Skating on the Frozen Pond (Mar 2000)

This month’s photo is of my family in our canoe. Dad is at the back, beside the motor and sitting in the front is Aunt Cathy. You met her last month when she hiked up Mount Goaty with Mom. I am the only girl, sitting near the front and behind me are my five brothers, the sixth and youngest is being held by Aunt Cathy. The canoe was painted bright yellow to match our home-on-wheels, a refurbished school bus. It was a Grumman, which were famous because they never sink. They had air tanks built in the bow and stern and if it capsized everyone was to hang on and kick to shore. I don’t remember ever wearing a life jacket. If we had them they were used for sitting on, for the canoe bottom was always cold and hard.Every so often the whole family went for a canoe ride and that was fun, but usually the canoe was used for hunting or fishing. Grandpa didn’t like fishing with us in the canoe: he said we were too noisy and we scared the fish away. The boys loved fishing and Billy was the best: he caught the first, the biggest and usually the most fish.

The canoe was parked down at the lake and when Mom was making bread she would take the boys fishing while the bread was rising. She usually drove Grandad’s car even though it was only a short distance. The older boys stayed fishing while Mom and the younger ones went home and punched down the bread, then they would race back and catch some more. Not me. I didn’t like fishing, I tried it a few times and even learned to put fish eggs on my hook, but if I had a choice, I stayed home and read or went berry picking.

This picture reminded me that Spring is almost here, a time for lighter coats and longer walks. I went to Vancouver one weekend to do the distribution of the Spring Festival edition of Issues and to visit my son Gordon. A friend drove my car, which made the trip so much more relaxing. Gordon’s wife had arranged a family dinner Saturday night and then on Sunday Gordon and I went to the Chinese New Year’s parade.

I am always grateful to be doing whatever it is that needs doing. Completing projects and getting my ‘To Do’ list done gives me great satisfaction. It doesn’t matter to me if my time is spent visiting or completing my taxes as long as I get to go for a long hike once in awhile. I seldom take holidays, as I don’t consider what I do work. I play all day and when I need time off, I take it. When it gets dark, I slow down a little and then go to bed. Stress is not a word I understand, even though I own and operate four businesses that are interlinked. There is always something to do, and I have realized that I will never get caught up so I don’t worry about it. Every so often I make an attempt to clear one of my desks or clean my kitchen, as I prefer things tidy, but first things first, and I trust it will get done when it needs to.

I do make time for my breathwork sessions with Ken and I am starting another series of Rolfing with Jeff, plus I get a massage once a month from Nywyn or Urmi. Now that Joanne has joined our staff, getting regular foot massages will also be nice. The body awareness and breathwork helps me to go deeper inside myself for answers and helps me to let go of stuck energy. The last three sessions have felt like conversations with God. My most often asked question is… why? Sometimes I get an understanding but most of the time it is just feeling my feelings as a three-year-old, releasing old pain and patterns of holding that my child-self does not understand. It hurts, and that is all there is to it. My adult-self can understand why but finds it difficult to explain why people do what they do—so she holds the child-within and supports her, allowing the feelings to come to the surface, knowing they will fade once expressed.

Ken is helping me put words to my feelings, something I didn’t learn as a child. Knowing my Dad loved me deeply didn’t make the hurt any less. They say tears melt the ice around the heart, and I am getting to know and love myself better as I react less and less to the emotions of others. I don’t know if my child-self will ever understand these love/hate relationships that I create, but I am getting another chance to understand them better. I believe that as a relationship reaches a certain level of comfort, the heart opens so that it can be healed. My relationship with Gerry is at the stage where he is repeating similar patterns to what my Dad used to do. My adult-self finds it easy to detach and let him be, for I also like to have my own space. But sometimes he lives in his own little world for days or weeks and I feel left out, for he has nothing to share with me and I feel sad. I have given up thinking that I have done something wrong and am learning to just feel the hurt and express it the best I can. Each time this happens I become less attached to the outcome.

As a child I enjoyed time by myself, or helping my Mom with the little ones. Doing the laundry was preferred to doing the dishes. Some days I would hide in the barn and read, pretending I couldn’t hear my name being called. Time hasn’t changed me very much. I still enjoy getting my work done and when I need time off, I go for a walk. As far as my relationships go, I believe that God gives me the people I need to help my soul heal and to keep my agreements about what I came here to do. I feel He did a good job choosing Gerry, so we’ll learn what we need to from each other and when that is complete, we will separate effortlessly. Till then, I will enjoy the times when he does wish to share, for he is a wise soul.

The Rolfing sessions are helping my body go through the physical shifts as old holding patterns release. My latest photographs shows some solid progress—my shoulders have moved back over my hips. This adjustment caused my neck to kink so I had some deep massage done so that the steel bands in my shoulders could loosen a little. My right shoulder still needs to drop some more, but for it to do that, my hips need to rotate a bit more, so I will keep stretching.

I had a fever and the flu over the Christmas holidays and that slowed my pace a little and made me appreciative of the energy I usually do have. Teaching yoga gives me lots of opportunity to observe myself and other people and some days I am amazed at my own intuitive understanding of how the body works. I don’t have all the answers, but I leave my mind open and I am amazed at the words that come out of my mouth. I seldom think about what I am going to say as I find spontaneity the easiest and most honest approach. I am so glad that most of the people I hang around with appreciate this trait.

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