crackled, glass of wine in hand, really helped wash away some of the strain that life has been handing out this past while. I feel truly rejuvinated. Now back to reality. But before I go, I will leave you with a few picturesque highlights of our Nova Scotia Staycation.

Thursday, 10 July 2014


A lot has been happening in our neck of the woods lately. Hurricane Arthur made landfall in Yarmouth Nova Scotia last Saturday and since the storm we have had no internet up until today. Wow, when you live in a home that relies completely on internet for television, blogging, social media and communication, it packs a big punch when its not available. That said, we were luckier than most as we only lost power here for about 12 hours. As of today, there are still some in our community going without so I really can't complain too much.

We did receive a lot of damage to the yard though, losing many many trees. We also lost most of our crop of peaches, all the plums and some of our vegetable garden was flattened. Arthur hit the shore with winds sustained at 140km/h and wreaked havoc on the shore. There are downed trees through much of the community and the massive clean up has begun.

My favorite tree in the yard weathered the storm remarkably though and I am so happy to see it is still standing.

Other than the hurricane, life has been busy as usual. Summer activities are in full swing and vacation is just around the corner. We aren't doing a whole lot this year. Just going to the property and a little camping here and there. Cape Breton and New Brunswick are on our radar and I look forward to sharing some of that scenery. I have been to Cape Breton only once and it was absolutely stunning. I an understand why its rated one of the top ten island destinations in the world.

I'm hoping the slow down in to vacation mode will give me a little more time for quiet reflection and inspiration for writing. Working in a small office all day behind a computer makes coming home to sit behind yet another screen and start typing a hard decision to make. Especially when the sun and yard beckon me outdoors. So summer posts will probably be down to a minimum this year unless internet finds me somewhere on the vacation trail. Happy summer every one.

Thursday, 26 June 2014


I am going to do a little experiment in centering myself before I begin writing today. What I am going to do now is close my eyes and listen intently to the world around me. Then I am going to begin typing all the things I hear. (Thank goodness I can type with my eyes closed. Thank you Grade 11 typing class) Here it goes:

The hum of the refrigerator, rain on the roof, my little dog breathing, the sound of a video game in the other room, the sound of my children's voices as they play together, my own heat beat, my breathing, my fingers typing on the keys, rain drops hitting the windows, the washing machine on spin cycle. As I listen more intently I can here the changes in the rain. From heavy downpour to trickling and back to downpour, surging up and down like the sea. I can almost smell the dank wetness of the day. There is a sound of raindrops in the chimney pipe and I remember there is a small leak to fix. These are the sounds around me. A 5 minute relaxation of all the things that surround me in this moment in time. A great way to relax.

I tend to this often. Take a break, close my eyes and listen. I love to do it in the woods, where the sounds of nature are so diverse. There will be the chipper of a squirrel, the leaves rustling in the trees above or the dripping of water after a rain. I also love to lie in the grass in an open field and watch the clouds float past above me. Here in Nova Scotia the clouds seem so much closer than they did out west. I assume this is because we don't have any mountains here, but whatever the reason, I love it. The big white puffy balls of cotton drift past against the deepest of blue skies, and I sigh in contentment as the grass tickles my arms and an ant will crawl across my leg as I lie still and breathe. This is how I meditate and relax. It brings me a renewed energy.

Life is so full of anxieties and pressures. That's why taking these moments trying to use all our 5 senses are so important. When we take to time to sit still and listen, hear, smell, taste and touch we become in tune with our own body as well as the environment around us. The other night at the lake I decided to set up the tent to sleep in. I absolutely love sleeping outdoors and the great thing about my tent is that I can roll back the tent fly and see through to the sky above. As I lied in my sleeping bag, I looked up through the mesh above. The night sky sparkled with stars, framed by the towering shadows of the pine trees all around. Lightning bugs darted back and forth amongst the branches above and I snuggled down in to my sleeping bag and listened to the camp fire outside crackle and pop as its warm glow reflected inside the tent walls. Toads and frogs were singing and chirping as the night breeze blew through the tent windows. I turned to my husband and whispered...."I will never forget this moment.." And I won't. It was true perfection.

So even though life's journey can be difficult, as long as we take a few moments of perfection and weave them in to our own personal tapestry, we can create and live the perfect little moments in time that bring brightness and happiness to any situation. From a tent in the woods, to the hum of a refrigerator in your home. All these things mean your alive. Your are here to live it, feel it, see it, breathe it, smell it and taste it. What an amazing gift.

Here are a few photos of my little moments that brought me happiness this past weekend. Cheers!