Thursday, August 11, 2011

10 Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today, I gave birth to a beautiful little boy. I loved him from the moment that I saw him and while I was overjoyed at being a mother, I didn't cry. For years, that fact bothered me and I often wondered what type of mother I was. I felt as if I was lacking in some area or other because I hadn't cried at the pure joy that becoming a mother was.

I had seen it on countless television shows. I watched as my husband grew tearful, as certain visitors grew tearful. Had seen it at the birth of two of my nephews. I sat there, waiting, wondering, worrying about the tears that didn't fall.

But I pushed those thoughts aside and turned to the little being that filled my life completely. I loved him before I even knew about him. I felt a piece of my soul slip away and I knew that he held it safely in his heart. There is no better feeling than meeting his gaze the moment after he is born and finding a soul that is part of you.

I have watched that little soul grow, watched him make his own choices. Laughed when he laughed. Calmed when he was scared. Comforted when he cried. I embraced being a mother and celebrated each success that he has had.

It has been a roller coaster of emotion being a mother. Highs, lows, stresses, celebrations and trials. A world that is rich in color and emotion and is made richer with each laughter that I hear. It is in those moments that I can stop and listen...feeling again that little piece of my soul that he is keeping safe within him. It is during those moments that all the lows, stresses and tribulations are worth it. The celebrations of the everyday.

Like all mothers, I can safely say that my son is amazing. Intelligent, empathetic, and imaginative, he is as stubborn as his mom and I love that part of him, the part that challenges the norm and asks the question, "Why?" Sure, I don't always like it but I am proud that he is becoming an individual that I can respect.

It is hard to imagine that he is 10. That a decade has passed and I have been there for all of it. I have become a little wiser, have realized many times that I wasn't prepared in some ways to be a mother but I don't think anyone is. I have realized that simply guiding him through his growth is better than steering him in a direction I want him to go.

I have realized that those few moments after he was born, when I didn't cry, didn't mean a thing about me as a mother. It just means that I have saved those tears for the other events where he can see me, his mother, standing there with pride as tears shine brightly in my eyes. (Which he has seen many times already.)

So to my little boy, who isn't so little anymore, I am proud of you, I love you and I celebrate all the little (and big) things that make you who you are. Happy Birthday.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Shark

Another story that I wrote when I was 15 at the direction of my creative writing course. One thing that I should mention is that much of the writing that I did when I was 15 and 16 was because my teacher, Marilyn, had inspired me or asked me to write it. I remember giving her a story about Death and she began to cry when she read it. She asked to show it to one of her collegues and I never saw it again. I think it may have went into one of my files. It was during this time that I recieved an award for "Most Promising Writer of the Year," and hopefully, I will one day live up to that award.

This was a creative blurb that was written when I was given an animal to write about. At the time, I really detested sharks (probably because I lived near an ocean) but I still muddled through it.

The Shark

He swims through the ocean both predator and prey. Predator of the abundant fish and food. Prey to the instinct that only consists of hunger. He suffers but yet he tortures. he is feared, but still fears more. And what does he fear you ask. The shark fears the same things we fear; man, others, and death itself.

Should we hate the shark because he is so much like man? Should we destory the creature that is close to our brother? Should we destroy something that's only crime was to lash out at the things that he fears the most?

Are not men like a shark clothed? If so, should we not destroy ourselves for the way we lash out at things we fear. Does man feel pain? So tell me why a shark would not? And answer this last question for me. Does not the shark deserve life?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Lotus Part Four

You faded from my sight and I gathered by the shore, longing to see you once again. Hoping that I had simply missed you in my passing. You hadn't disappeared but had drifted out of sight as many things have done in the past.

It was to no avail, you are gone and as the days drifted by I stop searching for you, although I remember the vibrancy of your petals. I search the water for other flowers but they don't appear...until one morning, only a few days before I leave your lake behind.

That morning, I hear the kids cry out, "Mom, your flowers are back."

I look out into the water, and it is a celebration of white floating on the dark, inky water. I smile at the sight and race for my camera, ready to take the pictures but as I do, I realize that these are not my flower. My flower has drifted down into the pond where it had come from and while these flowers are beautiful, there was something delicate about my flower.

There was a beauty of a lonely flower, the only splash of white on the otherwise dark surface of the lake and that solitude was what had drawn my thoughts.

I still took the photos, but these flowers did not capture my imagination like my solitary lotus and I only took photos for one day. And these are the photos that I will end my Lotus journey with you.

A Lotus Emerging:

One that caught my eye:

And another one:

And another:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wolf Dream

Moonlight trickles into the room and I watch it play along my wall casting images that make my heart beat quickly. I turn away from it, from the shadows that are terrifying to me. My eyes try to peer through the darkness of the rest of my room but the shadows are too thick and I close my eyes to block out the imagined monsters lurking there.

The air in the room presses against me and I struggle under the blankets trying to kick them off. My skin feels like it is on fire but the cool breeze from the air conditioning does nothing to calm it. It feels as though a thousand embers are slowly burning against me and I fight the urge to jump up and swipe at my skin.

