Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 2010

I'm going to celebrate with family and friends at my brother's annual NYE party.

I'll have a lot more to say tomorrow.

Until then, have a safe and healthy New Years.

Peace, Salaam, Shalom

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Meet Chester

I took a video to show a friend of mine what my dog acts like in the snow.

Of course, he acts like this all the time. But I thought I'd share anyways.

Chester takes all the credit for being cute. I take all responsibility for crappy cinematography.

Friday, December 25, 2009


I just passed my 200th post and didn't even realize much for marking the occasion!

It's the evening of December 25th, and I am sitting in my parents' kitchen - what used to be a tiny divided space is now one huge kitchen/dining area, and I love it. We celebrated here last night with the whole family and it didn't feel crowded, for the first time in a long time. I've just come in from a walk through my hometown with the dog - it's a warm and windy night, and the rain has finally stopped. It was lovely.

This is me right now, courtesy of the webcam:

Christmas is a holiday that I still celebrate with the family, even though my heart is pagan, and Yule is the day that I mark as spiritually significant. There was a lot of food this year, as usual - more food than even our large family could possible eat. My brother was here from Boston, my 98 year old grandmother came for the evening from the nursing home...I arrived on Christmas Eve, went home that night, and came back this afternoon for turkey dinner. I'm staying tonight - Emily is tucked into bed with her cousin, after a long day of playing, reading, and sitting in the hot tub.

I received a few gifts this year that I love:

and this from my daughter

which I love, love, love!! She was almost as excited as I was...and couldn't wait for me to open it so she could watch it with me. Amy, Amy,Amy!

But the best gift of all was discovered by accident, a few minutes ago in my parents CD collection.

I guess I'm a typical mother. I'm proud of what both of my daughters have accomplished. A few years ago, when Megan was 12, she was invited to participate in a project with her school choir and a local church...and the result was a CD.

I used to cry when she performed as a child. At Kiwanis, during church solos, sometimes even when she sang with her children's choir. I have several CD's from her years as a chorister, and while I treasure them all, I loved her little moment in the spotlight.....until the CD went missing about a year ago. I think that she probably took it out of the CD cupboard and forgot to replace it, but I remember looking for it last Christmas, and being quite upset when it could not be found. I wanted Emily to hear her big sister singing.

Lo and behold, I found a copy of the CD tucked away at my mom and dad's. I uploaded it with a still image so that you could hear the music that still has the power to make me cry, even though her voice has matured, even though there were, and will be other moments for her to shine.

 I plan to end my day sitting in my parents' sunroom, in the dark, watching the shadows and listening to the wind sigh through the balsam firs in the back yard. 

Blessings to all on this magical night of peace.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009


It's the shortest day of the year. And the longest night.

Many pagans celebrate the return of the sun at Winter Solstice. I take a slightly different view. Yes, the days are getting longer, but it really won't be noticeable until Imbolc, February 2nd. It's called mid-winter in the old carols for a reason...

It hasn't been very many generations since our ancestors lived off the land. Two, for me. And for them, winter brought cold weather and long nights of darkness, lit only by candlelight, or the dim, dying hearthfire. It sometimes brought hunger, even starvation. The return of the sun was a reminder that spring would come again, that one day soon they would plant, and forage, and bring in a bountiful harvest to feed themselves and the animals they cared for. Winter nights, cold and long. Winter days spend preparing for spring, spinning, sewing, weaving, knitting. Mending harness. Repairing things that had been broken. There were trips outside - to the barn, to hunt or forage, to the neighbours or a nearby town, if no storms were expected. But the journeys were few and far between.

I am writing, of course, of experiences limited to the northern hemisphere, in places where it snows. Sometimes a lot.

So really, when I think about it, all the hustle and bustle that surrounds Christmas, and the Yule season goes against what I`m naturally inclined to do. I want to stay at home, cook good meals, spend time with my kids. I want to write...I always want to write, but words pull themselves out of me at this time of year like no other. It could be the solitude. It could be the comfort of the darkness. I want to share my time with the people in my life that I love, in a quiet nurturing way. I want to curl up under warm blankets and sleep the winter away. I want good books, good coffee, and a good long sit in the darkness of my living room as the lights of my Yule tree cast coloured shadows on the ground.

