Autumn Contemplation on the Bruce Trail

I spent the weekend with these harmonious souls walking a wee part of the Bruce Trail on an Autumn Retreat with the theme, Letting Go. The trail was quite difficult in parts and because of the drizzle, it was also slippery. This meant that I needed to pay attention to where my feet landed.

This part of the trail is in wine country. So one is constantly hearing the boom of canon’s being set off in order to keep the birds from eating the maturing grapes. It’s an interesting juxtaposition of nature sounds and booms.

One of our retreat facilitators led the walk and the other came behind to make sure no one was left behind or in trouble. This was very comforting.

We sat on the moss, without words.

This is what I wrote:

Long before….
long before.
Long before your were conceived of I Am.

I Am the falling water.
I Am the smooth rock.
I Am the soft green moss, carpet for your weary rambling.

Long before…
I Am the smell of the decomposition.
I Am the fragrance of my tears on fallen leaf.
I Am the sound of rain dripping from the canopy.
I Am the swirling eddies.
I Am the calm pool.
I Am the water against stone.

Long before…
I Am the ancient gnarly roots.
I Am the hidden nest in the branches.
I Am the cool breeze.
I Am the cleft in the rock.
I Am the canon boom protecting the harvest.

Long before…
I Am the rich hummus.
I Am the skirt of yellow.
I Am the blanket of red.
I Am the evergreen.

Long before….
I Am the joy of birdsong.
I Am the slippery foothold.
I Am the steep climb.
I Am the glacier’s path.

I Am your deepest longing.

Long before.

Because I did not take my camera I have used this photo from Richard Olley’s blog.

 

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Eye of the Storm – Land Art Project

Another offering in the woods. I found some nice green grapevine. Green vine is easy to weave, leaves and all. When I find a pile of grapevine I interpret it as a free art supply, just waiting for a challenge.

I featured an old clock, minus the mechanical parts, in this weaving. It has metal sails.

“Eye of the Storm”

Lately there have been lots of hurricanes in the Caribbean. So the phrase ‘eye of the storm’ has been particularly poignant.

It started to rain half way through the process, which is actually fine. Because it’s easier to weave the vine when it is supple. But sucks on the hands.

I chose a place in our woods which has two paths converging, sort of at a fork in the road.

Grapevine walls are notoriously difficult to photograph. But here is an attempt from a distance as you approach it from my path.

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Prayer of Reconciliation and Peace

by Rev. Dr. Barbara Billey

I invite you to close your eyes and to feel into your breath, the gentle rise and fall of inhale and exhale. With each wave upon wave of breath, enter the refuge of welcoming silence. Feel yourself embraced by the luminous quiet of Mystery, of Holy Presence. What you need is here.

Ask yourself: Is there someone with whom I need to reconcile? A person with whom I am angry or who has hurt me deeply? Someone who incites my judgment, avoidance, or exclusion?

If comfortable, allow the image of this person to surface in your imagination. Notice thoughts and memories that arise, how these live as feelings or sensations in your body.

Gaze into this persons’ eyes. She/he is sometimes afraid, hurting, angry, joyful, and loving, a person with hopes and dreams, sorrows and joys. She/he, like you and all of creation, is filled at the core with Holy Presence.

Bring your awareness to the space of your heart. Breathe deeply into this space the always abiding and already healing love of our Holy One. Breathe out peace and healing into the heart of the other.

Repeat this circle of breathing until you feel a softening in your heart, a release from separation and alienation from this person. (If this is not possible, surrender any and all judgment of yourself. You can return to this prayer at another time.)

Allow the image of your person to fade.

Take a few more moments of silence to rest into the freedom of healing and peace. What you need is here.

You might end this prayer by dancing the dance of releasement, writing a poem and/or listening to lovely music.

Often we are unwilling to surrender our “righteousness” perspective or we refuse to accept “what is” true in the reality of our life situation, leading to all kinds of suffering within ourselves and between persons. There are also persons who have caused us immense pain through abuse. We can forgive them, too, without engaging in further relationship, thus releasing ourselves into peace and healing, while wishing them healing and all good things. This is often a longer process.

A helpful resource is found in a chapter from “The Grace in Aging” by Kathleen Dowling Singh entitled Forgiveness as Liberation from Aversions: Freedom from Anger and Judgment.

Another resource is: “Forgiveness in the Service of Justice” by Sr. Margaret Farley

Barbara J. Billey, M.Ed., M.A., D.Min.

Registered Psychotherapist
Registered Canadian Art Therapist
Wedding Officiant
Priest, ARCWP, Windsor, ON, Canada

Square Foot Art – Westland Gallery, London, Ontario

Westland Gallery is an amazing place for art. In the heart of London, Ontario’s Wortley Village the Westland hosts new, original art shows each month.

Their biggest show of the year is undoubtedly The Square Foot Show, opening July 12th, where you will see over 500 pieces all measuring 12″ x 12.” That alone is reason to go see this unique show.

Square Foot Show 2016

You will find all manner of artistic media, from painting to mixed media. And all at very reasonable prices.

Here are my entries for this year:

Old Tears Series: Time Moves Fast So Make it Last

Detail – Old Tears Series: Time Moves Fast So Make it Last

Old Tears Series: She Spilled the Flour

Old Tears Series: Letter to Mabel

Pop into The Westland sometime between July 12 – August. You will not be disappointed. Make sure you meet owner Karen Stewart and tell her I sent you.

 

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Gimli Yacht Club 50th Anniversary

I wrote this in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Gimli Yacht Club, July 1, 2017

(tune: This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land)


This Club is your boat, this Club is my boat

From speedy cruisers to anything that will float

From the harbour mouth

To this great lake’s waters.

This Club was made for you and me.

In ’67 we hosted Pan Am

So we got buildings and some nice land

Then lots of dinghies came to sail here

This Club was made for you and me.

Chorus

They made improvements to Gimli harbour

That kept out weather and made us safer

That meant big changes as we brought keels in

This Club was made for you and me.

Chorus

We have some Opti’s to teach our youth in

And offer schools where skills are honed in

We’re good at teaching this lifelong hobby

This Club was made for you and me.

Chorus

With pirate hats we do our racin’

We like to cruise north, up to the basin

To Hec and Back, and to George Island

This Club was made for you and me.

Chorus

On Wednesday nights now out on the water

Jibs are up and the odd spinnaker

‘Cause skippers like to see who’s faster

This Club was made for you and me.

Chorus

It takes great people to work together

To have a place like this to gather

We’ve made it this long, we can be happy

This Club was made for you and me.

Chorus

So raise our glasses to all the sailors

Who know the only rope is on a bailer

Who read the wind and keep their sails up

This Club was made for you and me.

Chorus

Now to the future, we must stay brave and

Show our kids how to meet the next wave

And keep our boats out on the water

This Club was made for you and me.

Chorus