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.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Marcus Aurelius on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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/

Wake Up, Wake Up, Wake Up

Welcome dear world to the days of March. Time has inevitably moved on, reminding us how puny we are in the face of a living, breathing universe. I woke up sometime before dawn, only to realize just how close we in the Northern Hemisphere are to the end of winter; the subtle signs of an awakening spring have been minutely revealing themselves and softly proclaiming the season’s coming arrival.

Photo by Sydney Troxell on Pexels.com

I have been hearing it in the drip-drip-drop of the snow, and in the blustering of cleansing winds outside my window; I have felt it in the heart of night, with my blankets kicked to the side their weighted heaviness no longer needed for my comfort; I have tasted it in the sweetness of pure maple syrup on my lips, and yesterday I saw it in the flight of a family of bluebirds that I startled from a hedge of Juniper as I walked by.

Photo by Tina Nord on Pexels.com

Fluttering in unison into the branches of a nearby tree, dressed in celestial feathers, they watched as I stealthily moved close to take their picture–too late–by the time I had fumbled my cell phone into position, with my glasses perched precariously on my face, they nodded their little heads with excitement and quickly flew away.

In the darkness of shifting light, I lie here in my bed and watch the sun rise. I am not quite ready for winter to be over: I still crave the cover of ice and snow to muffle the sounds of the world. It’s been easy to stay quiet, hidden away from the hustle and bustle of what friendly weather will surely bring. Everything will change with the warmth of the sun, and I will be compelled, like the black bears of the forest, to leave the shelter of my cozy den.

Wake up, wake up, wake up. It’s time to rub the sleep from my eyes, and I am not ready.

The dream-time magic of winter can’t last forever, and soon the aura of my surroundings will be transformed from the misty hues of silvery grays and sparkling whites, into a wild symphony of unavoidable brilliancy in every color.

And I, withdrawn and curled up in the deepest of waking-slumber, must stumble out from the shadows of myself, and face the coming light.

Wake up, wake up, wake up. It’s time to rub the sleep from my eyes, and I am not ready.

In Misty Colored Peace, Raven

The Cardinal

Here in New England we are having a 48-hour mini-storm, complete with ice, sleet and snow. I recently discovered that walking on icy roads, though adventurous, is not always the best idea (see my previous post for my most recent perilous expedition). So, here I am now staying inside enjoying my hibernation. With my guardian-polar-bear-dog Skadi on mostly high alert, and my cozy wood stove, I am safe and warm.

A day in the life of Skadi, a snowstorm, and a couch

The weather is always interesting, which is one of the reasons why I love living out here. Several days ago it had warmed up to a balmy 43 degrees which turned the snow to slush and melted all of my beautiful window icicles. Everything is frozen again, but for a brief time I smelled the coming of Spring. Last night it was back down to a seasonal 19 degrees. Brrrrrrr!

Frozen-slippery-cold outside, and our firewood is almost all gone, but I still love Winter.

Several days before the storm while I was taking my walk, I found myself deep in thought; haunted reflections of my past and stressful concerns for my future ambushed all focus and I was unable to think of anything else. Immersed in a labyrinth of contemplation, I walked like I was asleep, my gaze turned inward, oblivious to everything around me.

Step, step, step…the sound of my feet hypnotized me as they hit the rough pavement.

Step, step, step…”You are going deeper and deeper, deeper and deeper” they sang

Step, step, step… I was a captive to my thoughts, unable to escape the spirals of my mind; remembering, pondering, questioning, worrying, thinking, thinking, thinking.

Step, step, step… side-tracked from one corridor to the next, I explored all the reasons why.

Step, step, step…searching hidden corners I considered every possibility.

Step, step, step…my mind is filled with corridors, spirals, and corners.

Step, step, step…I no longer remembered what I had originally been thinking about in the first place.

Step, step, step…sometimes it’s exhausting being in my head.

Photo by Skyler Ewing on Pexels.com

Out of nowhere, a beautiful streak of red cardinal flew swiftly across my path and into the trees, startling me from the deep caverns of myself and back into the vibrant presence of my surroundings. He, with his brilliant red plumage, darted by so fast that I didn’t even have a chance to formally greet him.

