Misty Sunrise…and writing my new book

It was 5am and I felt like I was living in a Mary Oliver poem.

Mist rose with the sun whose rays slowly climbed from the horizon. In clouds, the mist lingered over the wetland. The land was breath-taking, drenched in mystery and golden light. What hidden wildlife would we discover as we explored this piece of wildness at sunrise? The possibilities made me feel like a child again. It reminded me of waking up at sunrise some holidays while my parents still slept and sneaking off to explore the hills or watch the sun rise over the ocean. That is the side of life I’ve always loved, exploring the world that existed before everyone else woke up and then returning home changed, a heart full of wild secrets that no one else would know unless I told them.

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Misty Sunrise

My husband and I stood in awe of the natural beauty, and we breathed in the misty sunrise. We took it all in – the sky, the water, the colours – taking pictures of the magical scene we found ourselves immersed in. We offered gratitude prayers and did a short grounding meditation together, aligning ourselves with Mother Nature and the intuitive soul light within.

Waterfowl called from the unseen places in the reeds. Dabchicks sailed across the water. A pair of noisy Egyptian geese flew overhead, and an owl flew homeward into the forest on the other side of the water. Then we noticed something beneath the willow trees near the water’s edge. My eyes searched the shadows under the trees.

 An antelope grazing…

She noticed us almost as soon as we saw her, and then bolted through the mist, making her way back to the forest. We watched her galloping, so swift and graceful. I wondered what elusive and skittish part of my ‘Self’ she mirrored. The antelope reminded me of the shy and wounded parts of me that prefer to remain in the shadows, still, quiet and invisible. I thought of the part of me that shies away from attention and that gets spooked at the first hint of being noticed, the part of me that runs fearfully for cover into the safety of the dark forest.

I wondered many things – How do I connect with that part of myself? How will I coax her out and win over her trust? How will I teach her that the past is over? That she will no longer be hunted? That she is safe now and that her wounds will heal if she trusts me enough to nurse them? I want to help the wounded antelope in me understand that sometimes the things that ruin us are meant to be, because they are also the things that help us grow, build our strength, our gifts and shape us into who we’ve become. I want to be like the golden sunlight spilling into the wetland valley and the forest so that I illuminate the shadows.

But off she ran, away from us. We took photos of the antelope running off. Through the lens, I saw a part of myself run with her. I wondered…is that who I’d been searching for on our daily forest walks these past few days? An elusive antelope-shaped part of my own essence? I must’ve been. I know that my encounters with Nature connect me more deeply with Spirit and the Divine Feminine, just as much as they bring me home to myself. But I’ve seen more clearly recently that the pieces of wildness which I collect – the feathers, the pine cones, the nature experiences and wild whispers – do more than connect me intimately with the Earth. They are a form of soul retrieval, because they re-introduce me to forgotten parts of myself, my inner pieces of wildness.

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5am Nature Walk Antelope Encounter

That’s the title of the new book I’m writing by the way – Pieces of Wildness…And since my writing process and spirituality are both so interwoven with the Earth, it has meant spending even more time than usual in the natural world lately. I’ve been taking more nature walks, hiking along trails and last week my husband and I took off to our favourite forest getaway spot. I felt a profound sense of having come full circle returning to the forest cabin where I wrote the last chapter of Wild Essence just as I begin the journey of writing Pieces of Wildness. I’ll probably be blogging less frequently for the time being, while I focus more on writing my book. I don’t want to drop completely off the face of the planet, so I will share in this space when and as often as I can. if you like, you can find me on Instagram or my Facebook Page too, where I share pictures and bits of wild inspiration, probably a bit more regularly than I blog.

In the meantime, how is wild wisdom finding you today? A feather, a flower, a leaf? Each is a piece of wildness with a story. Each has divine light and wisdom within, and has something to teach you about your own true nature. Reach beyond the surface to draw out the medicine it offers. Let this wild wisdom guide, inspire you and heal you.

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Exploring the forest
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How to Meet Your Vulnerability with Tenderness

Delicate things are incredibly beautiful. I held a single jasmine blossom in my hand this morning, amazed at how something so small could offer such powerful perfume. I noticed how I softened in awe of the jasmine flower’s fragile nature. Delicate things do that to us. We are touched by the understated beauty of their vulnerability.

But can we meet the soft and vulnerable parts of ourselves with the same kind of tenderness? Can we release the judgements that we place on our intricate feminine qualities or flaws and see them as things of beauty instead of weaknesses?

I was taught to judge myself harshly and I’ve spent many years on a self-healing path learning to undo this thinking, learning to treat myself with compassion instead. Somehow, holding that tiny flower in my palm offered a new kind of guidance back to wholeness. Is this what I need to do when I project negative judgement towards myself and my so-called ‘weaknesses’?…Hold a tiny flower (or a silky rose petal, a butterfly or a little lady bug) in the palm of my hand. Look at its smallness, its softness and its delicate nature for a moment. Allow myself to shift into gentleness and then hold the vulnerabilities, flaws and things that frustrate me about myself in my heart so that I transfer the same kind of compassion to them.

Every day I am reminded of how important it is for me to be my own nurturer if I want to live in grace and return to wholeness. Using a simple little flower to teach me that may be an inane way to do so, but I am willing to try nonetheless.

How do you meet your vulnerability with tenderness and compassion?

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Tending the Garden

It’s been a while since I’ve had such a quiet Monday morning, left to the stillness of my breath and comforting rhythm of my heartbeat. The morning was breezy, cool and grey, perfect for some gardening and reading books on gardening and flowers too. The whispers of the impending Autumn are becoming more pronounced each day.

I learnt long ago that tending to pots of fragrant roses, scented geranium, mint, thyme and basil, weeding the herb patch, harvesting and stringing up herbs for drying are all paths to the soul. These simple tasks keep me grounded in mindful presence. It keeps my humbled heart grateful to be part of Mother Earth and for all the gifts that she offers.

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I often feel that I will never be the kind of master gardeners that my mother and my grandmother are. For the last couple of years I’ve only just been learning to keep my pots and herb patch alive, listening intently to the dreamings of my tiny little corner of land and trying to give it what it asks.

Sometimes I succeed, other times I do a poor job of it. But nonetheless the garden is always teaching me how to work with it. I’ve come to accept that despite my good intentions, sometimes I have little control over how things grow or turn out in the end. Nature has a will of its own. I respect this. To be honest, I do like leaving space for magic and wildness and the unknown to surprise me. Who doesn’t?  And of course, I’m grateful that the garden and Nature in general is also always teaching me about myself too, reminding me of our oneness and the wild spaces it embodies inside of me.