November Rain

What a strange day. I am searching for the words to describe it: melancholy, sad, reflective, hopeful, loving, kind, thoughtful….

I’m pretty sure there are a lot of other words that would fit.

It started with trying to sort out whether or not I am going to Vancouver to See Alisa in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I talked to Simon’s mother – see if we can go together – if that makes any sense for her.

And I’m doing my best to separate that event from Simon – and I know I can’t completely do that because, after all, Alisa is his daughter and Beryl is his mother – but I also want to be clear in myself that I love Alisa for herself – not as a Simon adjunct. And that I genuinely like Beryl – not as a Simon adjunct. And I do – and still, there is that bit of entanglement.

Emotions. All I can do is feel them.

I’m doing the same with being involved in the BC Ecosocialist Party – untangling the threads. Yes, I love Simon and I also want to make sure that this excitement I feel about the Party is not predicated on how I feel about him. And when I think about the platform and who is involved and what is currently going on, I can truthfully tell myself that yes – I believe this is our one best chance – and that this is my one best opportunity to contribute something real and meaningful.

This self-examination is important to me. I have spent too many years of my life doing something because “he” is involved. I need to make choices based on what my heart and head tell me are the things I care about and that are important to me.

Mostly, I intend to say “yes” to where my heart wants to go. And these days, my heart seems to be feeling a lot of love – so saying yes to that feels important.

And saying yes to giving – that feels vital.

An old friend died a couple of days ago – I found out today. I haven’t seen him for years. But he was the best man at my wedding (second marriage) – my ex-husband’s best friend. His wife was my matron of honour. We were extremely close for many years.

It came as a shock/surprise.

I’m still processing. I took Abby for a long walk in the rain. That was part of my process.

What is true for me is the realization that this life is so very short. You blink, and it’s gone. And what have I done with mine – with these precious minutes? Have I loved enough? Have I given enough?

I know the answer is “no.” I know there is more work for me to do.

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November Light

Good things that happened today:

Amazing springlike weather. Walking in the sun today – the sun was warm – beautiful. So Abby and I took a couple of walks and I took a lot of photos because the light was wonderful and nature offered up a smorgasbord of miracles.

On our walk this afternoon, we ran into an old friend and stopped and talked and caught up and it was good. We connected on much more than a surface level and when that happens, it feeds my soul.

It was a simple day: cleaning, laundry – just routine really. But it all felt good.

And I felt like I was healing. And then, walking this afternoon, a sledgehammer came out of nowhere and whacked my heart.

Whew!

It happens. Grief is funny that way – it doesn’t move through an orderly progression of stages – it just does what it does.

I’m going to cook a nice dinner tonight and curl up with my book – nothing but light fluff these days – all happy endings, rainbows, puppy dogs and unicorns.

It’s what the doctor has ordered.

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The Lost Forest

I’ve had an ache in my throat and chest for weeks now – and I’ve known it’s all about unshed tears. And that’s okay. I knew they would come in their own time. Today they did – and it wasn’t about me at all. Oh, I suppose that got mixed into it eventually. But I wept for the forest.

Today, Abby and I headed to Extension Ridge. We hiked for about an hour and then went into one of the back trails where the forest is particularly pretty. But there was no forest. The entire ridge had been clearcut. More accurately, the land had been raped and looted. Destroyed.

I walked through it, thinking, it will stop soon. Soon I will be back in the forest. But no – it went on and on. The entire ridge. Gone. Oh sure – I know what loggers will say – hey, we plant trees. They grow back. And that’s true. Far off in the distance, I could see replanted trees, maybe twenty or thirty years old forming dense greenery.

But what I was looking at was not a forest. It was a tree farm.

And so finally I came to one lone giant that had been left standing. And I cried and I apologized. I told that dead forest and the few survivors that I was profoundly sorry for the sins of humankind – because – oh my gosh – we are so destructive, so unfeeling and unheeding.

And I plodded on – I had gone to the ridges and the forest for some healing – and all I found was pain.

It will come back, I told myself. After humanity is gone – after it has destroyed itself, this beautiful earth will come back. She will heal herself.

Finally I came back to the original trail but went past it. I’d been told that there was a new-ish trail just past it that was pretty sweet. Okay – let’s see.

I found it easily enough, started in and – magic!

Nature’s beauty healed my earlier pain instantly. I had never been below the ridge – and what a wonderland: sky-high cliffs and massive boulders – rock formations out of a fairy-tale. On and on, Abby and I walked, me taking photos every couple of feet because I had never seen anything quite like it.

