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Ocean's Waves

Life in Freedom, Joy by Choice, Love Unrestrained

The Shack

The shutters rattle and slam in the wind. Rain pours through the cracks in the roof. The drab grey interior of the shack is only made more miserable with the addition of a puddle on the dirt floor.

I shuffle my body into the driest corner. There is nothing to sit on but the floor. I sit in the dirt with my back resting against the corner. Not much of a shelter but the storms outside are unrelenting. I am damp, not quite drenched through. I was buffeted by icy wind and cutting sheets of rain. Exhaustion makes the dank interior feel almost welcoming. The leaky roof and muddy floor are a grey, lifeless refuge from hurricanes.

I can’t stay here but I can’t go back into the storms. Sitting on a dirt floor with an ever encroaching puddle is preferable to a gale force typhoon. Hurricanes rip at my refuge. I accept what little comfort the shack provides.

I call the shack numb. Numb is a dry spot in the corner of a flimsy shelter which blocks out the worst of the storms and the best of the light. Numb, a roofless shack in a hurricane. Curled up in the driest corner is the best and worst anyone can hope for.

If I get caught in the emotional storms, the color bleeds out of life and I breathe in lungfuls of water. Without numb, I collapse into myself. The screams in my head are overwhelming. Searing pains rip through my chest. Every neuron lights up with anxiety, anguish and grief. All the darkness shoved down, boils through my synapses. A rip tide of emotions can pull me into the darkest crevasses.

To escape, I crawl into the shack. I like numb. I hate numb. Numb is too much and never enough all at once. Numb is better than the feelings I can’t process; feelings better buried under bravado and dismissed.

Numb however, is a temporary shelter, not a place to take up residence. Every storm ends eventually, but sometimes it rains night after night. Though it may feel as though hell has a sub-basement and I should unpack and move in, one day the storms will end. The sun will shine again. Though it may be stilted, stiff and hesitant, my feet will carry me out of the shack where I can see light again.

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The Remains

Each footfall fills the air with dust and ash as I wander through the remains. Ash makes my gasps acrid and dry as I try to fill my nostrils and lungs with air.

I didn’t set the fire. In spite craving the warmth, I tried to stop it. I knew what fire could do.

Fire destroys life with light and leaves charred darkness behind. Fire consumes the color of beauty with heat and abandons ashes in its place. Flames of brilliant light and radiant warmth followed by the cold, crumbling, black and grey remains.

What once stood a house of love with a foundation of trust, is ashes of disrespect and betrayal. I had nothing but a torrent of tears against the determination of an inferno to burn. My tears meant nothing.

My hope of salvage was to suffocate the fire by not giving it anything else to burn but I was too close and knew it too late. I was too much and not enough and the fire burned with vengeance. The fire was fueled by the wounds which came before and it burned what I was, would have been and could never be.

For all the agony of the burning, it is not within me to hate fire. Fire craves creating the warmth and light but once the burning starts, fires are driven to self-destruct. I saw it coming, I chose to stay and fight the blaze for a time but like the love I gave I burned to ashes.

There is nothing left to build and nothing left to be said or done but leave what remains behind.

A Life Like No Other

Each individual made unique. We all have moments which are entirely our own. Moments no one else has experienced or will experience again. We’ve all been through extraordinary  circumstances and have had moments of becoming. What defines us is how we navigate circumstances we have no control over.

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A Life Not Lived is Lost

‘Let me not add days to my life but life to my days.’

A life on the edge. Living in the moment. Worst of all Clichés: YOLO (you only live once), stated loudly and often. I am all for living as if the moment I am living is my last. I have had enough close scrapes (scars and x-rays to prove it) I am fully aware this moment could very well be my last but so very few understand what life ‘on the edge’ really means. Continue reading “A Life Not Lived is Lost”

The Gypsy Cowgirl and Circus Vegan Hike: Stanley Glacier, Kootany Park, BC, Canada.

After our adventures the day before (see The Gypsy Cowgirl and Circus Vegan Hike: Morrain Lake to Sentenal Point) and the fact we had to drive home from BC that night, we picked an easy rated hike. It took an exceptional effort to crawl out of my warm Nemo Equipment Spoon bag and roll off my comfortable Exped UL 7 Downmat that morning. I wasn’t sore but sleeping really did not go well. Half a flask of my Whisktea and I was still awake much longer than I would have liked. Robyn almost had to give me wake up calls, a significant role reversal in our friendship. Finally my caffeine addiction came to call and I started packing up. A late start meant I skipped breakfast and opted to stop for a quick bite and coffee at Starbucks. Not exactly the backpacking I usually do but Stanley Glacier takes us out of Banff National Park and past a Starbucks and old habits die hard.

