animals

Love and Grief are a Package Deal

 

Love and grief are a package deal. ~Elaine Mansfield

Yesterday John and I spent a few hours at his sister Donna’s house who lost her husband of twenty years a little over five months ago. Donna and I are the same age having graduated together. Words can’t express how my heart hurts for her as she now must move forward in a new way without the love of her life.

It’s certainly a time when one re-examines their own life when something like this happens. While you can understand to a certain degree what she is going through, one can never fully know until we each are faced with it. And grief…so very personal.

But Donna was in good spirits and is making steps forward which was a relief to both John and my hearts. She is such a beautiful, bright spirit in this world – and I’ve always said is the female version of John. They both know how to make other’s laugh and something I’ve adored about them both since I’ve known them.

John and I were both lost in our own thoughts, driving the hour home, when I saw this quote, love and grief are a package deal on my friend, Monica’s Instagram page. While I know this to be true, it really sank deeper in my being reading it at that particular moment.

The thought still on my mind as Donna is, while I puttsed around the house this morning, feeding the hummingbirds, changing the water in the bird bath, I look up to see a chipmunk sunning himself in the sun on the rock in the garden.

Whooosssh went my emotions…a heaviness in my heart for Donna while a moment of love for the sweetness of this dear little chippie looking so adorable on that rock. Oh, how he made my heart smile! So appropriate his timing, I thought. How chipmunks are so playful, skittering here and there, building new paths wherever they go.

And what I wish for Donna as she learns to navigate her world in a new way…that her heart will smile again someday too. One of the hardest things to endure….grief….but that to have loved with one’s whole heart is so worth it. So very worth it.

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Allow Nature to Seep Deep into Your Bones and Fill You with Peace

Allow Nature to Seep Deep into Your Bones and Fill You with Peace
The peaceful pond at LaValley Nature & Equine Sanctuary

Living in Wisconsin where winters can be sooooo long, I come alive in a new way once warmer weather is here. And I do my best to soak in as much as a I can while it lasts.

And why I’m looking forward to facilitating a workshop in nature with my friend and co-facilitator, Rachel Nick next week Saturday. I’m especially excited about this one as it will be happening at the wonderful non-profit Rachel is founder of, LaValley Nature and Equine Sanctuary.

I really appreciate the sanctuary’s mission: to preserve land for plant, wildlife, equine and permaculture use while inspiring others to do the same. We offer a permanent, safe and natural environment for aged horses to retire and live out the rest of their days peacefully.

In May after doing a private yoga session with Rachel at her sanctuary (yes, she also teaches Yoga!) she invited me to walk the 20 plus acres of her property. Rachel and her partner, Jeremy keep paths mowed along the property which take you to a quaint pond, past many beautiful trees, butterflies, birds and whatever else nature just may surprise you with as you walk the peaceful and serene land. Eventually you wind around the fences with the perfect view of the horses that eventually wind back to the front of the picturesque sanctuary.

During this relaxing workshop, you will be invited to play with creativity and make your own unique walking stick with sticks chosen especially for you from Rachel’s property. We will then take you on a guided visualization to begin the process of connecting you with your heart and then gently guide you into your walking meditation in nature.  Our intention is to help you connect heart-to-hand-to walking stick, to mindfully placing your feet upon the earth and connecting with all of natures healing energies to renew your spirit.

Your guides:  Barbara & Rachel with Dancer and Hank in the background

In our world that has us believing that rushing and getting ahead is what matters, Rachel and I are passionate about helping you to slow down, open to the beauty around you and really see and feel the exquisite influence of nature, allowing it to seep deep into your bones, and fill you with a peace that will have your spirit rejoicing.

We hope you can join us!  Click here for more details and to register today. We look forward to seeing you!

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Friends in Low Places and Rodent Lover

Friends in Low Places and Rodent Lover

Just the other day I was so excited telling John that Mr. Squirrel, a.k.a, Hank, finally found the new feeder I put out for him that holds a cob of corn. It took him awhile and that first cob sat there for about two weeks. But then one morning I got up and noticed not one speck of corn was left on the cob!

Of course, Mr. Chipmunk seems to love it too, as I’ve witnessed them scurrying down the birch limbs I have leaning up against my cottage as decorations.  In my excitement sharing this with John, he smiled and said, “My rodent loving wife.”

Yup, I guess that’s me. I love critters. And many of my friends reside in low places, just like this sweet little bunny that was mindfully munching away.

On any given day I can be perched in my writing cottage, working away, and take a moment to look outside my windows to discover a friend or two is nearby.

It’s comforting to me. While I love time alone, I don’t feel alone. And while I adore the people friends I have, I must say a girl sometimes just needs those friends who have no advice to give or any troubles to share.

Aren’t animals and nature grand?  Thank you Mother Earth!

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