All posts by ravenwolfsong

I love to walk everyday and say hello to the beautiful world of nature around me. Each night I go outside to look for stars and whisper my dreams to the universe. I choose to follow the path of beauty as a way to heal and strengthen my faith.

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Our lives are filled with goodbyes, some temporary and many forever. Eventually they will all enter the forever-and-ever category, but that’s a whole other blog. For now, I am going to write about the day to day ones we face with our family and friends.

Yesterday my son Deven and his delightful girlfriend Sophia, who I have become very close with, left for Maine to live in a beautiful cabin on the ocean for four months. It’s gorgeous, wild and free, and one of the most magical places I have ever visited. I am of course very happy for their temporary escape from the travails of life as we know it, and plan on staying with them for a couple of weeks sometime in the future. And just for your information, I have been officially invited as they adore my company, so I am not following them like some clingy mother ….

I have had to say goodbye numerous times to my boys over the last few years, as they left for college, or gone off on their adventures, and no matter how I emotionally prepare, it is always difficult. I fully see the big picture of how wonderful these opportunities are, and how good it is for them to be independent, to grow and be on their own, but that doesn’t take away the grief I feel every time as I watch them drive off into the sunset.

When I was a young girl, my mother took my siblings and I up to the San Francisco area to visit my uncle and his family. For some reason, she needed to leave us there for about a week, I am not sure of the details, but either way I was fine with her decision and happy to have this time with my cousins. At least, I thought so. It was not until later after saying our goodbyes in the driveway, when I saw her back up and head down the street, that I suddenly panicked my mother was leaving and I began running after her, my skinny little legs flying down the sidewalk, waving my arms and yelling for her to stop and take me with her. She had no idea this was happening and continued driving away until she was nothing but a tiny little speck in the distance. I gave up and stood there crying, then reluctantly turned around and walked back to the house. I ended up having a nice time, but will never ever forget the desperation and pain I felt in that moment as she left.

Flash forward to yesterday as I stood in another driveway, hugging my son goodbye, cradling his beloved face in my hands, and kissing his cheek, knowing he was about to drive over 7 hours away, and be gone for a significant amount of time. Quietly acknowledging there was nothing I could do, or even wanted to do for that matter, to hold him back. The same little girl who will always be a part of me, no matter how old I grow, was already preparing for the inevitable moment when my loved ones would get in the car and disappear into the distance. Thankfully I held it together, and did not go running after them, which wouldn’t have been good for anyone, especially me, as the driveway was covered with snow and very slippery.

Nevertheless, grief is grief.

Today I feel much better knowing they have safely arrived, and am already receiving videos and photos of them filling their water bottles at the natural spring, and later of my son sitting by the cozy wood stove.

This morning through the power of technology I was able to hear and view the misty gray ocean whispering over the slippery rocks, and can happily smile seeing that they are surrounded by such beauty.

Over the years, I have unfortunately experienced many other forms of goodbyes. Some with friends who I thought would be forever, some with lovers who I trusted would never leave, and even a few unspoken goodbyes from my close family members, which seems unimaginable even now. All have not been so cut and dried as the bittersweet one of yesterday, but instead drawn out, wrenched apart, ripped away, or faded slowly and painfully, inch by inch until nothing remains. These are the goodbyes that change you in ways that can never fully be healed, and at the very best, patched up with sticky glue, frayed scraps of fabric and bits of knotted string.

Some goodbyes may turn out to be for the best but this can be hard to fathom in the moments of leaving, and even more difficult to unravel later on. Our significant relationships are uniquely bound by shared experiences, time spent together, and mixed gently with the possibilities of future hopes and dreams. These are then tightly woven to create a beautiful tapestry, impossible to tease apart into separate categories of good or bad, right or wrong, happy or sad. It’s only in the finished piece where we can fully see how sacred everything has been in its entirety.

Today is the last day of 2021, and I am sure I speak for many that this year has been filled with an abundance of trials and tribulations, both personal and worldly, along with the beauty and magic that continually runs through it all. I am grateful for so much, too many things to list, but I happily say goodbye to this year and welcome in the new.

