Friday, July 2, 2010

Readjusting my sails

Many of you wouldn't know this but I just arrived home yesterday afternoon after a 4 day trip supporting people I work with at the cottage (I had Wally post several posts I wrote last weekend).

I am a bag of thoughtful emotions mixed with a profound need for rest before being thrown back into the sea of life.

I'm not sure what exactly to post about: my most recent trip, my further learnings while on the trip, or my newly found realizations regarding the 'accepting the unacceptable' that have occurred even since I wrote my last post a few days ago.

Maybe I'll talk about something entirely different.

How about my overall time during the past couple of weeks?

It's so hard to put into words how much I feel I have been able to discover about different areas of my life with just a simple schedule change. Obviously a solid week off was needed, though to be honest I'm not sure of how rested, in a physical sense, I got. I certainly enjoyed a mental, emotional and physical change from my regular day to day job and pace of life.

I can't even tell you how alive I have felt spending a much larger amount of my time in 'nature' during this change. I honestly felt a connection, if you will, with my Maker (or Papa, as I like to call Him).

Wally got the DVD set called 'Life' for graduation from my parents and we've been watching it in our off time lately. It's a documentary series just about different mammals, fish, birds, etc. Probably sounds boring but I seriously recommend it!! We have found it really fascinating (watch the version with the English guy narrating instead of Oprah). It's amazing how funny it can be.

As I've mentioned I don't like to preach or anything but I have to say nothing has spoken to me more lately than (what I refer to as) creation around me. I've said to Wally numerous times throughout watching 'Life' that the more I see the more I am reminded that it is absolutely impossible we just came to be - nature is so freaking creative, intelligent and beautiful that it couldn't have just happened. To me it is further evidence that God (or whatever you want to call Him) exists and is just an amazing artist and inventor. I have also said many times that I can see why people believe we evolved as many of the creatures featured on the DVD set are so interestingly put together (fish with wings and mammals that live in water). To me this is proof that God is creative and has very original ideas. He's a forward, humourous, and 'out side of the box' thinker, unlike many of his human creations.

By the way, when I say I don't believe we evolved I mean it in the sense of being formed out of frogs, I am accepting of the fact that over time humans in general have changed a great deal as the environment has changed. And even if we did end up 'evolving' it doesn't change the faith I have or in the One I have it in. The state of the world and the reaction of it's Maker (in my opinion) speaks for itself. God's display of love is proof that we are here for more than just 'getting by'. Of course, once again, this is just my opinion.

During my recent trip away I was (and I often hate using this over used word but it seems appropriate here)so blessed to get a front row seat in nature. For our cottage trip we went to a farm that included it's own petting zoo, wheelchair accessible pathways throughout the farm and into the woods and fields, and acres filled with horses and horses.

It's funny, I've never felt an overly large amount of appreciation of horses. In fact beyond that, I've never really felt a thing for horses. I have never understood people that did. To me they always seems big and scary, silent and secretive. All qualities that remind me of managerial types - too scary for me.

However, this week while I wandered about during my hour before my day started I used it to peruse the grounds and I came to really be astounded by these animals. They are so ... amazing and ... well amazing.

I got up the first day around 5am (I blame the sun). I managed to keep myself in bed reading for the first hour then I couldn't take it any more and I got out to explore the grounds. This little affair continued throughout the week, however I did manage to sleep in an extra hour each day after this.

The first thing I have to say is I am so thankful I am such a morning person. So thankful. Everything, and I mean everything, was so much more beautiful in the morning time. I'm not sure why. If it was the angle of the sun, the fresh newness of the day, or the fact that there was no one else out there to interrupt my thoughts. Whatever it was I fell completely in love with it and even on the last day when I was tempted to stay in my bed (by then I was completely exhausted) I couldn't bare to miss my morning rendez vous with my new love.

I got some pretty great pictures, unfortunately the only morning ones are on my cell phone and I don't know how to get them onto here and that was the only time in the day I didn't bring my camera with me. It sort of felt wrong to bring it along as I was a little fearful it would interrupt the level of intimacy I felt I had. I did my best to burn the morning images in my head and soak in every site there was.

One morning I decided to venture out and complete one of the numbers on my more recent 'forty things' list and go for my first jog. Only in these surroundings could I muster up the willingness to try this.

