Solstice for the Soul

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It has been a very long, challenging year and I will be so happy to see it gone…

I find myself burrowing down into the deeper realms of myself, discarding old, worn-out, dog-eared dreams, and tossing all the broken, sad, exhausted parts of myself into the blazing, healing Yule fire.

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I’ve learned so much this year.  I’ve expanded my soul–stretched and morphed and walked it through fire. I’ve learned to cherish every little moment and celebrate every little joy. 

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In this season that can get so crazy and busy and full of “to do’s” and “must have’s” and “gotta do’s”–I have decided, instead, to go simple and quiet and peaceful.

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I’ve decided to slow down and get a grip on pure joy.

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I’ve decided to hunker down with my Beloved and read books, listen to music, dance in the kitchen, and give myself permission to rest, refill, and replenish.

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In this season that can be so frazzled and fraught, I’ve decided to keep it simple and soft and as gentle as can be.

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I’ve decided to lighten-up on all the impossible demands I make on myself, to stop focusing on all the “what if’s” and “if only’s” and start congratulating myself on all I was able to accomplish this year, all the happy moments I enjoyed, and all the members of our wonderful medical team caring for my dear Sweetheart so he can continue to be my brave, funny, smart, loving, devoted life mate.

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It’s been a very rough year but I have been surrounded by love and caring and thoughtfulness. My tribe, near and far, has cushioned the blows and bandaged the wounds.

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Despite having to cancel some classes to take Albert to chemo treatments, feeling too pooped to be the lively social butterfly I have always been, and being prone to sudden gushes of tears; you have stood with me, stepping-in to teach classes, water the plants, keep the rent paid, make coffee, bring delicious snacks, and share so generously your fabulous stashes of talents & supplies. You have laughed with me and cried with me and made art with me and shared your hearts with me. I am eternally grateful for you in my life!

sol 2

You have been the fire that warms me and throws light on my path. It is because of you I’ve made it through this no-good, rotten, good riddance year and I thank you with all my heart for your love and tenderness!sol 21

Though the world is crazy, the politics of our time disgraceful, the state of the animal kingdom in grave peril, the souls and spirits of so many ravaged by war and hate and greed…please keep your own heart safe, your own spirit well-nourished, and keep at the proud, endless work of love and revolution!

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P. S. And go see the film “Jane” at The Loft if you want to be uplifted, encouraged, and given a little extra incentive to be your best self.

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P. S. Please come join us for our annual Winter Solstice Party!

Winter Solstice Holiday Party & General Merriment: Thursday, December 21, 10 to 12:30: We’ll have a jumble sale, an artist supply swap, a holiday card exchange, delicious food groups, much laughter, and many fine hi-jinx! Come let’s party together before Christmas. Bring food to share, items for the jumble sale, art supplies that need swapping, and a heart-full of joy!

And then come create a gratitude journal to start the New Year!

“Thanks A Bunch” Gratitude Journal: Saturday, December 30, 10 to 12:30:  Let’s focus on all we have to be grateful for and happy about! I’ll provide a small, spiral-bound book for you to collage, paint, and decorate. I’ll share prompts, dividers, and embellishments to make your book a special place to deposit all your gratitude. $20–all supplies included. 

Please check out Marnie’s new classes starting in January–click on the Marnie Is My Muse tab above.

Much Love and Many Blessings of The Season to You and Yours!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows. All Rights Reserved.

Images from Pinterest with thanks.

 

 

 

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By thundermoonstudios

Nature Calls!

de 16

It’s autumn in Arizona–time for camping! Made especially sweeter because I didn’t think my Sweetheart’s health would permit it. But we’re determined nature-buffs and we need nature as medicine for our much-stressed souls.

For a few days we’re done with blood tests and IV’s, chemo and fatigue. For a few days we’re out of the sad business of oncology.  

de 7

We need the medicine of the campfire

de 8

and the joy of rambling

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and the fine art of:

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For a few days you can

de 19

where I can stretch-out and read and write and make art and listen to stories and rest.

