October 03, 2014

Inspiration: Breathing In


I love the autumn.  It has always been the season of my heart and the one in which I feel most alive.


Perhaps it is the glory of another warm sunny day at a time when each morning holds the potential for snow and real cold.  Perhaps it is the changing colours and the curiosity of trees shedding leaves that remind me that life is exciting and fleeting and to be celebrated.

I know that I revel in the new beginnings that fall serves up every year.  Even if you are not tied to the school year, fall marks the return to rhythm and routine for an abundance of classes, activities, sports and artistic endeavours after the summer break.

I continue to be inspired by the members of my choir.  They have come from every field and nook and cranny of our little valley, and their boldness and courage to try something new this fall is contagious. 

I continue to be inspired by things I read – currently I am reading “The Music Lesson” by Victor Wooten.  Wooten is largely regarded as the best bass player in history, and his book is blowing me away.  It is not about bass playing, but it is about Music and Life.  Wooten writes in his introduction “You are already musical; you just don’t know it yet.”  I let out an emphatic “YES” right there in the bookstore before I bought the book.  It is always refreshing to read things you agree with- AND the man uses semi-colons.  He is definitely my kind of guy.

I continue to be inspired to breathe.  Through the beauty that surrounds this place I live, through hiking with my children and getting different viewpoints, through my runs on the paths by the river and the smells of autumn, and through my pilates sessions at re:Focus Pilates.  (see my “Retraining to Relax" blogpost from a few months ago)

I continue to be inspired by my adult guitar students, a group of whom are getting together now to show off their learning and to spur each other on.

Winter is looming, and I do not welcome its coming.  Despite my love of warm sweaters, scarves, and books paired with tea, winter here is LONG and COLD.  It is my hope to carry the inspirations of this fall into the dark season, so that through the people around me, the beauty of this place and the feeling of air in my lungs I will make it singing into the spring.  

My encouragement to you today is to try something new; shake off the “same old” and get inspired through something you read or see around you.  Remember to breathe – inspiration, after all, comes from the Latin for “the indrawing of breath” – and step out into something new-to-you this winter so when the world wakes in spring from the sleep it will be entering soon, the sounds of its waking will mix with the song your heart has been singing all along.


From Sue on October 14, 2014 10:12 AM

Thanks for the encouragement, Don!  Every year I think that I will do more XC skiing.  So this might be the year!  That is another thing for which I am thankful; there are enough people in this valley who actually get excited about winter that some of it rubs off.
See you at choir.

From same guy... Don Thomas on October 08, 2014 2:40 AM

   Don't dread the approaching dark and cold months. 
   Embrace winter! 
    Go cross country skiing! Go snow shoeing! Go skating on Grotto Pond which will apparently will be regularly cleared this winter. 
    I've been a back country "telemark" skier for more than 50 years. It's magical when you break your own trail in our fluffy, light 'champagne' powder. It's often so quiet that the only sound is your heavy breathing as you break a trail. 
   Not entirely silent.  You often hear ravens gossiping with their neighbours or maybe insulting passing bluejays or Clark's Nutcrackers. 
   I have four pairs of back country skis in my garage (I gave my oldest ones -- a VERY heavy set of metal 220 cm-long Head Standards dating from about 1967 -- to the Stella Alpina bed &breakfast in Canmore to add to their collection of vintage skis.)
   What you have to understand about back country skiing is that it's pretty energetic which means you generate a lot of heat. ,  the warmer you get. In fact, you have to learn to dress in multi layers so you can shed garments and don't get over-heated.
   As well as using special grip waxes, I use what are called "skins" for climbing steeper slopes.  
   But you can go at it less strenuously by skiing on golf course fairways (Silver Tip and Stewart Creek don't seem to mind X-C skiers.)  A mowed surface only needs about four inches of snow to be very skiable.
   And if there's a full moon you can very safely ski in the dark!  Well, not so dark. A lot of light is reflected off the snow on cloudless nights when there's a full or almost full moon. 
   Moonlight skiing... now that is magical!
   Two of my sets of skis are very user-friendly. You are more than welcome to borrow or buy 

From Don Thomas on October 08, 2014 1:48 AM

I hope to spend a day this week paddling my sea kayak on the Columbia river wetlands south of Golden, B.C. The aspen and other broadleaf trees and shrubs should still be in glorious hues of gold. If the tech gods are willing and I take delivery of my new ''Black'' Hero4 GoPro mini cam, I'll shoot an ultra hi def video of my outing!
(I'm a new member of the Valley Winds choral group.)
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