Friday, September 12, 2014

Lessons from Mother Nature and a September Snow Storm

This week it snowed. A lot. Wait a minute, I swear it is only September! I know I've been working on slowing life down, but maybe I accidently sped it up? Nope, my time bending skills didn't ricochet.  ;) Calgary just got a flash snow storm this week.

I was up in the Peace River area (*interactive part* search Peace River Valley on Google Images. Gorgeous!!) for the first part of the week. We had snow up there. But the intact forests were snow-kissed, each section as picture-perfect as the last one. Beaver dams and lodges on quiet ponds, and moose and deer completed the scenes.

I came home to heavy snow, the bending-trees-over-until-they-snap heavy.

I'm a tree kid, I adore trees. Driving with my family to work and school and seeing street after street of broken, battered trees made me catch my breath in dismay. But I don't subscribe to railing at Mother Nature. It is my philosophy She knows what she is doing, even if we humans aren't privy to plan is.

As I took in the magnitude of broken tree limbs I wondered what wisdom I could gleam from such dismay. Turns out a lot.

Some parts of life have been heavy lately, others for a long-ass time. Candid, but true. :) The feeling of being at that breaking point might have crossed my mind. Seeing broken trees surround me, trees whose limbs or trunks broke or shattered under the stress and weight of the snow, was appalling until I put it in a different perspective. Yes, magnificent, stately trees were humbled, but they will thrive again. It might only take the rubble being cleared away. Snapped limbs can create opportunities for new growth and new direction. Broken doesn't mean dead. It's a great opportunity to regroup.

Taken from that perspective, what weight am I feeling stressed under? Do I want to wait until I snap, or simply realign until I find that beautiful balance, that sweet spot of strength and give? Which reminds me, my husband called from work and asked me if I was up to knocking off what snow I could reach to ease the burden on our trees. My daughter and I were home sick, but the fresh air and falling snow lifted our spirits. Our helping hands lifted the trees' limbs. Together, we found that sweet spot. This time, no limbs broke under the weight of snow. We lost a bunch of leaves, but no limbs.

What about you? Is it time for taking inventory on your stress levels or a regroup?

Thank you Trees and Mother Nature for the lessons. Again. :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

To Ranger, with Love

I have a solid belief system that life works out. Even when crap happens, hindsight usually shows the bigger picture of perfection. I want to share one of those times with you. Just a heads-up, it has taken me several tries to get this post out. You'll know why in a second.

I had an epic time at the writing conference When Words Collide in early August. I followed that grand adventure up with a family trip to the cottage in Muskoka (Ontario). August was shaping up to be a memorable, life-affirming month of wonder, gratitude and connections. Two days after we arrived home from the cottage, I took our dog to the vet. I thought he had a sore paw. Ranger had flown with us to Ontario, like he had done so many times before, and had taken a few nasty falls at the cottage. Odd, but I chalked it up to old age. He had been aging over the past few years, but recently it had been seriously accelerating.

Turns out his paw was fine, but his brain wasn't. He was given less than two weeks to live. Looking back, I realized Ranger had been preparing me for this for about a year. Which of course made/makes even more tears fall. He was the most extraordinary dog I have ever met. Besides writing fiction books, I also do energy work. Ranger was an extraordinary healer. When I was learning and growing on my path, he was calmly, gracefully, lovingly facilitating so many of my own healings. He continues to teach me and the little stinker isn't of this world anymore. So is the way of Beings of straight-up Love.

Yes, he was a dog. He chased cats, bunnies and squirrels. He herded other dogs and small children. He would position himself between our family members and any other dog nearby. He had doggie breath and a beautiful happy face when all was well in his world. But he was, and continues to be, unconditional Love. His very Being was Love. That's just the way he was/is. Some might argue assigning a pet's affections as Love is anthropomorphism. Maybe. Or maybe Love just Is where it Is.

It has been my experience that animals cut through the layers we spend years carefully constructing around ourselves. Thank you Ranger for helping me release so many of mine. I Love You, I miss you like crazy, but know your timing was perfect. As usual. Thank you for joining our family. We adopted you, but you chose us. Thanks. :)

June 2006, Ranger's first day with us.