Rain, rain, go away…

When rain has been coming down all night long and throughout the morning and it’s in the forecast for the foreseeable future, would you rather sing “rain, rain go away” or make a cup of tea and curl up with a book?

How about a little bit of both! Let out your angst and then embrace what is.

I’ll add a Mary Oliver poem to sweeten the mix.

Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me
By Mary Oliver

Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,

what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again

in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,

smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches

and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing

under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,

and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment

my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars

and the soft rain—
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.

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Indescribable Warmth

Last weekend I traveled to Nova Scotia to visit my son and attend a fashion show he was taking part in at NSCAD University where he is enrolled in art school.

On the evening of the show, I was sitting in a chair that skirted the runway, watching people arrive and feeling the buzz of the event. My excitement was growing in anticipation of seeing Gabe’s fashion collection and the 4 models he had chosen.

Awaiting the reveal tuned me into the magnitude of the moment. I realized that this show was the culmination of a multitude of new life experiences for my son that began 4 years previously when he moved away from home.

This fashion show was distilling all of those changes and giving me the ability to see him in a new light.

As I breathed in the emotion I was feeling, I felt my body fill with indescribable warmth.

Being there alone helped me step into the deliciousness of the moment and I felt bathed in love.

What an honour to bear witness to my young adult son in all of his glory.

There is so much beauty in our everyday lives if we’re able to step into the place that is beyond distraction.

Find a moment in your day today that is inviting you in.

Step into that moment and linger there just a few seconds longer than usual to take in the nourishment.

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Walking into Spring

Early spring is a beautiful time to take a wisdom walk. A walk where you let your mind rest and open all of your senses to the natural world.

Begin by setting a clear intention to witness spring and receive all of the pleasure of its beauty and any wisdom it has to offer.

Choose a place to take your walk. It could begin on the sidewalk right outside your front door or on a trail in the woods or along the shore of a nearby lake or stream.

As you set off on your journey, clear your mind by noticing everything around you. Let your senses come alive and enjoy the heightened sensations. Clear your heart by breathing into it encouraging it gently open to receive.

Be present to all that is.

As you take in the experience of your ‘Spring Wisdom Walk’ notice what you are drawn to and allow any insights to arise.

You might notice a ray of light coming through some branches and experience renewed hope about a challenging situation. Or you might notice the gentle wind reminding you of the opportunity for a cleansing new beginning.

Bend down and smell the new blossoms, reach out and touch the new leaves, taste the raindrops that are resting on the leaves and listen to the birdsong.

Look for signs of love and inspiration that seem to be there just for you.


When the time seems right and you’ve come to the end of your walk offer gratitude for all that you have received.

Enjoy the healing elixir of your ‘Spring Wisdom Walk’.

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Bring Love to the Table

This weekend I’ll be dying eggs with whoever is willing to join me around our kitchen table. I’m hoping it will include my 4-year old grandson, Linden!

We’ll get out the newspaper to cover the table and gather some jars and glasses. We’ll read the instructions on the package of dye tablets and pour vinegar into each glass. We’ll ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ as the colours burst into life and one by one we’ll transform 2 dozen white eggs into fanciful delights.

I love everything about dying eggs; the sound of the water being poured into the glasses and the smell of the vinegar, the vividness of the colours and the surprise of the finished product, the simplicity of the form (the egg), the playfulness, the mess, the beauty and the companionship.

Year after year, the experience for me is perfection.

Perfection year after year, how is that possible!?

It’s possible simply because I have DECIDED that I love to die eggs and that is the attitude I bring to the table to create a wonderful experience year after year.

What is it that you love to do? Is there something that you can count on always being a positive experience?

Now here’s the gem, next time you are resisting doing something because it feels so mundane, take a deep breath and inject just a little bit of the attitude you assume when you are doing something you love.

Bring love to the table and let me know how it goes!

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Come Alive!

Earlier this week, I stepped into the wild world of my favourite forest. It’s not far away from my home but during the winter months I tend to forget about it.

As soon as I entered the shelter of the trees I felt as though I was returning to the comfort of a dear old friend.

The aroma of the cedar awakened me from a long winter’s sleep.

As I meandered down the trail I was greeted by the rumbling “swoosh” of the creek, high with spring’s melt.

I sloshed through mud, got tangled in branches and mesmerized by flitting birds.

I returned home feeling refreshed.

Step into nature’s embrace and come alive!

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Still awaiting spring…

On this dreary early spring morning
gentle rain is falling on night time’s snow.

I sit writing at my kitchen table
accompanied by a cup of hot tea
and a vase of wilting flowers.

Pulling them in to take a closer look,
I discover a world of wonderful
has been there awaiting my notice.

There’s always more here for us
lingering in the details of our lives
when we manage to slow down
long enough to invite them in.

What unexpected wonderful is lingering in the details of your life?

