Friday, March 25, 2016

The Journey

This poem, by Mary Oliver, says it all.

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voice behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life that you could save.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The road to 50

I turned 49 on Sunday. That means I'm counting down 361 days to a milestone age. And suddenly I'm thinking about where my life is, where I want it to be, etc. and, how I can make this one wild and precious life the best it can be. Not that I didn't think about it before, but face it: I will, for all practical purposes, have two kids in college next year (Nina will be full time Post Secondary Enrollment Opportunity, spending her senior year of high school at Lake Superior College; Vinny will be at University of Minnesota-Duluth). It's a time of letting them fly, but also a time to discover myself. 

A lot of good things have happened over the last few years. I've started practicing yoga, which has had great mental and physical benefits. I've started seriously running and completed two half marathons. I have played a few musical gigs and even developed a group of friends who come out to see me play. In short, I have become much more comfortable in my own skin. 

Still, there are things I want to be better at. Parts of myself that still scare me! I think one of the best ways of working these things out is by writing. I used to blog a lot, and I think the time has come once more. There is so much I have discovered that I want to share.

I don't have a plan for this. I don't want to commit myself to a post a day, because one day I'll break down and not post, and, seeing I have broken the commitment I'll say "What's the use?" And not post for months. So, let me just say, I want to share, regularly, stuff that makes me stand in awe. Stuff that makes me think. There's a lot of beauty that happens every single day, if we allow ourselves to see it.

So today I had some time between work and yoga class. I am fortunate to be able to take a yoga class in the small town/rural area where I live. I started with a class offered through Community Education, then a few classes with a circle of friends, and now I am taking advantage of the class at Anytime Fitness. Getting back to today, the sun was out, weather warm enough to go for a short hike along the Kettle River. The photo above is at Robinson Park, a former sandstone quarry from the 1900's, from which the town of Sandstone gets its name. The trees have grown up among the piles of rock, but the Kettle River flows on.