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I know it’s time–because the “to do” list is three pages long. The appointment calendar is full-up. The holidays are coming…

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And so we pack-up the truck, fill the ice chests with food, scramble up some fire wood, throw in the doggo, and race out of “real life” for a few days in favor of the woods.

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Because it’s a well-known fact:

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and we love it out where we can just “be” and not do.

I shall see you in a few days with an amazing December schedule of classes and great opportunities for fun…

I shall see you in a few days with wood smoke in my hair and big grin on my face.

 Meanwhile,

de 18

With tremendous gratitude for the magic that is life!

Kaitlin, Mistress of Merriment will be back soon! Save my place in your life..

And please don’t forget…

de 4

Images with thanks to Pinterest.

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

By thundermoonstudios

Life On A Roller Coaster

roller coaster

It can be exciting. Or scary.

It can reinforce your sense of trust. Or completely obliterate it.

You can close your eyes, clench your teeth, and hold on for dear life. Or you can keep your eyes wide open, throw your hands over your head, and experience the ride with awe and wonder and terror and triumph.

Here’s my confession: I’ve never ridden a roller coaster in “real life.”

I run the other way from crazy situations that are ‘spozed to be “fun.” I won’t be the one on the tightrope between high rises…I won’t be the one bungee jumping over a chasm…I’m not going over Niagara Falls in a barrel for kicks. I am prudent and careful and thoughtful of consequence. But I’m learning…

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Maybe it’s because I’ve been so long trained to piece together the broken bodies and fractured minds of others who have dared fling themselves (or be flung) into danger or heartache or the dark, tempting pool of being out of control. But I am not in need of any further adrenaline rushes, thank you very much. I don’t crave unconscious adventures or daring feats of random bravery. I just plod along, smelling the flowers and being moved to the core by love.

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But sometimes life just puts you in the roller coaster seat and says “go for it!” If we survive, and mostly we do, the experience changes us somehow. It either gives us more courage and reinforces our belief that we can pretty much get through a lot of what we fear…or it breaks us.

Lately, my life has been a roller coaster.

At first I was terrified and projected all manner of mishap and mayhem. But what I learned is when you find yourself buckled in against your will and the cosmic gears begin to whir and gain momentum, you’d better figure out a strategy to get you through the ride and out the other side, back on firm ground, maybe with an ice cream cone, and a story to tell.

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You don’t have to have all the answers. You don’t have to build a safety net of spider webs. You don’t need to read another “self help” book or go to another conference on how to cope. You just gotta…

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You gotta ride the roller coaster…because, trust me, you can get through soooo much more than you think you can. You can call up so much strength and wisdom from the deep well that is your life. You can lean heavily on the shoulders of family and friends to get you through. You can cultivate trust and expect miracles.

You can stop “over thinking”…

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You can cry because…

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You can laugh because…

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You can get through it.

Really.

Teeth clenched or hands raised bravely over your head.

You can take the ride and survive it and have a story to tell.

I am your living, breathing example. A reluctant rider but an exalted survivor.

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My Sweetheart survived yet another cancer challenge.

Cissie survived a long, delicate open heart surgery.

Marisa found the daughter she was forced to give up when she was a scared 16 year old who had been violated by a “trusted family friend.” 

Jayson healed the vast wounding of a father who beat him every day for sport to become a father of such tenderness and compassion that his own son now pays the gift forward by being a domestic violence counselor.

Jenna built a “tiny house” to do the traveling she could never manage paying the mortgage on her big, fancy home that burnt to the ground in San Jose.

Disabled Iraq War vet Bill went to Puerto Rico to share his expertise about low cost, low tech solar water purification systems after the loss of his daughter to a drunk driver.

There is hope.

There is light.

There is love and family and the vast, teeming power of faith.

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But…

You have to do the leg work.

You are responsible for the sweat equity.

You have to ride the roller coasters life gives you.

Hold on tight…or throw your arms up and yell at the top of your lungs.