For everyone who has experienced the forever-and-ever goodbyes, or the sorrows which are way too deep to mention, please know you are loved and supported by myself, and hopefully others who are more tangible. It is good to seek help if you need more; there are many programs and people in this world who foster a place of generosity of spirit and love. I believe with all my heart in the perseverance and hope of humanity, and perhaps even more importantly, I believe in the divinity that binds us all.

things haven’t changed much….important message in the beginning!

Love is not ended through goodbyes, no matter how it may feel. Love is eternal and everlasting.

Happy Beautiful New Year

In Peace ~ Raven

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Procrastination….

“Is the action of delaying or postponing something.” Oxford Languages

I am seriously procrastinating right now, especially as all day long I have been thinking about how stressful it is to procrastinate something when I know it has to be done. “Wouldn’t this make an interesting topic to write about,” I thought to myself as I meandered aimlessly and somewhat nervously through the daylight hours.

So here I am at 8:00 tonight, procrastinating by sharing my ill-gained wisdom from my procrastinating all day. I have a few serious things that need to be done or there will be big consequences, and last night I vowed to myself I would get started first thing this morning…

…12 Hours Later- “After I have breakfast,” I told myself… “Maybe tidy the living room… a few minutes of vacuuming would be great… the dishes are piling up… isn’t there wet laundry to dry… I really should take my daily walk before it gets dark… a quick little rest would do me good… just a few chapters of the book I am reading… I better make dinner soon…. I know, I can write a blog!”

It’s an endless nightmare that I could have avoided if only I had sat down calmly this morning and at least started something. In under fifteen minutes I could complete the one task that has been hanging over my head for weeks now, which has already been stressful, but will be made even more so, if I don’t fill out and send the required forms.

Hint: DOOM

The other project needs to be done by Thursday at the very latest. This will take significantly longer, but has the great potential to yield wonderful results in my life.

Either way, negative or positive, I can’t seem to begin.

I feel like I have been pressing the snooze button all day, but not getting any extra sleep.

Procrastination is a form of self-sabotage, and a symptom of depression and anxiety. It can also be something as simple as a misplaced belief that things are better accomplished when under pressure, poor time management, lack of self-discipline, or just plain avoidance issues. I seem to have all of the above.

It turns out I really don’t have very much advice to share, other than to be kind to yourself. Compassion for one’s imperfections is the best approach under these circumstances, why pile more stress onto an already upsetting situation. It is a form of self-love to take care of the things looming in your life that may cause further issues down the road, and hinder your ability to find serenity in the now.

I absolutely promise myself that I will take care of the easiest task tonight, before I go to bed, AND by a reasonable time. Tomorrow is a new day, and I will try again. There, simple as that!

In Procrastinating Peace, Raven

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Meaning

Every day I find myself looking beyond what is in front of me, deep beneath the surface, a smidge behind the obvious, and up over the above, all to find a greater sense of meaning.

I am unable to live a life with my heart and mind closed to the sacred. Despite simple reason, I experience everything through the lens of someone who has walked this earth before.

I understand the finite days and nights we each have to live. Filled with a divine blend of beauty and sorrow, the stories we become, despite how we intend them to be, are so much more than how they appear.

How can any of this possibly matter, as we while away the minutes into hours, if we forget who it is we really are. What is left when you remove the layers of your armor to the soul behind your smile.

I want to tell you there is more to this journey than just the struggles we endure. Perhaps if we close our eyes to what we think is real, maybe…just maybe, we will be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of eternity.

May We All Walk in Beauty ~ Raven

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Happy Birthday Tiana & My Dog Has Fleas

It’s early morning, my dog is snoring, it’s my daughter’s 20th birthday, all my kids are home, we are safe, we are loved, we are blessed with warmth (it’s 26 degrees outside), we have abundant good food, we have each other, we have this beautiful day to celebrate, and my dog has fleas.

I woke up too early today, and before I could retreat back into a peaceful slumber, my mind quickly filled with all of the above facts, along with a myriad of to-do lists, worries, possibilities, expectations, gratitude, and overwhelming emotions. It’s been eons since I wrote out-loud; I write in my head all the time, but I suddenly felt inspired to share, and so here I am.

