Archive of ‘Life’ category

By the Stream


Silence of the night – Arthur Rackham

I knelt by the stream today, on the wet rocks, cupping water in my hands, drinking. I felt wild kneeling there, as though I had crossed a boundary, and stepped closer to something both natural and sacred. I felt that walking along a gravel path wasn’t enough, that I had to kneel in the dirt, feel the earth beneath me to truly be part of nature. 

I had climbed down to the rushing stream, because I was thirsty, and found myself wanting to stay there. I looked up at the autumn colors, the blue sky behind the trees. I stretched my hands into the air, wanting to pray, to worship something great and wonderful.

This evening I stood beneath the stars, sending a prayer into the night, feeling it was easier to hear the divine outside the four walls of my apartment. I wonder what it would be like to live under the open sky, always.

A Frost Touched World

Gennady Spirin - La petite sirène

Gennady Spirin – La petite sirène

Golden leaves over silver grass, silently falling, the morning light inching closer, touching the tree tops. The lake silent and without a ripple, bathed in autumn colors, reflecting a clear blue sky.

I try to take the time to think and breathe, and to look at the moment, at each leaf as it falls. Winter is at my doorstep, and the world lovely, breaking apart and turning more beautiful with each passing day.

It’s strange how the wheel turns, how quickly time seems to pass. I love each season, especially when they are new or old, turning into something else, death and rebirth.

I read somewhere that our body holds onto emotions in different body parts, and I was surprised that it was scientific. It something I feel in myself. Like I’m holding onto something old, tears and anger that won’t let go.

I remember being a student and walking to my university, through the city and feeling as though my chest was heavy, as though something was pressing on it. I worried and went to the doctor, but he couldn’t find anything wrong with me.

So I tried to ignore it, leave it be, and eventually it went away, but tightened in a painful knot in my stomach, in my solar plexus. 

I wonder if losing my dad, my mom and sister caused this heaviness to fall on me. There were just too many emotions to deal with, so I tucked them all away, without knowing I was doing it. In my family, we weren’t taught to show emotions, especially the negative ones, and I felt I had to move on, not feel so much and dwell on things, to not be a burden but continue with my life, be strong.

Leaves Falling

I watch the leaves fall, wondering if I can do the same, flutter to the ground and lie there, in the frost and sleep, relax, and let the world move as it will. Give up control and the need to be something special. Just let go and see what happens.

I realize now that I welcome the darkness. I want to rest. I want to sit inside and write, and walk the forest among naked, dark trees. I want to be calm and silent within myself. Right now the world is so brilliant and lovely that it almost frightens me. I feel this is something I need to learn also, to breathe in the moment, even if it’s like fire, even if it’s cold like winter frost, or as lovely as the wings of a butterfly. To be here, steady and strong, and silent, watching the world go by, loving it, admiring it, but without needing to hold on or control it.

So I look at the trees, the beauty of leaves falling, like golden drops to the ground, the pines trees breathing in light, the first of the sun on this slow, October morning. I see a few cars drive by, but mostly it’s quiet, still, the field frozen.

I feel melted inside, swollen and strange, like I’m crying and letting go, but all on the inside, like a slight tremble that might grow into something more. A wave tearing through, washing away old debris, making room for something new.

Leaves in the Wind

Beatrice Offor, Esme dancing

Beatrice Offor, Esme dancing

Leaves in the wind. I gaze out the window at yellow leaves floating by and see the sun break through for a moment, shining from white clouds.

The days have been dazzling, sparkling, full of sunlight and blue waves, and fields turned to gold. I walked in the mountain among burnt orange and yellow, purple, even pink and saw a low-hanging sky and a sun setting beyond the mountains. I picked a few blueberries, but most had withered away or turned mushy.

I walked and felt almost a little frightened by the beauty around me, and wondered about the darkness coming, what it would be like then, with snow covering everything, making it hard to go places.

It feels like the last burst of color and sunlight before rainstorms and black nights. I watch the stars sometimes, now, when it’s still warm enough to stay outside for a bit in my robe, before crawling into bed. I like to stand there, shrouded in black, feeling the wind on my face, hearing the trees rustle somewhere above me. The veil is thinning they say, and I feel it too, can imagine it with everything dying all around me, the trees letting go, leaves being carried away into the night. 

