Its already mid winter here at our new home among the low ridges, pristine lakes and vast forests of Wisconsin's rugged Northern Highlands region. Luckily we made the move and were able to get all settled in before the first snow flew! And fly it has, well over two feet of the stuff on the ground so far . . .
What a year of intensity, extremes and bolt-out-of-the-blue changes. It was way beyond anything we could have ever imagined. Yet here we are, tempered, pared down, streamlined and perhaps ready for the adventure ahead!
Where to begin . . .
Lets see, first there was my husbands dangerously close health crisis. Then, while struggling to recover from that, the bizarre attack on our land began. Then, because of that oh-so-neighborly harassment and desire to destroy, came the series of events culminating in our very unexpected move.
Just goes to show, you never really know what life may bring next.
The push to move was extreme to say the least. And lightning fast. Two pieces of land gone within a couple days of signing. For full price. Thirty days to get forty years worth of living and all the out-buildings cleaned up, cleaned out and packed. The intensity was almost beyond endurance. The task, almost insurmountable.
But we pulled through and remain alive and relatively well. Our sturdy log cabin home is warm and cozy, the air crisp and clean, the surrounding land amazingly beautiful, and the new neighbors darn good folks. Already feels like home!
Thank You Creator, for the gifts and blessings. You certainly do work in the most mysterious ways!
The challenge and lesson?
Surrender. Trust. Standing strong for what is good and right. Willingness to follow guidance, no matter how intense or demanding. And always, to remember the love.
Its interesting to step back and realize what an amazing journey life really is. How all the pain, joy, struggle, work and even suffering of a lifetime have all been leading up to this one precious moment in space and time. Right here, right now.
I like what my husband is fond of quoting . . . "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and this moment is a gift, that's why its called The Present."
and many blessings to all
in this wintery season,
Yes folks, still alive and kickin' here !
There's been a whole lot of water under the bridge these last several months!
But, new blog posting coming your way soon . . .
The edge land between the tall, stately pines across the way and our own carefully tended grounds and gardens, is a special place. Containing maple, box elder, wild cherry and cedar trees, native red willow, bloodroot, lily of the valley, heirloom lilacs, garden phlox, Queen Ann's lace, wild honeysuckle and a lovely little stand of stag-horn sumac, it is a magical microcosm filled to the brim with life and vitality.
In this wondrous unkempt tangle a chipmunk stores his hoard, a robin cares for her eggs of blue, bumble bees sip flowers, an endangered ribbon snake goes on the hunt, and a life-bonded raven pair keep watch. In the tree tops an eagle has perched, humming birds hum, and bright orange monarchs and yellow tiger swallowtails dance their way through the passage of cycles, days and seasons.
Yet this spring things changed. Right in the middle of my husbands intense struggle for his life due to a severe series of strokes, this precious and beloved acreage came under attack. Did the perpetrators choose their time with fully conscious intent? Waiting for a moment of distraction? In their eyes, a sign of weakness?
Yes, just because they have easement through our beautiful three and a half acres to get to their forty acre 'playground' in back of us, certain parties are now aggressively and relentlessly pushing forward with plans to scrape, slash, cut down, kill and violate all that lives, breathes and exists in our lovingly owned and carefully preserved edge-land.
The gravel drive is already wide, straight and well maintained, can easily accommodate even a loaded dump truck or large tractor. The militant determination to turn our beautiful living lane into a super highway dead zone and destroy the little peace, privacy and land we have left is utterly mind-boggling and surreal.
The justification being what? The trees are an inconvenience? The wildlife a nuisance? We just a useless and crippled old couple deserving of harassment and contempt, so that the chronically empty can feel powerful and temporarily satiated?
Is bringing in massive, way over sized, dual tired equipment to cultivate, seed and poison one small, poor, waterlogged field worth more than honor and respect, and even lives?
But it seems that enough is never enough for some. The sort whose greed and cold-hearted, lack of empathy and compassion, whose irrevocable belief in the illusion of separation, evidently knows no bounds.
Red faced bellowing at a sick and fragile man just home from the hospital. Belligerent gestures and threats about killing all tree beings on either side of the drive to make way for unnecessarily huge mega-tractors, giant poison spreaders, forty foot harrows and God only knows what else. For a twisty, swampy seven acre field? Somehow this is acceptable in the small, sad confines of selfish, uncreative minds?
