IV

Anarya ~ Sunday

Again, we are in the middle of a large and imposing winter storm. Snow is piling up, limited only by the blowing wind. Temperatures are falling quickly. The beauty of it disguises the underlying danger of always being at the mercy of the power of nature. Quickly, I am reminded how frail we humans truly are. We are very small in the total scope of things.

rocky trail

It has been written; “set your freed soul sweeping across the obstacles of life, through grim forests of pain, against even the tiny hindrances.....and it will find its singing voice” For many days, I have been musing these words. How to free my soul eludes me. My only guess is that a life that is lived with no obstacles, is a life with no music. Wind must hit something in its path in order to create music and therefore, beauty. The more my mind meandered its way down this path, the more I became convinced a truly beautiful life is one that has traveled down a forest trail full of rocks and weeds; a path strewn with slippery places along with sandy places. Simply put, a life of ease does not produce music.

I have known many people during my life-time. The ones I remember being the most empathetic and kind were those to whom a meandering and obstacle-ridden path were given. They listened well and were the most tender-hearted. There are many who walked solely upon smooth ground. The softest of grass was always under their feet. Flowers lined the way and the sun always shined upon them. But they all had one thing in common. When their flowered paths took them too near the forest and through the dimness of the trees they would catch sight of a poor soul climbing over a large log of misfortune, they would quickly turn the other way and offer not one hand of friendship and aid. Even when the one on the rocky path called out for help, the one on the smooth ground would simply move along, pretending not to hear.

For so long, I have yearned for a rest and for a breath of time upon that grassy path. My trail through the woods has been going on for many seasons; what seems like ages. Furthermore, it is tiring and I often wonder what it would be like to have a smooth walk for the same amount of years. Perhaps, there are lessons to be learned on the tough trail and I simply would not be fit to be around if I had a life of ease. Methinks, human beings need obstacles to run into and climb over, in order to polish their spirits.

To be honest, at times, I feel like an old sour-puss and I grump. But, then I realize that the true prize is for the one who has begun the walk down that obstacle ridden path and has reached the end...alive. They are the ones I would rather be with. They are the ones to whom others are drawn because of the beauty of their countenance and loveliness of their song. The only drawback is that in order to be like them, I must walk that same path...the path of being tenderized.

During these musings, I usually come back around to becoming aware that God knows what is best and if He thinks that the rough path that polishes all the edges off is the one that makes me more like what He wants me to be, so be it. The rough path is a life of faith. It is a hard life and not one I particularly like. But faith is a choice and not a feeling. Through faith, I have freed my soul and by trusting day by day, I will live through life, living it according to God’s wishes. And when I have reached the end of my path, I will know that the job well done was the act of staying the course and finishing....alive.

May you see the good, even while walking down a rough and rocky path ~ Tasarwen

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III

Isilya ~ Monday

As I sit here in my cozy place in a local book store, I realize that there nothing that makes home seem even more like home than some time away. Day after day, as I moved along through the same tasks, the sparkle and charm of living in my beautiful little cottage began to wear off. In fact, chores that at one time brought delight began to be mundane. After returning to my abode from my travels to the Pacific Northwest, I have been awakened by all that is beautiful around me. There is nothing so comforting as to be surrounded by ones own “stuff”. Often, I think about simplifying my life but the feathers that make up my nest are important. Perhaps, a new and fresh look produces a sense of gratitude. Being thankful always raises my spirits.

Even though our days are still gray and snowy, I have begun to see a bit of grass peeking through the snow. Our winter has been difficult this year. One day we would be shrouded in frozen fog and the next day a heavy snowfall would blanket us. Then a few days later, it would rain followed by sub-zero temperatures. All of this has produced a sheet of thin ice covering sidewalks and streets with scarey footing. I find myself thinking that those warmer and brighter days of spring will never return. However, I am aware that the earth will tilt on its axis again and more pleasant days are ahead. Being “right around the corner” makes no difference to me. Just knowing that indeed, those warm and lazy days of summer will come, no matter what we do, brings a sense of relief.

This is the time of the year when I begin to plan my gardens. It is a bit early, but it takes time for me to make up my mind about how I want things to be. Although, I have no hesitation to move various plants from place to place. Poor things. Sometimes, they get moved multiple times. There is a lovely hydrangea that I have planted against the east side of our house. It spent a very unhappy summer. If it survives this winter, I plan to move it around to the north side, just under the porch railing. Hopefully, it will thrive in that cooler place. Right now there is a bleeding heart in that place. I plan to move her to a large container and leave her under the pergola in the back of our little cottage. Actually, the container is so large it is on wheels. I’m hoping to roll it into the garage for winter storage and see how the bleeding heart does.

