Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summer's Final Stretch

As summer starts to slide into the final stretch, the entertaining nature show, here at the cabin, continues to impress.  Down on the beach, two spotted fawns tentatively explore their surroundings, all on their own. A feisty chipmunk squats on the neighbour's deck railing, swatting at the Canadian flag mounted there.  Another hangs upside-down, while sharpening its teeth on the antlers adorning our shed.  The early evening lineup has included a couple of large, painted turtles feasting on a fish carcass beside the dock, as well as a solitary muskrat swimming along the shore.  However, signs of an approaching fall are evident.  In contrast to the abundance of hummingbirds earlier this season, only one has been spotted this week.  Out on the dock, it flew in low and hovered under the willow for quite some time, in close proximity to where we were sitting, before moving on, as if to say goodbye before heading south to warmer climes.  On the back roads, the endearing marmots are noticeably absent, likely already in their burrows, preparing for hibernation.  As summer slowly, but surely, begins to transition into fall, the antics of the remaining animals are even more appreciated.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Between Life and Death

I have just finished an excellent read, the newly released Opening Heaven's Door, written by award-winning journalist and novelist Patricia Pearson, wherein she explores extraordinary experiences people have had as they approached the boundary between life and death. Those near death, palliative care staff, scientists, and theologists, all weigh in.  The author successfully blends first-hand experiences with thorough scientific research, which can only help move the public conversation on this topic into a healthier and more positive dimension. Perhaps, in the near future, someone like my friend Nancy*, who received a tremendously comforting message from her father shortly after he died, can freely share that experience with her family and other friends, rather than feel the need to keep quiet lest they sully it with any one, of many, dismissive "explanations".  She confided to me that she was unwilling to risk having the gift of her deceased father's precious words ripped away from her. When addressing this issue, the author includes this quote from a medical school professor emeritus: "Perceiving a spiritual being, whether loving or cruel, has become an illegal experience." I am hopeful that sooner, rather than later, our collective voices will rise to shatter this sad commentary on our culture.

* name changed to protect privacy

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Musical Link

Kelly has been on my mind more than usual this past week, thoughts of her permeating the bulk of my days.  Without any corresponding significant date or occasion, I wondered what was going on.  After some consideration, I realized it was possibly due to all the references I had recently come across, regarding a local musician.  I was not familiar with his music but recall comments on Kelly's Facebook page about attending Adam Woodall concerts and how much she enjoyed them.  This week, I came across a magazine article which mentioned a family's summer tradition of inviting that band up for an annual outdoor concert at their cottage.  This family had also known Kelly well, since their daughter had been a very good friend of hers. The day after reading that story, my husband and I were out for coffee and happened upon Adam playing solo at an outdoor plaza.  We listened to his music for close to an hour, with Kelly's smile and effervescent energy infusing the scene.  The following day, I reached out to share my experiences with another one of Kelly's close friends and she mentioned that, in addition to having just spoken to that mutual friend the previous evening, she had also been meaning to contact that band all week, with the idea of hiring them to play at her wedding.  Mystery solved.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Ouija Connection and Consequences

While walking the seawall with one of my daughters recently, she recounted the lingering, uncomfortable consequences a friend of a friend was living with after using a Ouija board.  She described the unsettled energy this person was still experiencing weeks after "playing" with the board.  Since my daughter knew I had had a similar experience (I was in my early thirties, the same age as the person in question), she mentioned it with the hopes that I might be able to offer some support. Partway through this unusual conversation, we ran into an acquaintance of mine, a woman I see, maybe twice a year.  Our children had attended the same preschool over twenty-five years ago, but they had then gone on to attend separate schools.  After reintroducing this woman to my daughter and chitchatting for a couple minutes, we said our goodbyes. As my daughter and I resumed our walk, it suddenly occurred to me that this particular acquaintance was the one who had brought her Ouija board to our women's weekend away, which led to my profound experience with this questionable tool. Talk about uncanny timing!  All those years ago, we had thought it was just a game, but later realized it was nothing of the kind.  It had taken a couple of months of investigation and various remedies for me to finally feel like myself again.  Thankfully, today I was able to put the young woman in touch with a highly regarded healer who will help restore her to a positive state.  Fun and games, the Ouija board is not.