Photo by Skyler Ewing on Pexels.com

Females are a tan color, with an orange beak, while males are red, with a matching red beak.

If you are curious, or maybe a little superstitious like myself, you may already know that cardinals foretell good luck, most likely because seeing them is always a cheerful sight. Some people believe when meeting up with a cardinal, they are being visited from someone dear who has passed away. Because cardinals mate for life, with both recognized as caring parents, they are natural representatives for love and devotion, two of my favorite values. These loyal cardinals are also known for their lively songs, sometimes performing duets with a list of over a dozen romantic hits.

All of these fun facts rose quickly to the surface of my memories, but the main tidings I understood from this delightful messenger’s sudden appearance were unmistakably clear:

“Stop thinking, stop trying to make sense of everything, let go of needing answers, accept uncertainty, move forward, and don’t look back.”

In that fleeting speck of time, I did exactly that. I stopped thinking.

You may consider this to be a small thing, but I have been working towards this moment for years. Today a line was drawn in the snow, and the bright flash of my red-feathered friend ushered me unceremoniously over to the other side. To stop thinking means to remove the well-worn bookmark, creased and tattered from constant use, out from the recesses of my history book. I am ready to turn the page and begin the manuscript for my newest chapter.

Leaving the labyrinth of my mind means liberation from my past, with a new hope for the future.

*See if you can find the camouflaged snowman*

And so unchained at last from the endless loop of my thoughts, I was free to enjoy the rest of my walk, this time completely aware of my surroundings (which is actually a much safer way to travel) and awake to whatever came next…

…which, strangely enough, happened to be several versions of snow-people, my loud talking crow friends, and a somewhat muddy white chicken crossing the road.

A lot can happen on a 3 mile walk!

It’s a little blurry, but here it is!

Citizens of the snow

Here are a few of my crow-friends, eating the roasted-unsalted peanuts I brought for them as a treat.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

I have no answer for you, I told you, I stopped thinking.

In Winter Peace, Raven

Winter Wonderland

Cozy in my bed, I woke up this morning to read the weather report stating we would be getting 3-5 inches of snow starting at 11 a.m. Many of you must know by now that taking my daily walk is very important to me, not just for my health, but also for my emotional well-being. Because of severe weather this year I have already missed eight days, breaking my walking streak. Reluctantly, I forced myself to leave my nest of fluffy blankets to take my exercise early, even before my tea and morning oatmeal. I figured I might end up with a little snowtime, but it sounded like fun to me.

Feeling adventurous and a little proud of myself for being such a maverick to walk in the snow, off I went.

Bundled from head to toe wearing my new ivory fleece pants (after all, how dirty can one get in the snow), my thrift-store find of the century, a hooded, black, faux fur coat, my gray scarf and gloves, my black beanie covered in white dog fur, and the best snow boots ever, in black of course….. I am only now realizing how fashionably coordinated I was. Considering my usual pandemic wardrobe has been the vibe of an eclectic unemployed wandering-forest-river-hippie, this was an unexpected feat.

It was only 10:15 when I left my driveway. Apparently the weather report was off by 45 minutes as there was already snow drifting down at a steady rate. The roads were covered in some areas, looking like yards of white satin ribbon, and everything sparkled in a magical-fairy-land kind of way.

Growing up in Southern California, the weather was mostly the same. Here in New England I have completely embraced the seasons, and winter is no exception, especially when it means there will be less people out. I don’t mean to sound like a walking snob, but I have been taking my daily jaunts around the lake for about 10 years now, and it used to be that I was the only one around for miles. Even on beautiful days, it was just me, the bunnies and the crows, it was a wonderful life!

Everything has changed since the pandemic, and I find myself sharing scattered bits of walking time with people of all ages, some with dogs, some alone, some with family or friends. Since we don’t have sidewalks in my neighborhood, we use the street instead. With only a few cars now and then it’s quite safe, plus there’s extra room for social distancing when necessary.

Aren’t these two couples so cute, holding hands and walking together.

I love the freedom of the wind in my face while sauntering down an open road. My only goal in life is to put one foot in front of the other, to keep on moving. Don’t get me wrong, I am genuinely happy for the house-couch-people who have discovered the joy of walking, especially when I see an elderly person slowly making their way up the very same hill I am soon to be striding.

