Night skies and fortunate eyes

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I am spoiled.  I live in the most beautiful part of Ontario that offers an abundance of stunning scenery, unending lakes and breathtaking landscapes.  There are moments that I’m sure I take it for granted but most of the time I remind myself how fortunate I am to be living in such a paradise.

starry night

And with all of the beauty that presents itself during the daylight hours, the sun pulls up the blanket of the horizon and the night-time emerges to share its splendor. The nocturnal winter creatures echo their cries into the vast blackness and the stars tentatively begin to dot the evening sky in their familiar patterns.

The spectral portrait of twinkling lights is awe-inspiring and, if the skies are clear, it is something we are lucky enough to see every night. I forget that city dwellers are not as blessed because their sight lines are lost in a jungle of concrete, street lamps and high rises.

Looking back a few years I was fortunate enough to be in Toronto in August of 2003 when the lights went off across the Eastern Seaboard.  Yes I said fortunate and I was in many ways.  I was staying with friends at Yonge and Sheppard and was to meet more friends for dinner at Yonge and Eglinton.  I was supposed to take the subway but was short on time and took a cab instead.  It escaped my attention through the first few intersections that the street lights were extinguished and, as we sailed through block after block, we began to assimilate to the slowing of traffic and the lack of store lights.  The city was getting dark. Had I been taking the subway I would have been trapped in a blackened metal tomb as opposed to looking in wonder at a bustling city slowing to a crawl in almost complete darkness.

The barbeque dinner was fun and certainly memorable but the most remarkable part of the night was the masses of people on the sidewalks staring up at the night sky after the sun had set.  The stars that I see on a regular basis were seen by so many eyes for what seemed like the first time.  They stood in complete reverence and the sound of silence descended on a city known for its bedlam and pandemonium.  The constellations brought peace to a city of calamity.

Strangers on the street that may have passed each other numerous times without a second glance were now sharing a small piece of the sidewalk, but not only that, they were sharing a small piece of heaven.  Those stars, no matter which province, which country or which hemisphere we are in, connect us.

That Eastern Seaboard blackout was a moment of serendipity – a fortunate accident that allowed many to gaze upon the panorama of stars that would otherwise be oblivious to them. It seemed to bring a sense of peace and fellowship to a city so bent on individuality and alienation.  I didn’t know that in that moment under the same starry sky that I sometimes take for granted that I could appreciate my life that much more. Since that fortuitous experience I make it a point to look at those stars as often as I can.

On the nights that we are fortunate to have a clear sky, I always take a moment to stand in the darkness, regardless of the temperature, and wish with childlike abandon that I will see a shooting star. Carpe noctem – seize the night, seize all of the wonder it has to offer and make sure to wish on that falling star.

What would your wish be?

 

From Root to Tip

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tree

(image credit: photo.net)

We are an eclectic band of misfits, each branch of my family tree is twisted and unique.  But life in my forest has been full of adventure and laughter.  From the moment our family tree took root it was nourished by humor, surrounded by love and encouraged to branch out in any direction it was drawn towards.

The apples that fall from that tree do not stray far and we enjoy the camaraderie that only like-minded semi-delusional people can share.  We are nuts but we are family.

I had recently told a tale, based solely in fact, about how my brother tricked me into eating a petrified piece of dog excrement when I was only five years old.  Although I was traumatized as a child I can now see the humor in the “incident”.  Perhaps that humor comes with the foreshadowing of future revenge but we are family and it is divine to forgive.  (nobody said anything about forget)

It is my brother’s birthday today.  I awoke thinking of this day as his pilgrimage into his 50th year.  The common lines of the happy birthday song didn’t seem to do justice to our relationship and this new version flooded my brain at 7:00 am.

Happy birthday to you,

Happy birthday to you.

You’re one terrific brother,

but you made me eat poo.

I can only hope he finds as much humor and enjoyment in our gnarled family tree as I do.  From root to tip we are certainly an odd bunch, but I wouldn’t to hang from any other tree!

Happy birthday Jamie!!  Love you.  xx

 

 

The Miracle of Life

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Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold

as the Earth yearned to welcome Spring.

The sun’s rays massaged the ground and the trees.

A warm breeze whispered,

playfully tickling the branches on its journey.

The smell of wet soil rose to greet the morning

as the familiar songs of new life began to play

their symphony of rebirth.

For just a moment, I was an instrument in that orchestra.

The sun kissed my cheek,

as happy to see me as I was to feel its warm embrace.

I was comforted by its nurturing essence.

But Mother Nature’s heart is frozen,

her resolve, stoic.

Her icy talons hold Spring hostage in their death grip,

encasing it in a cold and lifeless womb.

The new blanket of snow

wrapped so tightly, ceasing the flow of life,

suffocating the season.

