deep in water

P1000494it takes me a long time to dive into water.  or jump in.  or even walk in really.  especially in georgian baie. (and i’m talking the warm side of georgian baie.)  ask my children.  it drives them nuts!  i don’t know if i’ve always been this way.  i can’t remember.  but i do love water.  and i love swimming.   it just takes me a long long time to leave earth for water.  or maybe it’s more that it takes me a long time to sacrifice dry for wet!

i stand looking, feeling the sun against my skin, and hesitate.  i love the feeling of sun on my skin.  i have no problem resting quietly, for hours if anyone would let me, with the sun licking at me.  it doesn’t take me long to flick my towel out and lay down on the dock.  but do i really want to get wet?  really wet?  now?

now.

when i finally dive.  or jump.  it’s heaven!  and i ask myself what took me so long?  the water near honey harbour is so silky.  so so soft.  and my mom’s pool is pretty awesome too.  i guess it is just the way it is with me sometimes.  it takes me a long long to leave.  it takes me a long long to change.

P1000423but in the end.  i usually jump.

and i’m happy for it!  look at those blissed out eyes!

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garden love

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this is such an incredible time of year for me.  the days are full of warmth and light.  i can walk bare feet.  and my garden offers up delicious bounty.  right now the raspberries are ripening.  and this morning i ate a big bowl for breakfast.  i added fun furry blue borage flowers.  such a great combination!  and so much fun to eat blue.  (and i don’t mean dyed crap.)

i am also juicing up so much wonder from my yard.  wild and cultivated greens go into my morning juice these days.  nettle, plantain, wood sorrel, lambs’ quarters, orach, dandelion, parsley, cilantro, dill, lettuces, kale, sun flower sprouts, cukes and celery.  isn’t that a great list.? what powerful medicine!  you can find many of these greens just growing in the cracks.  leave room for them!  they’ll happily grow in your lawn.

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what fun awesomeness is growing in your garden these days?   what do you enjoy foraging?  the girls and i enjoy walking to the mulberry tree not far from our house.  so many people in the neighbourhood come and gather berries.  but there are seems to be enough handfuls for everyone.

happy summer feet to all of you near and far!  may your heart be full of colourful edible flowers!

love chantalle

 

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a little blog game i play sometimes…

sometimes i play this game.  a blog game.   it is the “random” way i find you.  it has been my way of stepping a little bit into this blog world.   maybe you play this game too?

it’s wild.  some of you have soooooooooooooooooooo many likes after your posts.  this used to make me jealous.  to be honest i started playing this game so more people would like my posts.  and it has started happening.  a bit.  there are a few people pushing the like button.

i thought i would play this game here.  so you could play along.  i start with one blog.  i read some posts.  and then i find the little pictures of the folks who have liked a particular post.  and i choose one at random.  sometimes the person has a blog.  sometimes they don’t.  if they have a blog i read some of their posts.  and again find the folks who liked it.  and choose a random picture.  if the person doesn’t have a blog.  i go back and find someone who does.  i do this until i get tired.  along the way i like posts.  adding my photo to the line.

so here goes.  i’m starting with someone who has liked my blog recently.

http://indulgewithoutbulge.wordpress.com/

the chocolate brownies look awesome.  awesome!  from bridgitte’s blog i find:

http://lizcooksinthekitchen.wordpress.com/

i am still checking out chocolate.  this time chocolate cake!  and then i find:

http://cookingwithoutlimits.wordpress.com/

and the first thing i see is a raw chocolate recipe.  this is crazy.  totally “random”.  the photos are gorgeous.  and then i find:

http://myfrenchheaven.com/

let’s see if he has anything about chocolate?  there must be.  but the first post i see is about farmer’s markets.  and the photos are beyond incredible.  i am really having fun now.  on to the next blog.  who else liked this?  jackie sowrey.  but i don’t see their blog.  so back i go to:

http://godguidesme.com/

i love chocolate and farmer’s markets (i just recently stopped having a booth at one here in guelph) and i love horses.  and what do i find on this blog.  horses.  too bad my girls are away.  they would love looking at these photos!  the girls and i are a bit obsessed with horses these days.  they take lessons.  and i’m looking for someone to teach my western riding in exchange for private yoga classes.  i will read them about the wild mustangs in nevada when they return tomorrow.  from here i find humanity777 but i don’t see a blog link.  so i go back…

http://leczenieludowe.wordpress.com/

i cannot read this language.  i’m not sure what language it is.  something about natural medicine.  can anyone translate for me?  from here i find:

http://waldfoto.wordpress.com/

woah.  super sensual photos of flowers.  just stunning.  and then i’ll do one or two more….sometimes i find it hard to stop!

http://autoconocimientointegral.com/

i can read a little spanish.  so this is fun.  and a challenge!

i wonder how to let people know i link to their blog?  any ideas?

i hope you enjoyed my game.  i hope it brings you some delight!

much love from guelph, ontario, canada!

