Vintage flowers

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tidings from an absent blogger

It's been a busy past 6 months in the world of Summer. Summer the season has been and gone, as has fall, and winter is upon us.

I will confess I haven't really felt the blogging inspiration since June. July was an insane month with visiting relatives, two trips back to Ontario, the passing of my grandmother, and everyone in a tizzy with flood recovery. My town was spared for the most part, we were just without power for a couple of days and only houses near the river were damaged. August brought some exciting news - the boyfriend and I went on a long-awaited vacation up to Jasper on which he transformed from the BF to the FH (future husband). I suppose I've transformed too, to a FW. September was full of wedding planning excitement, birthdays, camping trips, and epic hikes. October brought with it a more relaxed pace and time for reflection with the turn of the wheel. I could have blogged, but couldn't think anything to say, I suppose.

November and December - well, the FH runs the Christmas activities at his work (a major hotel) and I work part-time in retail in addition to my regular job, so needless to say it's been busy. But today, December 24th, almost exactly 6 months since my last post seemed an appropriate time to make a reappearance.

Having a wedding on the horizon really clarified the need for me to get my spirituality sorted. Big Italian Catholic family on my dad's side coming together with FH's ambiguously spiritual family, his United Church mother, with my agnostic FH and me stuck in the middle. I need to figure out where I stand spiritually so I can defend whatever sort of ceremony we end up having to anyone who questions it (in all likelihood, that'll be my very Catholic aunts and my dad).

I don't know if this paganism thing is really for me. I don't practice rituals because they don't feel right to me, but being in the Catholic church feels a bit stuffy. However I do  notice the turning of the wheel, how this fall brought time for real introspection and harvest of the seeds I'd sown throughout the year. I notice the changing phases of the moon, and I feel wonderfully at home in the woods at night. How does this all work together? That's my task to figure out.

That all being said, I'm going to Mass at the local Catholic church tonight. Christmas Eve just doesn't feel right without going. I feel grounded in the faith of my family, even if it isn't the perfect fit for me. Perhaps this will give me some new perspective on the issue.

Whatever your traditions are for the evening and the days that follow, I wish you the very best. May your days be filled with hope, happiness, and light. Because really, that's all that matters.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Friends of mine are getting married today, on the summer solstice. What a nice way to celebrate, don't you think? The turning of the Wheel, a new chapter in life...

I had plans for a lovely post and an even lovelier celebration, that's all gone.

I live in one of the parts of Southern Alberta that's been hit with a LOT of rain in the last 48 hours. My town is ok, we're just on a flood watch for the river, but the next town's bad. People have been evacuated from their homes, only to be evacuated from the evacuation centres. The Trans Canada Highway, the main artery in and out of here has been destroyed. No one will be able to get in from Calgary with any sort of ease for about a week.

Yesterday we were cut off from the rest of the world by the destruction of the highway to the east of us, and a mudslide to the west. The mudslide has been cleared, one lane of westbound traffic is getting through, so the boyfriend and I are making the push to get to Salmon Arm, BC, where the wedding is taking place. We've packed our camping gear and lots of extra food (including military rations!) just in case we get stuck along the way there or back.

Not really feeling the celebratory spirit yet, but here's hoping!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Where is this "spring" you speak of?

I do this every year. I get all excited that spring is coming and then....then I remember that I live in the Rockies. In Canada. The cold Canadian Rockies.

Winter wasn't so terrible this year (only one REALLY cold day to speak of) but that doesn't mean I wasn't looking forward to warm weather! I was in Calgary at the Comic Expo on Sunday:  17C, sunny, and we were a little worried about sunburns when we were in the outdoor lineups. And then Monday happened. And today followed suit. Blizzards out my window, -10C in the morning, car scraping, breath fogging. BAH. Oh yes, and I spent 3 days trying to figure out how to get the furnace working again.

Tomorrow is Beltaine, and folks, I am really not feeling it. I just can't figure how anyone would be frolicking nekkid in the fields or prancing around a Maypole in this weather.

If anyone's looking for me, I'll be hiding out with my laptop re-living my brief encounter with the handsomest man on television.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Moments of Clarity

I've just returned to practicing yoga after a year and a bit hiatus. My physiotherapist banned me from yoga until I got some other issues sorted out, and I've finally been allowed to go back because my shoulders and neck have been really suffering. I did yoga a lot when I first moved out West - free classes offered through the gym were a welcome antidote to my desk job until they became too painful to continue.

Today was my fourth class back and I'm still doing the free classes through work. It feels different this time around. I have to be very conscious of my form so I don't hurt myself, taking modifications, and knowing when I should hold back instead of pushing myself. I'm not sure if this imposed mindfulness is the reason, but yoga has brought me a certain awareness this time. I had a moment in class today, where I could so clearly see the barriers I've put in place in other parts of my life that are holding me back from achieving the things I want to do. Everything was so obvious and the path forward seemed so clear. Hours later, the clarity is now receding, but this flash of self-awareness has motivated me to move forward.