But get through it and out the other side with a story to share.

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I will be here, waiting beside the tribal fire of The Creative Cottage for you.

There is warmth and love and compassionate hearts here.

There is hope and fear and sadness and joy here.

We are all a mix of it all–troubles & woe/

joy & happiness.

Whatever life brings–be grateful for the journey and

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Thank you for riding the roller coaster with me!

Love From Kait…who is slowly raising her arms above her head and trusting the journey.

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Thanks to Pinterest for beautiful images.

 

 

Let Go And Trust

flow 9

That’s what they told me when I learned to ride a bike and when I put on my first set of roller skates.

That’s what they said when I learned to scuba dive and drive a tractor and go up in a hot air balloon.

That’s the advice I got when I did any BIG thing in my life.

So I’m dusting off the phrase and embracing it anew on this eve of my Sweetheart’s carotid artery surgery. That’s all I can do.

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Cuz, see, I’ve always believed “trust” was best achieved after lots & lots of hard work, much preparation, many kind fates, and much good karma. I’ve never been able to just “trust” without doing everything in my limited powers to assure a positive outcome.

But this cruel cancer, is NOT something you can do the homework for. It’s not something my detailed list making, well articulated planning, or considerable research and experience can help me with. I just gotta “let go and trust.”

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It’s so hard for me! I want to roll up my sleeves, dive in, do the heavy lifting, make it better. I want, by sheer force of will, to help in a very “hands on, all in, no stone left unturned” way. I firmly believe that…

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but I want a magic wand. I want a miracle. I want to believe I can

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Fortunately, I have a wonderful support network.

Albert’s family is amazing!–his son Erik and his sister Karen are so full of love. My sister Kim is holding my hand across the miles. We have a great team of doctors and care professionals. Albert is brave, determined, and ready to get this done. You have all offered your prayers and good tidings. I am deeply connected to my own spiritual core. I have been through much in my life–I can get through this.

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It seems I’ve been swimming up stream, against the current, all my life. I never take the easy way. I’m forever over-thinking, over-worrying, and under trusting. I have this very busy squirrel cage mind that keeps spinning all day and all night. But I learned this…

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from my beloved sister Kim who taught me to kayak. The first thing she said, after we cleared the safe shallows, was “just let go and trust…go with the flow!” and I did and I had an amazing experience. I was in cold, deep water. Waaaay over my head. In the middle of a river. With few skills. But the only way to do it was to “just do it” and I did. 

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Sure, I drifted a little. Went in the wrong direction a lot. Got all wet. And scared my sister when she looked back and I was lollygagging behind.

But I saw nesting eagles in the tops of the pines and deer in the sun-dappled glades and young turkeys in a gaggle. I felt the sun warm my soul and the water glisten with golden light and the kayak was a lovely capsule for me to practice trust in. And I did.

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So I’m working today on cultivating trust. And letting go. I’m calling in all my allies for prayers and good thoughts. I’m asking people for help–with the chores, the responsibilities, and the worry. I’m trying to

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It’s gonna be okay.

I’ve had a complicated, challenging life but I’ve always managed to land on my feet. Albert has had a demanding, contributing, extraordinary life and he is a warrior, a survivor, and a brave soul.

We will be facing this hand in hand, heart to heart, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, forever. We will

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And I hope you remember, all of you who are facing health, relationship, family, financial, emotional, or other tangles of your own, that

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Thank you for sending all the light and love and healing you can spare on October 31st at about 7 a.m. Arizona time. I will be holding your hands and resting my head on your shoulders. Together we can get through this. I trust. And let go. 

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P.S. I have posted classes and made grand plans for the other side of this surgery to give myself a safe harbor to look forward to after tomorrow. They are subject to change, of course, but I trust that my optimism and the prayers of so many will carry us over these scary rapids and into calmer waters…where I will celebrate life with you again soon.

Meanwhile, learn with me to

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and to

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Much Love and Many Thanks For All Your Love & Prayers,

Kaitlin of WildHeart

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© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows. All Rights Reserved

Thanks to Pinterest for beautiful images.

