Past and Future, The Present is the Gift

A change of season, the Spring Equinox is March 20th……… an equal balance of day and night

This is the season of the wood element. The time for renewal, growth, nourishment, prosperity, health and family. A new beginning or re commitment, an opportunity for positive change. Balancing our home with greenery, branches of new green buds, daffodils or primroses can bring this beautiful healing colour into our life. Walks are especially important for me to connect with the season.

Giving attention and appreciation for nature I revel in the beauty of snow drops and crocuses that carpet woodland areas on our little farm. My quiet retreat now centers in a century old farm house. The sea side studio has been replaced with a wood casement window view to an enchanting valley that has been home to sheep farming since Salt Spring Island was colonized. “Daffodil Springs” is perched on a rocky knoll that overlooks ponds and grass pasture that sweeps up to the back drop of forest marking the boundary of Ruckle Park. I often pinch myself as if in a dream I may awake.  And then the sheep begin, the baaing echoing across the valley. With individual resonance I become aware of different characters, the deep nazel  “braag”  to the staccato “bleet” to the young whimper “Bmaa” of the newborns. Often

I am spell bound in this jewel of existence.  Daffodil’s not yet in bloom, but clumps of soft green shoots are inches above beds of old leaves. This is the perfect time to allow our thoughts to visualize the light and warmth of the sun to gladden our being. The reflection of the sun is of equal importance with the moon! full moon is March 8th. This full moon called The Worm Moon or Sap Moon, as earth softens it invites robins, and maple sap is tapped. You may have a clear night to witness this silvery orb and allow the illumination to deepen the healing gift that light gives. This clear cool blue light gives a purity to all it touches. Our acknowledgement of this seasonal awakening is an opportunity to celebrate all of our blessings. It is in the internal deep celebration that we renew and see again the beauty around us.

If you paint, or photograph, write, or cook, whatever your creative pursuit. Imagine, visualize, a healing flow of renewal spring energy from this health giving light.

Here is a meditation you may wish to try;

In a comfortable sitting position, eyes slightly closed, in a still silent space “see” a soft warm light, like a sun beam stream down the top of your head warmly filling your body with light and kindness. Imagine this light filling your head, down your neck, across your shoulders down your arms and then body trunk into your legs to your toes. Pay special attention to areas that are sore or tense, and “see” the light, this healing warmth message these areas. As you relax into this space, allow your mind to feel gratitude for this day, this season, this new beginning again. Feel your connection to nature and her new beginnings and realize how we are all together beginning again afresh.

I am very interested in the path of positive light energy used to manifest a world that is abundant with all our needs met. I would love to know your stories if you too are called to the light and realize the benefits.

This month is painting retreat time for me. I have noticed over the years how easily I can be distracted to answer just one more email or phone call, attend to laundry or some cleaning project and give this the priority over my soul call of painting. I thought you may be interested in how I am solving the problem. I decided to ask my “spirit helpers” to find a way to hold fast to my soul gift.

This is their answer: A Schedule of 4 at least 4 days a week.
Arise early, a light breakfast, a walk in nature, attend to household chores all in the first 4 hours, give myself time. The next 4 hours are for my painting and soul calling, this time is to be un- interrupted. Then the next four hours is lunch, a walk and perhaps gardening time, begin the preparation for dinner. Then rest, nap or meditate. Then an afternoon of 4 hours painting or writing, again without interruption. Then dinner, a time with family, a walk, reading and reviewing my day. Before bed I am to remember the day in its fullness and find the qualities that felt good and positive and then give gratitude. The difficulties I experienced over the day I bless them, I give them light and ask for resolution and then say “it is all working in ‘divine order” and release my concerns as much as I am able. A warm Epsom bath before bed with lavender and a spoon full of coconut oil is really helpful.

I have found having the space of 4 hours for my meals and family time allows me a sense of ease that I am able to to it all and yet I feel supported as I have honoured my need to create in a quiet nourishing space. There are days when I am not able to give full adherence, ahhhh another opportunity to soften to the reawakening of the Spring and re commit again.

Our 2012 travel and research month began January 23, returning to a greener island February 23.

Here are some notes from my journal:

Duart and I drove south from Salt Spring Island January 23. Overnighting in Seattle with family

and a brief visit to a friends family home in Tacoma, an original Frank Lloyd Wright design.

Our destination was Palm Desert, for sun and vitamin D.  We stayed in Portland, and browsed the largest book store in North America,

Mount Shasta our next night, always an inspirational visit. This snow capped mountain in the past has stirred huge dreams and this was no exception. That night I dreamed ……I travelled across the lake in an upside down hollowed turtle shell, when, a huge sea serpent arose almost capsizing me.

It offered to take me inside the mountain. Grasping ahold of its neck we swam through an underground cavern and beached in a dark chamber. I explored the huge room and was attracted to a huge pillar extending floor to ceiling. I rested my hand on it, it turned to crystal light. I wrapped my arms about it and felt a deep energy. Next I was on the back of the water dragon who brought me safely back to my turtle boat…… As syncronisity is so easily manifesting now, while in a small shop in Mount Shasta the next morning I came across a  turtle rattle made by a drum maker I had been reading about and had hoped to see her work. It was the same hollowed out shell of my dream.

Mill Valley, near San Francisco was our next stop. I attended an annual “Shamanic Gathering” The Foundation of Shamanic Studies founded by Michael Harner has been my source for workshops and reading material as I explore the exciting world of Shamanism

This year “The Gathering” hosted Shamanic Practitioners and Anthropologists who had been doing field study in Mongolia, and Nepal, and south Korea.  A wonderful opportunity to again connect with teachers and fellow students from all over North America, and abroad.

