Memories of the glorious days of winter, when it never seemed to snow enough. There was nothing quite as enjoyable or thrilling as a perfect run down the hill. I can still hear David or Phillip, my two oldest brothers, alternately yelling the phrase “Stay off the middle of the hill.”
It was much easier to climb to the top if you didn’t have to crunch through the deeper, unpacked snow on the edge of the hill, with every step, especially if it was your turn to tow the sled up. As the hill became more packed the run would last longer, with the sled cutting fresh snow into our faces as we zoomed just a little bit farther. Falling off the sleigh or detouring off the main track and hitting the boonies was not a tragedy. It gave us stories to tell and for days afterwards, we repeated them with excitement to family and friends. Living in the moment is what children do best, enjoying even the pitfalls to the max.
I’m told by many how much they enjoy hearing about my early life as it reminds them so much of their own. I also find that taking the time to reminisce and pick out the next cover photo is a very healing process. So once again I’ll introduce you. Mikey is sharing my speedy toboggan. Donnie, Billy and Paul are first in line for the next trip down and Phillip and David are the ones trusting their lives to a homemade sleigh.
If only we could grow up and take on the responsibilities of adulthood without losing any of the spontaneity of childhood. Enjoying life without any worries, being present in the moment... that’s what many of the new teachings are all about. Being creative... getting in touch with the Inner Child and learning to trust your instincts, that knowingness that comes from deep within and is so important to enjoying life.
We also need to believe in miracles and know that there are powers beyond our limited comprehension and reality that love us. If I had listened to the voice of reason...ISSUES wouldn’t have happened. When I started I could barely type, I knew very little about computers, and I had been told by several professionals that my writing skills are the pits. Dealing with money has always made me sweat and asking people for help did not give me a comfortable feeling. So, when that voice in my head said, “The valley needs a networking paper and we know you can do it,” I didn’t stop to question it or to think that launching the magazine was not possible. I just started trying to figure out a way to make it happen. And now I get to celebrate ISSUES’ second birthday this February. And I invite everyone who reads ISSUES to come and join with me. Besides it my 40th birthday and I’ve always liked birthday parties. (See details at the end.)
I believe in miracles. They happen so often to me that I’ve learned to expect them and I always remember to say my thank-yous. I’m sure that my positive attitude and my self-esteem are rooted in my upbringing, I was seldom told I couldn’t do something. With seven children and a farm, my parents had little time for explanations. So we kids just figured things out for ourselves and did them. I remember the exhilaration of flying down a hill on a toboggan without holding on and landing in the tullies (as Grandad called the side of the road) and laughing so hard that I almost peed my snowsuit. As a child, I learned that life can be fun as well as hard work ...and climbing to the top of the hill just to have one more fast ride down seemed well worth it.
Besides, I was never programmed to expect anything, so I was seldom disappointed. As an adult, I take much the same attitude. I enjoy the tumbles that life gives me and I seldom take anything personally. For it is only expectations that create disappointment ... with the job, the kids, the mate or life itself. I trust the universe to support me and I let my common sense and intuition guide me. I’m beginning to realize that my trust comes from having lived a worry-free childhood.
In closing, I would like to repeat a story told to me by Diane Patten at the Centre of Awareness Retreat last summer. There I lived seven glorious days of being in the moment, with like-minded friends, vegetarian cooking and non-stop activities.
It’s the story which explains, Why Geese Honk When They Fly. I’m sure you have all noticed that geese fly in a V shape, basically because geese are smart and maintaining that flight pattern is the most efficient way of conserving energy for the long haul South or North. And I’m sure you have all looked into the sky as the geese pass overhead, honking noisily. I have never questioned why they honk. I just love to hear the sound, for it reminds me to stop and watch as the birds fly over effortlessly above. Well folks, according to Diane’s research...they honk to encourage the lead goose to keep flapping. The lead goose has to do the hardest work, breaking the wind for the flock, making it easier for the others to follow. When he or she tires, the lead goose falls back and another moves into place.
I loved this story because it spoke to me ... Mother Nature and her animals can teach us so much. I would like to thank all the “honkers” out there for their encouragement, for they inspire me to “play” harder. Learning about the publishing business by doing it is a fun way of going to school, and I figure I just passed the fourth grade. I also hope to inspire many of you to follow your dream, so that life doesn’t suffocate you. Trust in your intuition and when your inner voice speaks acknowledge it, for it can easily be driven away by reason, logic and criticism. Take time to smell the roses, to run in the rain or to get down on the floor and play with kids, for they can also teach us much about ourselves.
I hope you get a chance to make some snow angels this winter. For those of you that don’t know how ... it’s very easy and best done just after a fresh snowfall. Sit down in the snow, lie back, put your arms by your sides and your feet together, move your hands and feet apart, several times, keeping them flat in the snow. While you’re at it be sure to check out the clouds drifting by or the stars twinkling above. When it feels complete get up very carefully, step back, and marvel at your snow angel. I hope you had fun over the Christmas holidays.