I see this elder man and his companion often. It’s 24 outside *photo taken after original post, but I wanted to include them for their dedication!

I sincerely hope to encourage everyone to begin their own walking practice, but it’s always a gift when I have the streets to myself.

So there I was on this beautiful, snow stormy day, sashaying down my path with nary a soul in sight. I felt a little self righteous thinking I was the real walker of the neighborhood, the other wannabes were probably home in their pajamas, sitting by a fire with fluffy socks, drinking their coffee or something vanilla like that. Hah! I still got it I thought, as the cold bits of snow fell gently on my face, completely covering my coat. Protected and snug under my hood, in that moment I felt invigoratingly wonderful.

Just as I was heading into the first quarter of my 3 mile journey, my foot gave a tiny slip on the pretty snow. I regained my balance easily but realized I better be extra careful. Suddenly the white satin ribbon I chose to follow had a decidedly ominous glow shining from underneath the surface. Having the first of many second thoughts, I quickly altered my usual course and made the decision to avoid going down any hills just in case it became slippery.

A long and most assuredly slippery hill I chose not to take

When I arrived at the first beach; the lake was a vast sea of snow covered ice, in the distance I could hear the crows, but nothing more, no people, no cars, it was beautifully peaceful.

To leave the beach area I have to walk up a very steep hill, and no matter how many times I have done this, I am always a bit winded when I reach the top. I began my strenuous climb and immediately felt grateful I was going up and not down such an incline, imagine how disastrous that could be I was thinking, when suddenly all my jauntiness flew by the wayside as I hit the ground. One minute I was determinedly trudging up a hill, counting my blessings, and the next minute I was on my knees. Thankfully my gloves are thick, so it didn’t hurt too much. I innocently tried to stand up again on the sheet of ice, and promptly slipped. With zero purchase, I did what any sane person would do, I began inching my way, some might even call it crawling, to the side of the road and into a deep bank of snow so I could safely be vertical again. Finally, standing in over a foot of snow, I considered these new circumstances from my vastly altered perception. Somehow I had to miraculously make it to the top of the hill, walk another 2 miles through a winding, up-and-over kind of neighborhood, and arrive home without falling. I was lucky I landed like a cat the first time. Hopefully no one saw me from their drinking-coffee-by-their-fireside-view as I crawled across the road in my new ivory fleece pants, now covered in black icy asphalt.

I had no choice but to climb out of the snow bank, and continue my journey as carefully as I could. There was no one to call, I was on my own.

When I was a little child growing up in California, my dad would often get us up at 5 in the morning and take my siblings and I to the beach to go fishing. I would look for seashells, and eat peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with my sticky hands. These are happy memories for me. Being so early it was usually cold, and we would have to wait a couple of hours until the sunrise. I have always loved words, even though I didn’t know how to use mine until much older, but still I remember standing with my bare feet in the chilly pacific ocean looking out into the darkness, and chanting a simple prayer-rhyme I made up, it went like this:

Sun, sun, sun of gold. Come on out because I am cold.

I would whisper this over and over until eventually the Sun would hear me and come out. It was foolproof and worked every time!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now years later, standing knee high in a snowbank, I quickly came up with a new prayer-rhyme to help get me home in one piece. I imagined I was wearing the special snow things you slip on to the bottom of your boots to provide more traction in icy conditions. The ones I meant to buy before winter. Anyway, it went like this:

Sticky shoes, standing tall. Keep me upright so I don’t fall.

And this is how I got home without falling; by repeating my prayer over and over, walking like a super cautious person who wants to grow old gracefully, one careful step at a time, avoiding the biggest hills, knowing when to keep to the middle of the road and when to zigzag myself into a snow drift.

It was a fine and slippery line guessing exactly where to place my feet, but I made it, my prayer worked. Indeed, if you ever find yourself in a similar predicament, you are more than welcome to use it. Personally, I suggest buying yourself some winter bootie slip-ons, and maybe thinking twice before heading out into a snow storm.

I hear it’s real nice to be inside, sitting safe by the fire on a winter wonderland kind of day.

