The Green Scene

In the depths of summer
Intense green…
Stalwart leafy shapes-
Saplings, mature specimens or endangered ancients
speak to me of living:
grow where you are planted-
Of silent strength, belonging to self.

Serene green:
holding the space between earth and sky-
what transmissions occur?
recording life within the trunk- offering
branch space for others to inhabit.
Allowing all…born to live among us.

Playful green:
light and shadow colour leaves-
create art on any flat surface.
trails, collaborations, being with…

Musical green:
with partner wind whispering messages-
cycles of life conversations-
of the adventures each contains. Listening to
the murmured invitations to explore.
Or- windy collaboration to effect landscape change-
life can change in an instant: forever
can have a time scale.

I have seen the scene- and wandered
through the landscape-
realized the kinship of flora and fauna-
the ongoing gift exchange,
the weaving of relationship-
That some of us will be admired, named, chosen
Others will be removed to serve other humans
Roleplay exists even here-
demonstrating connection, interaction, intersection.


Let’s go for a walk…

The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold… JM

These past few weeks, I have been invited to a party
hosted by Mother Nature.
Her paintbox explodes as far, as far…
Serene green is slowly morphing into fiery landscapes
of autumn finery- signaling potential. A new light play
is on offer.
Stark changes evolve as the foliage flames; my question:
what changes? what does not change?
In the autumn of my life, how will I answer?

Celebration: flame, lacy, brown crowns- each plays inevitably.
Invitations -what is there to say about leaves?
Red and yellow and orange and brown…
Each shape transforms its reality by letting go
of tree and branch, journeying lazily on the wind towards
a new truth…a new geography awaits.
Treasured, collected, photographed, valued.
These variegated carpets- so freely offered.
Compost piles: agents of reincarnation-
soil for new growth and opportunity.
What am I prepared to let go of?
What am I allowing to begin? Legacy?

Conversations of living:
Spoken, chirped, skittered, hidden: each a pause-
an insight into transience and transition. Cycles.
Our human nature also lives in cycles. I am aware of mine-
and have come to understand that embedded in every ending
is a beginning. Over is such an ‘overused’ word.Think spring.

Relationships become apparent as stark silhouettes reach for the sky
Anchored in the earth and communicating with above and around-
mediums to remind us of strength and acceptance.
Reminding me-
despite the winds of circumstance and experience, the essential me remains.
What about my own relationships with myself, with other? How do I communicate?
Sun, wind, rain, others of my kind- I share and connect as do trees, each in their way- inspiring hope, peace, calm.
The web of life.
The party continues and I am alive.

Life composts and seeds us as autumn does the earth. P. Palmer

Books and I: friends forever

The end of a book’s wisdom appears to us as merely the start of our own. Proust

This phrase has certainly been true for me. From the start of my retirement journey, books seem to keep track of of my progress along my interior journey and to offer support when I was feeling overwhelmed by the depth of the changes that surrounded me. I found solace, recognition that I was not alone on this journey and suggestions as to new ways to think of myself as the ‘old order’ vanished and I was feeling intensely vulnerable.

So often I would go to the library; the next book I ‘needed’ to read was waiting for me to select it, call it my own for a time: ‘this book was written for me’ crossed my mind several times. Did I always agree with the author’s point of view? Not always…but then, authors did not always agree with each other. Aging, the new frontier, has many points of view on the elegance and challenges of growing old…always more to learn, invitations to expand our lives even as society has plans for downsizing. Not only for homes. Avidly, I read of others’ lives, saw some possibilities in my own and sought to share my journey with others…fellow warriors on the new/er path. I could do this, I thought.

As my life continues to change and I let go of’ things that no longer serve me’, it seems as though those books, podcasts, and articles have provided me an excellent foundation for composing my own further life. Who am I? What matters to me? What are my new beginnings? My daily journal entries seem to help me explore new and reflective landscapes. I do have something to say about my journey and the teaching/learning environment it provides. Plays and publishing work seem to be on the horizon. Increased awareness of patterns and routines allows me to breathe differently and to listen to my heart and soul…and my body: what are its desires? How do we live as one? The essential me is strong and yearning to live out loud. Song and dance continue to fill my heart with joy: bellydancing as life…I am learning the steps slowly. Songs, melodies, chants work their magic. Singing along and composing my own ditties: it is my thing! My aging body has its own messages of support and desire to be considered. So many possibilities to be explored…who knows what will be next? Anticipation.

