Bear In Mind

Thoughts of pushing my cross-country skis through sparkling, freshly fallen snow are ingrained in my mind, but this is the only place they have resided. How was I to know that Mother Nature had other plans?

Past Winters found me housebound for the same reason. Uncooperative weather. Have I been brainwashed by those old movies that featured visions of ‘the white stuff’ twinkling as it fell from above?  My inner holiday child frolicking joyfully on a mindless course that went from lobbing orbs of the ‘stuff’ at cranial targets one minute and lacing up my skates to glide on frozen water the next?

It’s been unseasonably above zero before yesterday and whatever snow fell to the ground is long gone and is revealing lawns in various mottled shades of green and Camel, assuming that Camels only come in tan. Leaves are scattered in the yards of those of us who put our mulching mowers to task and shun the multiple rakings it takes to be void of them entirely. Yet, we’ll rejoice again when we see evidence of new ones adorning the trees when Ostara arrives. Except maybe for Dick. Dick enjoys his retirement…I guess. When our daughter and son-in-law were here for the holidays, she marveled as Dick crawled around his lawn on all fours with an empty plastic gallon ice cream bucket, handpicking any rogue leaves from his otherwise pristine field of green. She was mesmerized, while my husband and I have witnessed this on so many occasions it barely warrants a peek out the window. Interesting neighbors are fun. At least I list that as one of the reasons that we are living in an urban neighborhood instead of where I long to be most days…look on any map for ‘the middle of nowhere’ and that’s where I’d like to call ‘home’.

One of the reasons that I’d like this location is due to my love affair with privacy. The days I am out in the garden, in my own little world, only to discover pairs of eyes screwed into me as I dig and plant, in that world that is now populated by others, makes me have to make a decision. Do I carry on as if I don’t know they’re scrutinizing what I’m doing, perhaps with a critical view or do I get all self-conscious? Do they know I’ve lost my trowel for the fifth time as I try to look as if I’m just planning my borders instead of looking for it? Did they see me reach too far and fall face first into a hosta? Does my ass look big(ger) in these pants?

The other reason I’d like to live in a more rural, translated ‘removed’, area is my love of wild things. And, yes, I adore the trappings of mundane life and can strip the numbers off a credit card in a leisurely afternoon, but I am a Witch. One of Mother’s children. Her other forms of life are ‘family’ and I love to be near them.

My posts regarding the variety of these siblings will give any new reader some insight as to how much my life revolves around them. My yard is home to any of them who grace me with their presence and I’m grateful for them all. There is no distain for the Worms that I save when I dig into their habitat and carefully place them out of harms way or the Birds that rank as ‘undesirable’ by avid Birders. Like, I’m going to put up signs, “No Grackles Allowed”. Come on… my dad used to shake his fists at them…and they laughed hysterically, flew away and came back to the feeders when he wasn’t looking.

Am I being selfish if I’d like to hear Coyotes howl at night…and join them? I hear they have them on the west side and just want to shoot them. Barbarians. If they don’t want their Pugapoo to be threatened, get off the sofa and accompany the beloved pedigreed pooch outside when it does its business instead of just letting it out and forgetting it’s out there.

Give me a home where the Buffalo…well maybe not Buffalo…but the Deer and the Antelope would be lovely. Wolves would be nice. We do have Rabbits in the yard, but the Opossums, Skunks, Raccoons, and Woodchucks stay in the more wooded areas…note to self…plant more trees. There had been a Bear sited at the Arboretum, but I think they relocated him. Judging by the way it feels outside now, I would think a Polar Bear would not be unaccustomed to paying a visit.

As soon as we get some snow, operation ‘Ski Pole’ is back on. Maybe if I complete my task of tracking down some new wax it will entice Mother Nature to let it fall. A khaki hued hydrangea is nodding at me outside the window… mocking me really…

Ah, a Crow flew over. There is life out there and it’s not frozen solid. On that note, I will place something alluring in the feeder and wait for her to land. Maybe Dick has lost his ability to draw me to the window, but a Crow will get me every time.

Advertisements

The Purpose Of Significance

Along the road that leads into the company parking lot, there is a small wooded area. As I passed it on my way home from work tonight, a small gray squirrel ran out in front of me. I applied the brakes and the squirrel ran back to safety and scampered off into the newly leafed out trees. On the drive home, I contemplated this and the aspect that if it had been someone less conscientious behind the wheel or perhaps someone too preoccupied to notice, the squirrel may have been killed. That may not seem significant to some people, but it was to me and it certainly was to the squirrel.