 

Autumn Adventuress!

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Isn’t it amazing?

Summer entrenched so thoroughly you think there will never be any relief…broiling day after sweltering night…and then, a little ripple of cool in the mornings, doors and windows open at night, the light coming from a golden place of softness and glow rather than harshness and flame.

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I love Autumn…perhaps because I love transformation. It is a season of great promise for me. A season I can actually plan to spend more time outdoors…in the garden, on a petroglyph hike, or with my beloved sister Kim

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at a week-long watercolor art journaling class in Yosemite with a fabulous teacher–Janet Takahashi, sponsored by the Yosemite Conservancy.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” John Muir 

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Kim and I hatched a glorious plan to return to Yosemite this fall when I visited her back in May. We fed it with all our hopes and dreams through the long hot summer. I clung desperately to its promise of cool water and lush green through a particularly harsh Tucson summer. I NEEDED this trip with my whole soul. But that was before my Love’s cancer diagnosis. That was before my world was up-ended. That was before everything changed.

As you know, my sweetheart is ill. Very ill. And the prognosis is not good.  I didn’t think I could leave home for this grand adventure with all the worry and concern for his care. But he insisted I go and so many others (including YOU) stepped in to help make it happen.

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But it was my sister Kim. Joy-filled. Authentic. Creative. Determined. Kim.

She made it happen.

With constant encouragement and love. She made the whole trip possible. In every way. Every detail.

She cheered me and boosted me and gave me time to curl up at her little cabin (Cabin Fever) for a couple of days before we left so I could get my mojo back.

She pre-prepared all the meals. Gifted me with comfy, sturdy new shoes and a brand-new, cozy, warm, double-sized sleeping bag.

She drove us up the winding roads to Yosemite to our little tent camp where she created a camp kitchen for us, set out chairs by the fire pit, and strung twinkle lights all around! 

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” John Muir

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“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. ” John Muir

We walked sun-dappled paths.

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We watched the full moon rise over Half-Dome.

We saw an incredible performance by a fellow who has dedicated decades to sharing stories of John Muir.

We had wonderful campfires and long talks. There were bears and deer and excited, awe-struck travelers from around the world.

“There is a love of wild nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love ever showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties.” John Muir 

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There was a glistening river and gorgeous leaves.

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There was a behind the scenes tour of the amazing Ahwahnee Hotel yosemite 3

about all the artists who contributed to its majesty, including the detailed talent of U.C. Berkeley graduate Jeannette Dyer Spencer who, in the 1920’s, created the striking basket patterns mural above the grand fireplace and the equally colorful stencil patterns found on the walls and ceilings.

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Our teacher, Janet Takahashi,

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is a wonderfully talented, funny, kind, joy-spilling woman who taught us so much about taking time to “see” and making room for little moments of sketching the world around us with no self-critic judging us or self-defeating “I can’t draw” talk in our heads.

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We loved all of our cohorts and creative side-kicks…and made many new friends.

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I had a soul-shifting, heart-lifting, spirit- stirring, magical time! I let my beautiful sister take care of me. I rested and journaled and laughed and drank in the lushness, the water, the colors, and the peace. For a few days, I allowed myself to just live

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I got things in my life a bit more “right-sized.”

Yes, Honey is very ill and we have a hard and difficult path ahead. Yes, I’m old & rickety & fading fast myself. Yes, there are lots of sad things happening in my life–including worry about my 90 year old Mom who fell and broke her hip & wrist while I was away. Yes, I returned to learn of the mass shootings in Las Vegas and the continuing idiocy, arrogance, and lack of compassion of our President. Yes, I escaped just as the apocalyptic wildfires in California were devouring the homes of friends and extended family. 

But I returned with a second wind. Scented with cedar and spruce, senses brimming with remembrance of joy and the spectacular play of light through changing leaves.

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I am changed like the leaves.

A little less exhausted. A little more optimistic.

But I’m a little slow getting back in the groove–reluctant to leave my dear Albert as he struggles with new challenges and the very real fear he may have to undergo a scary surgery in the next few days.

But I’m back…to take up the difficult tasks ahead with a little rest under my belt and a heart-full of sister love to tide me over.

So grateful.

So grateful.

So grateful.

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More soon…thanks so much for holding my place in your hearts! New classes and many new adventures to share with you coming soon! Please remember to fill you heart with gladness and seek out joy every danged chance you get. Remember that I am sending you so much love! 

Thank you Kim!

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Thank you Janet!

Janet Takahashi

Thank you Anne, Judy, Marnie, Audrey, & the whole beautiful Tribe for taking care of the Creative Cottage while I rested a bit! 

So much love and gratitude to share with you forever,

Adventuress Kait is back!

P. S. Check out Janet’s beautiful book–available on Amazon!

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© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

Up, Up, and Away!

yes!

Today’s the day…the day I’ve been dreaming about for months & months…

this is the day that begins a grand adventure with my sister Kim in the Sierras! sisters 2

After so many long, long, difficult , HOT months of worry & stress & chores & cancer treatments for my darlin’ Albert, I’m taking ten days off to refresh and refill! 

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I almost talked myself out of it as too selfish.

I almost couldn’t allow myself the joy of it.

As recently as yesterday, I was sure I couldn’t go cuz of all the responsibilities and chores and plain old “good girl guilt.”

But I’m going! 

she decided

I’m going because you have given me the best send off, the most wonderful encouragement, and because I must. Really. I must. The tanks are drained empty. The head is just too full. The chores are never ending. I need nature. I need my sister. I need a break.

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And, aren’t you proud of me?

I’m going–despite all the challenges, despite all the fears and woes and worries. I’m going!

And I’m going to have so much fun! 

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I’m going to go camping, make art, dabble my toes in the river, and  stand in utter awe of the colors of Yosemite in Autumn.

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I’m going to be away from computers and email and cyber news and EVERYTHING for ten whole, glorious, soul-quenching days!

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I’m going! Because we need white space in our lives.

Because we need calm and quiet and peace.

Because we deserve it.

Because we are worthy.

Because unless we remind ourselves of the glorious world of nature and joy and REST we are lost.

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I’m going to remind myself how to play and laugh and enjoy!

Thanks for all your love and well wishes. Thanks for supporting the Cottage in my absence. Thanks for sending me off with such love! See ya on the other side–full of news and photos, rested and restored! Much love and appreciation From KaitieBug

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Thanks to Pinterest for many beautiful pictures.

 

By thundermoonstudios

Never Give Up!

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Sometimes,

it just seems too hard.

Too much.

Too sad.

Too overwhelming.

Sometimes,

I get so angry

I’m surprised I don’t burst into flames.

Sometimes,

I get so sad

I’m sure my battered old heart will shatter.

Sometimes,

I feel so hopeless

I just want to give up.

I mean it.

Just give up.

But mostly,

I’m just deeply,

deeply

disappointed.

In my country.

In our leaders.

In all of us.

But I see this

as our clarion call…

we either wake up

or we die

(taking

our beautiful,

bountiful,

forgiving universe

down with us!)

I choose to wake up!

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I’m made of sturdy stock.

Irish & Swede.

Poor but proud.

Tain’t ever been easy for my kind…

but we don’t go down easy.

We stand our ground,

we speak up,

we strike,

we march,

we show up,

we lend a hand,

we share a meal,

we care.

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I have had a wonderful, difficult, challenging life.

I have lots of good reasons

to sit this one out…

my husband has terminal cancer,

I have Lyme Disease

and last year at this time

I had a heart attack.

I am weary,

my bones ache,

my nerves twitch,

my gait falters a wee bit…

but I’m IN IT

and I’m gonna stay

IN IT…

even as my mind unspools

and my heart stutters to a stop.

I will NOT give up.

Ever.