I was in a beautiful forest and a rock garden that only the Mother could have created.

And so finally, Abby and I had lunch – and let me tell you that Abby was thrilled: a hiking sandwich! The best sandwich on earth!

And then on we went until it was time to get back on the ridge. That took a bit of a bushwhack – a bit of heaving of Abby up the rocks. But she did it – and she hiked for almost four hours with her tail wagging the whole way!

And so the day ended with a bubble bath and an Abby snoozing happily on her bed.

And me – tears shed, sadness – but also hope for Earth. Hope that she will survive and hope that I can help.

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Alone

Yesterday, I changed my Facebook Status to “single.”

Yeah – I know – no big deal.

But it was a big deal to me. Four years ago when I updated it to “In a Relationship” I thought I’d never have to change that again. I felt like Carrie Fisher in “When Harry Met Sally” – “Tell me I’ll never have to be out there again.”

I’m pretty sure that at that time, neither of us thought we’d ever be out there again. Really – it broke me heart. And I’ve been feeling sad. Resilient – of course – but sad.

Now that I’ve had time to be away – time to settle where I am – all the memories come flooding back: the good ones. I remember the giggling, the hiking, the uncontrollable laughter, the shared conversations. I remember all the things I loved about Simon: his passion, his intelligence, his dedication, his humour, his tenderness – all of those things.

A friend said to me recently, “Don’t go there. When that happened to me after my breakup, I thought of all the rotten stuff.” (I may be paraphrasing just a bit.) But truthfully, I don’t want to do that. I cherish these memories. They are beautiful. Falling in love with Simon was the best “falling” experience of my life. Why would I not want to hold that dear?

And of course, there is no going back. Of course I am moving forward – I’m not sure into what. But I feel blessed to have had this man in my life.

I miss the hugs. The touches.

And I hope I find that again.

I hope that I find that sort of connection again – love and light and laughter and shared values.

I intend to love – spread that shit around everywhere – trust the Law of Attraction. See the light in everyone I meet.

Give where I can what I can.

Make a difference.

And sometimes my chest hurts and my throat hurts and I feel sad to be alone.

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Comfort Weather

This is November on the West Coast: warm, foggy, a bit drizzly, dark early. It’s the kind of weather where I simply force myself to throw on a backpack, load Abby into the car and go…. And then I’m so glad I did.

This morning, we hiked up to Heart Lake and it was beautiful and lonely in the fog. We saw hardly anyone else. Most of the three hours, we were alone – in the mist.

And it was fine.

And the rest of the day was and is and will be about finding comfort in this weather. I believe the Danish word is “hygge.” My version: I bought a bottle of Chardonnay that is chilling in the fridge. I have soup in the fridge. I am on a reading jag of the most simple possible rom-com books that are all about the south of France and happy endings. I am also all about extra bits of chocolate and down throws and down vests and hot water bottles in bed at night.

November doesn’t seem so bad after all.

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November

I have no idea whether this is melancholy or nostalgia or just a short, grey November day. For the first time that I can recall, I feel lonely. It’s an unfamiliar feeling. I am used to enjoying solitude and my own company. And I still do. That hasn’t changed. What is different, is this missing someone – someone to bake for and cook for and just the presence of someone else. Caring about someone. Being cared about.

The good thing about this is that it’s not a bad feeling – not bad because it feels like love.

Lately, I have been feeling a lot of things. Maybe this is because I had not allowed myself to feel for some time – and maybe it’s just that I have chosen to be open and let the emotional chips fall where they may.

I don’t know.

For a long time I had the sense that the intellect had to overrule emotions – because my mind was stronger and more important than my emotional self. If I was feeling something uncomfortable, it was my job to reason it away.

What folly.

I have come to a place of honouring the me that is emotional, no matter how messy that is. My mind and my emotions are happily co-existing. Each one has a function – and hurrah for that!

And so I shall settle in for an early, dark-falling November evening: a big pot of soup perhaps – fresh baked bread – a good book. Feels about right.

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Foggy Mount Tzouhalem

I am loving these foggy day hikes – almost as much as the alpine. There is a magic that occurs when I am walking alone through the forest and the mist is so heavy that the world is transformed into a fairy-tale land.

And so that was lovely. I loved today. And I was okay with the ache in my heart and the moments of melancholy – because this is where I hiked (The Awesome Trail and the Ridge) four years ago when Simon and I were new and we were in love and my life felt blessed.

And it’s still blessed. I have as much or more capacity to love now as I did then.

It’s all love and light – we are all one. And I’m okay with aches – because feeling my feelings deeply – that is one of the blessings.

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