Even weeks later, aggressive posturing, infantile acts of contempt and cruel harassment continued toward us.
And all because we dared say "No" to the rape of our precious edge-land.
If there is one thing I have learned in life it is that truly narcissistic individuals are relentless in their drive to control, dominate and punish. The more beautiful, sacred and out of reach something or someone is, the more they desire to either possess or destroy that someone or something.
Why? It seems in their own little hollow self-serving universe they are utterly convinced they're better than, smarter than and more deserving than anyone or anything else in this extraordinarily rich and abundant world. In the narrow prison of such a mind it seems the values and rules set out for the rest of us simply don't apply. And once a decision is made, they will never, ever, ever admit to being wrong.
But there is something that can never be possessed or owned. Something pure, sacred and full of grace. It is hidden in the wing beats of the smallest bird, rises up in the delicate scent of a rose, flows unhindered in every eddy and current of a river, shines in the eyes of an innocent child.
It is the great un-containable love of the Creator. Made manifest. Residing in every ray of sunshine, in every drop of rain. In every tiny leaflet, solitary blade of grass, wide expanse of sky and sea. It is the love blessing a courageous heart, directing the course of a noble life, as well as the power watching over every precious edge-land, or uniquely irreplaceable, small, blue, egg . . .
Deepest respect and honor,
for friends and givers,
doers, lovers, protectors,
and all with the courage to stand and say, "No More."
Gratitude, Love, Blessings,
The night was damp and frosty cold, lit by the silvery half-light of moon and stars, when we heard it. The plaintive whistling calls of wild swans winging their way northward. Bound for the high tundra and their ancient nesting grounds beyond the arctic circle.
Tundra Swans (Whistling Swans), Canadian Geese,
Northern Shoveler Ducks, Red Head Ducks, Mallards, Black Ducks
It is that wondrous time of year when some mysterious force signals the start of the great migrations. The time of year when we are privaleged to witness wave after wave of ducks, geese, swans, raptors, vultures, songbirds and so many others returning to their warm season homes.
Its amazing to think that most of the bright feathered creatures we take for granted as local residents, actually spend
half their lives in the far away jungles of Costa Rica.
The busy little bluebird sitting on your fence may have escaped the jaws of an ocelot, shared the sky with a flock of Macaws, or stared into the eyes of a jaguar.
The oriole at your feeder may have witnessed the antics of monkeys, army ants on the march, the hunt of a hungry margay, or the courtship of the worlds largest eagle.
From little frogs daring the ice, to the birth of a tiny calf, to the daily miracle of hens eggs, I'm so often left in awe. The will to live and procreate, from the largest to the smallest creature demands the risks of finding food and a mate, the difficulties of labor, the protection of young, and even a journey of thousands of miles. Life is truly wondrous and amazing.
Even we are not exempt from the great plan. And yet, we are born with something else too. We are designed with eyes to see, hearts to feel and minds to understand. We have the capacity to soar beyond division, gaze into eternity, love without measure.
The will to live is, and will always be, a necessary and deeply driving force, but in essence the human spirit stands close to a bigger thing. The divine in our nature calling for the next step, the leap off the cliff, the headlong dive, the flight into unity .
Then perhaps we would realize that all of creation is in us and we in it. There is no separation. We are all just flames in the eternal fire of the Mystery.
This night the wild swans rest among the cornfields on quietly lapping puddles and ponds. Beacons of white beneath the moon and stars. Soon they will be on their way again, off into the currents and eddies of the sky lands. Winging their way northward, braving the risks. Diving headlong into life. Into the fire. Into the wide open arms of the One Great Mystery.
Peace, Love, Blessings . . .
I looked out my studio window yesterday and saw a strange tale unfolding . . .
(After an overnight stay in Red Willow Studio, Mr. Frog is now happily back under the ice in his pond)
It was, wouldn't you know, the coldest day of the year! He was mama's first calf, had a very difficult birth, and eventually had to be pulled. He was too weak to nurse, so was brought inside to spend his first two days in an old woodbox being bottle fed and watched over by everyone.
Small cow finally had her baby and he is gorgeous!
Blog and pics coming soon . . .
Welcome Friends. . . .