We are so blessed to have a little cottage nestled in what is surely one of the wildest and untamed of places,
Waterton Lakes National Park.
Not a day goes by here when I, we, are not bowled over by an immense sense of gratitude for our luck in somehow landing in this part of the world.
As I write this, by the way,
the wind is absolutely howling,
gusts up to 100 km/h,
and there is driving rain. About an hour ago, George and I ran outside because we were both fairly certain that the rain had changed to snow.
Have I mentioned that it is July 24th?
And when I make statements such as ‘we are so blessed to have the opportunity to get to know this part of the world’,
I add a caveat.
I don’t actually believe that this place is entirely knowable.
Our wonderful friend Lyndon was visiting us this last weekend and him and I found ourselves having the conversation that we have had before,
whereby we sit and sing the praises of these glorious surroundings.
I reminded him of the time when he likened Waterton to a portal.
There is, after all, such mystery to this place. One might think, if one was the kind of person to think on these sorts of things,
that if there existed a veil between worlds, Waterton would be the seat of that transitional dimension,
There is a feeling though that we are only allowed to touch the surface of understanding it,
yet, at the same time, the answers to life’s biggest questions might just almost be within grasp here.
It is, after all, a land of dramatic extremes and contrasts.
Today’s pounding wind and rain may very well give way tomorrow to the ideal and calm heat of a perfect summer’s day,
and a lake of glass.
The stretching golden flatness of the prairies suddenly falls into the great depths of Waterton lake and rises up the steep Rocky Mountains.
This town is small, and the number of visitors cannot even begin to compare to the tourists that flood into the villages of other North American national parks, as we are out-of-the-way,
hidden in an unused corner.
And the wildlife here abounds in a way that continues to astound,
even those who have known this place for a lifetime are in careful awe of the raw power and beauty of the magnificent animals that inhabit these forests,
grizzlies, cougars, black bears, wolves,
foxes, lynx, wolverines.
The winters here are long and difficult, and I am not at all convinced that I could stand the loneliness and isolation, never mind the brutal weather, of a sustained stay through that season.
Yet, when Spring finally comes, the wildflowers that suddenly abound are unparalleled in abundance and variety to most places in the world.
It is rare for me to write such homages to landscapes and geography,
but this piece so wanted to be written.
She is my refuge, my inspiration and my creative cozy den, my safe source of comfort,
the place where our family gathers,
she is at once adventure and calm,
and in the midst of a busy life,
a continued and certain source of spirit, peace, renewal.
A Boy’s Reconciliation
As will happen, George and his friend had a falling-out this week.
It was a passionate and volatile argument that occurred at the end of a two-day playdate.
The boys both, it turned out, wanted fiercely and desperately, to be the banker in their game of monopoly.
So much so,
that the game dramatically dissolved into harsh words from both sides, tears, a throwing down of the money and an abrupt parting of ways.
Though my first inclination is to always mend and encourage reconciliation,
I knew they were tired and needed time apart.
So we all rested, read, watched a movie, slept.
The next morning, there was a soft tap on our screen door.
George ran to open it,
the two boys stood and looked at each other for a moment and so I asked them what needed to happen next.
They both quickly said, ‘I’m sorry’, bumped tummies (their version of a hug)
and then ran to the living room to continue their game, this time sharing the role of banker.
I texted an update to my dear friend, the mom of George’s friend, in awe of the absolute simplicity of it all.
No drawn out conversation, resentments, or rehashments~
done with, tummies bumped,
and upward and onward with new play.
For years and years and years,
I have been obsessed with the gorgeousness of mandalas,
and the creative, therapeutic, and meditative potential of exploring these circular patterns.
Finally giving myself permission to delve into the things that make my heart sing, I have begun working with them in true but playful seriousness.
More on this topic to come, but for now,
here are the beginnings of possibilities…. 🙂
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