Once long ago, I was a happily married stay-at-home mom. Every day I felt safe and secure. We were a home-schooling family, which meant for us that we followed our hearts and lived a fulfilling life of adventure, love, and joy. Years later, the reality of our story has turned out to be even more wonderful than I ever imagined.

Somewhere in the middle, my marriage fell apart, and so did any feelings of safety and security. Since then it has been a major struggle to arrive where I am today, but somehow, in part thanks to the generosity of people who love us, and my creative determination to walk my own path, we have thrived.

Through it all, my children have been my source of strength, my focus, and the reason I have been able to move forward. Our relationships with each other have grown beyond family ties and are based on mutual respect, devotion, companionship, and unconditional love. We are each other’s best friends forever.

We took these sweet photos last year on Tiana’s birthday

Now they are grown and each moving in different directions. I find myself at a lost for how my life will unfold. My son Deven reassures me that our lives are expanding rather than contracting, and as they move onward, it can only open us up to new relationships and new adventures. Already it has begun, and I do see the beauty of change, but still my heart quietly mourns for what will no longer be.

Me and my lovely daughter

Determined to live in the moment, today we are all home, together in our little house by the lake, and I am grateful beyond measure.

Soon a fire will be made, the tea kettle whistling, and the house will be filled with the sounds of my children’s voices and the constant rumbling of the washer and dryer as I work to wash every pillow, blanket, curtain, and piece of clothing that may-or-may-not be hiding any fleas or their future off-spring. After a lovely breakfast, I will break out my new high-powered vacuum cleaner I bought to remove the scourge that has entered my home and clean every inch of our dwelling. I have had dogs ever since I moved here to New England 30 years ago, and we have never had fleas. None of us are happy about this, especially Skadi.

Poor pup doesn’t understand why she no longer has the run of the house

Hopefully I can also find the time to make pumpkin muffins with chocolate chips, take my 3 mile walk, and maybe read a few chapters of my book.

Most importantly, I will remain present, express myself in a loving way, and be grateful for every moment that we can be together. Even if my dog is scratching next to me……

UPDATE: I actually wrote this blog yesterday morning on my daughter’s birthday before everyone got up, but just as I finished, she came into my room crying that she didn’t feel good. We ended up at the emergency hospital for most of the day while they tested her. Thankfully we were able to go home and she is currently on the mend. My poor sweetie, what a way to celebrate her special day. We managed to have a peaceful evening, and the only thing I was able to accomplish on my great to-do list was to take my much-needed walk around the lake. This all goes to show how quickly life can change, and how very precious each and every moment of time is that we share with our loved ones.

In Itchy, but Grateful Peace, Raven

Barefoot In My Nightgown

This past Thursday, which happened to be the day after my birthday, I woke up early and sauntered barefoot in my turquoise-blue nightgown out into my backyard to say hello to the bright new morning sun.

Because of the recent rain our grass has grown very long, hiding all the fallen acorns and nuts the trees have been dropping in preparation for the changing season. I love to be barefoot, so this makes it very difficult to see them before it’s too late and I step right onto their unforgiving hardness….ouch, ouch, ouch!

I decided there and then to mow my lawn. This is not the first time I have impulsively done yard work, barefoot and in my nightgown. Although we live on a lake, we have many large trees surrounding our home, which does give us some semblance of privacy. I figure no one really cares to watch me ramble about the yard in my silky garb, and if they do, oh well.

I grew up in California-beach-weather, where the days were mostly hot, and sunny. I wore less there going to the grocery store, or skating on the boardwalk. Besides, I have come to a certain age in my life where I feel free to do whatever it is that makes me happy. It’s not that I don’t care what other people think, it’s just that I like the peace in my mind from not wondering.

California me back in the 80’s

I believe it’s one of the privileges that arrives with being over a half-century old.

Video: Late last night….if you listen very carefully you might hear the owls hooting in the background. Either way, just know they are there.

I am becoming more eccentric in my ways, returning to a time long, long ago, when my life was not so complicated and I trusted in the beauty of my path. I celebrate this re-awakening by wearing feathers in my hair, listening to old classics on my record player, like Bad Company, and getting up in the middle of the night to hear the owls hoot across the lake.

