Calgary Folk Music Festival

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There is pure magic in outdoor music festivals. It nourishes the wildness we all crave when we have spent too long within the confines of home and office. It is a mini escape to the natural ebb and flow of living a life affected by weather. It is so necessary, being outside, almost as necessary as music. A restrictive person might try to convince you that nature and music are luxuries, and I suppose they might be if we lived in a developing country. But music is the heart’s call for connection, from one human being to another. Music creates community and defines cultures. And nature… Nature is the first beat, echoed on the drums throughout the world. Being outdoors not only unites us as people but it unites us with the world where we live. I am so grateful to these brilliant festivals and festival organizers and volunteers. They create an oasis of music in the heart if the city every year, and that is a lot to be thankful for.

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Joyfull new beginnings

Joyful new beginnings surround me
As I step from old to new.
The pace of life ebbs and flows like the soft tug of the moon on the massive ocean. A tiny tug that whispers, “Over here! Over here! Follow me! Follow me!”. The long space between waves, the held breath. Poised and waiting for the next ride.

It’s the little things

• a kiss at the door
• holding hands
• musing conversations
• body language short-hand
• sharing time
• helping hands
• enhanced perspective

More appreciation

• summer festivals
• nourishing rains
• ripening strawberries
• giggling superheroes
• local vegetables
• miso soup
• freshly sharpened pencil crayons
• independence
• reading in a cosy bed

Learning Spanish

This is the best idea I have seen in a while. The website Duolingo.com offers free online Spanish lessons in exchange for translating websites from English to Spanish and back again. It is fascinating. A hugely ambitious project, to increase the dialogue between cultures and remove barriers to understanding. There are also French (in beta) and German options. I am really pleased with the interface and the lesson quality. More than that, I appreciate the wish to understand another, to communicate, to share. These things can be difficult enough just using one language, but there is an element of goodwill, of forgiveness when communicating between languages.

A kid is a goat

I am continually blessed by being a parent. The complexities of life are simplified. Priorities are clear. Reading four bedtime stories and negotiating for just one more. Monster time is the most important time of my day. Explaining that a kid is more than a little inquisitive boy. These are important, precious times.

The Treehouse

Deeply incised grain in floorboards worn by time presses softly against my bare feet. Rough and smooth. Ridged. Walls are half air, half sill. Roof a jaunty hat of layered cedar. The central trunk climbs up and out a square of light spacious blue. I can stand and stretch and walk and talk here. There is room to have room. Room for silent thoughts to spring and sing forth. Room for looking at leaves and room to leave behind onlookers.

Table. Chairs. Books. Tea. Tea cupboards. Pencil. Sharpener. Broom. Pan. Soft chair. Cosy blanket.

Built for dreams and dreamers. A place to plan, yet once there, agendas dissolve into the productive hummm. Birds at the feeder. Fresh air flowing free thoughts in through open openings. Ease. Easy.

Embrace the tree at sunset. Giving thanks to the gifts that are on the way.

Grateful all day long

Mountain picnics
Long hugs
Campfire cookery
Fresh baked buns
Local farmers
Crafty women
Sweet sillies
A through Z
Microcosms and Macrocosms
Eclipse bringing darkness to light.

Appreciating life

I appreciate the power to choose. Of placing my feet on soil that grows. I appreciate imagination and invention. I appreciate dialogue with inanimate objects. Animating the everyday. I appreciate the slow days and long nights of summer. I appreciate warm swinging in the hammock. The rest before all the rest catch up with me.

I appreciate nouns.

I appreciate sounding things out. Testing and pondering. Bravery. I appreciate bravery. The proud roar at the unforeseen. Courage to meet uncertainty with certain faith.

I appreciate each one of my toes that always, faithfully, point in the direction I am going. Ten tiny kisses for the moment before being whisked toward the next.

Four years

Four years ago my son was born. Arriving right on time in the midst of a swirl of activity. My teacher.

I have learned more about myself, life, and present moment awareness from him than any spiritual master that I have encountered. He is wholly in the present moment. Even now, as he begins to learn the distinction between past, future and present, he still spends his time living from NOW.

Children are a mirror. You see yourself and all your merits and foibles reflected back. Every careless word is faithfully repeated with the same tone and vigor that you delivered them. Did you really mean to say that about the guy who cut you off in traffic? The recorder is always on.

Kids push you to and through and past your limits. They teach patience and priorities. They teach mental and emotional discipline. They teach responsibility and commitment with every tender newborn breath.

Most of all… They teach you love. The love that a parent has for a child is unparalleled. It may partly be an indelible genetic drive to care for offspring, but it is deeper than the superficialities. They pull out all the good in you, they peer in all the shadows, they deconstruct the anatomy of your soul. And after a careful examination, they love all of it. They adore. You learn through their thoughtful gaze what true unconditional love is about.

The key to parenting is to learn to always see them in the same way they see you, with full, direct, unflinching unconditional love.

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