Monthly Archives: August 2012

Love this post, just had to reblog it. Hats off to all those wonderful parents out there who simply accept their children as they are.

Raising My Rainbow

Hi!

I don’t know you and I won’t know you until after Labor Day, but I just wanted to take a minute to introduce myself and my son to you.  I’m C.J.’s Mom and my son C.J. is gender nonconforming.  I used to shy away from telling people that before they got a chance to meet my awesome child, but, over the years I’ve found that it’s better to tell some people right up front — especially his teachers.  Plus, he has told me that he prefers for me to make the announcement ahead of him.  So, there you have it.

Please don’t think that I’m crazy or that my son is crazy or that we are weird.  It’s okay to think that we are different.  We are different, we own that and hope that people will see us being different and come to realize that our version of different…

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BUTTERFLIES

I have, inadvertently, become a butterfly breeder. Outside my kitchen door grows a huge nasturtium where, a little less than a week ago, I saw some caterpillars and was delighted, I love butterflies 🙂 I invited more; “Welcome to breed here, chez moi!” They were quick to take me up on my offer and the next day the nasturtium was absolutely full of caterpillars. First they were just tiny babies and I have watched them eat and grow, it gives me great pleasure to watch nature do her thing. There is more nasturtium in the garden, but they live only on this one which is in the shade. Interestingly enough, there are these long-legged spiders that suddenly popped up as well…I do believe they feed on the poo from the caterpillars 🙂

Yesterday the first one migrated to the place for chrysalis, the time when they enter the pupa-stage. It climbed the outer wall of the house and in under the roof. Only that one. Today others follow and my facade is literally moving upwards, I have to be very careful not to step on any of them. They are amazing! I think they will become white butterflies and turn my beautiful garden into paradise. I have chosen not to check them out on internet or in literature, because I want to be surprised and learn by watching. But I did find this: The earliest known butterfly fossils date to the mid Eocene epoch, between 40–50 million years ago. (wikipedia)

It takes time to learn from nature. You need to slow down very much to see and understand what is right before your eyes. I am awed by the beauty and inspiration which is given me just by being in my garden and maybe this is where I acquire my greatest knowledge.

THE NOSE – such a powerful tool

Last night I was sitting with a lady who asked me what I did…What is aromatherapy? I explained the oils and how scents are extremely evocative. She was silent for a while and then she started talking about scents: The scent of the eucalyptus that you find in American shops around christmas time. The scent of horses (she works with horses); how it is different in summer than in winter. How the best scent ever is when the horses have eaten a specific herb in summer and then get warmed up by the sun. (She still hasn’t been able to figure out exactly which herb creates this amazing scent)

Listening to this wonderful lady, I realized that she runs her whole horse-business somewhat by scent. She smells her horses and knows if something is not right. Her sense of smell is so attuned to what she does that she doesn’t even realize it, it naturally guides her in her communication with her horses.

Finally I looked at her and said; “This is what I do, scent”. And she nodded her head, completely understanding my work. This led me to think about people and how they perceive scents, since scents influence us on such a subtle level; it is all about emotion. Scents will evoke memories long forgotten, bringing back the memory as clear as day, every detail burned into our emotional center. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are smelling something, memory just kicks in with such force that it, literally, takes our breath away. Only thing is, most people are not aware of smelling, it passes by the rational mind and lodges where we feel. This sense of ours, the sense of smell, is the least studied, the least known or understood and the most powerful of all our senses. We should train ourselves to recognize and understand what we smell and how it influences us since this is a very powerful tool for awareness of our surroundings.

Apropos earlier posts about children learning from our actions, not our words.

Motivation, Inspiration and Life

People often have a difficult time grasping this idea. Children are watching you. You ARE a role model for every child out there. Generational issues are passed down because of the power of observation. Children act out what they see, what they know…what they experience.

 

“Every word, facial expression, gesture, or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about self-worth. It is sad that so many parents don’t realize what messages they are sending.” -Virginia Satir

What kind of role model are you??

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A story from the road

After dancing 3 days in Amsterdam my body was tired, seriously tired, though my head was going full force. I got in the car to drive to south Sweden, thinking it would be like 7 hours or so…The GPS told me 12 hours! Since I had planned to arrive in the evening I decided to make the whole route in one go. After a few hours I hit the border to Germany and there stood two forlorn young men with backpacks, hitchhiking. I picked them up, overjoyed for some company and they rode with me for 4 hours, bless them boys for their excellent company. This is their story:

They are 2 Spanish brothers, 30 and 23 years old from Madrid where they have always lived. For some time  they had felt uncomfortable there, the city is aggressive and they felt they were looking for something they couldn’t find there. Early this year they decided to leave. They collected their salaries, quit their jobs, kissed their parents goodbye and started their road-trip to Finland…Hitchhiking, that is. They told me how difficult it was to leave Madrid, no matter how much they wanted to go, things kept happening that kept them there so they decided first to go to Santiago de Compostela.

