The power of nature to heal is astounding. This morning I was feeling particularly mournful. I decided to visit a piece of property near my home that I’d been curious about…I was richly rewarded by the comfort sounds of a raven. If you’ve never heard the sounds before, they are aptly named. I sat down in the middle of the path to listen in to the calls of two ravens in a nearby stand of Douglas fir trees. As I relaxed into the beauty of my surroundings I noticed that all around me was a scattering or wild rose petals. After a good cry I returned home, my heart full of love for this Earth, the raven and the rose.
It has been several months since I’ve posted to Crossing Thresholds. I have been doing some challenging soul work and life is tremendously busy as I prepare for an upcoming conference. Below is a short film of a rite of passage ceremony that took place on April 14, 2016. More in the near future…
Celebrate February 2nd~ JOURNEY OF THE SOULS when the bear returns from the underworld; Persephone returns to the Earth; also known as Groundhog day in the U.S. and Hedgehog day in parts of Europe; Imbolc, Candlemas, le Chandeleur (Chandelours) are all associated with this day. Not to mention the Catholic’s pinning of the presentation of Jesus and the purification of the Virgin Mary.
A nice overview of the history of this day can be found at https://ardechewalks.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/la-chandeleur/
January 2016 ~ This is a time of transitions, transformations, and new beginnings~
One of this year’s new projects is a compilation of photographics for an anthology depicting women and ritual. Please see the new page, “Call for Submissions” for details on how to participate.
Time truly is an illusion~ It is only January 13, 2016 yet it feels as if the New Year began months ago. I feel as if I am slogging through a fog…that is my experience of grief. It is an experience that one must traverse more or less on one’s own, although friends and family may provide the love and support that will help you get through it.
My granddaughter just turned 6 years old. We have lived together since she was born and on January 3, 2016 she moved out of our home and into a new home with her mother. I miss her so much.
The sadness and anxiety has been overwhelming, especially because of my concern for her well-being. She too, is grieving. I take comfort that she is with a loving parent in a comfortable new home and in the company of her two cats, Eggs and Cubby! She has had to leave behind her canine-siblings, so the company of her cats is essential!
Immersing myself in my work and taking long walks are helping me through this difficult time, along with the love and support of family and friends.
As you can see, I have changed the title of my site, which continues to be a work in progress. Over the past six months I have devoted a lot of thought to what I want my work to look like in the second half of my life. As a daughter, mother, and registered nurse I have spent the past 40 years caring for the physical needs of others. (As the eldest daughter in a family of 7 kids, at the age of 10 I was caring for my younger siblings.) I have decided that for the next 40 years I would like my work to focus on spiritual well-being. The work is unfolding…
I am currently living in Knoxville, TN. In spite of my mal du pays, I am compelled to say it is a fortunate opportunity in many ways. I’ve never lived in this part of the country. I was born in France, but have spent most of my life on the west coast…Washington, Montana, Alaska and California. Being here in the south eastern portion of the country is a whole new experience! As some may know, the idea of place was a central idea in my graduate research. And there is nothing like being-out-of-place to make one acutely aware of the places they inhabit – both the ones left behind and the newly experienced.
Seattle feels like home to me. I lived there for more than ten years. The city has one of the best transit systems. Us News Analysis listed it as one of the top 10 best cities for public transportation. For practical reasons, we left our car in Washington when we came to Knoxville last August. I have learned to get around to most parts of Knoxville by bus and walking. And although walking is one of my favorite activities, Knoxville has forced me to be more aware of how I traverse the cityscape.
- Behave as if pedestrians don’t have the right of way when crossing in a crosswalk, even if the little “white” person is lit up. On several occasions, I have had to stop midway through the crosswalk and yield to vehicles.
- Paying extra for a bus transfer means that you can only use it to transfer to a different numbered bus. You are not allowed to use it to get back on the same numbered bus. For example, you want to make a quick trip to the grocery store. If you get off the bus, do your errands, you can’t use your transfer to get back on the same numbered bus that took you to your destination. This bit of information would have been useful prior to purchasing my ticket. I found myself with a one way ticket out of the city and not enough change for the return trip…panhandle or walk? I chose to ride the bus to my intended destination and walk back into the city. It was worth it, as you will see from my photos. (Taken with my phone as I’d forgotten my camera.)
- I am an experienced transit-commuter. I relied on public transit in both Seattle and San Francisco. I’ve navigated the subways of New York city and Paris. Knoxville is a completely new experience! The placement of bus stops in Knoxville is astounding to me! Some are where you would expect a bus stop to be and are easily and safely accessed. While others that definitely make you think twice about whether you will wait for the bus, or opt to walk. I came across one this past week. I’ve included a photo; to see it is to believe it. The bus stop is located along Blount Avenue, just across the Henley Bridge in Knoxville. It is strategically placed on an a utility pole, inbetween two turns in the road. That is least of it; as you can see in the photo there is no flat surface for the transit rider to stand. There is a narrow incline of dirt up against a rock wall! I beg the transit planners to explain the placement of this particular stop.
Silhouettes rise toward the waxing moon
while undulate folds soothe the horizon.
Wings flutter and settle against the darkness,
bare feet covet warmth and slip beneath.
first stanza from a poem I wrote in 1998, Aleutian Blue
This is both an exciting event and an overwhelming one to be creating a web page and blog. Inspiration comes from my delightful eldest daughter, Catie, who has been successfully blogging before it was common-place and my dear friend and colleague, Mary Beth Moser. May the planets and spirits bless my endeavors that I might share my gifts and be gifted in return.