Palm Desert, a warm 75+ was divine, swimming everyday we fully recouped from the drive and some. A week later we were on the move to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Our routing took us through Tucson, Arizona via the rock and gem show in the desert. Then on to Las Cruses and White Sands National Monument. A 275 square miles of gypsum dunes. This rare phenomena is blindingly white for miles. White Sands Missile Base is where “Trinity” the first detonation and the beginning of the Atomic Age began. July 16, 1945. Only a few weeks later this same type of bomb was detonated over Nagasaki and Hiroshima

The Caverns at Carlsbad are immense. Duart took the elevator 20 stories under ground and toured a remote area. I walked in. Following a narrow paved zigzagging path down 800feet deep into the yawning belly of rock and lime stone drips.  I photographed and was rewarded with many orbs showing themselves in the yawning mouth of the cavern. We did not meet up below ground, but later compared adventures on the vastness of the caverns and crystal formations.  An Ansel Adams photographic show was on exhibition in the lobby, his black and white interpretations were perfect for the monochromatic colours deep in the earth.

We stayed a night in Roswell, New Mexico, yes the home of the first captured alien space ship. Of course we toured the museum.

The walls were plastered with newspaper articles on the event in 1946 a real home town museum. That night was the full moon but it didn’t manifest in any sightings.

This ranch country in southern New Mexico is dry and barren of homes, the few towns we went through were almost empty, many boarded up with rusted signs and a feeling of hopeless abandonment. This is not a recent vacancy, they seemed almost preserved in a time warp of the 1940’s.

In Santa Fe, We stayed at The Inn of the Governors in the centre of the old town with its beautiful adobe and territorial edifices. The Georgia O’Keefe Gallery was a highlight. Many visits to this Museum, each time it excites and inspires.

I view the desert lands around Santa Fe in Georgia O’Keefe style. Her clouds, and rich patina landscape is just as it is. We further immersed ourselves in this country and stayed with friends 30 minutes outside of  town deep in pueblo country. We explored Santuario de Chimayo a pilgrimage church with its adobe twin bell towers a delight in this winter season the white of residual snow contrasted to the rich patina walls. Sanctuario St Francis in Ranchos de Taos with its thick organic walls that deeply curve to the ground, a sense of firm belief permeate, the earth and church unite. This beautiful mission church has been a centre of spiritual life for over 250 years.

   Taos Pueblo,

a world heritage site with its multi stories accessed by ladders, has been continuously inhabited for over 800 years. We were fortunate they were open to visitors as winter can be a time for scattered random closings for weeks at a time. The earth to sky colours and baked clay forms of the housing structures I feel the heart beat of tradition.

And to the tune of the drum I was lead to a small studio, a drum maker.

I bought a small willow hollowed drum with the hide of cow. This simple crafted tool for ceremony became a gift for Lauren, who had so beautifully made me a medicine bag so that I would be safe in my travels. Then a visit to the studio of a gentle person a drummer for MirabaI, I will treasure the drum beater he made. Conversations with my Navajo friends deepen my love and reverence for their culture and this land.

For a week in the Santa Fe area we basked in brilliant blue sky, and then awoke to two inches of snow. Time to go. Unfortunately a booking for 2 nights in “Christ in The Desert” a Benedictine Monastery had to be cancelled.

The 12 mile very rough road was to dangerous in the snow. Disappointed, we resigned to making this retreat in more predictable weather next time. The long highway drive to Flagstaff was punctuated with indecision. We kept a watch on the weather as I was so keen to visit Canyon de Chelly where I had had the most amazing experience on a previous visit. Also this was not to be. The quality of a good traveller is to be as a willow firmly planted but flexible and soft to allow the wind and weather have its way.  This spirit land I knew offered many more experiences so much else yet to be explored.

In the April So Essence News, I will continue sharing my journey deep in the heart of this mythic land.  Adventures with another Navajo.  Anasazi cave paintings.  Energy Centres, and a rich enormous canyon, so beautiful it was an “awe’ experience.

If you have visited my Gallery in the past year and a half chances are that you met Lauren.  A gifted healer, and animal whisperer.  She resonates with ocean waves, balancing herself on surfboard as she views whales swim past, and surface close to view each other.

Lauren is our earth child.  From as early as her first expression she had a wisdom not quite of this world. She communes with nature daily, often taking the afternoon to hike to the top of Mount Erskine or Mount Maxwell.  On her return she tells stories of white doves, and soaring peregrines.  She has spent more days camping in all seasons on remote beaches than anyone I know.  Fearless, but not reckless, and often in the company of like nature lovers, cosy with huge bon fires, stories and song.  Lauren shares her talent, her love of expression. Often she packs up her cases of paints and canvases and brings along friends who are shy in creative belief.

She paints and encourages in the most exotic locations like the top of mountains at sunset to guitars and flute. Lauren is an Earth Steward. She has organized beach clean ups and participated in many. She is a passionate supporter of our forests. The Avatar Grove, brought to protection light by her friend she has encouraged and then painted this ancient tree.  This June she has been asked to join other artists to camp and paint on Cortez Island to lend support for the a moratorium on logging in this sensitive region. Lauren’s paintings are a rare expression of deep honesty and reverence for the land and animals she loves. She paints in acrylic with foil and fabric on canvas and board. We are so very honoured to have her work in our Gallery.

Watch for more updates on Lauren’s paintings and adventures in future issues of Sol Essence News.

Blessings for a healing March month warmed by the Spring light, and renewed commitments.

In the April Sol Essence News edition I will be “walking my talk”.  A project started a few years ago of walking my island home in reverence and appreciation for the gifts I have received living here.

In spirit,  Jill

to reach Jill … the gallery at

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