Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sat, Sept 22, 2012: The Balloon Experiment, Second Attempt

I have always meant to come back to this idea, but it just never ended up happening over the past several years.  Today, however, I decided to change that.

I recently attended a workshop on manifestation, and actually won a free reading from the speaker.  One of the most important things that she taught me is that manifestation comes from a place of emotion, not some force of logic.  Her advice was to imagine how it would feel to have the thing that you want to manifest come to be, and focus on living within those positive feelings.

So this time I bought one balloon, and instead of telling the universe what I want, I shared the gratitude I feel when I imagine it coming to be.  I wound the paper up into a little scroll and tied it onto the string, then released the balloon into the deep blue sky.
It took off like a rocket.  As it turns out, gratitude is so much lighter a thing to carry than the weight of expectations. :)

I sat for a while, watching until the balloon was so far away that it disappeared from my vision.  The shoulders of the collegiate peaks rose silently along the horizon, their peaceful presence offering me silent support.
At Buena Vista, I turned North onto Route 24 and headed up toward Leadville.  The Arkansas River flowed right alongside me as I traveled.

Twin Lakes... words don't do them justice.  I arrived at around 3 or 4 pm, so the afternoon light was strong in the West.  Sunbeams streamed in through a hole in the clouds, casting dancing rays along the lake and mountains.

There were clumps of Asters growing in bushes along the shore, their bright yellow centers perfectly complimenting the brassy leaves of the aspens.





I continued up 24, wanting to see the small town of Minturn which I enjoy.  It's been so long since I traveled this road that I completely forgot how awesome it is. :)




Today, I felt like the entire front of my brain was active and alive in a way that it hasn't been for a long time.  I'm just sitting here typing this with a big goofy smile on my face, remembering the beauty of the day.  It's the first day of Autumn, a celebration of balance and the harvest.  In keeping with balance, there is a perfect half moon brightening the sky this evening.  As for the harvest... I feel like I've been tending to a lot within me for a long time now.  I've gone through some pretty intense life experiences these past few years that have worked to change the shape of who I am, I like to think for the better.  I feel like I'm finally ready for the harvest, to recognize and receive the benefits of all I have worked to become.  I think that we all deserve that. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thurs, Sept 20, 2012: The Leaves...

I feel sad that I haven't posted much recently. I've been sick with a cold for about a week and a half now, and pretty much all of my free time I spend wanting to be in my pajamas, eating soup and watching The X-Files.  That show has been my new obsession for the past few months!  I'm about halfway through Season 4 right now, and I absolutely love it.  I can't believe that there was a show out there for so long that embraces aliens and government conspiracies, and I was oblivious!

Someone posted pictures of the mountains last weekend on Facebook, and the leaves looked to be in the peak of all their autumn glory.  Last weekend, I was in pjs... watching X-Files... blowing my nose and eating cough drops like there was no tomorrow.  Needless to say, I did not get out to see the leaves.  I am hoping I can this weekend, though.

There is this dog park on the outskirts of the city that I love to visit.  I think it's Kaylee's favorite, too.  It's huge, and you can actually hike around inside of it with your dog off-leash.  I've been bringing her there a lot more than our local dog park lately, because it feels so amazing to get out of town.  The air there smells so, so good.  I often talk about the rich smells of Connecticut and how much I miss them, but Colorado has its own wonderful smells that I would miss if I moved.  The air at the park smells like sweet grasses and clean wind and dust; in essence, the experience of the prairie wrapped into one modality.  I love being there, roaming around the hills with Kaylee bounding unbound beside me, walking beside me by her own free will rather than because it is necessitated by a leash.  Of course, it *could* be because I keep throwing the ball for her.  Still, the fact that she finds fetching the ball for me to be the most intriguing and important thing going on at the dog park makes me feel humbly elated.

The dog park makes me a little homesick, not necessarily for Connecticut, but very much for living in a place that is wild.  Even in my well-maintained little hometown, there was a sense of the wild from which I am very far removed at this point in my life.  Honestly, if I had the choice and didn't have to work, the first thing I'd do is travel around to every remote place I could think of in this country, at the very least.  When I was a child, I spent hours each day playing in the woods behind the house where I grew up, provided the weather was decent.  In the autumn, I remember breezy days of sapphire sky, when the wind would rustle its fingers through the crowns of trees, releasing the brilliantly colored leaves and sending them dancing to the ground.  I would come home from school and run across our big grassy backyard just so I could leap and spin around with that wind and those leaves, falling all around me.  I miss the honor of being that little wild thing. :)      

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mon, Sept 3, 2012: Balloon Festival, Part 2

I was really surprised to see evidence of the Waldo Canyon Fire almost as soon as we headed up Route 24.  It was overwhelming to see entire blackened hillsides covered in charcoal skeleton trees, butting almost right up to neighborhoods and homes.  The damage visible from the road lessened as we approached Woodland Park, and we turned onto Route 67 for one of my favorite back road drives between Denver and Colorado Springs.