They had no real reason for leaving, they couldn’t tell me why this came so strongly to them, they just knew they had to go. When they arrived in Santiago de Compostela the skies were heavily clouded and the air was cold. They wanted to start their journey with a cleansing but it was so cold. At this point they asked the heavens to give them a window of sunshine so they could wash themselves in the sea and dry in the sun. At once a hole opened in the clouds and let the sunlight stream down on them for exactly as long as it took to cleanse and dry. At that moment they realized that they were doing a spiritual life-journey.

When I met them they had been on the road for 2 months. They had had no money for at least a month. They had met people and gone places they could only have dreamed of, working here and there for a meal and a bed. Everything they needed somehow materialized. One story went like this: They had found themselves in the middle of nowhere, but there was a bus going to a town. The fare of the bus was exactly what they had and the question was; “Do we take the bus for our last money or do we hope for a ride and keep the money for food?” They decided on the bus. Once in town, they stepped of the bus and there, on the pavement at their feet, was a €50 bill. This kind of thing occured all the time and no matter how bad things looked, something always happened to fix it.

The Spanish Brothers started their journey with no preparations, no real money, some maps and a feeling of urgency to JUST DO IT! I am deeply touched by these boys with their courage, trust and belief. I don’t know how long it will take them to reach Finland, or if they even will. It doesn’t matter because these boys have learned the greatest gift of all: Trust.

So did the car hold up for the entire trip (4 000 km)? No, she made it all the way till the return trip though. In Denmark she had a small breakdown in the middle of nowhere, the engine-belt (?) broke. As it was early in the day, things went really smoothly. I called my automobile club and they sent a tow truck that took us to a garage within an hour. I LOVE automobile club!!! The guys in the garage needed some time to find the right belt and 4 hours after the breakdown we were back on the road again. Much was due to the fact that I have a very simple mechanic car which is easy to fix anywhere and not expensive. So as usual; even when I am unlucky, I am lucky 🙂

KIDS SHOULD RUN WILD

As kids, my bigger sister and me always hung out together, always. During summers we lived on the farm of my grandparents. There was a lake, forests, animals, outhouses and barns…There was also really nobody to pay much attention to what us kids did, as long as we were back for dinner and dinnertime was always the same. We ran wild during those summers, spending our time in creative freedom…Until we were found out or caught doing some prank, when we would be locked into our room for a day, only to pick up where we left off once we were released again. My sister was amazing at thinking up pranks, I did the planning and more often or not, she would get us caught. We were incredibly creative and energetic; small forces of energy and power that easily could dismantle a small vehicle in no time. We were awesome! There was nothing that couldn’t be turned into a game or a challenge.

Forward 25 years: I have 4 children ranging from age 2 to 10. We live in the forest on the farm of my grandparents, on the other side of the lake. I had only one rule for the children and their myriads of friends that came and went: “Don’t even look at the well or the train tracks”. That worked. Once those kids were out of the house, I would not see them for hours and I had no idea where they were or what they were up to…They were running wild. I figured that they were so many so if somebody would get hurt, the others would get help. I found remnants of their games; a hut they had built 600 meters into the forest with mattresses and stuff they had dragged out there, it must have taken days, weeks. The kids would come home with torn clothes, scrapes, dirt and huge tired smiles. Sometimes they told me what they did, more often not. But I always knew; I used to be them, the child running wild, finding adventure everywhere.

Now they are grown up and I enjoy listening to their stories of what they did. Sometimes I am slightly horrified and so glad I didn’t know at the time. When listening to them I see that they learned so many skills; communication, planning, executing a plan by working as a team. Fairness, sharing, helping, assertiveness (try being the youngest of all; it’s mighty hard work being allowed to participate as other than a slave.) And I realize that some of the most important stuff I learned was in the time when I was a child running wild. Such kids are always clever.

Who was the guy in the bag?

I have had another response to the posts “Crying Soldier”  and “What are the odds” This time from a lady called Catherine;

She wrote me that the man in the body-bag, the friend of the crying soldier, was her husband, Spec. Andy Alaniz. They were young, in love, newly married and pregnant when he was killed. Andy never got to see his daughter. As Catherine wrote to me: “As long as people are talking about my husband, he won’t just be the man in the body bag and he won’t be forgotten. Because at our house, he was my friend, my lover and my husband. He is the daddy to our little girl that he never got to see grow up. I don’t want him to be hidden in a bag. He was much more than that!”

4 years after her husband was killed by “friendly fire” (doesn’t anybody react to the bizarreness of this?) Catherine’s father was killed in the Oklahoma bombing. She is truly a widow/orphan of the violence that is all around in the world and she has graciously allowed me to share her story. You can read it on her blog ATA GIRLS.

I am touched that Catherine chose to write to me and share her story. Also I am amazed, as usual, by how the internet can connect people in this random way.