It was my second day and the evening before I had taken the guy I was there supporting out for a walk. For some reason despite my fatigue I felt the need to pump up my walk with a jog while taking him out. Since his walk was slower than mine I thought I'd jog (generally in circles) around him to see how I would do. It wasn't bad. So when I awoke on day two I was determined to give this jogging thing a whirl.

Within a minute after starting I heard my muscles audibly say 'What the hell do you think you are doing? We'll pay you back for this!' They were being rather rude about the whole thing.

No less rude were the two donkeys I passed early on in their stables. As I jogged by I saw not one but two of them pointing their heads out of the doorway peering at me. The looks on their faces spoke clearly and loudly at me saying 'Hmph, who's the dumb ass now?' For that very reason they weren't my favourites.

I managed to continue my physical and spiritual trek for about forty five minutes. Well, off and on. I would jog for a few minutes then walk for a few, then jog for a few minutes and walk for a few more. By the end I felt great in more ways than one (this would change the next morning when I tried the jogging thing again and my muscles had decided to trade in their voices for the silent treatment, which in turn resulted in them taking advantage of my pain receptors instead).

One of my favourite places to go was along a pathway near a field that lead me into what I referred to as a sanctuary in the middle of a strip of trees. The first time I stumbled upon it I was in awe. It was a large shelter (like the ones you see in a park with picnic tables under them) with rows of wooden benches (with backs too!) all facing one direction and then facing them was a small single backless bench (he seemed like the preacher type). All of this surrounded by trees!!! It was incredible.

I honestly wondered if it was made to have old fashioned church in, followed by a picnic with fried chicken and macaroni salad every Sunday (of course if I were there I'd eat grilled skinless chicken and roasted vegetables instead ... well most of the time).

During my run I decided to stop and absorb my surroundings for a few minutes. I turned off my MP3 player and just be silent. It was amazing. Did I mention that?

Once again I was able to see the glimmers of sunshine peaking through the woods. Once again it felt like God smiling at me while reaching down and patting me on the shoulder.

As I traveled on I came to the end of the pathway and was met by a fence. Beyond it was a beautiful neighbouring property with a small lake with water being sprayed about all fountain like in the middle. The landscape was gorgeous and filled with flowers and immaculately kept green grass. The fence however held a sign that told me I was on candid camera (well, not quite, more of the surveillance type). All of a sudden I was no longer an invited guest, so I took my party else where.

On my way back down the path I met a large bench that asked me to employ it in memory of a 'Mr.T.', apparently an 'inspiration to all'. So I obeyed and paid homage (is that the right word?) to Mr. T. and wondered who he was and what his story might be. I looked out onto the field in front of the bench and enjoyed the sun that had awakened only an hour or so before that.

I bathed in it a while (which was about the only bathing I got that week) then moved on.

Next I purposefully walked down a few gravel pathways. I've mentioned quite awhile ago how much I LOVE walking on gravel roads. I have no idea why or what is up with how I am so turned on my hearing the raw crunch beneath my feet but the sound takes me away. Honestly I wouldn't care if I ever walked on a strip of pavement again.

On my journey back to my temporary home I visited my new found friends who greet me with their presence by the cruel electric fence. They stared at me in the eyes and seem to know I am a stranger to their kind. I talked to them and looked at them with continued awe. I could tell they felt bad that I didn't fully understand them. I found enough courage to pet their faces and explore them close up. Well for a few seconds. They are incredible.

Finally I peeled myself away and forced myself to return to the cottage (which is really a regular house with all of the great conveniences). I prayed that I would find what I needed to get through the day, hopefully able to give my best.

You can probably understand why, to some degree, I dread recommencing with normal life.

When I got home after my cottage venture I had 17 e-mails in my work account alone. (During my week off I had accumulated 27). I knew I couldn't avoid them forever so last night I did my best to get through them and respond to what was needed. This was a quick reminder as to what I am diving back into.

*Deep breath*

At first sight of normal life I am inclined to dig a hole, hop in and hibernate. It'd be much more comfortable I think. But also rather selfish as well.

I feel as though I've been given a challenge: to take this new love with me. To find away to take time each day to 'recharge' to 'reconnect' to the one who gives life. As you know I'm up for nearly any challenge (at least to give it my best shot), but this seems big.

I feel like I'm being asked to take something as sensitive as a flame into hurricane forced winds. Not only that but with the expectation to keep the little flame lit.

This seems like a tall order.

A big fat, yet healthy, tall order.

I'm not sure at this point how I'm going to do this. If you have any great ideas please share.

I do know though that I am sure as heck going to try.