Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Which way is...

Orienteering by definition is a sport in which contestants race on foot over a course consisting of checkpoints found with the aid of a map and a compass (found here).

It was my favorite part of overnight camping in elementary school. There was something about the wilderness and the quest that excited me. Finding the yellow circle with the various shapes at each location carried such a feeling of accomplishment. Learning to read a compass or better still learning to tell direction by were the sun was in the sky is a life skill that too often we forget to learn now.

One of my favorite cabin adventures was to trek down grown-over pathways to see where they led. Although slightly more modernized now, I still hop on the quad and boot around this twist and that turn, into those pits, through that puddle to see what's on the other side. More than once or twice I have got myself into messes.

One experience was a random excursion down the undeveloped road to the lake on foot. I never could understand why there was no development there. Three quarters of the way down the path, I knew. The ground dropped. Not just little dips and bumps but straight down, land shifted and broke type of falls. Once upon a time these were challenges too juicy to run from. So, laughing in the face of danger and whatever odd creatures could be (including snakes which I am none too fond of), I tripped and scrambled and fought my way down. A few scratches and a bruise or two were nothing compared to the achievement.

When I finally made it through the lost land, I arrived at the lake with soft sand and the symphony only true nature can offer. Standing listening as the lake lapped at the shoreline, seeing the trees laid horizontally in the water but who's roots, though exposed, refused to let go of the pieces of land it grew from, watching the reeds dance in the gentle breeze that whispered 'grow grow!'. Images stored in my memory box of life.

I took off my shoes and meandered along in the ankle deep water knowing that the path home was just a bit over from where I'd arrived. Everything looked different, weathered but untouched by human hand. The calm serenity was a testament to how small we each are and yet, in the same breathe, how big.

Soon, the beaten path revealed itself and home I went. Not even the poison ivy I woke the next day covered in could mar the memory and adventure.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Team up Thursday: Orange

Well good morning Saturday!
This should have been up on Thursday but I seem to be coming up late with everything right now.

The girl in Puna's picture has such a contagious smile. Such a beauty.
My snap this week is of a burning fall sunset during a migration landing. Geese migrate south (smart birds!) to get away from our cold Canadian winters. There is a place here where in the half hour surrounding sunset the birds land on the water to rest for the night. It was such an experience to witness.
Head on over to Melody and Megan for other amazing team up inspiration.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Frozen Fun.

Spring break, 1995/96 school year. A junior high year and the first time I had an equally-adventurous friend at the cabin with me.

It was later in the evening on a Canadian cold March night. The snow glistened under the light of the moon and sparkling stars. We were two girls wanting some fresh air and fun. A short walk to the frozen lake should have been easy. We bundled up in our winter gear and tromped out the door promising to be careful and be back soon.

We chatted all the way down the dark path of evergreens. We talked about boys, friends, forever, the future ahead of us and the world. We talked about how we fit into it or how we moulded it around us. We were quite the pair. Nothing stood in our way. We knew no fear.

Arriving at the lake we found the very familiar lake symphony of the season. Despite the cold and the snow and the puffs of breathe that dissipated into the night's air, we stood listening. A lone owl could be heard in the distance. The lake looked like nature's puzzle with snow drifts painted perfectly in place. The trees swayed in the wind, the odd one shaking the night with a crack announcing its surrender while others were heard groaning in protest.

We breathed in the Earth. We stood silently side by side absorbing the moment...until our adventure set in. It was only a short walk down the frozen lake to the road. Neither of us had had our fill yet so we ventured ahead.

The snow was deep and we kept sinking, cleaning out boot after boot of icy snow. Somewhere we decided to head to the snow-covered ice on the lake. It was March and still frozen. The cold temperatures would surely have preserved the thickness.

We heard cracks and laughed them off as we danced along. Two girls together with no fear and an ounce of insanity. A new sound stopped us. The sound of rushing waters. No. It simply wasn't possible. Rushing water amid the silent snow, surely the cold was getting to us and we'd best be heading home.

We could see the destination road except that it was March and, contrary to our foolish thought, March also means the start of the melt. The melting snow became water raging a war over the icy path we were to take home. We were on high alert but maintaining calmness both knowing that panic would do no good at all. Along the lake we continued expecting to pass the waterfall, find a different way up the bank and then continue back to the road.

We soon found ourselves soaked through and through separated from the road only by the water filled ditch. Ambitious as always, we both thought that a giant leep could clear the water and find us on the right side. Turns out our frog genes failed us that night with both of us landing in the snow and water.

We did make it home and after an absolutely-deserved scolding, we curled around the fire with hot mugs laughing about our experience and crafting the stories we would one day tell.

On my mind.

When you make a promise, you tie yourself to other persons by the unseen fiber of loyalty. You agree to stick with people you are stuck with. When everything else tells them they can count on nothing, they can count on you. When they do not have the faintest notion of what in the world is going on around them, they will know that you are going to be there with them. You have created a small sanctuary of trust within the jungle of unpredictability: you have made a promise that you intend to keep.
~Lewis Smedes

Forgiveness is God's invention for coming to terms with a world in which, despite their best intentions, people are unfair to each other and hurt each other deeply. He began by forgiving us. And He invites us all to forgive each other.
~Lewis Smedes

You can forgive someone almost anything. But you cannot tolerate everything...We don't have to tolerate what people do just because we forgive them for doing it. Forgiving heals us personally. To tolerate everything only hurts us all in the long run.
~Lewis Smedes

I just learned of this person and am humbled by his wisdom.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Recap - Mission: October

So November has snuck in. Here's how October shaped up.

Paint another wall. I did not. There is a whole long cold winter ahead though. I'm also having commitment issues happening with one of the selected colours. Not a good thing.
Get on study track. I'm getting there. I have solid study time on the list with time blocked out exclusively for it. One month to exam. Buckle up and let's go!
Celebrate the beautiful fall weather. We did. I don't recall ever spending so much time out in the yard in the fall with the kids.
Run through a pile of leaves. I most definitely did and more than once. We would rake up a pile and then barrel through it to see how much of a mess we could make. Then hubby took them all away.
Prepare lesson plans through December. They are not concrete but I've been mind mapping ideas.
Grab some ideas for the city that never sleeps. Have I ever!
Get a family picture. Any takers?
Take pictures of family. Truthfully, October gets a FAIL for photos. I need to stop being so scared again of the camera. Click away! Click like crazy!!
Scrapbook a 2011 dream book. I love it. I used earthy colours, rich greens, sandy shades and dark browns. Yes please.
Print off an e-course. I am continuing with this.
Purge furniture. YES! YES! there is still more to go but at least some of the bigger pieces are gone.
Reclaim the laundry room. I let the laundry claim me. Blah.
Remove some plastic from the house. I believe by plastic I meant the annoying riding toys that I am sure to one day break my leg with. They are still in my way. They are still waiting to be purged.
Start thinking about Christmas. Get the postal mailing cut offs. I got the cut offs and I missed the international ground shipping one. Air mail!
Read a book for me. Rather peculiar on this one. I did read a book for me. This one. I must've read the first few chapters three times thinking I've read this already. Turns out I hadn't, I've just read this author so much that her characters feel like friends at the dinner table.