A Strange Darkness

Eowyn the shieldmaidenIt’s funny how I say I have nothing to write, and then the words suddenly spill out of me.

I feel the greatest wound left in me came after my dad died. It was just him and me for a time. My mom and sister had passed away, and my two much older brothers lived elsewhere. So it was just him and me, and it was nice. I’ve always felt really close to my dad, as though we shared a special spirit bond, and I loved to spend time with him. We had many talks just the two of us, about God, about death, about life.

But then he got sick. Some strange darkness came over him and I could not make him smile. He would lie in his chair and stare into space, and sometimes he would look at me, and I could almost read the thoughts passing through his mind, the guilt and shame he felt about many things. I would tell him it did not matter, but nothing could reach him.

He was put in a mental hospital and I lived alone for a time, in that big house, leaving the lights on at night because I was afraid. But I got used to it, buying food and making easy dinners, going to school.

I remember him showing up one day as I was resting after school, and I looked up to see him standing in my doorway. I was so happy to see him, but he seemed so dark, so cold, like there was no life in him. Whenever I hugged him he barely hugged back, and I’d look at him and ask him to smile, and he would, but it never reached his eyes.

It was heartbreaking to see him fall away from me, and that I could do nothing to catch him, to make it better.

I remember sitting on the floor, rubbing his feet because they were always freezing cold. I rubbed them warm, but they got cold again right away. He had come home to pick up some things, before they drove him back to the hospital.

Shield Maiden

I remember watching the Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers and wishing the spell over my dad could be broken, the way it was for Theoden of Rohan. I fell in love with Eowyn, and felt with her as she held her uncle’s hand, speaking to him, and yet he did not hear her, being all withered, aged and grey from a dark spell put on him. But then it was broken, and he turned young again, was once more himself. He remembered who she was. I yearned for that so much.

I loved Eowyn. Watching her journey gave me a sense of strength, of purpose. I wanted to be strong and brave and to ride through my own darkness, break through it. She is still my favorite character of all time.

Drifting Away

My very last memory of him was as I was getting in the car one evening, and turning around to see him looking back at me from the ferry that was taking him back to the hospital. He was drifting away and we looked at each other, and that’s the last thing I remember of him, how he slowly drifted away from me.

I got a phone call from my brother a while after, saying my dad had taken his own life at the hospital. I remember sitting down, my whole world crumbling.

I feel like crying as I write this, but no tears come. They never seem to come anymore, but instead they are stuck inside, like my insides are made up of tears. I miss him so much. I miss my family and the warmth we had between us.

But by writing this I feel something letting go, something releasing and I pray for it to be carried away and healed, because deep down I feel things are ok now. I feel he is ok, that he is happy. I feel we will meet again, that we’re still connected.

As the years passed it became harder to remember his face in detail, but I could always recall the feeling of his hand in mine, how callused it was from all the work he did outdoors. I remember slipping my hand in his as we walked up the dirt path to our house, talking, laughing about something.  

Eowyn. I love her spirit.

A Path of Healing – Creating my Book



I feel there is something big in me, wanting to come through, a great wave pushing forward as I hold back, afraid of it, afraid to speak of it, so I only whisper its secrets to the silence, in the night. 

There is so much in me wanting to come forward, to be born into the world. And I stand at the edge of the sea, afraid of the other side, but yearning for it, to cross that great blue wonder.

I haven’t been writing much. I’ve been feeling too strained, too fragmented, like there is little in me to share. But I have been working on something, on putting all these posts into one book, one that will be my journey as I heal from loss, as I deepen my connection with the Goddess. I feel it’s time now, to put it all between two covers, to be treasured, remembered, and maybe one day I’ll read it again.

I’m not saying my journey is over. The path of healing might be never ending, and I still feel there are wounds I haven’t touched, but perhaps it’s like that for all of us. What I do feel is that there is something new wanting to come through, and I need to make room for it, for my story about a priestess.