If I was someone who believed in that seemingly strange occurrence that has been known for years as ‘coincidence’ I would say that I spent a large part of my day contemplating it. Left to my own devices, to enter data while listening to audio books, I have more than enough time to get into my head. I delve deeper into subjects such as quantum physics, neuroscience and a good bit of psychology as well as reams of books on metaphysics and spirituality. I had been listening to a book by Mike Dooley the other day regarding manifesting and how a fraction of a degree of separation can make a major difference in how things turn out.

I am a big believer in the concept of alignment and try to stay mindful of this, especially when something is aggravating or inconvenient. It becomes all too easy to forget that we are exactly where we need to be when we need to be there in order to put us in alignment with our destiny so having this play out with the squirrel in a way that made me particularly conscious of it was well…quite a coincidence.

In the 20 minutes it took me to get home I made it a point to be aware of as much as I could without having my awareness fall short of the car in front of me. The sky always draws my eye as I pan for birds as well as the side of the road where small animals can be spotted. Planes descend as they near the airport, other drivers coming and going, the sway of the trees. I purposefully took notice of as much as I could, taking into account that everything is significant.

There may be a tendency to place more importance on some things and less on others, but they all play a part in this journey. Everything from people we connect with in passing who later become those who are instrumental in our lives to the delays that annoyed us, but kept us out of harm’s way. Is there really anything that we can afford to downplay? I always say, if we notice something, it’s significant.

The times I’ve been prompted to pick up a leaf or look to the sky and see one of my Nature guides fulfilling its role as an omen, find their way into the pages of my collection of journals because they are noteworthy. Even as I sit here typing, my cat, Hmandu curled up in the crook of my arm fills me with a need to sense the experience fully.

Notice all that you can, for all things are significant. Find joy in the knowing that you are among those things. Live intentionally, mindful of your purpose and discount nothing.

A Bird Of A Very Different Feather

Most days I try to ‘map’ some expectations and include something so incredible and unusual that I will know when it occurs that it is confirmation of my ability to manifest via my connection to ‘The Universe’. This frequently involves being attuned with Nature and working with my guides who serve as omens. Yesterday, however, I decided to simply allow things to unfold and see what would happen. This seemed like the obvious choice to make since circumstances warranted that the plans I had made the previous night needed to be altered. I didn’t get out to my garden at all as I had expected. I had planned to spend most of the day out there cleaning things up in preparation for Spring, when I plant like a mad woman so that when it’s all done, all that is left to do is a bit of maintenance and relaxing in it’s beauty.

After doing some running to look at a new combination smoker and grill that my husband would like and another trip to the grocery store for steaks, it was well after 2PM and my energy was lagging. I figured that after dinner I’d just get my bird feeders filled and sit in the yard allowing the Earth to envelope me in Her nurturing embrace as I listened to the fountain splash. Wild Violets, my favorite flower, are scattered throughout the lawn wherever the Great Mother had tossed them and never fail to make me smile.

I came around to the front yard and headed toward my griffon bench for a front row seat, as the chorus of bird song was just warming up. There, on the ground beneath my feeder pole, laid a male Red Winged Blackbird. Whatever occurred had just happened prior to my arrival because he had not been there on my first pass through. I bent down and scooped him up in my hands and he began to show signs of fear, but was too disoriented to do anything but accept my interference.

Gently probing his feathers, I didn’t detect any obvious wound from a bird of prey, but he was too far away from my window for me to assume that he had hit the glass. I held him, speaking softly to him while stroking his soft little head and he began to relax. His eyes became less glazed and he started to make a move to escape. At one point he took advantage of my loosened grip and jumped to the ground. He seemed unable to take flight and hopped the length of the side of the house until he entered the back yard. Anyone who doubts a bird’s ability to outrun them should try chasing one.

He reached the rock wall where he came to a stand still. There was no way that I was just going to leave him to his own devices since in this state, he was a ‘sitting duck’. I picked him up again and returned to the bench with him. My husband came outside so the two of us began to play doctor, offering him water, which he drank one drop at a time off the tip of my finger, and simply letting him rest in my cupped hands. He’d open his eyes and make a break for it again, but still was not able to take flight.

Finally, it was time to go inside, so we exchanged ideas as to what to do with him overnight. With three very inquisitive Cats in residency, it was obvious that creating a make shift hospital indoors was not a wise option. I put a cushion at the bottom of a garden carry-all and found a ‘cage’ fashioned from hardware cloth. It was carefully placed over him so he was confined to a smaller, but airy space. A small dish of seeds was placed inside with him and another garden pillow served as a lid for the cage and the device was carried through the house and placed on the deck off the upper level so he would be high enough to protect him from predators.