Last weekend we were blessed with fresh snow and beautiful weather - prime ski conditions! The boyfriend and I went out to Sunshine Village on the Saturday and had a great day skiing around the mountain...and then he decided it was time for me to learn how to ski moguls. Now, I hate moguls. HATE them. Why? Because I'm afraid of them. As a little kid, the bumps were always icy and hard, and they would bounce me around until I fell over. I still don't like rough terrain (in fact, earlier that same day I followed the BF down to a choppy run, froze and started crying and hyperventilating at the top while he was oblivious to the fact that I wasn't following right behind him). It bounces you around and it's hard to turn and you go too fast and it's SCAREY.  So we went to a mogul run. I tried a couple of turns, failed, and left for more level terrain. And then I tried it again. "Commit!" the boyfriend said. "You have to commit to the turn, you have to be aggressive." Ok, I think. Pick your line. Traverse. Pole plant. Shift your weight, and "Turn. Turn, dammnit! Commit and TURN!" And I turned! Again, I yelled, "TURN! COMMIT!" and again I turned. I committed and turned all the way down that run, dammit, and I made it. I sounded like I was crazy, but it worked.

I learned the lesson that day on the ski hill and saw it clearly today on the yoga mat. I put barriers in place, I don't commit, I don't follow through because I'm afraid of doing it wrong. Of completely losing my balance, getting bounced around and maybe even falling top over tea kettle. Of screwing things up really badly. This is why, after 5 years of reading and learning about Wicca and Paganism, I have little to show for it other than a collection of books. I'm afraid of doing it wrong. I am worried about feeling stupid, being judged, about offending these mysterious gods and goddesses, of screwing things up really badly, or worst of all - of finding out that I've been wrong all along and should have just kept with Catholicism.

Like in skiing, you have to commit to be successful in any spiritual practice. Tomorrow is Ostara, a sabbat of new beginnings. I have celebrated few sabbats as I never know what I should be doing -rituals pre-written in books never seem quite right. But you have to start somewhere. I haven't quite decided what I'll do yet, but I'll do something. Turn over a new leaf. Commit.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Emerging From the Pile of Boxes

A completely accurate depiction of my last 4 weeks

Hey there blogland, good to see you again! It has been a few weeks, hasn't it?

And what weeks they were! Moving is never my favourite task, but this time...oye vey.You never really realize how much stuff you acquire until it comes time to pack it all. Inevitably, since you didn't realize how much crap you have to purge/pack until you started, you always end up starting about 2 weeks later than you really should have and everything is done in a last minute rush. The BF took moving week off, stating that he'd get all the major packing done that week....well, you can guess how well that went. Moving day was a frenzy of last minute packing, multiple car trips across town, and a good hour of panic when we thought we'd lost the keys to the moving truck.

That all being said, things went pretty well. We found the keys, got everything in, unpacked the kitchen, bedrooms, TV, were able to run over to the next town to pick up some Kijiji furniture finds with the truck, and had it all done in time to catch the 2nd period of the hockey game - Leafs vs Canadiens. (And, if I recall correctly, I think the Leafs even won. Incredible!)

Of course, Moving Day is just the start of all the fun! The BF and I have spent the last 4 weeks unpacking, repacking, moving, and tripping over an infinite number of boxes, along with the requisite trips into the city for IKEA and HomeSense runs. And then the subsequent trips to return the stuff you bought the first time when it doesn't fit, or is missing those damn little bits of IKEA hardware.

Things are starting to settle down and we're really enjoying being homeowners.  Every day finds me quietly grinning to myself and offering up silent prayers of gratitude to whichever deity is listening. I still cannot believe that we got so lucky.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

I'm Back!

*whew* that was close!

Holiday crazy time combined with my laptop refusing to connect to the internet meant I was out of the loop for a little while there. I missed out on everyone's New Year's and holiday posts, so I am now only catching up. Good news is my new computer has arrived (internet issues were the last in a very long litany of problems with the old one) and I've figured out how to use Windows 8 (mostly).  However I'll be moving house in the next two weeks, so I probably won't be around much during that time either!

Happy New Year, all, and I hope January is treating you well. See you in a few weeks!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Solstice!

Happy Solstice/Yule, everyone! Well we're all still here, and so is the world, so I think that's pretty good cause for a celebration. Also, it was the last day of work before the holidays, which is a pretty good reason to celebrate, too ;)

Today dawned beautiful and bright with a fresh dusting of snow and not-very cold, just a mere -5 in my neck of the woods. A perfect reminder that the dark days of winter will not last forever. Awesome boss let us all go at noon today, so I toddled off downtown to do some shopping and grab some lunch. I walked down the forest path that leads back to town, and along the quite side streets when I perfect solstice moment.

The scene in front of me

A beautiful bluebird day with the mountains shining bright and white with their new coat of snow. The sun was warm on my back, and I had to squint against the glittering snow. Quiet. Peaceful. Perfect.

 Yule is a time when we celebrate the return of the Sun and welcome it back into our lives. Today I felt as though the sun was welcoming me back into it's life - he was happy to see me out and about and enjoying his presence, instead of scuttling from building to building, from one job to another, to home, to bed. Today was a promise: the days ahead may still be dark and cold, but I am still here. I will return. It was a perfect moment.

To top it all off, the world didn't end AND there is an "Ecumenical Solstice Celebration" happening in the next town over! I'll be heading over to that after dinner to celebrate tonight. Wherever you are, however you worship, I wish you all a Very Happy Yule. May your celebrations be merry and bright.