I will end…with a book. Over the Rooftops, Under the moon by JonArno Lawson. In the picture book, he explores life: alone and together, change: inside and out and what we can come to understand. Near and far. I will make my own meaning from this text and beautiful illustrations. I am hearing the sound of GO!
Live your life as you choose!

Ancient vocabulary:

philautia…taking care of self

agape…love for everyone

Philia…loyalty to friends

MY credo.

I Feel a Role

I feel a role coming on-
I know them from old.
Learn the jargon; follow the script-
Wear the costumes!
All the world’s a stage:
Strutting and fretting-
Is this spiral who I am?

I feel a role coming on-
Connections with others:
sister, daughter, cousin, friend-
Relating, sharing- I am learning
stories of living- expectations, control.
then and now- near and far-labels
Who do you want me to be?

I feel a role coming on-
Being responsible for my life:
What matters to me? My song
and dance- what will I do with words?
Explore inner and outer realities-
align, design- community, solitude
Becoming who I am!

I feel a role coming on-
Borderlands living:
Past, present and future speak to
my essential self who creates with embodied gifts.
Conversations to share wisdom; storyteller: writing of life
Performance: singing and dancing to my songs, others’.
Heart and soul: what wants to happen?

Vocabulary on my pilgrim’s path:
acknowledge, awareness, gratitude, forgiveness, memory, transitions, imagination, emotions, powerful, potential, courage, vulnerability, rhythm, routine, rut, challenge, opportunity, envision, belief, learning to pay attention, integration, trust


The choir to which I have belonged for the last few years is disbanding.

I have torn a page/ written into the passage of time:
my Hummingbirds story- musical opportunities, making friendships, baking treats for monthly birthdays, gigs in care homes, Friday afternoons in company, stories and laughter, blending and birthing…experiencing the joy of singing
2nd row…second soprano

Closing the chapter…events pass into memory, cherished and not forgotten.

To feel alive…
In this lifetime
Is to immerse myself
In music.
My body sways to rhythms.
To hear my voice aloud-
sing out and sing along,
other tunes and my own,
alone or in groups,
Streaming through my being-
notes of comfort and creation.

Words are my treasures-
light my path.
Fuel my creative streak-
speaking and writing
sharing and leading
singing, styling…
stories and ideas abound
created and creating
conversations and observations
of the world, my world:
inside and out.

I am learning to leave constraint behind.
To belong.


Drifts of pink snow line the streets-
petals flake through the air- a rosy haze
blankets the city, perfumes the air:once again
flowering cherry trees herald Spring.
Photographed,planted and encouraged,lifting our spirits-
beckoning us outdoors to feel the warmth of the sun.

Not to be outdone,out of the soil:
flowers appear. Paintbox colors
dot landscapes. What has survived winter’s mantle?
Shades of green announce spring’s onset and promise
with these signatures of life’s renewal.

A new cycle begins;leafy characters announce themselves-
trees,all shapes and sizes,are greeted with joy-
even expectation of performance.Light and shade.
Getting in on the act,humans participate peripherally.
Preparing,planting- garden centers rub their hands in glee.
Lime green hands and those of brown live in hope
while trying yet again to direct, produce.
Gardeners aspire to greatness.Feeling warmth, anticipation.
Scenes are created; twenty years or two weeks:
they all have a place. Nature, nurture- humans and plants

Widening my gaze beyond urban vistas,
forests live and breathe-
covering the landscape with their stately presence.
Offering animal homes,health,beauty: a peaceful life.
Circle of life? Bucolic dances with clearcutting,harvest.
What are their goals? Can they be only lucrative?
Greed the growing factor? Trees: only fodder for success?
Regrowth, regeneration, research
all provide a second chance over time-
Desire to replant fluctuates.

Simultaneously,the gardener lunges eager hands
into the soil;sensuously,the soil responds.
Rewards for personal efforts are at hand;
no special equipment,
permits or steps required.
Where machinery may remove all
the gardener’s game: weed or flower? Stay or go?

