Tuesday, May 31, 2011

to witness and embrace



to the 2 deer that stood in the middle of road and the red fox that crossed it a little further on, to the lilacs still blooming, to the rolling green grasses of western new york state, to the summer-tinged breeze and the tangerine ball of fire that hung on the edge of the hills, i thank you, one and all.

my heart thanks you. my soul thanks you. collectively, you have done nothing short of restoring my understanding of what i love best; to witness and embrace the beauty of the natural world.

and so today, i can return to the projects that stir me, and work them just for me. i can smile as i drip in the sudden heat. i can breathe to the floor of my gut. i can remember the gestures of love.

Monday, May 30, 2011

let glimpses become steady sight

little church face, northern germany


i have not known whether to stay or go. there is turmoil and there is uncertainty and yes, nothing is certain. there is doing for others and there is the almost-loss of self in that doing. balance has tipped to the left. i forget who i am and wonder, if indeed i ever knew. i catch glimpses of my soul, lit and luscious, and i run towards that light like a woman being chased. but the glimpse is pulled sharply into shadows and i remember i have forgotten how to shine just for me. how to shine just for me.

i start projects and get tangled in wanting to please and do right and make a difference and i forget that the only difference that matters is if my own soul is pleased. it is hard to unlearn the giving away and the silent begging for approval. it is hard to stand straight in my own truth and my own version of justice and peace. i slouch so much i know very well what crawls on the ground and so little of what flies overhead. look up, i say, look up.  then, look straight ahead and shun the advice, well-meaning and bad, from voices along the parade route.

everything comes together in the allegiance to my self. i have forgotten that pledge, but today is as good as any other to remember. to start over on those projects and stay. to start over and go, as well. let glimpses become steady sight. let the pleasing be just for me.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Land Of Thatched Roofs








Despite the cost of installation, repair and staggering insurance rates, in Nordfriesland, the thatched roof~enduring symbol of fables and old-fashioned romance~ lives on in all corners of the land.

Friday, May 20, 2011

40 irreplaceable seconds

video

My grandmother's sisters


Often, it is only when things are finished that we can see and feel the fresh beginnings of a heart, usually our own, expanding outward. When great effort has been made and there is wondering if it could have been any different that what it was, in the end, there are  cherished surprises and stalwart connections and 40 irreplaceable seconds of singing  in low German.

Of all the moments in Northern Germany, 18 days of moments, it is the ones filled with open-hearted energy that rise like cream to the surface of recollection. It is the people, always the people~ in their raw exposure of wanting what every other person alive wants at their core~ that affirm the finished journey unfolded as only it could have, as it was ordained to be.

Friday, May 13, 2011

in the sun and great wind

There have been deeply meaningful moments here in Germany I cannot put into words. This trip is not for me, I say, it is for my mother. Yet, amid the daily schedule, the endless visitng,  the bread and potatoes, I carve out  places for myself and this journey becomes almost mine.

Then, this morning, the invitation. The retired police officer (related to me in some manner) suggested we go for a ride on his motorbike. Harley Davidson? I think not. BMW, if you please.

Of course.

And so, with helmet like an astronaut, I am riding on the back of a cold wind and I cannot feel it. There are waves of simmering yellow flowers, green fields against blue. There are mountains of clouds. There are sheep on the dike, the steel grey of the sea and we follow its edge. We follow its edge. It is cold and I cannot feel it. It is windy and I open my mouth to taste it.  The bowl of my body finds its longed-for balance and leans easily, so easily into the curves of the road. At speeds beyond normal, I relax.

This trip is not for me, I say . But for 50 minutes in the sun and great wind, where land meets the sea, freedom found me at last.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday In Nordfriesland

2 horses clopped up the driveway after breakfast.

The large meal of the day was at 1pm- 3 vegetables, 1 meat. The first dessert was vanilla ice cream mit whipped cream (real, of course), topped with hot, fresh cherry sauce. The second dessert, yes, the second, was 2 hours later. Coffee, tea, and 6 different kuchens.

Then, came the singing. Songs of the North sea in low German.

And now, being Tuesday evening, it is time for accordian practice. 2 women; 1 with a red box, the other with a black. Traditional German songs squeezed into the glooming light, making it impossible to be upright without swaying. Impossible.

Soon, a slow walk up  the lane and around the bend to pet the sheep as the sun sets. Then to follow the owls home where surely a neighbor will wander over sometime after the stars are out.

So, to bed.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

I Am In Northern Germany

I am in Northern Germany where the daylight is brighter and lilacs are everywhere.

There is wind. Oh, there is wind. It rolls off the North sea in hair-lifting gusts,  cleansing the mind and dervishing pink petals over the grass.

There is candlelight for breakfast and new birds to be found- kohlmeise and amsel and stork.

There are narrow roadways and very few stop signs and often, no limits to speed.

There are tears.

There are small deer and large rabbits  and sheep. Everywhere sheep.

There is low German spoken o nthe right side of the table and high German spoken on the left. Sometimes both, in a single conversation, in the middle.

There is limbuger cheese (surprisingly good) and fish and fish and fish.

There are owls; carved, stuffed, painted and live ones flying off at dusk.

There are draft horses.

There are brick houses and thatched roofs and doors upon doors on the inside. Walk out of a room, close the door. Remember to close the door.

There are small refrigerators and composting is serious and nothing goes to waste.

There is, at times, English spoken and bonding with relatives not previously known.

There are full hearts. Brimming, loving and full.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Have Gnome, Will Travel


My beloved Oma was partial to garden gnomes. When she died last October, I rescued 5 of her gnomes and gave them prestigious plots in and around my home. Because Oma can't come with my Mom and me to Germany this time, I've invited Cedric to come along as her proxy. Luckily, he's the traveling sort with an over-sized passport and sensible suitcase.

Oma, I think, would be pleased. Cedric, for sure, is excited. Marzipan, warm ale, and a taste of smoked eel are high on his culinary list. And he's itching to sway to an accordion's lilt while wearing short, leather pants.

Wir ist gonna have some fun.


And on another happy note, my magazine, The Soul In Bloom~ spring issue, is on sale from  now until Mother's day. Who doesn't love a sale? To order your cheaper-than-usual copy, go HERE.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Shores Of The North Sea


There is an inn with thatched roof on the shores of the North Sea; an inn that once belonged to my great grandmother, Frau Thomsen. We are going there, my mother and me, because my mother is ill and  a journey back home is what her soul needs. She is scared. And I need to be at my best. So, I will be.

This journey is one of the most important things I will do in my life. Because fellowship, love and care are the hallmarks of living well. In living well, untold gifts are given back to the Universe and more light presses back on the dark. My secret wish is that this trip will heal my mother. I know for certain it will heal me.