In Snowy Peace, Raven

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Watering My Plants

Today is watering-my-house-plants-day, which is something I do once a week when I know I will be home alone. It’s a dedicated time that I set aside specifically for their care. Tending to my plants has slowly evolved over the years from being a basic chore to a sacred ritual that I find very calming.

Being surrounded by my plants brings me such happiness; they are my ever flourishing reminders to the beauty of nature.

I believe creating rituals that are significant to you, will strengthen your ‘soul-er system,’ by opening up pathways between your body, mind, and heart. This holistic perspective will give you the clarity to live a life that is more genuine, purposeful, and truer to your inner convictions.

Traditionally, many rituals are practiced by performing a meaningful course of actions, with the intent to honor and/or connect with the divine. However, rituals don’t always have to be elaborate in order to be authentic: you can easily take a simple routine such as making your morning meal and turn it into a ceremony of gratitude, just by adding purpose and higher intention to your actions.

My leafy pals are my daily companions, each with a different personality, energy, and personal story. For instance, I found my giant Fern on the side of the road while on a walk last Summer. Another time while driving I saw a person about to place this full grown Spider plant on the curb. I quickly pulled over and they handed it right to me.

My large aloe, and pink geraniums were freely given to me by a generous gardener two summers ago. She carefully dug them up from the ground and I brought them home wrapped in a blanket, dirt and all. They are now potted so I can bring them outside during the warmth of summer, then back in for the cooler months.

These origin stories are only a small part of what I see as I water each one: they are also reminders of who I was when they first arrived and who I have now become in the present. Watching my plant friends evolve through the changing seasons has been a helpful way for me to measure my own personal growth.

Recently, my potted geraniums have begun flowering, which is amazing since we are in the coldest part of winter; they are very pretty against the backdrop of ice and snow.

Establishing rituals can support one’s belief in the divine, and manifest the possibility that we are part of something magnificent and holy. By our very actions we become active participants in beauty.

baby bay leaf tree and thyme

Watching my plants grow in size and seeing their newly sprouted leaves is so rewarding. Some of my favorite plants bloom throughout the year: delicate little whites, tubular fuchsias, purples, and rosy pinks, all blessings of joy to brighten my world; I have several heirloom varieties of scented geraniums: lemon, apricot, nutmeg, lime, and orange, along with my organic herbs: rosemary, oregano, and lavender, all delightfully fragrant and pleasing to the senses. I also have the added joy of caring for my friend’s Patchouli plant while she is away being a ‘traveling nurse hero’ during this pandemic.

patchouli plant

I find the ancient custom of rituals found in different religions and cultures to be fascinating, which is why I follow my own. I have learned in my quest for emotional healing that rituals can help reduce anxiety, just by the weight of comfort and stability they provide by performing familiar steps. Rituals offer up a sense of spiritual continuity which by its very nature is a reminder of peace.

My three eldest are trees, two Ficus, and a Norfolk Pine, all standing over 6 feet tall. We have known each other now for more than a decade. They have been my non-judgmental, supporting witnesses during significant times in my life, such as raising my children, divorce, financial struggles, romance, loss, and of course everything else woven in between.

Many leaves have since fallen, and dried branches broken off, yet we continue to thrive and reach for the sun.

I know my plants are happy to be here and I sincerely believe they love when I compliment and praise their beauty. I am also certain we have the same taste in music.

Prayer, walking, cleaning your house, building a fire, preparing meals, bathing, making a cup of tea, writing, exercise, art, gardening, can all be forms of rituals if you want them to be. The key is to stay mindfully focused, step by step, and to engage your entire self in the process; body, mind, heart and soul.

In Ritualistic Peace, May we Walk in Beauty, Raven

“A ritual is the enactment of a myth. And, by participating in the ritual, you are participating in the myth. And since myth is a projection of the depth wisdom of the psyche, by participating in a ritual, participating in the myth, you are being, as it were, put in accord with that wisdom, which is the wisdom that is inherent within you anyhow. Your consciousness is being re-minded of the wisdom of your own life. I think ritual is terribly important.”