I proceeded to do some things around the house while my husband gave me updates. “He’s ok. Just sitting there peering into the patio door wondering how he can get the hell out of there”. With darkness falling, there was not much else to be done until morning.

So, it’s a bit past 5AM and still dark so I am anxiously awaiting some daylight so that I can see if he’s ready to be launched back into life as he knew it before whatever it was had altered it. Come to think of it, my life was altered too. As I sat there attempting to provide what he needed, an overwhelming sense of having to nurture flooded my senses. How appropriate for Mother’s Day weekend. My daughter and her husband have to attend a birthday party for a ‘godchild’, so I will be spending Mother’s Day sans child. My own 93 year old mother is going out to dinner with one of my brothers and since we were not asked to join them, I really would feel like an intrusion if we made the hour and a half trip to ‘visit’. Having my husband take me out for dinner seems a bit odd because, as he has pointed out in the past, I am not his mother.

Getting out in the yard to do yesterday’s gardening will be a fine way to celebrate. After all, what a better way to spend the day than to be in the presence of the greatest Mother of all, in service to Her by having a ‘day of beauty’ in the spa… plucking weeds, and adding some color and polish.

Ah, I see the light of day has made things out the window visible and recognizable. A Grackle is already having breakfast, probing the peanut feeder for a nut to fly off with. A funny spin on the end bit of that line takes over my brain in the form of mounting the broom with a fellow crazy Sister Witch. The goofy shit my mind takes and twists just enough to leave puzzled faces in the wake of my sudden impulse to share them scares me. The closer I get to being 60, the more bazaar those things become. Oh well, I’ve been politely described as “eccentric” all of my life so the stiletto granny boot fits. And yes, I wear them, adhering to my sentiment, “if the shoe fits”, as in comfortable, “it’s ugly”.

Well, time to check on the patient. I guess I’ve been stalling because as eager as I am, there is that twinge of fear that I will find that he has joined the friendly skies on the other side. In the words of Wayne Dyer, “Excuses Be Gone”.

Eye To The Sky

No matter where you live you cannot escape Nature. From the soaring Eagle to the city Pigeon, there is a lesson to be learned from their presence in the skies. Today, watch for the Bird who makes itself known, for this is no mere happening void of meaning. If you notice it, it has significance.

Is the Bird on a wire, balancing between the Earth and sky? Do you feel that you are on that high wire, precariously perched over a dangerous situation demonstrated by the rushing traffic below or is there a meadow beneath the Bird? Is the wind blowing, causing the wire to sway or is it a calm day and the wire serves only as a means for you to see far and wide?

Do you see a Hawk soaring high seemingly surveying its domain? Is your keen sight and ability to rise above it all allowing you to excel in business or your personal life? Can you feel yourself riding the current with the Hawk, confident and sure of your vision for your future?

Does the gentle coo of Doves reach your ears? Amid the rushing cars, bobbing and weaving as it picks its way along the curbside for bits of food, it seems oblivious to the traffic. The Dove has a mission and its calm demeanor keeps it focused. A sudden rush of danger has it taking to the skies in seconds, gracefully gliding out of harms way and as soon as the threat has passed, it resumes its intention.

Is it a tree that holds your bird in its sheltering arms? It has all that it needs right there. Insects for food, a place to nest and raise a family, and leaves to hide behind and shield it from predators. Do you need to keep looking outside of yourself for your desires or is all you really need within and already yours?

From the elusive Owl to the watchful and cunning Crow, if you observe the behavior of the beautiful winged Nature guide that will present itself to you today, you will come away richer and wiser. Open yourself to the boundless expanse of sky and allow it to touch you.

Mother’s Therapy

I’ve found that I am able to feel more grounded if I spend at least five minutes outside daily, being mindful of Nature. Filling all of my Bird feeders is therapy. I am conscious of the love I feel for the wild things as I do it. How honored I am to be able to help feed them and provide shelter. I’ve built my home, “Enchanted”, on what was their domain. Creating harmony here is something that provides much joy. I can’t fathom causing harm to any of them or failing to act as guardian for the Mother’s wild children. Magick flows for those who understand and feel at one with the Earth and Her family. You’ll find no ‘Squirrel proof’ feeders here. No disdain for ‘undesirable’ Birds. No chasing them away, no traps, no poison, nor killing. No backyard ‘ethnic cleansing’.