But at the core of her being, she is a mother.

Her heart will fill with a need

to birth this new life,

to nurture it and watch it grow.

She will proudly watch Spring take those first steps

and her heart will warm once again.

~~

Written for the Speakeasy at Yeah Write.  I was more inspired by this prompt this morning after waking up to 8 cm of fresh snow!!  We were SO close to it all being gone.

speakeasy-logo2

hang on — there’s rules:

  • Your post must be dated April 13, 2013, or later.
  • Submissions must be 750 words or fewer.
  • Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  • You must include the following sentence as the FIRST line in your submission: “Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.”
  • You must also include a reference to the media prompt.
  • The speakeasy is for submissions written specifically for the grid. Please don’t submit an entry if you intend to showcase it to another blog link-up. Such posts are deleted without notice.
  • Please don’t post long explanations before your post. We want your writing to be the star of the show. If you need to clarify anything, feel free to do so at the end.
  • The badge for your speakeasy #157 post is found in the sidebar. Add the code to the html/text view of your post before publishing.

And don’t forget to come back on Tuesday and add your link to the Inlinkz grid!

The Time Had Come – 100 Word Challenge

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As the sun sparkled on the water her paddle dipped purposefully into the lake.   With the skill of an avid enthusiast, her J-stroke carried her closer to her destination.

She could see smoke billowing from the chimney atop his cottage as she pictured his frame curled up in his chair, book in one hand and glass of wine in the other.  The sun continued its descent into the horizon and the hues speckling the water deepened in their intensity.

She could no longer pretend that her feelings hadn’t changed and he needed to know she was in love with him.

~~

(image credit: cottagelife.com)

Written for the 100 Word Challenge at Julia’s Place.

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I’ve been to the seaside for the week-end. Divine! So, your prompt this week is:

… as the sun sparkled on the water…

Please make sure you only use 100 words and put a link back to this post so that others can find us! If you are not sure what all this nonsense is about, do read ‘What is 100WCGU?’

The link will close on Sunday 20th April.

 

 

 

 

 

A few drops in the bucket

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Even if you don’t have one of your own, you’ve undoubtedly heard of “The Bucket List” concept.  It’s a list of things you want to accomplish before you leave this world.

Some people, like myself, err on the side of caution and have seemingly mundane ideas like writing a novel or meeting The Tenors (which I was able to cross off my list in December of 2013).  A friend of mine has a few crazier ideas and one of them is to get shot.  She is not seeking a fatal death-blow but she wants to be grazed by a bullet to understand the sensation.  Crazy?  Perhaps.  But regardless of the lunacy of its contents, a Bucket List is a worthwhile thing to have.

Life is short and thinking of the things you want to accomplish or participate in is a very grounding way of keeping motivated.  And it doesn’t have to be something you come up with when faced with the possibility of the end drawing near.  A Bucket List can be created to keep you stimulated to just live your life to the fullest.

Pure-Bliss-Yoga-bucket_list

(image credit: pureblissyoga.com)

That bucket can be a driving force in helping you succeed in the areas that you would never have previously challenged yourself.  You could decide to learn yoga, take a new course to expand your education, sleep under the stars or jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Your Bucket List is your own.  Nobody can tell you what to wish for and they certainly have no authority to coach you on how to achieve those goals.  Some may want to change the world and others just want to alter their own world.  There is no right or wrong.  You make the list, you create the rules, and it is entirely up to you to follow through and slowly cross the items off your list and fulfill the journey you created for yourself.

Whether that list is designed because the end of your life is looming closely or because you simply want to set some goals in your life…..see it through.  That list was created from a desire deep within yourself to see an idea to its conclusion. Just remember to keep filling that bucket and don’t ever let the passion that fueled the driving engine behind those bucket contents ever run out.

What’s in your bucket?

Gone but not forgotten – Gargleblaster

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I don’t see her the way I used to,

but every so often she is a shape in the clouds,

she is two leaves forming a pattern

or she is the warm air that lulls me into sleep.

Gone, but not forgotten.

~~

gargle157

This is my first submission for the Gargleblaster challenge.

Gargleblaster: this week’s ultimate question

Is everyone recovered from last week’s gargleblaster binge? Fabulous! Take a deep breath and get ready for the next round. This week’s ultimate question was provided by yeah write editor Michelle, who found it on page 42 of Broken Magic by author and yeah write alum Eric Sipple:

Do you see her much?

Let’s see how you answer this question in 42 words. Be creative!

Two Ships

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two-ships

His touch,

timid at first, playful.

His eyes held a merriment,

his laughter concealed a deeper emotion.

Fleeting moments of stolen glances,

subtle traces of a finger on bare skin.

His touch,

evolved from an innocent beginning,

holding an unspoken desire.

His eyes burned into hers.