Joseph Campbell

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Cloak of Leaves

 We all wear changing cloaks as we walk through life, protecting us from what is not comfortable, hiding vulnerabilities, while also expressing the beauty of how we want to be seen. Only when we are able to stand before friends and loved ones, even our perceived enemies, uncovered without armor, do we reflect the truth of what really lies within.

photo by Deven, Maine Woods

Trees have always been sacred to me. Something about their graceful strength fills my heart with a sense of eternity. Many times have I smoothed my hand over the rough bark just to feel the vibration of their songs echo through my soul.

Winter is here, and I am happy to hibernate for as long as I can while still enjoying the great outdoors. I love this time of quiet solitude, when most people are hidden away in their homes. I try to walk every day, not just for the health of my body, but to be refreshed by the beauty of nature. I have several trees I stop to visit with along the way. They tell me how nice it is to trust the rhythm of our earth, and how tranquil it is to feel the gentle scrolling of passing time, from the earliest of morning rays, into the darkness of setting night.

When I moved here to New England, a lifetime ago, it was in late Autumn. The trees that had been so lush when I visited one summer as a teen, now stood naked and unadorned. Coming from Southern California, I was unused to seeing trees without leaves, and in their starkness I felt such loss.


 A wise friend of mine who has been my spiritual mentor for several decades helped me to see through different eyes. I will always remember the comfort of her words;

This is when they are most beautiful. Each tree stripped down to bare bones, no longer hiding behind a cloak of leaves, revealing their soul essence.

Seeing them this way now brings me such joy. I appreciate my winter walks so much more for being able to view their divinity from my new perspective. I count myself lucky for each and every moment that I get to spend in their healing presence.

photo by Deven, along the beach in Maine

As I saunter through neighborhood streets, and forests far and wide, trees of every size surround me wherever I go. The lines and curves of each branch outline my path, creating sculptures against the sky. I may not always know their names, but they are my dearest companions.

With Spring still many miles up the road, and then suddenly just around the corner, I will be ready when it arrives to enjoy one of my favorite sights: newly sprouted leaves, vivid and bright, magically coloring the canvas of our world. No matter how many times I witness the blooming of creation, I am amazed how miraculous the birth of a leaf can be.

Photo by Math on Pexels.com

Life constantly gives us a chance to clothe ourselves in something brand new, opening our eyes and waking us up to possibilities.  Like the trees we are able to shed what no longer brings substance. Gazing inward, we let go and allow the ever flowing beauty of transformation to begin. Only in the coldness of winter, with our roots digging deep into the earth, are we able to feel the warmth of the sun gently nudging us awake.

Having lost my leaves before the solstice, I will be ready when the light of spring returns to clothe myself once again into something beautifully my own. Vulnerable, yet protected in my bareness, I am grateful for this time of drowsy slumber, knowing my new leafy cloak will fully express the sacredness of all that I have grown into, and will also soon become.  

Trusting, I lift my branches high up to the sun, confident my new leaves will symbolize everything that is right and perfect for me.

In Beauty May We Grow~ Raven 

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How Do I Know You

Is it possible to truly know a person? Emboldened by previous experience and time spent together, we may assume we have a certain understanding for what makes another tick. To be allowed behind granite walls and into the inner sanctum takes an incredible amount of trust and vulnerability between people.

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

Many of our interactions are held in controlled circumstances through work and educational environments, community, common interests, and social outlets. Because of this we have each created an outside personality. To genuinely know a person, one must first be able to see behind their carefully orchestrated public persona, and into the eyes of their true self. Until then, everything remains a well constructed story.

It’s fascinating to me as human beings how we can assume someone is irrevocably a certain way based on a combination of only what they want us to see (or inadvertently let slip) and our own projected views of who we have decided they must be.

Sometimes, it’s not until those meaningful moments of beauty, conflict, intimacy or even trauma that a chunk of wall can be removed and a piece of our true unvarnished selves becomes revealed. It’s up to us to then take these shiny morsels of truth, and to add them carefully to the puzzle of knowing that we are continually in the process of building.