At the end of the week-
foresters, paid for their efforts,
can become weekend gardeners-
to try their hand at this circle business.
Somehow these worlds meet,touch,and
play out the David and Goliath game.

We ponder:how is it that we trade tall and stately
for spindly and small? The view?
Making way for more growth in human terms?
Residential or commercial:acres of green
that help us to breathe, to survive
are bent to man’s use. A plan?

Of course, desire for wood creates options.
Building structures, furniture…useful,preferred.
Rings of life offer creative options: sculpture,
framing life and desire.Prized.Sought.
Paper. Let me count the ways.
How do we integrate all features of Plant world
into awareness and understanding? Balance?

The conversations with nature continue:
building relationships
giving and taking
conservation and culling
Stewardship:points of view

Welcoming Spring!

Hide and Seek

A child’s game: we also know that many games are invented to practice skills we need in our life.

Who is It?

Who or what is to be found?

Where are the hiding spots on the landscape?

How do we take turns?

I am It.
I am/was hiding my eyes(self) from the world through the first half of my life…this game has rules regarding acceptable and valued behaviors..not wise to be found wanting.I sought acceptance and approbation through hard work and a passive demeanor. Even so, I found pieces of of myself, mostly when I was traveling, around music, or at least away from the familiar: home, surroundings,etc.My relationships repeated my pattern of trying to fit in. Rays of sunshine brought occasional warmth and glimpses of a larger landscape than I had carefully created and framed.

I am It.
Post retirement-the landscape changed:nowhere to hide.Frameworks and roles disappeared. I am now seeking myself. What have I found?
•ingrained patterns of safety have energy; wishing to choose different ways of being: new player? transform the energy
•myself as a teacher transcends circumstances;leadership has many forms
•a latent desire to perform; hide and seek-strong conversations with ego
•a slow emergence from hiding myself with surprising results: conscious aging matters
•a rich inner journey that awakened emotions and their expression, a different sense of self
•there are always games; do I want to play? I have an option!

I am taking my second/third turn.I have been a child, adolescent adult before; this chapter of my life offers me another opportunity to move through steps and stages with wisdom gained from earlier experiences,and with the warmth of relationships with those who accept me as I am.

Perhaps there is no need to hide. I am seeking the fullest expression of myself in the world..with my intuition as my guide and love surrounding the journey.What will I find? Who will my companions be?

with a vision not a code
with a song rather than a limiting story
with deepening awareness of aligned inner and outer journeys

Game? What game?

Dreams and Commitments

The song’ May Joyful Music fill the Air’ is floating through my consciousness these days. While the canon is old(Tallis 1505-1585),the sentiment remains positive. On Tuesday, I completed the ‘Sacred Gifts’ course I spoke about in my last post. I had identified some of my gifts and the assignment was to choose one or two and to imagine how to try them out and what commitments I was willing to make. I chose ‘Encourager’ and ‘Music’.

It was a revelation to see how aligned I have been with my revealed gifts. I have been working with older adults on issues of identity and continued contribution. Equally, encouraging people to record and tell their stories has been part of the workshop and program series I offer…many kind comments about their value have come my way. I do want to continue with these conversations about living well as we age and the creative potential we share. For details, please consult my website.

Music? It has been my motivator and has often changed how I looked at life. Post retirement, I wrote poetry and lyrics to describe the changes I was experiencing but  had never gone forward with them. What if I found someone to help me with melody and turned them into singable songs? I took voiceover training and have a CD of the various voices I can produce, but never marketed them well. What if I sent the CD out again? Targeted to different markets? My fellow participants also had some great ideas for me…use of technology: UTube to sing my songs, narrate some excerpts from books and poetry I had read to help me on my interior journey, podcasting,making videos and posting them…not quite a foreign language but opening doors for this pencil and paper person. How do I market a blog?

The gifts of this course have been many and varied and I am grateful for this opportunity.Much of the framework is already in place and only needs to be revitalized.  Most of all, I know that I do not have to do it all. I can let go of the pieces that are clearly not my gifts or that are outside my abilities. I can plan the pathway and invite knowledgeable people to support, partner with me as I move forward. I am not alone.