So I’m gathering all my posts and journal entries, some that were never published, into a book about nature, and silence, healing and divine light. I hope to put it into the world soon, when it’s ready. If you subscribe to my list (sign up for more updates) I will let you know when it’s ready through email. 

I already had the cover made. What do you think?



Marianne Stokes

Marianne Stokes

I saw the stars and the wind and the black night, the vast empty space above me. Or maybe it was full of something, beings looking back at me. I always think this, and it frightens me a little.

Once while playing outside our cabin in the mountains, I looked up into the night sky and saw a star dancing to itself. It went back and forth and in circles. It seemed bigger than the others, and I watched it for a while, my heart racing. Then I ran inside, frightened by what I had seen, by the darkness and great mysterious things, the deep unknown.

My dad said he once went for a long hike with friends into the mountains, staying over at a cabin. There was nothing there, only nature, only rocks and trees, and he sat outside and saw a great light appearing in the middle of the sky. It shone for a while before disappearing. Then a little later it appeared in the same spot, deep in the night, shining like a lamp.

When I was little I pretended that aliens were watching me, playing with the thought of what they might think when they saw me do things, like putting on shoes. Perhaps they thought me, and all humans very strange. I must have picked this up from a story I read, but aliens was on my mind from a very young age.

Everything mysterious was close by. I was convinced there was a witch outside my window looking in, and it terrified me. I was sure ghosts could come through my wall at any time during the night, and I put my stuffed animals along the crack between my wall and bed as protection.

During the long autumn nights I would play outside a lot, usually alone. I would rake leaves, just for fun, not sure why, perhaps I had seen this on tv as well. Sometimes I’d see hedgehogs, or I’d collect rocks. Most of the time I’d watch the sky, and how black the night was, how bright and shining the stars were, so far away. I felt a mixture of awe and fear looking at them. I was drawn to those tiny pinpricks of light, and I didn’t want to wander too far off into the dark, always staying close to the house, to the warm glow of the windows.

I felt the stars was a way to communicate with something greater, with God. I’d pray to him while watching them from my bed at night, somehow feeling that a clear sky brought Him closer. 

Sometimes though, I imagined gods, not just one God looking down at me, and I wanted to please them. I’d lie on my back at night, on the frozen ground and speak to these gods, asking for help for my mother who was sick with cancer. I’m not sure why I felt so much like praying. My family was not religious. 

I guess I feel very small looking at the stars, afraid of what I might see, and yet hoping for something mysterious, something telling me we’re not alone. I wonder if aliens are out there, looking out for us. I believe this now, because there are so many people talking about it, about them helping us

I had a lucid dream once that made me see ETs in a different way, as beings full of love, and this dream stays with me now as I look into the sky, wondering if they’re out there, if we’re somehow connected.

This article. 

Light Dancing

Artist - Christian Schloe

Artist – Christian Schloe


The days are still warm, but the mornings come chilled, as though they are dipping towards frost, towards icy winter days. I wrap myself in wool and drink hot teas, and wait for the sun to warm the air.

Yesterday I climbed the mountain and stood for a moment, catching my breath, feeling the sun on my face, seeing it through the trees, playing with colors. I danced a little to myself, reaching for the light, because it was all so beautiful.

I sat a bit on the mossy path, seeing leaves fall around me like golden rain. I sat for a long time with my shoes off, naked feet on wet grass, and watched the quiet of nature, the silence that seem to be in the trees, in every blade of grass. I wanted that silence for myself, and felt it required a certain kind of trust, and a long time in the open air. Sometimes I meet people who spend a lot of time outdoors, and the outdoors seem to be in them also, like they become the forest, or the vast snowy fields. They seem a little more steady, a little more quiet in themselves, and I’m drawn to that.

When I go for a walk, I often feel restless in the beginning, but as time goes by nature starts to work on me, seeping into me, and I find myself noticing things I hadn’t before, like a veil slipping from my mind. It’s hard to leave then. I want to stay under the open sky, hear the voices of trees, smell the heather. I want to be the sky, the trees, the wind.

Walking home I heard the sound of water, trickling somewhere out of sight, gurgling beneath the rocks. I felt its crystal song inside of me, like a healing touch, like a silver light reaching for deeper hurts hidden away, in shadowy places. 