Photo by Sharon Snider on Pexels.com

I think we want to count on and believe that the people in our lives are unchanging, when in reality, transformation is all there is. Our fundamental truths may define who we are, but even these can shift. Values, morals, personal beliefs, in conjunction with our own extraordinary personalities, are what distinguish us as individuals. And yet, who we are is not written in stone but lightly etched upon the sands of time.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Believing someone to be a specific way doesn’t necessarily mean that they will, now or in the future. Perhaps we won’t ever conform to perceived expectations. So what happens when we stray from our usual path, when we do behave differently. Will we be turned away for being other than imagined. Must we stand within the light of another’s understanding to be everything they dream us to be. Or can we be accepted for all that we are now, and may potentially be in the future?

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

These are the questions that continually rise up in our relationships, one by one, until they can be acknowledged and decided upon in real time. The answers we come up with inevitably bring us closer together or draw us further apart, in either case providing essential insight and personal growth.

It is a miracle to me how anyone can know another, when nothing and no one remains the same. Yet despite all of this, trusting in our hearts will have to be enough. For you to know me, and for me to know you, is an ongoing endeavor. Only in the end can we see its entirety. 

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

We are chameleons of chance and circumstance, our colors changing with each and every sunset.

It is my belief that to know someone is a gift we continually open. In this understanding, perhaps the question is no longer whether we can honestly know a person, but whether we are willing and able to invest the time and energy it takes to do so.

In Peace, Raven

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Photo by Jonathan Petersson on Pexels.com

Two Swans

I woke up early this morning and walked over to my sliding glass door and looked outside. I am blessed to live on a lake, with my bedroom facing the water. My door opens out into my yard, making it easy to escape whenever I want, especially at night when I visit the stars.

view from my lake side door

For any other exit, I would have had to walk right through my daughter’s room, interrupting her dreams. Our home was built in the 50’s and was meant to be a vacation place. When the previous owners decided to live here full time, to make it more habitable, they added on my bedroom, with a half bath, and a great family room overlooking the lake. They nicely built three large windows up high to let the light in. Often I can see the moon at night.

Because of this my house is small, with an interesting layout, which is why I have to walk through another bedroom just to get to mine, but we are very cozy. We can see the water from several rooms, so the peace and beauty of living here makes up for any longings for extra storage, and bigger spaces. I am grateful for all that I have. Living next to a body of water is soothing to my soul, and with the added benefit of being surrounded by wildlife, I find it always healing.

Beavers, snapping, painted and musk turtles, serenading frogs, muskrats, giant carp and other fish, eagles, great blue herons, turkey vultures, crows, and many other creatures, have all become my daily companions.

I frequently find myself with my face pressed against the glass, without any remembrance of how I happened to arrive. My feet seem to know when I need a little peace, and they bring me here often to gaze out.

Even my dog Skadi likes looking out over the water

Many ducks live on our lake, including a new breed that has migrated here from Canada called the Bufflehead. A flock of seagulls hang out with them, as well as the local mergansers and wood ducks. They meander together, a fine feathered community, seemingly without destination, looking for food. Canadian geese are frequent fliers, they live here year around, and are beautiful to observe. I love to watch them fly in overhead only to splash- dive in perfect formation on to the lake, loudly proclaiming their arrival. My winged majestic friends.

This morning when I peered out, two swans were swimming by, I haven’t seen swans on the lake for over a year, maybe longer. Time is a blur since I have become a pandemic hermit. I grabbed my phone and ran barefoot outside in my nightgown. The ground was frozen and rough under my feet, it was 27 degrees.

The swans were singing together, something I had never heard before. Trumpeting softly, taking turns, they welcomed the light of the rising sun, while celebrating their devotion to each other. Swans are known to mate for life (some will say it’s to raise their growing family, but I think it’s more). Nature is our reflection, and I believe we are here to not just coexist, but to learn from each other. Swimming in the same direction, moving in harmony, sharing beauty, enjoying companionship, and trusting our loved ones will remain by our side. That all sounds lovely to me.

Birds of a feather, flock together

In Peace, Raven

Communication

Communication is everything in this world. Nothing would survive without it; families, businesses, relationships, peace, wars, are all forged by what we express, or don’t express to each other. Even our amazing cells speak to one another. It’s incredible to realize our bodies are made up of billions of conversations going on behind the scenes. We truly are a miracle!