Continue reading “The Gypsy Cowgirl and Circus Vegan Hike: Stanley Glacier, Kootany Park, BC, Canada.”

The Circus Vegan and Gypsy Cowgirl Hike: Moraine Lake to Sentinel Pass – Banff, Alberta

I lean back, close my eyes and inhale the scent of pine, dew and dry cured hickory bacon. The sun is barely cresting a mountain ridge, the light through the trees dances on my eyelids. I open my eyes, squinting against the glorious light which is cascading on my wild caramel and copper shimmered tresses.  Nothing but the mountain’s many cheerful morning voices interrupts my solace. I have always enjoyed time alone for these uninterrupted moments.

Continue reading “The Circus Vegan and Gypsy Cowgirl Hike: Moraine Lake to Sentinel Pass – Banff, Alberta”

Pack a Backpack Like A Boss: Part 2

It takes time and practice to figure out who you are as a backpacker. Regardless of your backpacking style there are basic rules and equipment you will need. I can tell you to pack the “Ten Essentials” but theory only goes so far. My purpose is to make theory applicable and let you experiment from there.
Continue reading “Pack a Backpack Like A Boss: Part 2”

Pack a Backpack Like a Boss: Part 1

It takes time and practice to figure out who you are as a backpacker. Regardless of your backpacking style there are basic rules and equipment you will need. I can tell you to pack the “Ten Essentials” but theory only goes so far. My purpose is to make theory applicable and let you experiment from there.

Continue reading “Pack a Backpack Like a Boss: Part 1”

‘A Witness to a Path that’s Overgrown’

Contrary to popular belief, I am not always a perfect ray of sunshine. I have a restless streak punctuated with wanderlust. Those who know me best say: watching me confined in life is like watching a thunderstorm in the prairie sky: you see sunshine on one side and with a storm overtaking it on the other. My eyes go from a grey turquoise to a brilliant shade of emerald green as the restless rolls in and settles like a hurricane. I know I am not alone, we all have our storms; we all face them in our own ways.

Continue reading “‘A Witness to a Path that’s Overgrown’”

Love, Pride and Rainbows

This week my social media has been inundated with love, pride, rainbows and discussion. In a short post, I am about to kick a hornets nest and I’m not going to be popular with either side. I will preface by saying I’m a Christian and I have homosexual friends. At this point, both sides of this debate have participants which need smacked upside the head.

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Skin Deep

Some days, society makes me feel like my worth is only skin deep. Women are supposed to be beautiful, perfectly manicured, flawless makeup and not a hair out of place. Men are supposed to be masculine, ruggedly well groomed and athletic. Rumour has it, If things don’t work out on a date its because one of the parties involved wasn’t attractive enough. I’ve gotten to a place where I’m not sure I want to pay the premium society places on ‘pretty enough.’

Continue reading “Skin Deep”

Shattered Steel

Most of us, face life in various states of damage; we have all faced mental, physical or emotional trauma which leaves a mark. As hard as we try to hide it, those marks develop us, we decide if it is for better or bitter. The only certainty we have each day is: the day will end and we can’t go back and undo our scars. Each day new paths are forged and others become overgrown and fade behind us. I believe life should be a process of changing each moment to make it better than the one before. 

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The Heart of a Horse

A handsome black paint
With one crooked leg;
Spirited dignity
And weakness combined. 

Continue reading “The Heart of a Horse”

A Backpacker’s Ten Commandments for Packing and Trip Planning

Backpacking has many methods: there is ultralight, lightweight, traditional, and base camping styles of packing. Ask a hundred backpackers for their list of gear and there will be one hundred different lists and a hundred more for each different environmental condition. Each list would have a valid rational for each item according to each backpacker. Each rational would have a legitimate caveat from another backpacker. What are the true essentials and how are they prepared, packed and brought on a backpacking trip?

Continue reading “A Backpacker’s Ten Commandments for Packing and Trip Planning”

What is a Birthday?

Today is my birthday. So far, I avoided telling most people. Of course Facebook tells everyone for me and some people already know it’s my birthday and the calls, texts and messages come to remind me: it’s my birthday.

Continue reading “What is a Birthday?”