I am always amazed to see which plants have survived after such a cold and snowy winter. They surprise me at times. Sometimes the most tender ones are the ones who make it through and the toughest ones never return. Often, I muse over this and wonder if being tender and gentle gives one the right amount of flexibility to bend and not break. Those who are unyielding and hard, can easily break with the brutal winds of hardship. I think that kindness to others produces a spirit that is tender and peaceful. Gentleness disguises great strength. The world teaches us that only the strong survive. Perhaps, gentleness means survival...of the highest order. I equate it to nobility.

May you consider the advantage of being noble ~ Tasarwen

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II

Elenya ~ Saturday

I love to fly! Many times, I raise my arms up and instantly feel lighter. As my arms are lifted, before I know it, I am lifted up on my toes. Closing my eyes, I experience that free feeling that comes with flight. So often, I dream of spreading out my arms and feeling them change into wings. Off the ground I go, catching thermals and banking into large knife edge turns. For me flight is the ultimate experience. I have flown in aircraft all of my life, having been born into the family of a Naval aviator who later became an airline pilot. There have been journeys to many parts of the world.

However, in all my many long years, I have never boarded an airplane in a blizzard. Air travel out of my gentle valley is sometimes done on board a small airplane called a Q400. One has to walk outside, across the tarmac, and then up the stairs in order to board. As I walked across the ramp, snow was whipping into my face. There was hardly an image of a person in front of me. I was surrounded in white. On board, snow was tracked up and down the aisle. The flight attendant smiled and said, what’s a little more snow! After several minutes under the de-icing machine, off we went.

mossy trail

At this very minute, I am cocooned in the lovely cool moisture that is so common in the Pacific Northwest. As I walk on the trail just behind the hotel, I am enchanted. There is moss everywhere. It is the stuff of mystery. Small and intricate, the little moss plants tuck themselves into every nook and cranny. Their color is rich and a brilliant green. They find homes along the trail, run themselves up tree trunks, and nestle in rock walls. Where ever they are found, they are happy. The woods along the trail are draped in secrecy. They stay to themselves and whisper not a word. I look up into their immense canopies and smile. What a delight is this place of ancient mystery! The air is cool and moist. Walking produces barely a sound and I hold my breath. There is history here.

How I love the woods! My entire being sighs and I feel at home. I have great affection for this region of the country, whether it be within the richness of the woods or looking out over the vastness of the great Pacific ocean. I am grateful that my hubby and I have the luxury of spending a few days immersed in this delicious environment. It is a gift.

In just a few days, we will be once again winging our way back to our valley. Winter has been long and hard this past year. What we find when we return will be a surprise. Barely, just barely, I have noticed a difference in the length of daylight. With the coming of February, spring will begin to tease us with a lovely day here and there. This is a good time of the year.

May you be enchanted, with the smallest of things ~ Tasarwen

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I

Anarya ~ Sunday

new years snow

Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments,
embark upon a sentimental journey,
and enjoy every idle hour.
~ John Boswell

With scarce a whisper, the second page of this bright and shiny new year has turned. Softly, it floated down, curling back against the cover of the book of the year 2011. There are many blank pages ahead, ready to illuminate the dealings of my life. Snow is drifting down outside the window of my bower and there is a pink glow about the place. Light is dawning and the snow glow which is the color of the inside of a sea shell, is changing to the pale blue color of a new day. I am resting under my comfy quilt, sipping on that first delicious cup of coffee. No longer do I have my sweet kitty snuggled up against me. Constantly, I miss him.

As I muse about the year that is stretched out before me, I am struck by the truth in a certain verse in the Bible (Philippians 4:8). It mentions that it is wise to set your mind on these things:

Truth
Honor
Right-ness
Purity
Loveliness
Attractiveness
Excellence
Praise

It also mentions pondering these things. Musing about them, it has occurred to me that these noble attributes are to be considered while watching TV, driving a car, or in ones place of work. It has also occurred to me that when successful at remembering these golden words, I am much happier. Therefore, I have considered that it is most wise to be thoughtful about what brings happiness into my life. For I have learned that happiness and joy are not a result of the material things or temporary circumstances of this world. True joy is that inner glow that radiates from a pure and honorable heart.

So, off I go, placing one foot in front of the other. The path ahead is a great mystery and there are so many curves and twists in my path that the future is hidden from view. My only reality is this day...this very moment in time. With humor, I realize that those surprises are interesting and exciting to contemplate. As I carry along those golden words of wisdom, I realize that whatever buffets me down that twisting path of life, happiness will be forever with me.

May you carry gems in your heart through which you may see the loveliness of life
~ Tasarwen

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