One thing that disturbs my sense of peace are the loud and constant sounds of people using their power operated lawn equipment. It really takes me out of the moments when I am trying to relax in my own yard. Personally, I feel good knowing I am not contributing to the noise and air pollution, and find it efficient as well as meditative to use the old-fashioned quieter tools like my mower, brooms, and rakes. Plus it’s more fun!

Several years ago I bought a push-operated mower, which is super easy to use: I practically dance across my lawn! The only sounds you will ever hear from my endeavors are the occasional warnings I sing out to the cute little toads to safely get out of the way, or my ongoing chats with the wild birds and squirrels who frequently stop by for a visit. I like to think of myself as their neighborhood ambassador, as none of them care for any of that pollution either.

Timothy the Crow

There’s something very satisfying about feeling the dawn-wet grass stick to my feet, and seeing the once messy lawn become smooth and neat. I am always grateful to be alive and in the moment, with the sun shining overhead, and the soft breeze blowing my cares away.

Skadi keeping watch while I play

Being barefoot in my nightgown has a certain rebellious flair that suits my returned sense of freedom, and reminds me that although I am a mother of three, a good friend to many, a daughter, a teacher, an artist, and a healer, I am also a sensuous, vibrant woman, who finds great pleasure and adventure in the simple everyday moments of my life.

So hop-hop-hop away little toads, here I come!

In Barefoot Peace, Raven

Cutting the grass with my vintage style push-mower, dodging acorns, barefoot and in my nightgown, is the delicious cherry on my gluten and dairy-free cake.

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Wild Flowers

I just returned from staying in Vermont for the past several days, and the lovely family I was visiting lives on a large expanse of land: it was serenely spacious and quite beautiful.

All around us was the beauty of mother nature: trees, mountains, ponds, greenery as far as the eye could see, the eternal vastness of sky, and a wash of wildflowers in every direction.

Each night we would dine on the cozy porch, comfortable on well loved couches overlooking a pond filled with an entire village of singing frogs and swaying lily pads.

古池や 蛙飛び込む 水の音
Furu ike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

Old pond…

a frog jumps in

water’s sound

Haiku by Matsuo Basho, literal translation by Robert Hass

Along with listening to the loud chorus of ribbits and peeps, one of my favorite experiences was the tradition we shared before our evening meal. One by one we would take a moment to express something we were grateful for: be it the glorious weather we were having, the beauty of the trees, or the sweet happiness of creating endearing new friendships.

Around and about there is another pond, this one quite big, with a wooden dock to sit at, reflect, and place one’s feet in the chilly water.

There were tadpoles, and many salamanders swimming and exploring in the dappled sunlight.

A fuzzy caterpillar came to greet me…….

I was generously given the use of a small cabin built upon a hill nestled among the trees.

Once we were ready to settle in for the night, I would carefully make my way up a slightly steep, meandering path towards the cabin. My only light was the headlamp I carried in my hand, and the flashing of fireflies, whom you may also know as lightning bugs, flickering between branches and long grass.

As I wended to the cabin one cloudless night, I saw the brightest shooting star streak across the sky and I wanted to lie in the grassy field to gaze at them for hours.

Another time soon I will return to do just that.

It was very magical to be outside like this, long after the sun had gone to rest, where the darkness was deep, untouched by civilization.

All around us was the beauty of mother nature; trees, mountains, ponds, greenery as far as the eye could see, the eternal vastness of sky, and a wash of wildflowers in every direction.
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Pexels.com
Photo by Flash Dantz on Pexels.com

I could have stayed in the house, but I was happy to have a chance to enjoy the intimacy of being immersed in nature, and so I chose to live at night without electricity, plumbing, and running water.

Earlier that day…..

Basically, there was one bed, two side-tables, a long counter which held a camping stove, a makeshift sink, and a tray of brightly colored Calendula flowers that were slowly drying.

In one corner a large screen was placed over two chairs, creating a natural rack for drying more plants; the one below is Motherwort.

In another corner hung a fragrant bunch of Lavender, which made me smile just to be near it.

Some of the the windows were glass, but many were only screen, with an entire wall of them perfectly placed in front of the bed. There was very little between me and the great outdoors.

