To Grandmother’s House…and More

The quasi-occasional-nostalgic nature of my holidays continued today with a trip up to Chilliwack, the once upon a time home of my grandmother.  She passed away many summer solstices ago, but memories of her stay with me.

I haven’t been back there in probably almost twenty years and her house hasn’t really changed, except for more weeds in the yard and stuff in the driveway (she didn’t own a car, for instance).  But it looked well cared for.

But of course going into the house wasn’t really an option or checking out the old garden in the back so instead it was across the street to the park that we played at so very often when we were kids.

Unfortunately, all of the playground equipment I played with is gone and replaced with new-fangled stuff.  And some swings, but since I didn’t want to scare the young lady looking after two kids (why is that crazy tattooed lady hanging around the playground taking pictures while MY kids are here?!?), it was a short, but nostalgically happy visit.

From here it was off to Bridal Veil Falls, just a few minutes past Chilliwack on the freeway.  We went there often as a fun thing to do when visiting grandma.  We would take a picnic and the family (minus my father who was off playing golf most times) and go up to the falls, have a lovely meal and then take the short but so very vertical walk up to the falls.

The walk begins through trees and ferns, the sound of the waterfall above muted by the forest.

The first part of the walk?  Not so bad.  Sure it’s up and I’ve gotten lazy since the knee problems but it’s relatively short and pretty is always a nice distraction.

And then you get towards the bottom of the falls and look up and WOW.

Sure, there are bigger falls.  But how many can you walk all the way up  to?  There’s something lovely about these ones and maybe it’s just because of my childhood memories, but then again, she had a lot of admirers today so perhaps it’s not just me.

Naturally all of this water made trickles and mist and puddles everywhere.  And I like getting in close with the camera for the great texture shots.

It was just about time to head back down the hill? mountainside? well, whatever you call it, I got in a few more shots before my camera battery died and I started the great descent (jk), and here is my final picture of the day to share with you.  It may just be my favourite from the day.

All childhood memories should have such wonderful continuity and gloriously sunny days to explore them in.  It doesn’t always work that way, sometimes the memories are buried under a Kwik-E-Mart but sometimes pieces from our past continue to exist in ways we can re-explore in our present.  I think grabbing hold of those moments, reflecting back into childhood from a now perspective and enjoying both together is a fantastic gift we give ourselves.  I hope you get to enjoy something similar this summer.

~Abysmal Witch

Awakening the Infinite Sun

Days creep by, one after another, slipping and sliding into the future without any effort or thought on our part.  It simply is, a lovely cascade of sunshine and rain and wind and action and repose moving unstoppably forward into tomorrow.

But we stop and look and see what today is.  Today nears the height of the sun, the pinnacle of His power.  The Sun comes into the fullness of His time and He is stretching between the poles of sunrise and sunset with all the lithe, long grace of a lion getting ready for his day.

How glorious is He, how wondrous the heat on our skins, the light dancing over the trees and plants and buildings.

He will not stretch this long into time for another year, He will wane and appear to diminish, but His strength remains eternal, it is only our perception of it that must, by necessity, change.  And that is good too.

But now that He has filled the edges of His being, we will feel even more His power raining down on us.  The strength of summer will now come to us, full and ripe, filling out the way a man comes into his form and his soul after he has reached adulthood.

I revel in Your beauty.  I rejoice in Your presence.  I wear sunscreen to keep my skin safe from Your strength which is, alas, too much for me.

Giver of life, bringer of death.  All hail the Sun King!!

Do you feel the Sun within yourself?

Do you?

You have felt Him upon your skin, tasted Him in the plants that you eat, watched him with every sight that daylight brought to your eyes.

But He is more than that.  He is part of more.  He is the Sun and the Sun is greater than that.  It reaches far across the Universe and through all time and space.  It is the Infinite Sun, that is beyond gender, beyond knowing, beyond all ken, but yet still reachable, still touchable, still experienceable, if we but reach out, gently, and with care.

Do not let yourself be burned by it, but instead, let it enfold you within the rapture that is at the very heart of It.  We are one with the Infinite Sun and have only to awaken to the possibilities it holds within us.

~Abysmal Witch

What lies in the now.

The Now is only now, here, precisely in this instant of being that your mind, soul, body are centered within.

The Now is not then.  Neither is it Then.  Not the Then of the past, not the then of the future.  Not the Was, the Will Be, nor the moment before nor the one that follows.

The now is only Now, one and the same and no other experience but that.  Seeded by the multitude of previous Nows into its own existence; pass into the past and become Seed in the space of the passing of Now and of now.

Having dealt with what the Now and now is and is not, let us address the joy that the Now contains.

And its utter Sorrow.

The Now is all that there is.  Each Now, each moment, is birthed into existence and as with any birth it is due all the joy of the universe.  Even within the adversity and the horror the child may be, it is still celebration.  It is still birth.  Every moment is a birth.  Every Now is the instant of becoming.  All Joy to the birth of NOW!!!

The now is so very, very ephemeral.  We breathe and it has already passed.  It can stretch itself out in time with a familiarity of previous and future Nows, but it passes even as you notice it.  It spirals ever into death, into Was, into being No More and never to be again.  No individual Now shall ever come again.

Each passing Now is a death, a loss, the finalness of its entire being, gone as the eye blinked and the bird flew by.  Weep in every now for the Now that shall be no more.  Endless sorrow, endless loss, that is the now.

Weep in sorrow, leap in joy, every moment that is breathed.  Breathe into it.

It is who we are.  We are now and only need to make the smallest of leaps to be of the Now.

May you find it within your own soul.

~The Abysmal Witch

Grandma Willow

She has seen many things and the passage of time is so familiar as to have lost meaning to her.  She is old, she is glorious.  Every few years a branch breaks off but always there are more growing.  Perhaps one day age will win over growth and she will pass fully into the land of the dead, but until then she remains, Grandma Willow.

I have circled beneath her branches, made magic around her trunk, as have many before me, of varied traditions.  None of that mattered to Grandma. She welcomes all as she will.  Many have drank beneath her, have been raucous, have been silent, have done drugs and drunk and stayed sober.  Have fed animals from her branches, have dangled feet over the ledge of her massive arms.

The squirrels dart along her branches, the birds sing in her leaves, and all the while she rests, growing and dying, and breathing, always breathing as we move on, and she remains.