The following Goethe quote is pertinent to counter my inertia:

Until one is committed

There is hesitancy, the chance to draw back

Always ineffectiveness……

That the moment that definitely commits ones self

The Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one

That would never otherwise have occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision

Raising in one’s favor all manner

Of unforeseen incidents and meetings

And material substance

Which no one could have dreamt

Would have come your way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.


Stay tuned.





Intense reds dominate the landscape passionately proclaiming their place. A promise of strength reassures and beckons a life out loud:admired, indulged, feeding the senses.
My passions: I am beginning to hear/feel more strongly the siren call of music, writing, performance- out in the world, my nature prevails.
The supporting cast: the rocks, the pond, the warm air and blue sky so perfect in this photo speak of the flow of life and its eternal nature to protect, allow, design. The elements of my life are not different.
Conscious aging asks me to consider all components of my life actively choosing the design, allowing potential to create opportunity and my own common sense to protect. At any time I can change the elements of my life…or at least my response to them. My cycles of living,as in nature, continue to nurture and nourish myself and others as I move though the world and hold hands with the essence of being in the world. This photo says it all.

Without Words

It’s about words. My medium of expression, my way of being in the world and understanding the world I live in. I have read words too numerous to count, written words for more occasions and honored others’ words as they share their ideas of living in the world. We all have stories that illustrate how our words and others’ have changed the way we live in the world. While at a forum the other day I witnessed how the words of some participants were valued more than others and the resulting unease made a difference to how we listened and participated. The power of words….

And yet…

In small ways i am learning about non-verbal living and its communication about who I am.Some personal stories:

I have long wondered why I feel more ‘at home’ when I live on my own. The fragrance of lilacs in bloom provided a clue. When I was very small I lived on a farm..there were lilac trees growing on the edge of the property. One of my games was to ‘play house’ in the tree-in my mind’s eye I can see the rooms in the spaces the slender trunks afforded.  How I loved the seclusion and the stories I created as I played. I am the oldest child; when my siblings arrived, we moved, my world changed and the opportunity for aloneness diminished. Alone no more…

‘Moments before we too drifted apart. .

The words of an old song reverberate in my head as I think and wonder how to write 
about my experiences of natural horsemanship over a couple of years. I could talk about
 the details of how I found out about Christa Miremadi and set up the lessons. I could talk
 about clear sunny days driving out to the farm, first to Richmond, then to Langley and the
 excitement of Thursdays, knowing that the prospect of hanging around animals for a
 couple of hours would connect me to myself in many ways I could not have imagined.
Dogs and cats were my familiars -who could see through my defenses and with whom I 
learned about unconditional love and caring. There was no agenda. It was with horses,
however, that I discovered the nature of big and small and how they interchanged within 
the blink of an eye and with a language was not always verbal.’ Extract from a longer essay.

Over my time with horses, I learned much about living and about the connections of my interior and exterior journeys here in this lifetime. My being was happy, my heart was open to possibility and I lived well.  Shift happens….

These days it’s about dance. 

‘Dance as though no one is watching.’

It’s about responding to music. ‘Just Dance’ and ‘Dance Divine’ have offered me ways to move to music according to my rhythm and design. My body has always wanted to play that I find myself on the dance floor engaging with my being as the music beguiles and invites. No routines to remember, no words to frame the experience,..just movin’ my body, and well being. I close my eyes and play with sound. Zumba also allows for moving and grooving to music..organized high energy play. Yes, there are routines but my body loves moving to rhumba, samba and rock and our instructor uses gesture as much as words to explain. Moving along…

Meditation matters. Stillness, following my breath, and I am home. To be sure, my ‘inner child’ worries about me in the world. I let those thoughts drift away and feel myself free of ‘the surly bonds of earth’. Sometimes my consciousness provides a piece of understanding about an issue; mostly, it is a celebration of life and lifetimes, honoring who I am…part of a larger whole: without uttering a word.

Walks, many other ways to redefine myself in the world and to understand how I am creatively composing my life. I am aware I have used words to describe these connections with my Self and my interior journey. However, words are not the only way/lens through which I live these days. For that truth, I am grateful.

Beyond strutting and fretting….