Sunday, January 1, 2017

Across the Lake

So many times I have stood at the water's edge and taken in the small cluster of trees on the little island in the middle of the lake. I have always wanted to get there; to see what's on that little patch of earth.

But my stamina for swimming is not strong.

And for whatever reason, I have never been able to access a boat.

Today the lake is frozen, completely covered with mother nature's icing. I finally step beyond the shore and go.

Across the Frozen Lake

The open air is cold, the wind is harsh.
Tears form at the corners of my eyes; my cheeks sting.
The low sun is already waning; what is it even warming, anyway?
I keep my head focused forward,
the crunch, crunch, crunch of each step
in rhythm with the heartbeat I can start to hear between my ears.

What am I even doing?

A canoe in July would be easier; warmer. Yet it is today I am compelled to go.

Because sometimes we are called to something in an unexpected season.
And we must trust that the conditions are right.

My tracks are not the first out here; they will not be the last.

Sometimes this is what it looks like to walk on water.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Time So Short

Ah, freshman year of university. I was 17, away from home, maintaining a high GPA, and navigating a new social landscape. Those were also the days when I could still sleep in like nobody's business. And sleeping in was what I planned to do for much of the Christmas holidays after completing a very full first semester of post-secondary.

In the depths of sleep that first morning after I arrived home, I was roused to consciousness by noise and light and movement. My father had come in, flipped on the light, and was pumping my mattress up and down with his fists.

"Hey! Wake up! ...It's the shortest day of the year, and you've slept through half of it!"

He exited the room, leaving the light on and the door open to the hum of the house beyond. I opened one eye to the clock; sure enough, it was approaching noon.

I know I got out of bed at that point, though I could not tell you what I did with the rest of that day. Or any of the other days that holiday season, for that matter. All I know is that every year since, on the winter solstice day, this memory plays out in my mind shortly after waking. It's the shortest day of the year; don't sleep through half of it!

My dad just meant it to be funny, but I have to admit, it's become a bit of a mantra for life of which I am reminded as I approach every new year.

Our world is busy. It moves at an incredibly fast pace and we are encouraged to keep up; always keep up. Work, home, extracurriculars, social functions and social media; people demanding our attention through each of these. We forget that life keeps happening while we are busy going from thing to thing on the agenda--and if we're not careful to stop and notice, we will end up 'sleeping' through half of it.

I hate "keeping up." I am not immune to the busy-ness of life by any means. Some days, some weeks--some seasons--are just full. But one of my least favourite feelings is that of feeling rushed--moving from A to B to C with no time to stop and breathe in between. And somewhere along the way I realized that I had the power to make that feeling the exception rather than the rule.

In the work I've chosen, the people I'm committed to, the hobbies I'm involved in, I have learned--am learning--how to set very intentional boundaries with my time and energy. I have learned to ask myself questions before committing to everything under the sun; before trying to "spread my social" across too many spheres; before getting caught up in the spiral of insanity that seems to be the 'norm' of the 21st century.

Winter Take-Off


What are my top values/passions?

Is what I'm doing in line with those values/passions?

Is what I'm doing negatively impacting my commitment to one of my other values/passions?

Is this task I've taken on something that I can do independently, or do I need to be honest and seek the support of others?

Will committing to this thing allow for the valuable recharge time I know I need?

Is my heart attached to this person/these people?


The answers to these questions mean that I have been more forthright with others as to how I'm feeling.* It means I interact with social media differently. It means volunteering for this, but not that--sometimes even when I value both equally. It means living at a pace that is often out-of-sync with even those closest to me.

But it also means more social energy overall for the people who matter most to me, richer memories, more pause and less rush--more peace.

As the new year approaches, what questions do you need to ask yourself to ensure a healthy balance of your time?

Because this life is beautiful, and amazing, and rich.
And it is short.

Don't sleep through half of it.






* Which, if you know me at all, you know that this is not something I come by naturally or easily.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

SOTC 222/365

Fisgard Pano (SOTC 222/365)

I am so impressed at my iPhone's capabilities sometimes. #easypanos

SOTC 221/365

Viewing the layers atop Lone Tree Hill on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island's Layers (SOTC 221/365)

SOTC 220/365

It always fascinates me where stuff finds a place to grow.

Brick's Green II (SOTC 220/365)

SOTC 219/365

On a clear November evening...

November Twilight (SOTC 219/365)

Sunday, November 6, 2016