Communicating not just our thoughts, but our feelings can sometimes be difficult. Back in the day, people weren’t always encouraged to reveal themselves emotionally, especially if you were male. This led to a number of unhealthy family dynamics, since these very same boys grew up to be our fathers. A woman’s opinion was neither valued nor considered for much of history, and children were expected to be seen and not heard.

Thankfully there has been a shift in our world, and slowly many of these toxic beliefs have fallen to the wayside. Whoever you are, the ability to fully express what is in your mind and heart is powerful on an individual basis, and a crucial component for any healthy relationship.

me, age 5

When I was a little girl of 5 years old, I used to complain of tummy aches. My mother took me to the doctor where we learned I had the beginning symptoms of an ulcer. Throughout my life, starting at a very young age, I internalized my stress. I had no idea what to even name my feelings, let alone how to articulate them.

Being able to resolve a personal conflict is a skill I continually strive to master. I have learned that if I can’t say certain things out loud, at least I can write them down, or show them through music. I have come to a certain awareness in regards to my health and communication. I believe some physical ailments occur from unresolved emotional issues, anxiety, and stress. Because of my belief in Holistic Health *(I wrote a whole page about it, see menu)*I do my best to be introspectively mindful, and to speak up when I need to, so that I may clear my energy and return back to my natural state of happiness.

I think it’s fair to say if you are unable to comfortably communicate with someone because you do not feel emotionally safe with them, then it’s okay to remain quiet. Your words are a gift, and if there is a loss of trust, then nothing more needs to be said, until, or unless you feel otherwise.

Communication can be achieved in many ways, it doesn’t always have to be through words. On a deep level, our spirits commune to each other without us ever being aware. Prayer can be just as effective whether spoken out loud, or quietly felt from within. Even our intentions speak volumes. Interestingly, there are some highly sensitive individuals called Empaths, who have a keen ability to sense what people around them are thinking and feeling. So if you are close to someone like this, then even your silence won’t matter.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In any partnership, friendly or romantic, communicating your thoughts and feelings in a healthy manner are the building blocks to a strong foundation. Purposeful, clear, kind, intimate, and consistent discourse can strengthen bonds and make for a closer connection. If you have love in your heart, then share it. If you are upset, frustrated, thankful, angry, happy, or need to voice something, then just do it. Nothing can be resolved or improved until you bring it forth into the light. Be honest, numbing yourself from your feelings only creates more pain.

Speaking your truth, asking questions, reaching out for help, and expressing from your heart, are essential to your well-being. Your life story is made better by your ability to share it with others. So in whatever way, shape, or form that works best for you, it’s time to express yourself.

In Peace, Raven         

If you have other songs related to this topic, feel free to share! Believe me, I could have filled up this whole post, but I would love to hear from you.

A New Day Will Dawn

And it’s whispered that soon, if we all call the tune Then the piper will lead us to reason And a new day will dawn for those who stand long And the forests will echo with laughter

Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven

"And it's whispered that soon, if we all call the tune                                                 Then the piper will lead us to reason                                                                                And a new day will dawn for those who stand long                                                    And the forests will echo with laughter"
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

The year has come to a close. Everyone is tired, and grieving for all that has been lost. Led Zeppelin has said that Stairway to Heaven is a song about hope, and for whatever reason it has been playing over and over again in my heart.

Happy Beautiful New Year, this is my prayer for you.

I hope for our earth, and each person on it, all creatures great and small, the flora, the fauna, every songbird who sings, every tree, every brook, rock, and root; I hope for all that is sacred, mystical and true; I hope for your family and loves, your circle of friends; I hope for your dreams to be sung, and your memories clear; I hope for moonlight reflections under shiny bright stars; I hope for all those you have lost, that are no longer near; I hope you have peace, and follow your soul; I hope for everything holy, and those you hold close; I hope you can accept what is different from you; I hope for your knowing we are blessed to grow old; I hope for compassion, wisdom and truth; I hope you choose faith and respect above all; I hope you are thankful for the life you’ve been given; I hope for an abundance of healing, wealth, and love; I hope that in unity we will create something new.

We still have time to change the road we are on.

In Peace, Raven

Inspirational Wisdom from a Free-Spirited Soul