There was still extensive fire damage along 67, but I couldn't figure out whether or not it was the result of the Waldo Canyon fire or an older burn.  Regardless, it was amazing to observe nature in various stages of both destroying herself and recovery.   
Destroying herself, it seems, is not really destruction at all but rather an opportunity for remaking herself all over again.

As I stood there, observing the strange and devastated landscape around me, I found myself overwhelmed not by the desolation but by the incredible, powerful forces that were renewing the Earth.
No matter what life throws at us, I believe that all of us have the potential to tap into this power that is also deeply rooted within us, to recover with such strength and conviction and power that nothing, not even the complete destruction of us, is too big an obstacle to overcome.
I thought on this for a while, then found myself suddenly amused by a giant piece of tumbleweed that was bigger than Kaylee!
I love when colors unexpectedly match different things in the environment.  The harmony that existed between these sunflowers and this street sign made me wonderfully happy, over such a little thing. :)
Farther up 67, just before it becomes a dirt road, the South Platte River flowed broad and blue, happily meandering among the hills and fields.

The farther North we drove, the more the clouds drifted away behind us, and the sunny day beamed and sang to us.  I carried this feeling of awe over the powers of destruction and renewal with me all the way home, and it helped to further shape the beautiful attitudes that have once again begun living inside of my mind and my heart.  Destruction can be a horrific thing.  I have witnessed it first-hand, ravaging my mind and body, my soul and my heart, gnawing away at me until I was afraid I would disappear altogether.

I have started attending dog training classes with Kaylee again on Saturday mornings, and this past Saturday a woman walked up to me during a break in the class and said of Kaylee, "Is her name Angel?  That's what I would call her, because she is a little Angel."  
I replied that her name is Kaylee, but that one of her nicknames is "Angel Puppy" because yes, she is my Angel.  Sometimes I think about the times when I felt like I was about to disappear within the destruction, and I truly believe that Kaylee put forth her energy to help keep me tethered to myself and my sense of purpose.  I think that the cats, Pea and Seve, helped as well in their own special way, but without the intention of necessarily preventing me from being consumed.

Kaylee, on the other hand, has single-mindedly focused her attentions and energy on tethering me to the Earth.  She has been my roots, grounding me to the energy of renewal even when I was not yet ready for it.  She made it so that, as the energy of beginning anew began waking me up, I could feel it slowly seeping into me, pure sap through my veins, engaging in the process of cleaning me out and renewing me from the inside.  It was like dialysis, or meditations that encourage me to envision energetic roots growing from my body into the ground, or the Earth slowly blossoming again after having been reduced to pure ash.  Life was my forest fire, and Kaylee is my Spring.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mon, Sept 3: Balloon Festival, Part 1

I am always fascinated by the fact that I don't at all mind waking up at 5am when I'm about to head off on an adventure, but if I have to get up for something I don't want to do, it seems almost impossibly early.

Kaylee and I drove down to Memorial Park in Colorado Springs to view the balloon launch on the morning of the 3rd.  I was on the edge of my seat, hoping I'd make it in time.  Not only was traffic kind to us, but the balloons were too and took off later than scheduled.

It's been a long time since I enjoyed a leisurely morning sunrise, and the sight of the sky illuminating over the lake was a refreshing and welcome sight.

Kaylee was on her best behavior, but really wanted to go play with all the kids!
The morning was chilly, with a light breeze gently rippling the surface of the lake.  Considering the size of the crowds, it was unexpectedly quiet, with only a constant quiet murmur in the background as we watched the balloons inflate.
Their silent ascent, punctuated only by the roar of the gas and flame that fueled them, was mesmerizing.




Do you see the little sand mound behind Kaylee and to the right, with a stick pointing out of its head and a giant smile on its sandy face?  That was already created when we arrived and we just happened to settle down next to it.  I find it amusing that Kaylee is wearing the same expression as the sand face!
The sun broke free from the clouds, briefly illuminating the balloons in bright morning light.

I found the Smokey the Bear balloon particularly interesting in light of all of the fires that have ravaged the state this summer.  Growing up in Connecticut, I never really understood just how devastating a forest fire can be.


Balloons dotted the air, drifting toward the south when we got up to leave.  With a beautiful sunny day stretched out before us, I decided to head into the mountains and meander home.