Friday, February 18, 2011

Who Inspires You?

Atlantic Canada's BloomingWriter, Jodi Delong, published a wonderful review of my book, Sanctuary: The Story of Naturalist Mary Majka, on her blog this morning. (Thank you, Jodi!)

It's difficult to express the joy (and fear) of throwing your carefully crafted words out there in the public domain, then hearing how they touched a chord for those who read them. I've been very moved by the response to Sanctuary so far - by the emails and letters from people who were deeply inspired by the story of Mary's life.

And, this morning, I've particularly loved reading how those who are commenting on Jodi's blog have reached back into their memories to share the stories of the people who inspire them. It brings to the light how each one of us might elevate others to their own greatness without even realizing it.

It brings to mind a quote from the book made by a man who was encouraged by Mary when he was a teen. He went on to craft a life-long career as a naturalist and talks about one particular job banding birds on Grand Manan Island:

“During that ten-year period, I worked with about twenty-five hundred children. I always made sure everyone had a chance to see and touch the birds. I think I imagined myself as Mary Majka. I wanted to pass on the love of nature that she encouraged in me. It may not take root in all of them, but maybe one in a thousand will turn out to be exceptionally gifted. So I treat everyone the same and hope her influence will spread far and wide. Like ripples.”

So, hop right on over to Jodi's BloomingWriter blog to leave a comment about who inspires you and perhaps you'll win a copy of Sanctuary!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Today and everyday...share the love

"Love is never lost. 
If not reciprocated,
it will flow back and soften and 
purify the heart."
Washington Irving

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How is it with your Soul?

"The soul is like a wild animal - tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient. It knows how to survive in hard places. But it is also shy. Just like a wild animal, it seeks safety in the dense underbrush. If we want to see a wild animal, we know that the last thing we should do is go crashing through the woods yelling for it to come out. But if we will walk quietly into the woods, sit patiently by the base of the tree, and fade into our surroundings, the wild animal we seek might just put in an appearance." 
Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness

Once the echoes of Christmas faded, I made a commitment to my soul. I promised to set aside the first hours of my day...every morning for 40 days. During that time, I would wait patiently, listening for its voice.  It's been 28 days now and I am just learning to quiet my mind, relax in the silence and listen. I'm getting comfortable with myself. And waiting.

Two weeks ago, we noticed deer tracks along our snowshoe trail. "That's the big buck traveling alone," noted my husband. He had seen the tracks periodically over the past two years...tracks noteworthy for their size.  We'd never glimpsed him though. He was elusive and shy. We found the oval pocket, where he slept, just beyond the treeline. He was lingering just out of sight.

As the snow deepened, we worried. We tramped our trail well, so he would have a solid path to travel. We put out feed to supplement his meagre diet of saplings. We cut partially fallen trees, so he could access the lichen on the upper branches.

Sometimes, on our return trek home, we found where he had been on the trail, just after our passing. Like he waited for us to disappear. He was crafty, that one.  Then last Saturday, I caught a quick glimpse. Just a rump and a tail, disappearing. We set up feeding stations.  He found them.

I knew if we tended to him carefully, gave him sanctuary, took care of his needs, he would honour us with his presence. Today, my wild animal made an appearance.

It was worth the wait.

How is it with your soul?