In with the Fruit Peels when I Die

We’re here and gone.  We’re in and out.

The swell of the waves makes my thighs quiver and my lower body feels sensations taking in the movement of the sea.  The Shangri-La thrusts above the headland.

A deep pink geranium sits pretty in the black cast iron urn near my feet silently dropping her petals as she too admires the whitecaps. A dainty sophisticate, the geranium has an oriental lily pad leaf anchoring an English flower and bud with small petals, fanning out a saturated hue against clouds swollen with shadows leaning along the sky in layers.

The icy wind is bending tree branches and whirring the stalks of shrubs into a frenzy. The Seawalkers keep their collars up and kleenex under their noses as they brace their steps for the next burst of cold air breaking over them.  Long scarves twirl and leap outward in a scatter-brained dance.

The train tracks creak, dogs yip and howl.

My feet are cold, as is my tea, and yet it is mesmerizing to sit in the midst of it all.  A lone gull is being blown blocks out of his way by the next forceful blow of the wind.  He’s drawn across roof and tree tops and sent soaring away from the water toward the hard blue mountains.

A steady grumble makes its way through the leaky windows and the canvas awnings flap furiously against the current.

Without warning leaves are blown inside out revealing their naked light side.  The logs sitting atop the giant granite boulders lining the walk thunk, thunk, in repetition.  All is divine as blue sky and tips of sunlight foreshadow a heavenly day.

Now the sun comes out to spoil me warming my bare feet resting on the tile floor.  The rays are blinding as they reflect off the water and the surface of the sea glitters in madcap fashion. Sunlight is pulled back and in ten breaths I see only a glare as the seagulls wail mournfully.  The sun is back, in the completion of a sentence, playing hide and seek with me.  I have to squint hard against it.

More people are out walking now.  The path becomes a medley of color:  mauve, red, blue, pink, white, gold, black, navy, tan:  the colors of our clothing, our cars, and our floral arrangements.

The walk has emptied, my tea is drained, I leave the solarium in peace having read a few more pages from Louise Erdrich’s book, “The Blue Jay’s Dance.”  A Birth Year.  Exquisite, lyrical prose by a Best-Selling Author, Mother, Observer of Nature and Poet.  These little vignettes are “unpredictable and unforgettable.”  The mundane of everyday life is rendered marvelous!

Once back in the kitchen I look out and see the arbutus tree waving wildly in the wind. My concern is for the crow who built her nest in a strong fork of one of the branches.  I can see vaguely through the blossoms that she’s home by a small glimpse of her shiny black feathers.  The tree  is caught up in a baby hurricane and I think of the bird mother having morning sickness in the dizzying gale. If the eggs aren’t scrambled by the time the wind ceases the birdlings will be born remembering this psychedelic drama in their incubation. All day I fret over whether the nest will weather the storm.

I had watched the nest being built and the crow had a mate helping to weave each thoughtfully chosen strand of material into a new home. Many trips were made carrying puffs of something white and fluffy. Normally the nest rests in utopia almost hidden by the thick and lavish white flowers and green leaves of the arbutus tree; a floral-lined loft.  By sunset the scene turned calm, the five-hour power outage was repaired, and I had the kettle back on. I was extremely grateful for electricity, a safe nest, and all the energetic forces of Mother Nature purifying the air we breathe.  The electric heat is back on, the fridge is cold again, and the food didn’t spoil.  So what if the computer wouldn’t work, I got this written anyway… by hand and heart.

Crow Nursery constructed in the boughs of the red-trunked Arbutus Tree

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

The Eagle and the Ego

Today was of the special variety that I experience randomly and want to add more of to my life.  It’s a day when nothing can ruffle me; I sail along with no fears, no worries, no upsets. I didn’t have any concrete plans made in advance so I didn’t have to get snarly when life moved impulsively into my morning.  Instead of writing this post at 2 p.m., as I intended, I got together with a friend who rang just to see if we could meet for coffee in my neighborhood.  Painting the day with flexibility keeps me happy.  There is no need to routinely cross off the must-do’s on the list in any special order. What doesn’t get finished today can be added to tomorrow’s list.  Was I blissful because nothing went sideways throughout the day? Or was it my fresh attitude and faith in life itself that brought unequivocal and dynamic energy into my realm, in perfect synch with others, rewarding me with the wonderful feelings I attracted.

I was careful to watch my thoughts today and keep them supported upward.  Being negative never allows me to fulfill my dreams or handle risk taking.  Rather than resisting intrusions I make the decision to embrace them and redesign the day.  The recapture of energy by not forcing my will on on the clock is abundant.  If, however, I keep repeating I’m too busy and can’t fit anything in, guess what happens:  exactly what I’ve told myself and the world returns what I’ve told it to.  I give the Universe a chance to understand I am communicating to receive positive vibes and outcomes.  It sounds corny yet I was amazed that what I had read about does work perfectly well.

I started off out the door of our building to see my friend Sonny and as I approached the intersection I looked up into the sky to identify a bird flying in slow circles.  Too big to be a crow, I realized it was a baby eagle.   The circles he was making were small, baby circles. Even birds show a respect for the young as they left him alone to practice learning his flight patterns. Adult eagles get verbally blasted and dive-bombed by crows and seagulls in our area but this little guy was left in peace.

I was early to meet Sonny and I remembered a conversation yesterday with one of my very close friends.  They mentioned taking things slow because they did not want to miss a step or mis-step; or worse, make a mis-take as they proceeded along a new path.  I was surprised.  I’m a risk taker so I am impulsive; quite the opposite of this person.  But like the baby eagle, if I think I can fly I will try it.  If I lose a few feathers or make other birds laugh I don’t mind.  I might get a little red in the face but I’m living and alive!!

What if baby birds wouldn’t try to fly because they were afraid of falling or failing.  What if they would only fly if they could form perfect circles.  It’s not in our nature to be perfect; it’s something that is learned and practiced once we leave childhood and compete and work in an ego-based outside world.  A world outside of ourselves where we may have to compensate for shaky self-esteem.  It’s not healthy to thwart ourselves when we can blast off and get to the core of our quest.

I told my friend that holding back didn’t make sense; that it’s ego talking.  Ego that thinks everyone is watching us, waiting for us to make a faux pas, and then ridicule us.  Yet everyone fails their way to success.  Even rocks, as steady as they are, will take a fall at some point in their stony life.  The  last thing we need is to stay in one spot and never move because we’ve let our ego fill our minds with nonsense.

At Art School no one tells you how to do things.  There will be a short talk, and if you’re lucky a demonstration, but no one can do it for you because they don’t have your mind, body , and spirit.  Only you can make the finished work by experimenting.  Marcus Bowcott, my painting teacher says, “You’ve gotta’ break a few eggs to make an omelet!” Go ahead and scramble into something new. Don’t listen to your head, listen to your heart. The heart holds only love:  no fear. Never pull back when the momentum takes you on a roll to a passion for what you were meant to do.

I just tore a week off the calendar and in a sweep of the arm the week was gone.  It woke me up with the thought that every moment must be loved:  have, think, and do only what you love! Be the little eagle who loves to fly.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets