Monday, 21 April 2014

Prophetic Dreams, Fears, Anxieties, Reflections - Where the wild things are.

I am about to get fairly deep in this post (yeah, I do tend to do that from time to time). This is a topic I've been contemplating for a few days, weeks, months and even years now. Do you believe in prophetic dreams? The scientific and logical side of most brains says, NO way, there is an explanation for most, even the unconscious mind can be figured out. However, the spiritual side and eons of different beliefs tends to debate and disagree. I am beginning to believe there is more to it than scientific facts.

For example, did you know Abraham Lincoln was said to have dreamt of his own body laying in a coffin two weeks before he was assassinated?

Not to mention people talk of bad omens all the time that signify death or years of bad luck, such as witnessing a bird die, mirrors breaking, owls seen during daylight, hearing knocks. The list goes on.
I can attest to a few.

When I left university and began my career in 2006 I had a free standing mirror perched up on somewhat of a shelf, occasionally I would think to myself "Someday that mirror is going to fall from there," and late 2006 it did fall. Well we all know how the superstitious would have you believe, "when a mirror breaks, you will endure SEVEN years of bad luck." From the period of 2007-2014 I did, indeed have those seven years of bad luck. I lost my brother, my father, both grandfathers, my grandmother, and two aunts. If you average that out, it's a death in the family a year. If that's not bad luck, by all means try to convince me so. I do understand that people come in and out of our lives for different reasons, and that it is all far beyond our control. At this point I have been pretty used to the idea that people come and go and learning to let go can be very challenging. Two weeks before my brother passed away I dreamt of the exact same accident he was in occurring, I didn't know all who were involved, but I knew it was someone very close to me and where it occurred, a week after that a pheasant flew into my windshield as I was driving home from work.
Those are just two things that have happened that were quite coincidental, around the same time. Were they brought on by fears and anxieties? I don't know, but I know I've been afraid of other things occurring and never had a vivid dream where it lead to something happening for real.

I have heard of many other occurrences with people and strange events which had led them to believe they were precursors to what was going to happen. To tell you the truth, I don't really remember my dreams unless they have had an underlying meaning of things to unfold. Maybe it's just me analysing the dream, or maybe these prophetic dreams are part of who I am.

I believe my loved ones who have passed only visit me when they have a message to send. Whether its that I'm not making the best choices for myself or I'm running late, I seem to have someone from my past wake me up in the dream sending the message that I've got so much more to live for, I may be late for work and/or the bell has been rung.

Lately, since my father has passed, I've had dreams with two mountain lions around the perimeter of my surroundings, not causing me harm, but watching. I had a black bat attack my hand and then fly into a house continuing to try to escape and attack me, June bug land on my shoulder and then buzz off. I'm sure you're wondering what I've been taking at night, but I haven't changed anything. I feel like these are all signs of moving past my biggest fears, trusting my intuition more and moving on, I think they may somehow represent the lurking danger of not making more positive changes in my life.

I don't know where this life leads but I do believe that stagnation and remaining where I'm at will only let my fears get the best of me. One of the biggest steps I need to take is letting go of the negativity and stop attracting more in my life. Accept the fears in my life, which sometimes riddle my mind. This past weekend I read a lot on the subject of letting go, living in the moment and focusing on the future. I woke up this morning a new soul, I am not looking back. Here is a quote on fear, and more importantly drive. Whats' it going to be?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Arctic cold fronts, musical breaks, alluring skates, all thanks to the start of 2014.

Hello and welcome to the first post of 2014.

What in 2014 is worth a mention today? Perhaps the third week in this year of -20 degree Celsius weather. The dreadful cold that we have so nicely been rewarded with which makes you not want to leave your house in the morning (.. maybe that's another issue altogether...pft), regardless, it's the coldest I've ever experienced for January. This week the winds have decided to pick up, so now there is an added windchill which makes it feel like it's -35 degrees (booyah). Do I consider the cold "extreme weather" not necessarily, if there was a lot of blowing snow along with it each day, perhaps. The snow hasn't been too bad, it's really just the bitter cold. I hope January takes the cake for this "Arctic cold front," and the temperatures come up a lot for February.

That is probably the only negative thing I can say about Canada for the month of January. The other items to be mentioned have been pretty incredible.

I was able to get out for an early skate with my older brother an a friend in Barrie. It was nice to get back on the skates, I know I roller bladed in the summer, but ice skating beats that any day. There is something about every time you go for an outdoor skate you always pair it with hot cocoa on the way home or make a yummy one once you are home. Phenomenal mix, I swear.

Mid January we went to a show at the Sound Academy, Jake Bugg and Albert Hammond Jr. were playing. To be honest I had never heard of them before December, but when you're with someone who has amazing musical taste and contributes to your collection you start exploring after a while. This exploring has for sure enabled me to take in some great shows. Jake Bugg even did a cover of the great Neil Young, coincidentally enough so did Frank Turner when we went to see him in December. Both performed the songs well, I captured both on my phone because I was so happy to hear that. Jake and Frank are both English folk/indie artists, I was in love on both occasions. I really enjoyed Albert Hammond Jr. too - he sounds great even with a flu. Since the pictures do the artists no justice and my vids take so long to upload, there is neither offered here :P but here is a link to the Jake Bugg performance of Neil Youngs - My My, Hey Hey.

The weekend following we got away to Ottawa for the weekend, skated 16kms up and down the Rideau Canal, had a fantastic dinner (service wasn't the greatest), stayed at the Lord Elgin (stonethrow from the canal through the park) and woke up for another skate and brunch. It was an amazing time. I have, included some of the pictures my guy took from the day which I've edited here and there. I would do this again many times, there were so many people on the canal, it's very scenic, and for sure makes you feel Canadian. To the right is a map of the Rideau Canal Skateway.

Lord Elgin - Across the street is the Confederation Park which you walk through to get to the canal

Where we entered the canal this is right across from the National Arts Centre in Ottawa

The Laurier overpass on the Rideau Canal

The Queensway overpass on the Rideau Canal

A little hub in the Patterson Creek area - at the 2.2km mark.

One of the best shots - The Fairmont is the castle looking figure in the back :)

Along the canal - huts with Beavertails and hot chocolate - we stopped here.

A very handsome couple :) our photographer was having a nervous time, but he did well.
Aside from the trip to Ottawa and a few social outings here and there :) I was able to join a friend who came in town to visit for a week at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The evening consisted of violins, woodwinds (oboe and bassoons - which are my fav) and piano. The gentleman playing Mozart on the piano was incredible, what a night. I'm looking forward to more musical outings in 2014, Toronto really has so much to offer.


Friday, 27 December 2013

There is no time like the present.

Two months, what is the significance of two months.
To me these past two months have been the most bittersweet in my entire life. By the end of October we knew Dad would be pursuing as many rounds of chemotherapy his body would allow, and of course due to the state of his body and how advanced his cancer was we had our concerns. The rounds of chemotherapy were supposed to aid in relieving some of the symptoms of the cancer he had and prolong his life, very little of either occurred. I don't blame the chemotherapy for him being taken sooner, I do believe after the first round he had visible signs that he was feeling better, however after half of the second he went downhill rather quickly. In the back of my mind I knew I'd be losing him before Christmas, I had no physical proof, nor could the oncologist confirm this when asked, but deep down I had the sinking feeling, that crappy intuition that chokes the life out of your happy thoughts and prayers. One thing was for sure, I didn't want to see my father suffer for long, and he really didn't, the sickness could have continued for 6-12 months before he passed. The truth is, he wasn't himself for a long time, he stopped playing guitar, listening to his music, reading as much, visiting friends and family, he was sick, and he wasn't letting on. I love my Dad, I cherished every day and moment I spent with him from the day I was born, we were very close, there were really hard times,  but there were also really great times which outweigh the hard times. I've honestly learnt the most about myself through my Dad, he really challenged my thinking and decisions. He was the most warm person at times, and someone who really just wanted to be loved. I honestly think in 2007 when Nana died (his mother), Corey passed away and Pa was diagnosed with lung cancer (passed away early 2009) he began losing hope. He had Darlene, a very caring and loving companion for him, but he lost a lot of everything else he lived for... He passed away last Thursday at 8:45, I held his hand the whole time, told him it was OK, it was a very haunting experience, but for him, likely a blessing, he was at peace.
In the midst of all this I had the utmost support from my best friends and family. I could not have asked for anything more, and I promise one day to return the favour. I had my CGA convocation mid-November which Jacq flew in from Edmonton for, it was such a great day to share with some of my family. Another weekend in November I visited the Scandinave Spa with Amanda, she came from NS to visit. I also met the sweetest, supportive and talented guy who has added a lot of light to the days past, and I very much hope to come. All of these people in my life have reminded me of how important it is to take time for yourself, no matter what is happening, you have to live in the moment, day-by-day, and I'm much better off for doing so. Thank-you.
I am excited to see what the future holds, I know the celebration of life party will be great when we have it, there is no immediate rush because the weather has been awful (pretty, but awful). I am hoping a summer's night will suffice.

Over the past week I've snapped some shots of the ice storm, some from Vaughan, ON and the others in Annapolis Valley, NS. I flew home yesterday (Boxing Day) for a short visit. I won't get to see my Halifax friends, but I will another time. Enjoy.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Tobermory - The Grotto and Flowerpot Island

Just over a month ago (before things got really serious with Dad) I took a day trip to Tobermory, ON. This was quite the trek north, approximately 4 hours north-northwest from Maple. Beautiful drive, along the way there is a whole lotta country, wind fields and farms. There are parts of the drive that make you feel as though you're back in Nova Scotia. I had put a list together over the summer of all the fun things to do for day trips, obviously I haven't discovered all of the fun things, but I noted that Tobermory was one of the time places to visit in Ontario so I decided to check it out.

To the right is a shot of the wind turbines towards Owen Sound. There are almost 50 in the area, looks like more as you pass them because they're so large. Ontario has the most wind turbine farms of the provinces in Canada, not so much of a surprise with all of the open land as you drive further north. I am not an expert with wind energy so I don't have the specifics as to why Ontario has more, I bet most of it has to do with how many were approved by the county votes.

Once in Tobermory, there was a little bit of time before the boat tour to see the Flowerpot Island, and the shipwrecks in Lake Huron/Georgian Bay. They were truly beautiful sights. Grabbed lunch at place called the Crow's Nest in the harbour, their food was pretty good, definitely pub affair, reasonably priced. Below are some shots of Toberymory, the harbour, and the boats. There weren't too many people around as I was there when school season had begun, there were more adults then children. As you can see, there is always a spot in Canada for beavertails to fit the bill.

After touring around town, it was time for the glass-bottom boat tour. It wasn't quite what I expected, however it was really nice. The best parts hands down were seeing the shipwrecks and Flowerpot Island. I would like to go again next summer, hike around the island (you have the option to go in the morning and get off the boat and stay on the island for a few hours then get a ride back on the boat) and then come home. You can also camp on Flowerpot Island I believe. The waters were truly beautiful, they were so clear you could see seaweed and all of the beautiful rock formations through the shallow parts. Below is an example, these are some of the shots I took on the boat of the sunken ships, the island and the glass bottom so you get an idea of what it looks like (I expected a large glass floor :P).

After the few hours spent on the boat tour there was one other major highlight I had researched about Tobermory/Bruce Peninsula that I couldn't miss out on. This place is called The Grotto, it is within the Bruce Peninsula National Park, so there is an entrance fee to get in, however the trails are so beautifully maintained that it is very enjoyable to take this little trek through the woods to check out this splendor. On the way out I actually saw a bear in the woods but once it saw me it ran the other way, I consider myself lucky. This was my second encounter with a bear this summer/fall and this time I didn't have a whistle, bear spray, or a really brave cousin to help face it if it came closer. From now on in the latter of the summer and early fall I will hike prepared, I know about the dangers I just always say "if it's my day to die from a bear encounter than it's my day," not really smart eh?
You can camp at this park, it would be worth it, however when I was there, it seemed to be ruled by teenagers and an early 20s population who blasted EDM, techno and other music that is hard to be in the middle of the woods and want to listen to at 5PM, maybe later around the fire but not afternoon. Everything has it's place I guess.
The below shots conclude some of the time spent at the Grotto, honestly, one of Ontario's true Gems, the caves, the trails, the rock climbing, and the whole landscape is very dreamy.

When I first saw this there was a man inside who had climbed his way down through the rocks! Scary!

What would a day trip be without a beautiful sunset?
You'll have to forgive me for the next few busy months. I will continue to post as much as I can, however it is going to be a challenging period of time. Take care and enjoy what is left of this beautiful fall!