The air turns softly fragrant towards the mid afternoon. I see pale yellow butterflies playing over the field, and I leave my windows open again, letting the wind brush in, ever so gently, on this quiet, wistful day. It feels like the last breath of summer, and I start to put my summer clothes away, leaving ones for autumn, for winter, for colder days.

Rain and Sky

Artist - Christian Schloe

Artist – Christian Schloe

I went for a walk, the sky darkening behind me, but there was a bit of sunlight, a little bit of sun breaking through the clouds. And it drew me outside to look at glittering raindrops, to see little streams meandering through the grass, trailing down rock and crevice, bubbling somewhere out of sight. 

The lake was black and silver. I stood watching it for a while and felt how everything was fading around me, how the violets had paled and the trees bore more yellow leaves, a few always trailing on the wind. 

I felt something shift in the air around me, a slight darkening of the sky and I knew it was going to rain. I started on my way back and was caught in a heavy downfall, soaking through my hair. 

I sit inside now, my window open and the rain has stopped, though the sky is still a deep grey and the sun has come through, bathing the trees, the field in golden light. I love this contrast, between light and dark and I want to go out again and be in it. To stand still watching the sky, feeling the wind, the rain, the storm coming and going. 

A Meeting in the Woods

Griet by Beatrice Offor

Griet by Beatrice Offor

Yesterday we walked in the forest, and I picked blueberries, looked for mushroom among the dark trees. It was raining hard and water streamed down the forest path, making it difficult to walk, and yet it was beautiful out there, especially when the mist came in, turning everything silver. 

On our way back I gasped as a great animal crossed our path a little ahead of us. I whispered for my husband to be quiet and I pointed to the trees, where the moose had disappeared. We saw her dark form move between them, and I was sure we had frightened her away when she suddenly stood before us, apparently just as surprised as we were. We stood frozen for a moment, staring at each other.

Her ears twitched as she seemed to regard us, what we were, if we were dangerous in any way. I felt timid and awe struck, because she was so big and beautiful, and I had never seen a moose up close before. I felt she was a gentle creature, and yet at the same time I was a little afraid that she might see us as a threat and run at us. I moved a little, and then she turned, running back into the forest. 

I let out a breath and felt a little sad that I had frightened her away. I wished I had been calmer, that I could have looked at her a little longer. Still I felt grateful for that short, rare moment when we had seen each other. 

Autumn Forest

*Painting by Victor Nizovtsev

*Painting by Victor Nizovtsev

I woke up to the soft sound of chimes outside my window, the cold air spilling in, the world full of sunshine and bright shining mountains. 

I feel I have no words in me today. Maybe they’ll come a bit later, but I’ll share something I wrote a few days ago, that I left unpublished because I had already written so much that day. 

September 4

We drove along the narrow windy roads of home, and I kept silent, captivated by the glittering lake so close to us, by the light in the trees, the overflowing gardens. The day felt so fresh and sparkling, and I looked at the sky, saw how yesterday’s storm lingered at the edge of everything, dark clouds along the mountains and hills.  But they had opened up, letting the sun spill into the valley, leaving it bright and golden. Everything was so full of color, the purple heather, the bright green moss, orange flowers in the grass.

I saw autumn forests reflected in still black lakes, and wondered if there could be anything more beautiful. I wanted to kneel down and dip my fingers in the water. I wanted to breathe the air and feel the sun on my face, in my hair. I wanted to slowly step along the path, without rush, without a place to be or anything pressing to be done.

I hear the eagle now, though I don’t see her. The day is slipping away, and I’m afraid it will be gone before I can take it all in, deeper, into my soul. I want to listen, to something, I’m not sure what. Perhaps I feel something happening, something trickling forth around me, inside of me. I can’t quite put my finger to it, what it is, what it means. My dreams still stay with me, and I would like to sit quietly for a moment and listen to them. I feel they have a voice, but I’m not paying enough attention. I feel them nudging me, asking me to remember, to open my eyes and see.

The sun is slowly setting, inching closer to the mountains. I want to sit on the stairs, in that sliver of sunlight before it’s gone. 


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