Drumming Pics of the Past

Jen drumming

tipi drumming pic

Circle of Life

Yesterday was Michelle’s dad’s 70th birthday party.  We drove out to Brooks, Alberta to celebrate with him in a big backyard party put on by his wife, Loretta.  The two hour drive through farm and prairie land on a sunny day was breathtaking.  Michelle and I drove much of the way in silence taking in the unusual cloud shapes, the way the light landed on the fields and the architectural shapes made by the hay bales and old falling down farm houses.

It is not often that I get so impacted by the death-life-rebirth cycles of life in one day.  I watched as 4 generations interacted with one another with relative ease and laughter.  The little ones were in the blow up pool splashing away and enjoying the coolness of the water on such a hot day.  Some of the older ones joined in water fights that ensued with the kids to the laughter of the elders sitting in their shady seats watching.  The ring leader, I must say at this point, was my partner, Michelle.  Never one to take an ambush sitting down, she was up on her feet plotting her revenge after the first child shot her with a water gun.  Out she came with empty yogurt containers from the kitchen filled with water.  Needless to say, the “battle” went on all afternoon, dying down at some points and starting back up again with renewed flare.

The birthday boy, Bill, saved the opening of his presents until the end- not being one for too much fanfare.  He was obviously touched by the 40 or so people that came.  After reading our card, he came over to hug me with tears in his eyes to tell me how glad he was that I joined his family.  Michelle watched a bit stunned that her tough old farmer dad would display such emotion and affection in public.  I cried too.  Bill and I have had good rapport since we met a year or so ago.  We weren’t sure how he’d take the news that his daughter was partnered with a woman but much to our surprise he took it in stride.  He simply seemed happy that Michelle had found someone who loved and appreciated her.

I saw how heartfelt the elders were in their response to us and the little things we did for them during the day.  I took in how contented they were to be among friends drinking beer and eating good food in the shade for an afternoon.  The simple things pleased them most- a profound lesson.

And then another magical thing happened on our drive home.  We found a red-tailed hawk on the side of the road. She’d just been hit. Michelle made a U-turn and we stopped and got out right under the lamp post where it happened. The male hawk was on the post crying out in distress.  He cried for the longest time as we sat with him witnessing this rite of passage. He flew over her calling. It was the most heart wrenching sound I’ve ever heard and I was left with no doubt in my mind that animals do indeed feel emotions.  Red-tailed hawks mate for life. I could feel his grief and sadness. I sang Hawk Soaring for him and he stopped crying while I sang. I sent up a prayer that he find another mate to soar with.  And we waited there with him for a long time until he seemed to settle a bit.

As we drove away, I asked my High Self what the lesson was in all of this for me.  The response was immediate: life is short.  Enjoy each moment- each rite of passage and each part of it in its simplicity and complexity. It is WAY too short to hold onto past hurts and grudges.

I learned yesterday what big hearts hawks have. I never knew that before. And I will never forget how his cry pierced my heart. I woke up with an ache in my chest this morning and I knew it was a gift from the hawk. I found that I had some things still clogging up my heart chakra from long ago. I released them to Spirit with much gratitude for the beauty and sadness of yesterday. And I marveled how all things can be present- the joy and sorrow- without undo weight to be experienced and appreciated.  I was grateful for how quickly life can transform itself and for the unending cyclical nature of it all.  What a marvelously alive day.  Thanks to all my relations.  My heart is full.  Aloha.

Emerald Lake Pictures

On our way back from Gabriola Island, we stopped for "sanity" at Emerald Lake during the long drive.  I think the sane strategy was too late for me.

On our way back from Gabriola Island, we stopped for “sanity” at Emerald Lake during the long drive. I think the sane strategy was too late for me.


fireweed and forest reflected on clear water.

fireweed and forest reflected on clear water.


A photo of me beside the transparent water.

A photo of me beside the transparent water.


My partner, Michelle, and I enjoying the lake.

My partner, Michelle, and I enjoying the lake.