Happy Feet

When it comes to hiking, happy feet mean a happy trip. Having been through the mill with my feet, I have become exceptionally fussy about foot care. I hiked on a broken foot bone, sprained ankle and credit card sized blisters for 71 kilometres of a 76 kilometre multi day hike one year and I learned the hard way. Here are the rules of good foot care:

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Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop….

My deepest pity lies with those who can neither offer or receive kindness, without waiting for the other shoe to drop. Don’t mistake me, I am neither naive  nor unobservant of human nature. We all have motivations, the question is: what is your other shoe? What drives your kindness?

Continue reading “Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop….”

Dared to Dream

Living life with wings spread and heart wide open is one of the most reckless and rewarding pursuits I know of. I have been unusually blessed with a cast of dreamers who have inspired my stumble steps in pursuit of the life that makes my soul soar. This week, I’ve had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with several of them, meeting some new ones, being encouraged and heaping encouragement on some who’s dreams didn’t come out quite right.

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‘Buying a Little More Distraction’

The people who know me well, know my high energy levels and active mind.  The ones who know me best know all about my frequent changes in activities and unpredictable personality contradictions. If there is something that will get my adrenaline level spiked,  my curiosity aroused or my creativity engaged, I’ve probably tried it or its on my bucket list. 

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This One’s for the Girls

To some extent this post is about me, mostly though it’s for the ladies who are fierce, brave, brilliant and beautiful who in their little ways contribute to the girl I have been, woman I am today and the lady I will be tomorrow. I wouldn’t think the way I do if I hadn’t been blessed to have you in my life.

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Just Me… A Life Inspired

I’ve been blessed with many people in my life who are encouraging and supportive. I’ve had big dreams and challenging aspirations; a situation which is not likely to change. 

Continue reading “Just Me… A Life Inspired”

‘Move the Body, Still the Mind.’

I’ve always been aware, my body and its capabilities are a gift. My mind is fairly keen, though rather small my body is exceptionally geared toward athleticism and my determination is second to none. I’ve pushed my body through dehydration, massive calorie deficits, mild hypo and hyperthermia, lactic acid build ups, muscle cramps, concussions, exhaustion, torn tissue, bruises, blisters and broken bones. Every morning my body has rolled out of bed ready to come out swinging, until lately.

Continue reading “‘Move the Body, Still the Mind.’”

True Grit….. And the Realities of Being Human

After sustaining some what could have ended up life threatening and what have become life altering injuries doing what I’m most passionate about, raising livestock, I have learned things about myself I didn’t know and seen the things I did know magnified.

Somehow, I see my life more clearly and I have a different perspective of myself.

Continue reading “True Grit….. And the Realities of Being Human”

#SocialHonesty: A Naked Look at a Heart

A friend of mine took a huge step and decided now was his time to be authentic. I applaud the decision whole heartedly. Trav, this one is for you, a little piece of me I don’t let anyone see and what I have learned from letting people see the parts of me that aren’t always pretty.

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Please Prepare for Take Off, We May Experience Turbulance Over 2015…

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, I do however set some life pursuits. I evaluate my year and see where I excelled and acknowledge where I fell short of the woman I want to be. I find words that capture the opposite of my weakness and I do something which forces me to confront my demons and be better.

I believe firmly in doing your best, leaving the rest and when you know better, do better.

Continue reading “Please Prepare for Take Off, We May Experience Turbulance Over 2015…”

‘Yes, I’m Single’ and Other Awkward Christmas Answers

Ah the Christmas season, that time of year for time with friends and family. If you are single, also the time of year for awkward questions. Ah the lovely, ‘Are you single? Why?’

Continue reading “‘Yes, I’m Single’ and Other Awkward Christmas Answers”

‘Not All Who Wander are Lost’

I have had the pleasure of doing life with some great people. I have come to appreciate the people around me, they each come with their own unique experiences and talents. I think its amazing to see the bits of soul and personality that shine through when I spend time with people in the little hobbit hole, I call home.

Continue reading “‘Not All Who Wander are Lost’”

I Should Have Applied for Ask Alice’s Job

The last few months I have felt like a relationship ‘Go Ask Alice.’ People ask for my advice on relationships, friendships, life and love. I’m not anything special and I certainly make mistakes. I’m just a young lady who has been through years of relationships and years of single. I’ve done life with and loved men and women I’ve had the opportunity to call friends and family, and had the unique opportunity to watch almost 27 years of my parents 39 year marriage Continue reading “I Should Have Applied for Ask Alice’s Job”

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