IV

Elenya ~ Saturday

Dismay and despair have attached themselves to me just as barnacles attach themselves to pier pilings. Sitting with my chin cupped in my hands, I sat in a coffee shop the other day gazing out of a large window. All was white and snow was falling. I mused about the changes in time but not in “place”. January is beginning to lay down, allowing for February to slide into my realm, and all around me the landscape remains the same.

Suddenly, a cloud parted and a shaft of sun plunged to the ground. Snow flakes were transformed into glitter. There were diamonds in the sky. The quick change from the dark, dullness of winter became a scene out of a fairytale. Because I am most easily amused, I was mesmerized. The air was full of silver flecks, rotating and sparkling, alive with brilliance. All it took was that simple shaft of sunlight. But alas, once again, clouds rolled in front of the light and I was plunged back into a winter landscape that looked all too flat, without definition and depth.

What there was all along, became transformed into great beauty with exposure to sunlight. A thing most mundane and common-place, was actually hidden beauty; beauty that was waiting to come alive at any moment. I have learned to have an entirely different attitude about the doldrums of winter. Each day melts into another, and all is flat and lifeless. However, there exists a loveliness unseen. All it takes is a simple flash of light and everything is changed.

Once again, as I was sitting in our local co-op gazing out a window, a beam of sunlight tumbled down out of the heavens. What had appeared as large gray shapes came immediately into focus as enormous mountains. It was truly beautiful and I was impressed how light reveals such beauty and clarity.

Perhaps what is unseen is truly the most spectacular. I am reminded that faith is that which is unseen. Many times it is nowhere to be seen in the common occurrences of everyday life. Often what I see is common and mundane, with no deviation. At times, what happens around me is scary and confusing but faith is the eye that sees beauty in the common places.

May you know that there is light, merely hidden for a short time ~ Tasarwen

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III

Valanya ~ Friday

I have seen it written that perhaps the creatures who build coral do so in order to afford themselves protection. However, it has been discovered they instead thrive fronting the open ocean with its highly aerated movement of sea water, relentlessly rolling over them. Protected ease does not enable them to build the large reefs and atolls for which that they are so famous.

Being a creature of comfort, the idea of “protected ease” appears to be most favorable to me. Afternoons spent working in my garden, listening to the drone of life all around me, and well protected from worldly concerns makes me sigh. A moment’s thought of living and working in such a private environment, without the onslaught of others coming against me, brings about a mini-vacation. However, this peaceful life is withheld from me.

Many times I have to face and deal with people and situations where troubles brew. It seems to me that even though all humanity is gifted with originality, each person must try to justify their actions and beliefs. One differing opinion and they are compelled and propelled to dispense a defense. They “shoot off the hip” in quick desperation, not believing that they are special and their excessive actions are not necessary. Drama builds upon drama and becomes a loud roar in my ears.

My first instinct is to simply walk away but this is not always possible in my daily activities. Methinks that the “age of grace” is over. No longer do I witness manners or consideration for the other person. Many times, I just stand there with my mouth open, allowing for a cavernous retreat for flying insects, and try to decide what to do next.

The “billows” of life come against me regularly and the idea of quick retreat is first and foremost in my mind. However, when trapped by duty, I realize that the endurance of hardship is what makes character and all is not wasted in those moments. My grandmother was fond of saying that adversity creates character. Well, I have had so much adversity in my life, I must be a person of great character. Perhaps the development of character only comes to fruition through our willingness to endure, no matter what the circumstances.

Making a stand for good hurts. The winds of the world attack and buffet me daily. I long to surround myself in a beautiful world and leave the front lines of battle far behind me. Oh, the peace of it! However, it is not to be and I must move forward, through it all. It is a comfort to know that such a very small creature who builds great reefs, thrives in the foamy billows of ocean waves. If they can endure, anything is possible.

