Diwali days of autumn


In the soft aftermath of diwali, the festival of light and celebration of triumph light over darkness (a pretty good holiday!), I can’t believe the good fortune that this part of the sun’s rising has been coinciding with morning walking.  I watched a seagull fly overhead, its belly lit up from the light and wondered why this city isn’t called golden instead of great.



I must confess that I have a weakness of empty places.

- Tony Hillerman

At the moment I’m busier than i like to be, but my mind is being challenged and turned over and over and rustled and woken.  In addition to my normal teaching schedule, i’m taking a couple of science classes which has become my free time, which is weird.  I’m longing for free time spent settling onto the ground, spaces in my days, and I miss photographs.
Luckily a luxurious afternoon at Beaudry Park trumped everything else for the day on Sunday and the stars aligned and the Autumn weather was perfect and the sky was spacious and bright and air got breathed and feet touched the earth more properly than they have been.

I’m happy to report that a little space on the perfectly golden prairie in Fall is still all it takes.

Another fall

photo 1


Do you feel kind of like something big is happening?
In that cold and broken but hallelujah kind of a way?
Me too.

The consistent sound of it is a light whisper and a deep moan that sighs and bellows, ‘hallelujah.’  More than once.  But not quite constantly.

The girl at the health food store yesterday told me that everyone is undergoing a hard process of transformation to move into a higher consciousness.  That sounds crazy.  And not so far off, somehow.

I love the Equinox.  Last year on this day, I was practicing 108 sun salutations in a glowing roomful of a bunch of yogis.  That is all that i remember, and an awake heart.  Fall does that.

The year before on this very day, I was at a scotch tasting and my soul had opened widely up; must have been a particularly surprising autumn breeze, and the crunching of the leaves underfoot was crispier than normal, and the baby formerly known as Mowgli was on his way to getting ready to be born, and there was a scotch tasting and the most beautiful company I have kept and I felt home, and the littlest bit of Talisker warmed me deeply like a candle-lit room, and it felt like anything was possible.

Like a layer of skin was about to be removed, or something in me was about to be switched on, whether i was ready or not.  Pure potential.
Is this the feeling of the end of a season?  A new one beginning?  Do you ever have that feeling?  Like a wind is ready to gently or not-gently nudge you if you let it?
That not letting it is an option, but that it’s a dumber option even than the scariness of letting it?

Yeah, me too.

Bring it on, Fall.

self, autumn

self 3

These days.

This photo was taken in the midst of a giant torrential downpour in which i got caught an hour-walk from home with my rain-hating dog, on a path that was a funny choice that day, along the river, and far from any road, structure or potential shelter from a storm.

It was obvious it would rain, but I ignored it.  I wanted that river walk and anyway, a little rain never hurt.
When the sky spilled open, we were near some thin bushes along the river and though half of the leaves have blown off and there was a pretty open sky above, p and i refuged desperately into the bushes and hid out in the semi-shelter of empty autumn trees for a good while.  It was quiet and beautiful and damp.  It sounded only like rain.
It barely helped, but this too shall pass, as always, and patience is a good mantra.  So we waited and waited and got soaked and shivered and got more soaked and felt alone and felt alive and felt cleansed against our will, but necessarily I guess, by the rain, until I gave up on things passing, and forged ahead.

The surrender back into the downpour was immaculate and it felt funny to walk in that, as if i had a choice, and to watch people drenched, riding by on bikes, laughing at the sky.

We got home and dried off and I felt like i’d had a deep cry.

Leonard Cohen (happy birthday, l. cohen!) says you look good when you’re tired; you look like you could go on forever.
Thank god.
I am tired, but still alive.


Here’s what i’ve got the energy to do as far as beauty.

Walk.  See.  Breathe (usually.)
This is enough.

Beautiful things.

Birds on a wire the other bright morning, when the air was a confusing, familiar combination of crisp and smoky from farmers’ fields burning, like always a third of the way into September.
I love sparrows.



Also, breathtakingly, this:



And finally this just because it is so gd beautiful.



A foggy, already-Fall morning, and thick steam lifts up off the giant river that moves through this city.

We are so tiny, we little souls, and this world is so gigantic, charged, and powerful.
And it is holding us.

A remembering:  fog is beautiful.  Clarity is not an all-the-time thing.

Sept 2.

Someone said you’ve got to believe in something, even if it’s burritos.
Who said this?  And how badly am i paraphrasing?