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balls

my girls have been enjoying some of my raw food again lately.  i have been making almond butter chocolate balls and peanut butter chocolate balls.  ivy and ezra both loved the peanut butter ones.  but they can’t take any nuts to school so i thought i would try sunflower seed butter.  here is my recipe.

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yummy nut/seed butter balls

1 500ml jar of nut or seed butter

1 cup of raw cacao powder

1 cup of maple syrup (yep! but you can use less if you want)

2 tsp of super awesome cinnamom

tiny pinch of salt

stir.  roll into balls.  (which i find super satisfying) roll in hemp seeds and or coconut flakes.  eat!  i like to freeze some too.

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the girls prefer the peanut butter balls by far. like they WON’T be eating these ones.  so it seems i will be eating all the sunflower seed balls myself.  unless you come over and help me eat some.  and then there will be room in the freezer for more peanut butter balls (which i guess i should have made in the first place!)  screw the school lunches!

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and then she came

at supper tonight i was retelling the tale of how eleven years ago i went into labour on a wednesday.   a wednesday just like today.  ivy stopped me to tell the story herself.  i loved watching her tell ezra how i was teaching yoga and my water broke.  i laughed and reminded them that i thought i had peed my pants.  they laughed and ivy joked about how funny it would have been if i had gone to the bathroom and had her there.  still laughing i told her that that was one of my fears.  she asked (slightly incredulously) if babies are ever born on the toilet.  i said yes.  sometimes.  and i quietly remembered my old neighbour mary.  she shared many birth stories with me.   mary was in her late seventies or early eighties.  we would sit and have tea.  i loved our time together.  and i loved her stories.  they were detailed.  and interesting.  and sometimes, like her baby born in the toilet story, scary.  i remember her telling me that the doctor had plans for the weekend and gave her some medication so as not to go into labour or some such thing until the monday.  and one thing led to another.  and she found herself in the bathroom at home popping the baby out into the toilet.  i remember asking if the baby actually fell into the toilet water.  i think i asked this many times on many different days.  she didn’t seem to mind.  and she would always answer yes.  if mary were still alive today i would call her up and ask her again.  did the baby really fall into the toilet?  i am easily fooled.  so maybe she pulled a fast one on me.  but either way i became terrified that i too would have my baby in the toilet.  eleven years ago i was worried that my baby would come too fast and end up in the toilet water.  that is super funny to me now because i  really didn’t need to worry about that!  no baby in the toilet for me!

tonight i curled up with ivy before her sleep and quietly remembered being pregnant.  she made me a mama!  and that it is very big gift.  i think that making someone a mama is the wildest thing you can do to someone.  i am certain my mother would agree!

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all these days without you

when i was in university i would wander through new and used bookstores.  they filled me with awe, and hopelessness.  i would trail my eyes across the spines of books lining shelves; books stacked on floors, books propped in windows.  there were so fucking many.  so fucking many.  how could i add to that i wondered?  should i even try? 

DSC_0002before having children i spent lots of time reading novels.  i liked to line my own shelves with them.  i would make satisfying piles by my bed.  they were both comforting and distressing.  at university i studied english with a capital E.   i read so much.  and wrote about what i read.  but what i really wanted was to write a novel myself.

so before having children i braved the beginning of a novel.  i didn’t even know then that i would have children.  i spent years writing and researching.  i spent hours avoiding writing (maybe more like months!).  hours reading my own words aloud.  i spent days and days and days struggling and muscleing with words.  and then i stopped.  i got pregnant and stopped.  i piled the pages in boxes with lids.  i slid the boxes onto my shelf.  for years my words rested beside the words of my favorite authors.  somehow that was enough.  i made it be.

i will be forty in may.  most of the books i read these days are about horses; i read them aloud at night to my children.  i am fueling their fire, i know, but i don’t mind.  i am rather drawn to horses myself.  sometimes, just sometimes, i read just for me.  and when i do i am still equally overwhelmed and inspired.

i took the two small boxes filled with the beginnings of my manuscript and hid them under my desk.  they have been there for over a year now.  i don’t usually open them.  and only a few people have peeked inside.  i am not sure what will happen with this story.  for now i am not ready to begin it again.  maybe it is not ready for me.  i am not sure.

but something fresh is beginning.