Once inside I would turn off my meager light and with only myself to confide, deep in the stillness of the forest cathedral, every one of my senses came to life in a way that was both invigorating and free.

The croaks from my froggy companions continued to serenade me as I stood there in the sanctuary of my solitude, surrounded by tree guardians on all sides, while the song of two owls called to each other to celebrate my arrival.

Photo by OVAN on Pexels.com

I stood there at the window for a few moments just to soak up every exquisite moment of peace. After, I crawled into bed under my heavy pile of blankets, and kept my eyes open for as long as I could, looking out into the shiny, flickering darkness.

I slept well each night and woke gently with the first rays of light. When I was ready to re-enter the world, I slowly made my way down the hill, my bare feet cold and wet from the morning dew as I walked through the grass and back out among the wildflowers.

One of my all-time favorite songs!

I absolutely love Tom Petty, and am so grateful I was able to see him in concert before he sadly left us. I will always carry his music in my heart.

Wildflowers by Tom Petty

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
Sail away, kill off the hours
You belong somewhere you feel free

Run away, find you a lover
Go away somewhere all bright and new
I have seen no other
Who compares with you

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
You belong with your love on your arm
You belong somewhere you feel free

Run away, go find a lover
Run away, let your heart be your guide
You deserve the deepest of cover
You belong in that home by and by

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong somewhere close to me
Far away from your trouble and worries
You belong somewhere you feel free
You belong somewhere you feel free

In Beauty & Peace, Raven

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Summer Day

the garden of Ann

It’s raining, almost twilight, which is my favorite time; my beloved dog is laying close by, I’m listening to Chris Stapleton, it’s the first day of Summer, and my windows are wide open so I can hear the

Pitter-patter-drop-drop-drop

I haven’t been able to write for a while.

Due to my need for expansion I was pushed by the universe to leave my cozy nest and go back out into the world for a little bit

Pitter-patter-drop-drop-drop

I no longer fit within the lines of my dreams

To create a future where I am to be the most authentic version of myself, I shall slightly alter the course of my present flight…left at the fallen rock, a slight right when I reach the star

Pitter-patter-drop-drop-drop

Thankfully I am home to stay for several days of complete emotional freedom to wander barefoot through the byways of my sanctuary and ponder the beauty of life

I am in deep recovery from way too much people-ling

Pitter-patter-drop-drop-drop

It’s not that I won’t leave my house, it’s just that I don’t have to, and that makes all the difference in the world

Pitter-patter-drop-drop-drop

My name is Donna Marie

but the trees know me as Raven

Pitter-patter-drop-drop-drop

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Hope Springs Eternal

People often ask why I like the East coast so much more than the West coast where I grew up, and I would have to say that experiencing the seasons is one of the things I love best of all.

Forsythia; one of the first flowers of Spring

Living in New England for the past 30 years has attuned me to the rhythm of life in a way I had never understood before, and learning to enjoy each season for its unique blessings and challenges, is a good way to create harmony between us and the natural world.  

Pussy Willow

Being part of the changing circle of creation, forces us out of our everydayness into something flowing and alive. Just when we have reached our limit of cold winter days, the warm tendrils of Spring make their way across the land into our hearts, whispering softly of its promised arrival.

Like the finest of connoisseurs, I can feel it coming from miles away. Waking up from our long slumber, siblings to the trees, bodies stretching up towards the sun, we arrive, rejoicing in our eternal story.

Experiencing both moments of hardship and joy, brought to us on the winds of each new season, strengthens our resolve to live fully and with gratitude, knowing underneath the fertile soil are the miraculous stirrings of new beginnings, wonders never cease.

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall; each an opportunity to celebrate the gifts from Mother Earth, and to release any lingering shadows held far too long, inspiring healing choices of forgiveness and love.

The symphony of birds outside my window every morning sing to me of dreams created during long winter nights. Heralding its arrival, robins sent out as tiny ambassadors announce the brightness of a new day.

Every season different, from beginning to end, renews our spirit, offering us a chance to grow and adjust our path. Though the days of time move in a continuous circle, our footsteps, if we desire, never having to be the same. 

Spring is in full bloom here in New England, and has been for a couple of weeks. The tulips and daffodils are lovely and already the magnolia blossoms are losing their petals, yet their sweet fragrance fills the air.

