Free Spirit ~ 31/52 ~

free_spirit

[Joining Bella Cirovic at 52 Photos Project - Week 31:  The Closed Window]

My free spirit alter ego is an eclectic, creative type, a free thinker with the courage to experience life and follow her own authentic (off the beaten) path.  Inspired by nature and drawn to a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle she intends to design and build her own straw bale home.  She feels engaged in her dream to build a straw bale retreat centre for children with special needs and their families … a sanctuary where they too can be themselves and feel understood.  This version of me is not restrained by convention and has the courage to ‘give it all up’ to honour her true self.  She is at peace!

I took this self portrait and wrote these words in the summer of 2011 while Unravelling with a wonderful group of ladies.  A sense of freedom.  Being open to possibilities and ready to soar.  Back then, these all felt so distant.  Closed off by many years of living according to the shoulds, trying to fit into a conventional box.

But now, a year and a half later.  Well, the really cool part.  The line between me and my free spirit alter ego is blurred.  Whether here, in this space, or at home day-to-day, more and more I feel this free spirit within me.  She is no longer hiding behind a closed, dark window.  Not every day, not every week, but more and more, she is me.

A Week of Gratitude

family

This week I quietly noticed moments.  Moments of gratitude.  Some big, some little.  But each a treasure.

:: i am grateful for ::

 homemade meatloaf, compliments of my husband
morning wake up calls at a time that started with a six {instead of a 5 or even a 4}
an effortless return to school after a week long break
the courage to publish this post
learning to crochet
the start of a new {for our home} project
a latte already in-the-making before I even ordered it
{yes, i am a creature of habit}
the sound of windshields being scraped, it means the air is clear and crisp
our local library
the sight of a little boy’s pudgy cheeks, bouncing as he ran
the look in the sky, the one that says snow may arrive soon
the sound of a boy’s sweet giggles coming through the phone line
the opportunity to share in this lantern walk
lavender floral & mint dish soap
umbrellas
discovering my voice, in this space
the unconditional love of my furry feline friend
and
her deep, rumbling purrs that go on endlessly

:: i am grateful for ::
my son
he is happy, healthy, pain-free
smart and loving and caring
quirky, in the sweetest possible way
he is my best teacher
and just last night he told me that he loves me more than i love him
but i don’t think that is possible

:: i am grateful for ::
my husband
he is kind, gentle
a self proclaimed softie
stronger, than he knows
he is my friend
he makes me laugh {and cry}
and he is willing to grow with me

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~ Thornton Wilder

Thank you Michelle.
Gratitude Week opened my heart to some of my treasures.

Lantern Walk ~ 30/52 ~

lantern walk

[Joining Bella Cirovic at 52 Photos Project - Week 30:  Illuminate]

last night my son’s grade three class
walked in silence {mostly} to the local retirement home
lanterns glowing

last night my son’s grade three class
sang beautifully to a small group of elderly ladies and gentlemen
lanterns glowing

then each child gently blew out the candle
walked to an elderly lady or gentleman and
offered the lantern as a gift

last night a small group of elderly ladies and gentlemen
filled their hearts with joy
faces glowing

last night my son’s teacher
reached out and bridged a gap between young and old

and we all
young and old
felt a magical sense of
community
acceptance
compassion