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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rain showers, tea, and back yard chickens

The air has started hinting at a season change. I say hint because the forecast for the next few days is more of the 90s. But yesterday we actually had slightly cooler weather. Cool enough that a very light rain shower fell for not more than 15 minutes. I was sitting in a coffee shop downtown with one of my girlfriends sipping our "bowls of soul" (steamed soy milk with chamomile tea and honey) and catching up when she interrupted me to point at unusual amount of moisture falling from the sky outside. We sat and stared. It was more of a sprinkle than a rain shower, but I am learning to take whatever I can get in the way of precipitation out here. It felt like such a gift even though it was over before we made it back outside in our tank tops and sandals to drive home.

But seriously, it does feel like the season is shifting, and I am really looking forward to the Fall. For some rain showers, and days when I can get away with getting bundled up without looking utterly ridiculous. I never thought I would hear myself say that I looked forward to getting bundled up after dressing like Michelin Man in Canada for almost six years, but there you go. I have been finding myself missing snow lately also. Fortunately one of my best friends and her husband just moved to Newfoundland and bought a house there, so in the future, whenever I need a snow fix I can hop on a plane and go get enough of it to last me the rest of my life.

I went on a date this week with a man who has chickens in his back yard. I painted my toe nails specially for the occasion. He told me that I should watch my toes because his chickens would mistaken my crimson nails for berries and peck at them. New note to self: don't paint nails on first dates with men who raise poultry. Just when you think you've experienced it all....(side note: In case you are curious, I still have all of my toes, for which I am incredibly grateful!)

I am having some health issues right now that the doctors have not been able to figure out. They are stumped. The result is that I've had awful stomach aches for the last two weeks. This evening my mom came home and heated up some plain rice for supper. I am investigating with trying to find foods that I can eat without getting a stomach ache until we figure out what is happening. There is something about having one's mother prepare any kind of food for you when you are not feeling well that just makes the world feel SO much better. When I feel fine I would rather do the cooking, but when I am under the weather having my mom close is such a blessing. I made a mental note to include her in my gratitude Monday post. I am deeply grateful for my mother's tenderness when she has had a long and stressful day at the office and is feeling tired herself.

I have been taking Karen Walrond's Chookooloonks Pathfinder course, and am finding it is really helpful. I had fallen a bit behind the last few days so today was my catch up day. I made lists of things I love to do, and wrote out practical steps to take towards achieving my goals. I used colourful markers and drew inspiration maps. It is amazing to me how ideas are emerging out of the void -- some of which I have had before, but some of which I had never considered. Even better is her telling me to write out the small steps to get me where I want to be. Having deadlines is a BIG help! I am really excited to start taking the steps I have outlined over the next few weeks. Some of them I am already working on -- like attending poetry readings by well-known poets (I am going to hear Mary Oliver read in a couple of weeks....SO excited!), and working on a manuscript of poetry that I am going to start sending off to publishers to see if I can get a collection of poetry published. It is all really scary, but exciting at the same time. So much foreign territory -- so much unknown. I feel completely out of my comfort zone, and the fact that I am still moving forward despite this fact is really, really empowering! I am feeling grateful for Karen Walrond, her incredible photography and blog posts, and her courage to leave her high-paying corporate job to follow her heart and become so successful at highlighting all the beauty that exists in the world. This course rocks!

I am also feeling grateful for my girlfriends here in California -- the ones that go out for hot drinks with me to share our fears, hopes, dreams and moments of humour with each other. The ones who are incredible mothers (I am learning SO much from them all!). The ones who are training for half-marathons (Dionne, Julia, and Meredith, I'm talking to you!) and inspiring me to want to strive to be even fitter and stronger over the next year. The ones who go to totally girly movies with me. The ones who invite me out to breakfasts and dinners, who join me for Italian film festivals on the grass under the starry sky, who remind me to laugh at myself and not take life so seriously, and who take the time to sit and listen to all the details of first dates, and reflect my experiences back to me in a new light.

Tonight I should be chairing a meeting. I had the agenda all ready, and had studied all the documents that I was planning on having people read and discuss. I was really looking forward to it, but my stomach was not, so I am home resting instead, and my dear mother is very kindly filling in for me. Gratitude once again that she is close by to help out when I am under the weather.

Tomorrow morning, if I am up to it, I am having tea with another friend before I start the work day. I am looking forward to catching up with her, and to starting my day by sipping tea with a friend. I used to meet one of my closest friends from Canada for mid-morning tea at a tiny German bakery on Prince Edward Island, and it always made the day so much better. I have a good feeling about tomorrow already!

As the weather cools off, and you start enjoying hot cups of tea and coffee, and getting bundled up when you leave the house, what are you feeling grateful for? Try jotting down at least one thing before you fall asleep at night that you feel grateful for. Or at least think it. Thoughts of gratitude have such incredible power to transform the experience of this life I am finding. Have a great Monday night, and a superb Tuesday, friends! See you here Wednesday.

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