A dogwood tree in my front yard has started flowering, and each day on my walk I see something wondrous. Soon baby geese will paddle gently behind their parents on the lake, and I will take great pleasure in spying bunnies nibbling on clover during my morning walk.

Dogwood tree blossoms

Already the young crows are exploring, their voices loud overhead as they call to each other through the trees; under the fullness of the moon I hear the frogs sing across the water, and just today I saw my first butterfly, it’s wings softly painted white.

The arrival of this particular Spring has gently nudged me out from under the umbrella of melancholy I have long sheltered beneath, and into the cleansing rain of a new season.

“Life is brief and very fragile, do that which makes you happy,” is a quote I saved as a teenager. I made it into a collage which I brought with me when I moved here from California over 3 decades ago. I have it hung in my room as a daily reminder.

Despite my uncertainty in the unknown future, I am determined to remain open to all the beautiful possibilities life has to offer. The magic of each season holds a special message for everyone of us, if only we are willing to listen.

Drip-drop, ribbit-croak, nibble-hop, waddle-paddle, blossom-grow, flutter-fly, caw-caw

In Springy Peace, Happy first day of May!

Raven 

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Happy Birthday Dear Pup

Our beloved dog Skadi just celebrated her 5th birthday yesterday, on April 2nd, and we are so grateful to have her in our life. She is a Great Pyrenees, an immensely powerful large-breed dog originally from the Pyrenees mountains located in southwestern Europe, which form a natural border between Spain and France. My well-read children named her after Skadi, the Norse goddess of winter, ice and mountains, who was also known to be a giantess, which is perfect since our Skadi resembles a large polar bear.

She was the cutest little pup ever! Click on any of the photos on this page for a full view.

The Great Pyrenees are working dogs bred to protect sheep from wolves, bears and other predators on snowy mountain tops. Because of this they are known for their independence, patience, and courage. For the Great Pyrenees, their whole intent and purpose in life is to be a loyal and devoted guardian.

They also make great therapy dogs, which my family and friends can attest to, since Skadi loves nothing more than to share affection and to be cuddled; we probably kiss her sweet face at least a hundred times a day, and if she had her way it would be way more than that. Everyone who has been lucky enough to love such a wonderful breed is familiar with the “Pyrenees Paw,” which is what they use to “nudge,” or rather to smack you with in the hopes of gaining your attention: whack, whack, whack, they are very hard to ignore!

Skadi lives to love and be loved.

Her coat is thick and silky, and so soft to the touch, that she’s like a lush teddy bear come to life roaming from room to room, but what I find most amazing is how self-cleaning she is. Our Skadi will race outside, careening around the yard, barking at everything in sight, while tromping through inches of thick, oozy, muddy muck. She will then come back inside with her beautiful white paws covered and dripping with the elements. Once dry again, she somehow returns to her clean fur, with not a speck of dirt anywhere. I am sure it’s all over my home, but it’s no longer on her. Amazing!

Despite her largeness, (she’s average size for a female, the males can be as much as 160 lbs), she moves through the house with a natural grace on her softly padded paws. I call her a ghost dog: one minute I am tripping over her in the kitchen, and the next to my great bewilderment, she is suddenly out of sight like a thief in the night. Seriously, she is very sneaky, and I have to quickly go look for her to make sure she hasn’t got into any mischief between my peeling and chopping. Most times I find her laying in the bay living room window, guarding the neighborhood from her high perch from any intruders, or cozy on my bed, surveying her domain from my bedroom windows.

Though sometimes I catch her in action, eating my mail, or holding something stolen in her mouth with a defiant look just to get my attention. Believe me, it is a terrifying thing to see her standing there with a pair of scissors, or some kind of kitchen utensil she snatched off the counter. She will then lead me on a merry chase around the coffee table, while I scream myself hoarse telling her to “drop it now!” Eventually she will, but usually only if I offer her something better in trade. You may wonder who has trained whom, but if any of you out there are blessed to know this breed, you will fully understand that they will do nothing, absolutely nothing, unless they want to. I’ve seen photos of people actually carrying their dog home from a walk during which they have decided they were done and refused to take another step. Laugh if you must, but it’s true.