Currents of electricity,

hearts beating,

breath short.

Lips graze, sparks fly,

accepting a shared yearning.

Moments of complete breathlessness,

hearts skipping a beat.

Sustaining warmth in memories,

torn between desire and reality.

The Gods of fate dealt the cards,

flop, turn,

river pushing against the tides.

Two ships,

pulled apart by the current,

sailing around the world,

hoping the movement of the ocean

will make them collide once again.

~~

(image credit: plainadventure.com)

How three minutes may change your view on kindness

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Facebook is an overwhelming aspect of social media.  Timeline’s are inundated with nonsense, Farmville and game requests are sent at alarming rates and too much personal information is given away like candy at Halloween.  But every so often a little gem of humanity seeps through the cracks and makes me appreciate the sharing of information.

The video below is one of those rare gems.  I watched it twice because the message really plucked some emotional strings in the orchestra of my life.  I have always been a firm believer in treating others as you wish to be treated, in paying forward a show of altruism and allowing others to benefit from your tenderness and understanding.

Every action in life creates a ripple effect.  Whether that ripple effect is as visible to the naked eye as a drop of water in a pond or is so infinitesimal that it is unseen by the human eye there is always a reaction.  A little bit can go a long way and that ripple may spread further than you could ever imagine.

waves on a shore

I hope you will take the three minutes to watch this video created by a Thai insurance company.  Its message is heart-warming, emotional and eerily accurate.  One drop of human kindness could change the tides in so many oceans.

 Unsung Hero Video

 

There’s a moose loose in the hoose

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‘In the wee small hours of morning, when the whole wide world is fast asleep’ ~ David Mann

I, among many of the population on earth, need a solid night’s sleep – uninterrupted, pleasant, dream-filled, cozy under the covers sleep.  Until recently I had absolutely no trouble achieving this state of bliss, however an unsettling combination of extended winter weather and unwanted house guests has altered my sleep patterns.  No longer do I crawl under my duvet and let the weariness of the day pull down the blankets of my eyelids.  Gone are the nights that the vivid colors of my dreams paint my continually sleep filled nights.

Like an imperceptible alarm clock, disease-infested rodents descend into my walls at approximately 2:30 every morning.   As I lay in what should be my haven, I am disturbed by sounds that are amplified enough to make me think I have underestimated the size of these cute, furry little creatures.  With an imagination as over-active as mine I picture a sentinel of unearthly mutations methodically surrounding their acquired target. Their tyrannical approach into my home has left me reaching into my arsenal for a full on war.

Akin to a good soldier, I have adapted to my situation with weapons that I have on hand.  There is no delay when you are under attack from a known enemy who can wreak absolute havoc in an otherwise stable environment.  My walls are my fortress.  My house is my oasis.  The gnawing sounds coming from inside my home in those wee hours are my motivation.  These adorable looking vermin have threatened to devastate the structure and integrity of my humble abode and I am a woman scorned.

mouse

 

(image credit: en.wikipedia.org)

Human nature dictates that we all yearn most for what we cannot have.  I  retain my defensive stance in this fight and vow to achieve what I yearn for – that unadulterated, all-encompassing feeling of being swallowed into a vast sea of dreams.  As I imagine just a small rind of an orange sun on the horizon of my sleep, I will be awaiting the moment that the canvas of my night will be splashed in a new landscape of color. Au revoir, rodents!!

Me, myself and I

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“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”
Jean-Paul Sartre

~~~

It is a terrible thing to have to admit I still have the winter blahs in April.  The ground is still laden with mud-speckled snow, the mercury is still dipping below zero at night and, although the sun is trying to warm the earth, winter still has its death grip on spring.

Perhaps the overwhelming winter weather and extended season has been the cause for my hermit-like habits over the last five months.  Or perhaps with each calendar year that passes I am less excited about dressing in less than comfortable clothing and venturing out to brave the elements.  Regardless of the reason, the majority of my evenings are spent at home enjoying my own company.  Callaway is always there with me, but her conversation skills are still somewhat lacking.

hermit

(image credit: alpinequest.com)

I am a big fan of spending time at home.  I have no trouble passing the endless hours of those cold winter nights because I am comfortable enough in my own skin to enjoy the time alone.  My neighbors are close enough if I ever need help, but at enough of a distance that my sanctuary can still remain tranquil and remote.

In the summer, when the resort is in full swing and there are over 100 people on the property at any given time, it is comforting to know that I will find that same solace within my four walls or ensconced in my gazebo when I go home.  The many leaves that grow create a canopy of shelter so I feel even more hidden than before.  It is true bliss.

Spending that time alone helps me refuel and prepare for the barrage of stimulation I encounter when I leave the sanctity of my shelter.  Sometimes solitude, for me, can be the best companion.

How do you feel about spending time alone?