Heart of the Story

I step onto the trail. The snow has blown in and erased my path with drifts.  I know the path well.  Looking ahead of me I can tell which tree branch I usually duck under and which one always hits my arm.  I will recreate my trail.

As I leave the treed in area and head into the open prairie my foot steps hit resistance.  The snow is like creme brulee – a hard crusty surface with soft snow underneath.  I know this snow.  This is snow-fort snow.

It is a perfect day.  A warm wind, blue sky and the sun delights to see its reflection in the million glistening stars it creates in the snow around me. I plop down and begin cutting out blocks for a snow fort.

I am in a bit of a trance.  When I realize what I instinctively just did I feel a little silly. But hey, I cut some more blocks anyway remembering all the snow forts my friends and I use to make. I should include them in my story somewhere but wonder how to write about them.  Then I remember something else…

I turn the corner from the back alley to the street. I feel like I am gliding home.  Lynn is with me.  It is daylight and most likely afterschool.  As we turn the corner I see my house and then dad, with his snow scoop, shoveling snow.  He walks along the drive way filling his scoop with snow and then piles it up against the house.

I can remember the first time I asked dad why he piled snow up against the house.  I was small, maybe five years old.  He told me he did it to help insulate the house.  The snow piled up against the walls would keep us warmer.

“Like an igloo?” I asked.

“Yes, kind of like that.”  he said.

I remember thinking my dad was really smart for knowing that.  But now, in this second, as I turn the corner I don’t know if I feel proud or embarrassed about my uniqueness. None of my friends pile snow up along the outside walls of their houses.

I see Lynn’s expression and I wish we could be like everyone else. I don’t know what the small smile she wears means.  I don’t ask.  All I know is this is not the first time we have done something weird around her.  We are forever doing something my friends have never seen before.  She will still be my friend in the morning. Somehow this knowledge feels only half full, incomplete, not enough.

I stop cutting blocks of snow and just sit there.  My chest feels full.  Feelings of pride mixed in with shame surround me.  I gotta get back to the house and write this one down before I forget it or lose its passion.

In search for a meaning or plot to my story I wonder if my antagonist is my community, society in general, that tells me what I have isn’t enough.  I had no idea as a child that I was poor and without until society told me I was poor.  It was like I had no idea what that word even meant.

I may have found my theme:)


Be Aware

I open the west-facing door to head out of the yoga studio.  The yellowy-orange setting sun jumps out at me with a delightful surprise.  It is like the world is all a dark deep blue and this orange circular glow is hanging in the middle of all this depth.  I yell a good-by to Debra and dash out to my car.  The sky is noisy with thunder and sparkling with lightning but in this moment it isn’t raining.  It has taken a reprieve from its stormy activity.

I leave the yard and as I drive home I watch the sun as it slowly descends, falling below the crust of the earth.  When I first walked out it was sitting high in the sky.  By the time I hit the highway, 3 minutes, it was already half way to the earth.  By the time I turn onto my grid road, heading north, half of it is below the edge of the earth.  In 10 minutes it has been slipping down the dark blue sky like quick sand.  So quickly I am surprised and in awe of this beautiful event I get to witness.

I feel it is calling to me as I watch it from the corner of my eye heading north now.  It is asking me to not forget it.  To remember it.  Maybe to even write about it.  It isn’t sad that it is leaving us.  It knows it is time and just wants me to soak up its energy, its sacredness.

Before my journey to joy I would have noticed the setting un.  I may have even been in awe of it.  I just wouldn’t have allowed myself to get as wrapped up in it and let it consume a whole 15 minutes of my life as well as write about it as soon as I walk in the door.

All this magnificence in nature is a true gift that we can watch and soak up every day, every season, every year.  We ignore that the sun rises and sets every day.  We don’t even ponder that we set our daily rhythms, something so basic in our lives, to this sacred event.  I wish I had a camera with me.  I would have loved to have posted a picture of it.

Next time.

Loving What You Do

I see Emily preparing to feed the cats without me having to ask her.  Often I am yelling downstairs to the girls before I go to bed, inquiring as to whether someone has fed the cats.  Then they are feeding them in the dark where skunks and coyotes lurk.  It is early in the evening and she is preparing the powdered goats milk we feed the cats with some kind of joy.  She isn’t whistling yet I can hear her body singing a tune.

Busily I clean up before bed.  Tidying up the table and putting freshly baked chocolate chip cookies away.  I watch Emily run in and out of the house.  I am silently watching her.  Not saying a word.  Normally I would thank her for feeding the cats but I notice this time I don’t want to say thank you.  At least not yet.  I want to watch her.  Enjoy her.  Her happiness is making me feel joyful about my current task as well. Infectious.

She is in and out with food.  We feed cats at different spots.  Some cats don’t get along with other cats so they eat at different spots.  It is funny how we, humans and animals, all naturally formed this rhythm.  In and out she goes, still kind of laughing or chuckling.  She charges in the house at one point trying to beat the mosquitos.  Did I hear her laugh as she closed the door with a huff or is that just joy from her body and I imagined it?  I am not sure but I can tell she is enjoying what she is doing.

How cheesy is it to post a picture of kittens? Well, these kittens are in a pail in a shed by our house. I don’t know how the mother gave birth in a pail but I am proud of her.

I wonder if the cats feel her happiness right now?  I choose to believe the cats feel Emily’s joy in their food tonight.  Doing any work with love is the best way to do work.  I wish everyone joy and ease in their workday today.

A Random Post Regarding Saskatchewan Weather

Before I post my intended post I wanted to share some photos and a video of some of the weather we have been having here lately.

A week ago we were under a tornado watch that turned into a tornado warning really fast. They were forming and unforming quickly all around us. None touched the ground where we live but this one was awfully close to my house. This is my back yard.

Tuesday, June 26th we had an ‘extreme thunderstorm warning’ and a tornado watch. After the last tornado watch we became a little more concerned. The picture does’t do the approaching storm justice. The energy from the sky was magnificent. Everyone was staring at the sky. Even my dog was barking at the clouds.

I drove by this grain bin on my way for tea at a neighbours house, only to realize we could not make tea because we had no power due to being in the middle of a wind warning.  Winds were gusting over 100 kms an hour.  I drove by this grain bin and thought I would take a video of it to share with my friend at tea and now I share it with you.


Pictures and video from my personal album.