Close Calls

A black bear and her cubs dart in front of our car as we travel 80 kilometres per hour down the road. Mama and one cub make it to the woods on the other side. Frightened by our fast approach, two other cubs turn back hurriedly from the road. Will they later make a safe crossing and be reunited? I warn oncoming cars by flashing my high beams. I keep going.

At the cottage I take wood from the woodpile and return to the fire pit. Then, there is a thundering crash as though the woodpile has toppled, Jenga style. “What was that?!” you rush over and say. Heading back, we discover a 100 pound tree limb that has fallen directly over the spot where I had—only a moment before—been innocently gathering wood.

We’re driving home and my headlights do a poor job of lighting the darkened road. We’re listening to “Carmina Burana: Introduction” from The Doors soundtrack. There’s something on the road. I swerve to avoid a large raccoon “sleeping” in my lane. I’m grateful that my last words on earth won’t be, “Oh crap!” (This story will be re-enacted with growing enthusiasm well past bedtime and remembered again first thing in the morning. No doubt to be relayed animatedly during sharing time at school.)

You should know that at yoga last Thursday I selected an angel card from a crystal bowl that said, “Angel Michael blesses you with safety.” With all of these close calls yesterday I seriously have to wonder.

Oh, and I found this impressive mushroom that I think might be the psychoactive Amanita muscaria. Which is funny because while I was photographing it I was thinking of that caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland atop a giant mushroom puffing on a hookah encouraging Alice to eat it...

Forgive Me

“I have no excuse for being so rude. I guess mothers are human. I hope you will forgive me.

A few years ago I shredded the majority of personal letters that I have received over the years (along with burning all the diaries that I have kept since I was a child). I did this mainly because it makes me sad to reminisce. Also, I don’t want to leave my personal belongings for anyone else to sort through when I’m gone.

There were some things that I was unable to part with though. One, a touching letter of apology from my mother. As my mother’s dementia has progressed, I am no longer able to communicate adequately with her. She is mostly silent now. When I call, I can hear her breathing on the telephone line. After a moment or two, she will say, “I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say.” Like the stars in the night sky at dawn, she is fading. I miss her terribly. This card from years ago reminds me of all that is brave and good about my mother.

Mom once confessed to me that she wished she were more creative. That she could knit, for example, and make something beautiful to be remembered by. To encourage her, I sent a letter reminding her of the eight, healthy children that she has successfully raised. How we have all turned out to be thoughtful and loving people. Like so many of us though, she felt she had to do something to be worthwhile. It saddens me that she doubted herself. I remember all the ways that she showed me she cared—she wrote/telephoned often, sent along helpful and useful gifts, and showed interest in the minutiae of my life. Most appreciably, she was not too proud or fearful to admit when she was wrong. She was sorry when she felt that she had harmed me. She wrote a letter to ask for my forgiveness, (which was a given!). I love and admire her deeply for that.


“Regret” by New Order

“River From the Sky” by The Weepies
“Don’t Believe in Stars” by Trent Dabbs

Why Dream?

Lake Huron

A genuine smile, a warm breeze, wildflowers, bumblebees, 
the changing light on the water 

Why dream when its the simplest things that bring pleasure?

The Truth

There is a lot of emotion behind these words:
Things are almost never as they seem.