DSC_0018i have been holding this dream and this fear of story writing for over 20 years.  i am choosing to breathe both into this dream and into the fear.  i have opened a new word document; and i am beginning again.

i haven’t written a blog post since november.  since my trip to the ocean.  since the winter took me into hibernation.   it is now nearing the end of march.  things are just hinting at thaw.  the feelings i often have in bookstores, the worry that there are too many stories and not enough room for me, explode when i go online.  there are so fucking many blogs, and articles, and videos, and facebook posts.  so much sharing.  so many wonderful things.  and so much nonsense.  sometimes in the midst of all these words i want to hide away.  sometimes i want everyone to simply shut the fuck up.

i suppose this is the balance i seek.  times of quiet.  and times of sharing.  the stories i tell myself and the stories i tell you.  maybe there are never enough stories?  maybe there is room for them all? 

and surely i need to spend more time with my new word document then on facebook!!!!

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i traveled with sue

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sue and i swam in the sea.  we did this every day.  and every day it was this holy shit feeling.  we are swimming in the ocean.  i could see it in her eyes.  the awe.  the gratitude.  the bliss.  i’m sure i had a similar expression.  i felt so buoyant.  and free.

sometimes we giggled like children.  so much was fresh.  so much was new.  like the flying fish jumping.   i yelped in delight every time i saw one.  when they hit the surface, not far from where we swam, and descended back into the water, a spray of smaller silver fish glittered.  sue had lost her prescription sunglasses in the water the day before, but still i continued to shout: “can you see all the little ones flying up? over there! wild!”   we stayed in the water until the sun was low in the sky and our fingers were puckered.  i licked the salt around my lips.

newness was driving on the other side of the car, on the other side of the road.  this newness was awkward.  worse than a sloppy first kiss at 13.  on these daily car treks i sometimes shrieked, but not usually in delight.  sometimes i was grumpy after a day of bizarre (to me) round-a-bouts, narrow roads, and steep climbs with blind corners.  i argued with paul, my dear friend, about the meaning of straight.  no way seemed straight.  nothing seemed like going forward.  it was all rough and curvy.  and i felt lost.  i slowed at every passing car.  and almost froze when buses came near!   i could not enjoy the view!   but a dip in the sea was all i needed to wash away the stink of fear.  and i tried to tell myself that i was getting smarter.  all this other side business.  all this switching it up.

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i was always excited to see fresh papayas and avocados being sold on the side of the road.  thrilled to pick a lime fresh from the tree.  happy to find kale and mizuna and mustard greens at the holder’s farmers’ market.  i enjoyed the smell of freshly brewed bay leaf tea.  and was deeply saddened by the mangoes, falling on the road near paul’s house, never to be eaten.  and just the other day, back at home in guelph, i saw dozens of neglected apples on the roadside half covered in fallen leaves.  same same.  but different.

my travels don’t often take me far from home.  but for the past few years i have been journeying to barbados.  once a year.  and for the last two years sue has joined me.  this year she was my sole retreatant!  i was her personal person!  and she was mine.

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traveling with sue was a gift.  a gift of giving and receiving.   i offered yoga and food and adventure.  she presented me with grace and surrender.  and trust.  we offered as much of ourselves to each other as we knew how.  we shared stories.  we listened.  we watched the moon grow lush and full.  we laughed.  drank from coconuts.   swam.  and swam.  we napped in the shade of beach umbrellas.   and then we swam some more.  we celebrated sue’s 61st birthday.  ate chocolate for breakfast as often as we wanted.  and then we cried.  we mourned the death of her son.  we honoured the 10 year anniversary of his passing.  we looked at his photos.   his little boyness.  his young manness.  his eye twinkle.  his 25 years of life.  sometimes we held back our tears.  i could see it in her eyes.  the ripeness of  her sorrow.  the holding it in.   our travels brought us back again and again to the joy and the sorrow.  the two holding hands, never far apart.  the warm sun against the deep loss.  the loss highly contrasted by our joy.

one day, tired after a full day of trekking, we swam in rough waters and were taken by the current.    it came upon us so suddenly.  one moment we were laughing in the waves.  the next we being being whisked away!  we were terrified.  i saw sue stuck.  unable to swim against the pull.  i followed her not knowing if we would get smashed against a rocky shore.  but unwilling to leave her.  in my haste i made my way, desperately, for rocks.  thinking i was at home in different waters with different rocks.  the waves smashed me against the jaggedness.  but i made my way to the beach with only a few sea urchins embedded in my shin, and fingers, and feet.  sue let the current pull her around the rocks and managed to find a small patch of beach upon which to land.  we looked at each other in shock.  and relief.  and we never swam at that particular spot again!  later, after a long nap and supper, sue took photos of me trying to dig out the hard urchin bits with a needle.

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ever morning, at 6:30, we faced the ocean on our mats.  and almost every evening too.  we sat side by side looking out and breathing in.  our meditation was to receive the sound of the ocean, and the birds, and the music at the bar.  our yoga to be with the dogs that liked our mats as much as we did.  to stretch and strengthen even when people were walking by.  our practice, i think, was to be together.

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our retreat offered us the possibility of being, just being in all our wildness, by the powerful sea.

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