What I don`t want is to be in WalMart, or any other retail establishment. I don`t want to be at noisy, loud parties. I don`t want to be pushed along the grocery aisle by impatient people who need to get the next thing done. And so often, at this time of year, I find myself doing exactly what I don`t want to do. Case in point: tomorrow night, you will probably find me at the closest mall, getting all those last last minute things done. Hating every minute I have to spend in the noise, the crowds, with the piped in jolly carols, with the guy in the red suit with the artificial beard. My time there will be short, indeed.

And then I will go home again. I`ll open my book and lose myself in someone else`s words. I`ll open my journal and write a few of my own - more than a few, if I get the chance. I`ll reluctantly hop on the cross trainer because I should. I`ll make wishes and dream dreams. So many of the things I dreamed about in the last year or so have come true - I have so much abundance that I revel in it...abundance that takes care of my physical and emotional needs. A good job. Good food in the fridge and on the table. Family all around me. Friends who understand me, who care about me, who are good at making me laugh. People I love. I have a home of my own and the independence I`ve denied myself all of my adult life.

I wish to be present, to be aware, to take these moments and live them fully, because they are blessed and bountiful. I want to share my abundance with other people - and don`t get me wrong, it`s not about money. I have enough of that - not too much, but enough. But in gratitude for what I have, I want to give something back to the earth, and to the wonderful beings who inhabit Her.

I wish to be comfortable with myself, and my body. I am, I am, but not enough.

I wish to share this wonderful life of mine with someone else.

I wish  to spend more time with my kids.

I wish for peace.

I wish for the creative side of my being to flow freely, to be inspired and active all year long.

I wish for better health for myself, and good health for the people I love.

I wish for love and joy for all of you this time of year, no matter how you spend your holidays.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

between here and there

It just popped into my head. The title, I mean. I've been in transition for so long that sometimes I forget that there's a destination I'm trying to reach.

I'm feeling much better this week. I'm not completely over whatever I had, but at least my head has stopped pounding.  But it sucks that it,s Yule and I can't sing. My throat and lungs are conspiring to make me miserable.

I miss singing in a choir. I miss singing - I don't do as much of it as I should.

And while it's nice to have  all the autonomy one could wish for, some days living alone feels a bit isolating. And then some days, the solitude feels really good. Especially now, that winter has come to my part of the world. I take long walks down snow-covered streets with the dog. I curl up with a blanket and a good book. I write and write in my paper journal. Wishing, dreaming, hoping, but still unable to really define what it is I want. Some days I just want to leave and never come back. Some days I want everything to stay the same forever. Some days I want to disappear into the wind and be the snowflakes that rest softly on the solid earth.

I'm really lonely, and I'm trying to tell myself that this is a good thing, that it's where I'm supposed to be, that it will all work out in the end. The good part about being lonely at this time of year is that it's winter. Winter cold turns me inward, causes me to reflect and write, and long for things I can't explain. So I sit, and write, and wait, and work, and play with my kids, take the girls out for breakfast. And I know it will pass. I hope it will pass.

But what if it doesn't? What if the phone never rings again? What if the only meaningful conversations I ever have are between myself and my computer screen, or my notebook. I exaggerate a bit here - my friends, as I have said before, are awesome. The live in other cities. Weather and the busyness of this time of year keeps me from seeing them as often as I would like. But I also have this need for something more...more intense, more powerful than what I've experienced up to this point. It's big and undefinable. I think that if I could define it, I actually might find it.

It's funny to be in this kind of space jut before Christmas. Good thing I'm a Pagan - I've let go of a lot of the commercial, romantic stuff associated with Christmas, which allows me to focus on the change of the seasons, the inward turning, and the coming of light after a long night of darkness. I still celebrate with my family - but for me, the meaning comes in the dark of night, by the light of a single candle.

Stillness.  Peace. Love. Hope. These are my prayers for myself, and for the world.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I'm sick.

Are you surprised? I work with kids. Dozens of small people every day. It was bound to happen.

I'm going to bed now. That is all.