As I shift restlessly on my bed, a noise comes to me. Deep, primal, fierce - the growl raises the hairs on the back of my neck and I suddenly feel cold, as though I had been dunked in a tank of ice water. I turn towards the window. The blinds pulled tight enough so I can see nothing but the vibrant moonlight.

I know they are there, watching the window. Their growls pulling me up onto my feet and I stand at the window, my hand hovering over the pull. The urge to see them is strong but I fight it, telling myself to go back to bed. Telling myself to forget the pull of the growls. There is nothing there for me but pain.

I shake my head, my long blonde hair cascading around my face and my fingers touch the cold plastic of the blinds. Biting my lip, I raise the blinds and search the darkness outside.

My gaze falls upon the first wolf and he is beautiful. His eyes flash yellow in the moonlight and his lips curl upwards as the snarl pours from his throat. The rest of the pack of wolves are turned towards him, watching him. I sigh at the beauty and lean forward to try to catch a better view but as I do, the pack shifts and they turn their wild eyes onto me.

I freeze but before I can drop the blinds, pain lances through me and I feel myself changing, become the wolf. Yellow eyes watch me with interest and I hear them calling, "You are here. Finally, you are here..."

I start awake, sitting straight up from bed and stare at the window. I can hear the deep, throaty growls and I long to stand up and see what is there. I remember the dream and lay back down. Tears prick at my eyes and I turn away, too afraid of what may happen, where I finally fall asleep...

As I mentioned a few days ago in my wolf story, shortly after my first encounter with a pack, I began having a wolf dream. It was reoccurring and sometimes, when I woke up from it, I would wonder if it was a dream at all. Maybe it was something deeper and while I longed to figure out what it was, I could never bring myself to delve deeper into it.

The first time I dreamt it, I never realized that it was a dream within a dream when I woke up but after I kept having the dream, I realized that it was just a second part of the wolf dream.

I think though that it was a reminder to find myself. That I need to arrive to where I am going so that a new journey can start. On the other could just be a dream but there is never anything wrong with dreaming.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Poems from a 16 Year Old

As I did a few days ago, I thought I would post another one of my blast from the past poems that I found. I wrote these when I was 16 and you can tell that I had all the teen angst stuff down. I also had a bit of a negative view on the world if I don't say so myself.

Untitled Poem #1:

Life came
The terror of Death
Through pain was destroyed
Was always waiting
Fill a Life
Child's Life with sorrow

Untitled Thought #2

(Both were on the same page for some reason)

People feel that love is a gift that can only be from the angels, they are right. But some people get to feel that love is a curse that can only be sent by the devil, for the fires of love are painful, they too are right.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


As I mentioned a few days ago, I have decided to start moving forward by giving myself some goals. I have found that it is very easy to stop. To begin to stagnate and enjoy the status quo. There is nothing new, nothing that really changes but instead of moving forward, you start to simply accept it. You forget that life can be more than the daily routine.

Over the last three years, I have really hit the status quo. I have worried for so long that maybe I should be normal and I have tried. Unfortunately, that trying has been to stagnate, to stop learning, stop growing, stop doing things that make

I have forgotten the words I said to myself years ago, “It’s not that I wish I wasn’t strange, only that I was eccentric enough not to care.”

I had begun to care that I didn’t fit right, that I was misshaped peg that didn’t fit into any hole. The biggest problem with this is that the more I tried to fit, the more people would notice that I didn’t. It has led to some hard years for me and even my kids have told me that their friends say I am weird or crazy.
But I digress, change needs to happen for me to feel happy and the first goal was to laugh a bit more and a bit deeper. The second goal is to start learning again. The more I learn, the happier I am.

Right now, I am starting to research how to become a Doula. I love attending births and the goal is to work through several levels of the program and then move onto working with Teens. Of course, all this will be while I keep writing. It is often sad that I have so many passions and interests because there is no way that I will be able to enjoy them all.

But for now, I am looking forward to working on this goal and even if I don’t start learning about becoming a doula right away, I will be moving forward. So goal number two is learn but I think in ways, it is simply a reminder to me that I do much better when I am moving forward either in mind, body or spirit.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Pack

Whiteness. That's all I remember for much of that night. Just the white that covered the road, the van and all the other vehicles on the highway. It hung in the air and when you opened the window, it invaded your throat making you gasp at the iciness of it.

It was a strange winter storm for the lower mainland in British Columbia but it wasn't unheard of. What was unheard of, was the fact that I was in it, sitting in the van beside my step father. He had ventured out before the storm to pick me up for my weekend visit and while it had threatened to snow before we left; we never expected it to be this bad.

The traffic, already crawling at a snail's pace, ground to a halt as a road block of RCMP officers stopped everyone. They were bundled up in thick parkas and gloves, but they still looked like they were freezing. My step dad rolled down his window and he asked, "What's wrong officer?"

"The main highway to Hope has been closed. We are telling people to either turn around or go up the alternate highway."