Skadi loves to sit in chairs, it’s so funny to look over and see her sitting next to me.

Here she is on perched on the back of our couch like a large vulture, or like in one of my favorite children’s book, ‘Horton Hatches the Egg.’

Great Pyrenees are also known for their intelligence, and without a doubt she keeps us all on our toes. Sometimes I look into her eyes and a shiver of awareness floods my body at the depth of knowledge I see shining out. Honestly, it’s like living with a fantasy creature from another world. I am sure Great Pyrenees run with the unicorns somewhere in an alternative universe.

She will stand on everything to get a better view and because she’s so curious.

Over the years, my family has always had pets. I cannot think of a time since I was a young child that we didn’t have some kind of creature companion: cats, dogs, fish, hamsters, birds, rabbits, lizards, tortoises, snakes, frogs, turtles, and let’s not forget the giant millipedes and hissing cockroaches. I tried to be an open-minded, adventurous kind of mother, especially since we home-schooled. I wanted to make sure my children had many wonderful experiences, which is why I allowed the two hissing cockroaches from Madagascar to be in a lidded container in my house. It’s inevitable that one actually escaped, but with the passing of time and perhaps a forced amnesia I soon forgot. Fast forward to many months later, one night for dinner I prepared for my family a bountiful and delicious salad. Later, when I returned to the kitchen to clean-up, there on the pile of vegetable scraps stood our very healthy and especially large missing pet, waiving his little antennas and hissing at me claiming dominance from its leafy mountain. Of course I screamed refusing to go even close, and with much pleading, and possibly some dire threats, I made my children re-capture and place him back into the home with his lonely friend, by this time greatly dwarfing him in size. I shudder to think of the many days and nights in which he apparently thrived living off of who knows what and I don’t even want to think about who knows where.

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

For all of you fellow pet owners, I am sure you can relate to the immense love we have in common for our dearest companions, whether they be covered with fur, scales, feathers or fluff, (maybe not with antennas, but who am I to judge)! We only get to be with them for such a short while in the big scheme of things, so it’s important to treasure every bit of precious time we have together. The heartache of losing our beloved friends is unbearable and I try not to project myself so far into the future where I live in dread of having to feel that again. Over the years since Skadi has graced us with her presence I have gone through significant heartache and trials, but with her sweet comfort and the happy smiles she brings to all of us, I have been able to persevere with grace. I tell her every single day how much she is loved, and how pleased we are to have her in our family. In the here and now, my sweetest most devoted friend in the world is laying next to me while I type this up, with her big head nestled against my side. I am immensely thankful to be blessed with such a holy being such as herself reminding me daily of the beauty of life.

The many faces of Skadi

Happy Birthday Dear Skadi, Happy Birthday to you….and many more!!!!

My daughter Tiana loves to take photo shoots with her, they are both so photogenic

I would like to add that if anyone is interested in this breed that they do their research first. These dogs are wonderful, but can also be difficult. Many people consider them working dogs and don’t interact with them the way our family does. They are known to bark a lot, and like I mentioned before they are very strong-minded, and hard to control. They need training, and patience. We were rather impulsive and ignored many of the warnings…haha…she is hard to walk because of her strength and doesn’t like other dogs. They also need space to roam, with large fences. For our sweet baby she demands a ton of affection, which we are happy to give. Great Pyrenees are not for the faint of heart, but certainly worth all the time and energy you can invest.

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Measure Of Time

Every day without fail, my eyes drift open into the early darkness of morning light and I immediately reach into the data base of my mind to remember what day it is; like a revolving door it returns without fail, the liminal space in time, where in that portal of nothingness, weightless in the unknowing, I am completely disconnected from the outside world, even from my own physicality, without substance or conscious intent. It is that one vibrant moment where I am aware of my soul, with no beginning or end.

One minute I am floating along in my river of dreams and the next tossed abruptly awake into the waters of reality. How far have I drifted from shore, no longer tethered by the measure of time. Until I know what day it is, I remain on the threshold of the in between, without need or purpose.