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Sweet Silence

Sweet silence. I’ve always felt an affinity for it.

On weekend nights during my last year in high school, along with cruising around town looking for fun, my best friend and I would make time to stop in at a Catholic church. We both knew that the doors would be open and that no one would be there to bother us.

As we stepped inside we were greeted by the sound of silence. The air was thick with it. We went there to light votive candles at the front of the church and we came away cleansed by the silence.

I still thrive on silence. I write in silence. I drive long distance, often in silence. I sit in silence and I walk in silence.

Silence soothes me when I’m tired or confused. It inspires me when I’m in the midst of a creative project. It calms me when my emotions flare.

How much time do you spend in silence?

I encourage you to take some time every day to step away from the noise of your life: the music, the news, the television or computer.

Seek out silence.

Find refuge in a quiet room or take a walk in the woods. When you enter nature in silence, you can hear it speak to you in the song of the birds, the gurgle of the stream, the dripping of the rain and the whoosh of the wind.

As I write this post, I am surrounded by the sound of silence. My thoughts are easily distilled because I am without distraction.

Silence is always there for you. Enjoy its company.

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Spring is a new beginning…

This Monday March 20th at 6:29 am EDT, marks the equinox and the first day of spring. An undeniable shift will be happening in the natural world on that particular day at that particular moment; a shift that ushers in spring a time of growing light and warmth.

When I was a child, each year around this time my mother would place a tiny book called, “Spring is a New Beginning” on the coffee table in our living room. I’d pick it up and pour through the pictures reading it again and again until I could almost recite the words by heart.

I still remember the contentment that would bloom inside of me as I sat there with that book in hand.

Mom sent me a copy one spring many years later when I was pregnant with my youngest son. I still have it now and although the illustrations seem kitschy and the words seem somewhat trite, reading it still conjures the feeling of “all is well”.

Spring is a new beginning…one that each year I am grateful for.

During this time of the spring equinox, stop for a few moments and tune into this new beginning that is so apparent in the natural world. Look to the birds calling out and the strengthening of the sun’s warmth and the flowers that are pushing through the earth to remind you that new beginnings are all around you.

Then look within yourself for signs of spring. What is gently but assuredly waking up in you?

Let yourself be changed by this season of new life.

Here’s a poem by Mary Oliver to support you in your quest.

Such Singing in the Wild Branches

It was spring
and I finally heard him
among the first leaves––
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness––
and that’s when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree––
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing––
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfect blue sky–––all of them

were singing.
And, of course, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last

For more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then––open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song may already be drifting away.

-Mary Oliver

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Are You Choosing Spring?

It’s still winter here in southern Ontario. The ground is snow covered and the nighttime temperatures are -19°C/0°F. And yet, this time of year my wellbeing depends on believing that winter will eventually come to an end.

I am committed to turning my gaze toward any sign of spring.

The other morning when I heard the black-capped chickadee announcing spring with its song “spring’s-here…spring’s-here”, I decided that the tiny chickadee must know something I don’t know.

Spring’s here!

I know very well that it is still winter and it is important to be present to what is; the cleansing chill of the wind, the delightful glisten of the snow but by noticing the spring call of the chickadee I’m also able to be present to my hope for the future.

In any particular moment we have choice. Choice about where to look, choice about how to respond to what we see and choice about the story we choose to tell.

And with that choice, each of us has the power to create a lifetime, moment by moment, hour by hour and day by day.

How beautiful is that?

I believe that caring for this power to create is a privilege and a responsibility.

Are you willing to create your life?

Are you willing to do all that you can to move forward in your life?
Are you willing to decide when and how to grieve and celebrate?
Are you willing to take the time to slow down and notice?
Are you willing to let go when it’s needed and hang on when it’s not?
Are you willing to decide when to simplify and when to open the door to a complex situation?

Here is a practice to support you in taking a small but powerful step to consciously create your life.

Create This Moment

Stop in the middle of any activity and say to yourself, “I am creating this moment”.

Then simply notice.

Where does your attention turn? How does your body feel? What are you inspired to do next?

Do this several times throughout your day and you might feel a subtle shift as the energy of possibility begins to move through you.

I’d love to hear what you discover.

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Are you feeling tired?

Are you feeling tired? Who isn’t? Most of us lead such busy lives and at this time of year many are feeling the weight of a long winter.

When I received the same poem from two different friends last week it seemed like ‘help’ was giving me a tap on the shoulder so I took notice and spent some time reading and rereading “A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted”.

Today I offer this blessing poem on to you.

Read it all the way through. Find the words and phrases that stand out for you. Some will help you know that you are not alone. Others will offer you wisdom. Some will be a soothing balm.

Enjoy the words of poet John O’Donohue.

A Blessing For One Who Is Exhausted

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

–John O’Donohue, from “Blessings”

Please be “excessively gentle with yourself”…

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