"That's still open!"

"Last we heard it was. The storm hasn't reached it as badly yet."

I kept quiet but prayed he would turn around and just take me home. The last thing I wanted was to be trapped in the middle of nowhere in this weather. My step dad ground his teeth in thought and then turned to me, "Do you want to try?"

Being only 14,I simply nodded to keep him from being disappointed. As he pulled the big, yellow van onto the ramp to the back highway, I turned to the window and rested my forehead against it.

I breathed out, my vision obscurred with a thick fog before I watched it slowly disappear under the heat of the vent. I stared at the few taillights that pushed through the thick snow; the road nearly invisible. Other travellers who were braving the near white out conditions.

I spent the drive in silence, waiting for something to happen. I peered into each car we passed that had slid into the ditch and made sure no one was trapped in them before I tore my eyes from ditch, praying that we wouldn't find ourselves in it.

Finally, my eyes grew heavy as the miles slid by...

"Sirena, wake up."

The voice was sharp, urgent and it pulled me from my sleep instantly. I jerked awake, grabbed the door and feared for the worst - maybe our van was sliding into a ditch, maybe something even worse was happening.

What I saw took my breath away and this time, as I leaned my head against the cold window, I held my breath, terrified that I would lose sight of this enchantment.

I wondered if I was still dreaming but I knew it was real and tears stung my eyes at the emotion choking my throat.

The snow had stopped falling but the frost still hung in the night air like diamonds twinkling in the moonlight that was pushing through the cloud cover. We were alone on the highway, our headlights breaking through the darkness but beside us the snow caught the moonlight and glowed with an eerie beauty.

Panting through it were 15 wolves, their heavy gray coats glistening with the melting snow, their strong feet landing directly into the footsteps of the animal before them. They panted as they worked, their tongues lolling, their ears perked forward and their tails held straight behind them.

I was only watching them from behind a car window but I felt drawn to the wolves as they pushed through the stretch of flat snow between the road and the forest. Despite the cold, the loneliness of the highway, despite what had driven them from the forest, all of the wolves look happy. I wanted to have my step dad pull over. Wanted to get out and watch them for a while but before I could even ask, we were already pulling past them.

I craned my neck, trying to watch them for as long as I could and when they finally faded from sight, I realized that my cheeks were wet from my tears.

You may be wondering why I started this post with that story but it is one of the first times I had ever seen a whole pack in the wild. I grew up in some pretty âmazing places and while I had seen lone wolves before, I had never seen a whole pack. I felt truly blessed that day because I saw something so beautiful and so spectacular. I think it was that moment that I fell completely in love with wolves and they are my favorite animal to this day.

In fact, I used to have a reoccurring dream about wolves that started shortly after that fateful night but I will save that for tomorrow. For today, I just wanted to share my wolf story with you to get you interested in what I will be sharing in the next few days and that will be my visit to the wolf centre. As you can imagine, it was the highlight of my vacation and if I could have spent more than one day there, I would have.

So a story today, a dream tomorrow and then the experience of seeing the wolves at the wolf center shortly after that.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Lotus Part 3

Silence fills the world around us and I focus on your beauty. Is it me or is your beauty fading? I wonder if it will last until tomorrow or if I will come down the stairs and find you gone; your secrets disappearing with you. But that is for tomorrow and today I capture your silence with my lens; your secrets still hidden away.

The kids say that you are mine but you remain out of reach from me. If I could, I would wade into the water and pluck you from it so I could carry you with me but I cannot bring myself to draw you away. You are where you belong and I will continue to paint your image across my mind as I click away with my camera.

The lotus for the third day, unfortunately, it was the last day that I could photograph her. Funny, I started calling the flower a her at about the same time the kids started calling it my flower. The following day, the flower was gone and I had to turn my camera onto other things.

Here are the final photos of my lotus before she closed her petals one last night.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Birds of a Feather

Packing right now for our move and I found a folder of old writing that I have kept since I was a child. I thought I might share a few with you. The first one I wrote when I was 15 and I actually remember the assignment for it. We were given a saying in Creative Writing and asked to write something from it, making sure we use the phrase at least once. Mine was Birds of a feather, flock together. Here is what my 15 year old mind came up with:

What was that? Did you feel it too? It feels like the caress of a feather softly pricking at the back of my neck. Is this the soft caress you feel when you die; is this the beauty of death?

My vision blurs at the sight of millions of feathers flowing in a whirlwind around me. The feathers that have surrounded me for my whole life. I am in the heart of all that is peaceful yet turbulent.

Am I that heart?

We grow together each year; the soft feathers that have always cushioned my fall. My falls, too abundant to really keep track of. This is my protection of all that tries to hurt me but it will never stop the pain that cuts within; the spiritual pain. Tell me, do the feathers surround you like they surround me? Do the birds flock towards your life?

I hope that you too have the softness of the feathers to hold you in a light caress, to catch you when you fall. I hope that when something starts to bring you pain, that the birds of a feather flock together around your life.