May courage find you and endurance be your armor ~ Tasarwen

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II

Anarya ~ Sunday

winter hands

A hand, curved and colored with soft shades of gray and white is covering me. Under me, another hand of a much sharper shape, hued with differing shades of browns, grays, and whites, has been holding me in its icy grip. These are the hands of winter. They can be soft and gentle one day and harsh and rigid another. Just a few days ago, the ice was so thick and slippery, I could not walk anywhere in my realm. My trusty Subaru carried me where I needed to go.

Today, winter’s hands have loosened their hold and we are having a January thaw. Water is running everywhere and there is a softness in the air. It feels like spring and I am reveling in it. To be able to move around out-of-doors wearing less binding clothing is very refreshing. However, those hands of winter will tighten their grip soon enough and we will have many more weeks of it. Of this, I am certain.

It has been said that we have to learn to be content. It is not merely given to us as a gift. The journey to such knowledge is long and hard, wrought with mountains of disappointment and valleys of despair. Sharp corners of pain hide any sight of relief ahead. Somehow, I have arrived closer to this place. For the first time in many years, I am content right where I am. Most Januaries find me itching to “get out of Dodge” and jump on the nearest airplane, in order to head to a place where I can walk on ground that is not covered with ice and not wear my heavy winter coat.

For some strange reason, I feel happy just to stay put. Each day is lived from moment to moment. I have yielded to whatever the future may bring. Sad it is to admit that this simplicity of life could have been mine for the asking many years ago. I just did not “get it”. Not that I understand all of this now, but I am having a delicious taste of what it is to live a contented life. Peacefulness is with me more of the time than ever before.

Often, I muse that perhaps the things and happenings of the world are not really that important. What we all think on this planet as being so very dear to us may only be an extension of our little egos. I am constantly reminded that my life is not my own to hold on so tightly that I forget to reach out to others. Painful as it may be, I believe that I have to walk the walk others do in order to be able to be compassionate and understanding. Much as I do not like it, that is the only path I can take in order to be truly useful.

Today the hands of winter cradle me softly, reminding me that life can have a few reprieves and tender times. It is a breath of fresh air and much appreciated by me and many others. January has become the month of contentment, contemplation, and contrast.

May you be happy right where you are and be content ~ Tasarwen

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I

Eärenya ~ Thursday

divergence

...I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost

Here I stand...standing at a divergence on the road of life. It is the very first day of a new year. My foot itches to make the first step forward into a vast opportunity. I hesitate. Do I proceed forward with all vigor and confidence? Or do I slowly take a trembling step? Do I forget all injustices made against me and take a “leap of faith” or do I slowly move forward, all the while peeking back over my shoulder, fearful that I may be trod upon....again. A grave decision is before me and I am fearful.

This is a time for musings and wonderings. Many times, my mind drifts back through the fog of my memory and lands upon negative incidents. At that very moment, I feel paralyzed and useless. Forward movement comes to a screeching halt and nothing good comes as a result. However, I try and justify this behavior by believing that I have to figure all this “stuff” out before I can move again. As a result, I do nothing of consequence and am of no help, whatsoever, to others. What good can come of protecting ones own hide?

Methinks that being bold and quickly turning down the path that is seldom taken, is the wise choice. This path truly has very few footprints. It is the path of thinking not of ones self but of allowing a free-float of the mind forward into unknown territory. It is a path of courage, to be sure, and a path of mystery. There can be no protecting ones heart or thin skin. I shudder and feel vulnerable.

Which path will I choose? That indeed, is the question, for I have the freedom of a choice. It is my personal liberty. Slowly, it comes to me that being “safe” is boring. While being courageous is exciting and ever-changing.

So, I stand, gazing ahead and wondering what to do. Wisdom creeps slowly over me and I am aware that to “move ahead and forget what lies behind” appears to be the rare choice and the right choice. Putting all dark thoughts behind me brings relief to my mind and again, I realize that the walk of faith is not the trail that everybody else takes. It is that path to which one places their feet, not seeing around any of the bends or over the next hill. It is the path which requires the most courage and fortitude. It is all about trusting in Someone bigger than ones self. It is the path that I choose to take...happily.

May wisdom ever be with you when you stand at the divergence in the wood
~ Tasarwen

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