I’ve been thinking about what i believe today, as things are changing and i get disoriented easily.  I usually always believe in resurrection, but that’s not the theme right now, so.

I believe in the truth rolling itself out for all to see when you give it a little space.
(I believe too that the stories don’t always line up, but the truth is there nonetheless, in the middle place where all the stories are connected.)
And that it’s good idea to look for truth with the eyes of one’s heart.

I believe the universe is unfolding as it should.

I believe that we’re taken care of.

I believe in the value of a hard path.
I believe in the path of least resistance sometimes, too.
And that our hearts are directed to the right one at the right time.

In the act of lifting a wounded heart up to the light to have it heal.  In the practice of opening it up, wounded and mangled and beautiful and all; an invitation into the glorious goriness of really living.

I believe in growth, and that it’s painful sometimes usually and that we are stronger than we think.

I believe in the middle ground.  I don’t know how to get there sometimes, but if you give me really specific directions, i’ll meet you there.  I promise.

I believe in love.

I believe we can make it through anything.  That sounds like resurrection.  Maybe i believe in resurrection again!
I don’t believe in the healing power of tears.  It might be true, but it also might be true that opening floodgates just keeps them coming forever.  I haven’t tested this out enough to see.  But I believe in the other salty cures;  the sea and sweat.

I believe in bald eagles.  I’ve seen one three times in the past two weeks, right in the city.  How could you not believe in that?  I believe i’d like to know what the significance of that is, if it’s anything.

I believe in the timelessness and spacelessness of everything, so you are right here with me now.  Hi.

And i believe in the prairie, of course, still, especially in a thunderstorm, especially in Autumn.











I didn’t honk.

The instructions were confusing.

I had a nice coffee and some hope and a heart full of love and what more can you ask for?

After stopping to take a little photo on this weird late summer afternoon, with its diffused sky and the humid gusts of prairie air, I hit the road in silence.

the prairie (ode to, edition three hundred)



behind by several weeks, craving sun-drenched august days, soaked in the aftermath of way-too-much-rain and scrambling after that late, late start.  yeah right; the prairie doesn’t scramble.

taking its time:  being beautiful and in transition.

and on its way to yellow, hopefully.

i have so much love (understanding) for a late bloomer,
respect for the prairie’s patience.


When introverts create…

DSC_4350 DSC_4346 I have recently become completely enamoured with the Forks,  as well as the walk i get to walk to pass through there.  It’s the perfect-sized loop and passes by all kinds of little worlds.  If you’re lucky and walk from your house through the loop, you get to pass over three (!) bridges which all have completely different flavours, see a bald eagle very low and very giant (the other day), and a million geese, a bunch of old guys sitting and looking at the water, and happy, healthy people hanging around, playing, enjoying. I especially like it in the weekdaytime when all of these are sprinkled with life brightly but calmly. And i especially like the longcut en route home, where you can pass by Cafe Postal and get a coffee or tea.  If you drink it reasonably, it will last the rest of your walk, but mine never does because they make pretty good coffee over there and i’m impatient/bad at savouring slowly/think good coffee should get drunk hot. Anyway, check out what some probably-introverts made for us to enjoy at the forks. TILT by ATLRG (Sean Radford, Chris Wiebe, and Brian Pearson) is this useable, happy exhibit along the riverbank almost at the foot of the Provencher Bridge.  The little yellow half-tents are made for idling or acting or just generally being.  And they’re great! Here’s how they describe them:  “Its movement conjures a school of fish, or a flock of birds, flitting in opposite directions, remaining as a whole.” Who doesn’t love the concept of being together, apart sometimes? It seems like it’s what our culture misses a bit of, for this introvert at least.  We have lots of time alone, we have lots of time together, but what a treat it is to be disconnected together.  Or connected, slightly apart? These tiny meeting spots, or idling spots, or playing, sleeping, reading, being spots are my new favourite Winnipeg thing. Thank you, great city.  You’re my favourite place.

flower question

photo (4)

I know.  Flower pictures.  Bo-ring.
But while walking along the river and on Lyndale Drive with Jude yesterday, we came across these flowers, and she was excited and forgot herself for a few moments and fell into gardener-love with them and is trying to figure out what they are.  We decided they’re probably poisonous because they’re so beautiful.

Do you know what these are?  Do they grow only wild and free?