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I have been unemployed since the pandemic began almost a year ago. It took many years of struggle to dig myself out of financial trauma, and mostly by working jobs I greatly disliked. Finally I had reached a place of security with my children’s program, something that was meaningful, built out of love, and all my own. They say it takes several years of opening your business before it becomes lucrative, and for me I was heading into my 4th one when it all came crashing down. I think if I were comfortably retired right now I wouldn’t mind the unknowing, but because I am *shamefully* unemployed I carry a simmering pot of angst in almost everything I do. I manage to escape it for the most part by tucking it away into the box of avoidance, but it’s in that exact moment of wakefulness that I must face every day, the decision to leave the sanctuary of my spirit and step back into my human need for physical, mental, and emotional security.

It turns out it really doesn’t matter what day it is, because I have very few obligations in life. If it weren’t for creating my blog/magazine, and my new idea to become a visual storyteller by taking up photography, I would have nothing in place for the future, and even in this current endeavor my chances for financial security are based on my wish to connect with a gigantic amount of people who will hopefully like me enough to follow. It’s all a numbers game whether my family will thrive or not, but I have faith in my ability to survive and so I move forward.

Marketplace treasures, some of it was given to me for free

The other day I needed cash for some treasures I found on Marketplace. After leaving the ATM I drove out of the parking lot, cozy in my car with it’s special deluxe seat warmers. As I approached the red light, I saw a woman standing on the medium next to where I would be waiting for the light to change. It was only in the upper 20’s, and she was bundled from head to foot with her jacket collar raised to cover her face like a mask, she stood holding a cardboard sign I couldn’t read, shivering on her small patch of concrete. I cautioned myself as I inched forward; don’t look at her, you are not giving her money, what if she has Covid, neither of you are wearing a mask, it’s not safe, you can help someone else another time, you are unemployed…and so on. Mind you all this was happening in the blink of an eye, because I was quickly next to her before I even finished my silent list of why I could not possibly do anything.

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Suddenly another voice rose up inside, and not from my place of lack, my simmering angst, or my fear of the plague. This voice was the familiar one I wake up to every morning, the one that keeps me company while I sift through my thoughts of what day of the week it is. The voice that is always there under the surface of my outside self, the voice of my spirit, heart, and soul.

Help her, it said, you proclaim to the world to follow the path of beauty, you know what it means to be scared and alone, you understand desperation, and grief. There is no separation, this woman is you.

I sat there in the crossroads and made my decision. With haste to do all this before the light changed, I reached into my purse, grabbed one of the bills and like a slapstick comedy routine I pressed the lever of my window with the intent to lower it only enough to push the money through. In my clumsiness the window rose up smashing my wrist, and then all the way back down, leaving me exposed to the elements as well as any possible germs. Simultaneously, I called to her, my 20 dollar bill fluttering in the wind while my window rose up and down, up and down. She mumbled something behind her jacket scarf, her eyes crinkling in the corners with age, smiling in delight. With one last attempt to control my wayward window I wished her luck and sped away.

I am sharing this not as a way to expand myself in your eyes, but to express my very real struggle in that turning point to overcome my own fears, and to live by love. The money meant nothing to me as I was able to see it for what it was, an exchange of energy. I had told myself to not even look at her, but suddenly I was looking into her very soul, and she into mine.

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I thought about her later and wondered if she had a place to sleep that was warm and safe. I want to make a difference in this world and hope to do so by my artistic expression. Maybe I can turn this blog/magazine into something more, perhaps as a way to create change for all people who don’t have a place to live, medical care, or enough food to eat. We all deserve it, not because one person is better than another, or our skin is a particular color, or even because we express our sexuality or gender in a particular way, but just because it’s a basic human right.

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I think it’s time for us to check into our souls and make choices that are not based on our projected ideas of morality, politics or religion, but on the one undeniable truth. We are all connected as living human beings, and are here for one purpose only, to exchange love. The world is changing, nothing can stay the same, which is a good thing since much of what we know was born out of ignorance and fear.

This time, I am hoping Love wins. So cast aside your judgement, for it all begins with you.

Today my friends, is Sunday.

In Peace, Raven

*I wrote this awhile back, but it’s about questioning our inherited beliefs and why we believe what we do. You may find it interesting! https://ravenwolfsong.com/2020/12/11/why-we-believe/