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I am determined. I am focused. I am woman. I will persist.

How about you?

Can I count on you?

This image from Dorothea Lange, 

from the dust bowl era, has haunted me all my life.

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It inspired me to want to help co-create a world

where hunger and fear, war and hatred,

no longer existed.

I’ve worked all my life to help build that world.

It was good work. Solid work. Meaningful work.

It was work that mattered and made a difference.

I’m still at that work 50-plus years after I started.

This is no time to

give up.

Our world has gone mad…

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it is a world bathed in blood,

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a world where children are not safe,

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a world where hatred abounds,

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a world where Mother Earth

has to rage and spew,

shake and rumble,

flood and catch fire

to  humble us

and remind us who’s REALLY in charge!

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We are in the eye of a cataclysmic soul storm.

It is our time.

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Step up.

Speak out.

Stand strong.

We are the Earth Healers, the Soul Menders,

the wild, beating heart of Hope.

It is our time…

rise up

time to figure out what we stand for…

what we’re made of,

how we can best use

our gifts, our graces, and our fierce gentleness.

It is time for us to tighten our tribe,

batten down the hatches,

buckle up,

and unleash our wild woman powers.

This is my plan…

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What’s yours?

Let’s compare notes, make plans, build bridges not walls, and open the borders of our minds and hearts.

Let’s keep at the good work of peace, equality, compassion, and civility.

Don’t stop now.

Don’t lose heart.

No rest for the weary.

The world is counting on us!

Stand up! Speak out!

Reach deep and keep on being wild and wise and willing to hold up your corner of the universe with unflinching love and unwavering commitment.

Take my hand, hold up this banner, lift your eyes, begin to sing in a strong and loud and uncompromising voice…

“WE shall overcome, we SHALL overcome, We shall OVERCOME!”

and sing it until it is true!

I am sending you love and strength and HOPE!

Kaitlin

P. S.

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© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

The “New Normal”

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Especially these days, I remind myself how precious and fleeting life is.

My Beloved, Albert, is bravely navigating a terrible illness and we are creating a new way of life, trying to find little moments of joy in each day, deepening our love, and learning to live totally in the present.

It has been a time of profound new insights.

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We are reviewing the many high points of our wonderful lives together, hugging our friends and family with more enthusiasm, and trying to celebrate the exquisite moments which used to get lost in the bustle of our too busy days.

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We are trying to make these days especially dear and sweet.

But there are challenges…chemo ain’t no picnic and pain ain’t no joke!

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We are trying to create a “new normal” that accommodates our new circumstances. This cancer is incurable and inoperable. Albert can no longer drive or work outdoors. We can’t manage camping or travel to somewhere other than chemo & doctor appointments.  The battle to stay alive takes every ounce of Albert’s energy and focus. So we try to make the best of what we can. Ice cream everyday! More naps! Words of love and gratitude spoken out loud more often!

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We have been swathed in love and caring…so many thoughtful cards and magical gifts! So many beautiful gestures of help and support! So many reasons to be thankful!

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The amazing women of our Creative Cottage tribe have been incredibly supportive and kind–helping me keep the Cottage rent paid and lavishing their love on us. They know…

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and when I am weary and scared and feeling extra vulnerable they hold me tight and whisper reassurances. Thank you! More than you can ever know, you help keep me afloat.

Here are some philosophies I am embracing with new gusto…

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and

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I am trying very hard to believe I can handle all this…

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and I am trying to remember to take better care of myself so I can take better care of Albert.

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Because my Sweetheart is being so brave, so loving, so much the  “New York street fighter” who has gotten through lots and lots of hard times in the past with sheer gumption and true grit…

and because I love him with all my heart and soul…

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Thank you for your love & support & for coming to play at The Creative Cottage so we can continue to share our stories, our tears, and, most especially, our laughter and joy!

Blessed Am I By You!

With Much Love and Appreciation From Kaitlin

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Images with thanks to Pinterest

This Changes Everything

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” Paulo Coelho

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(above image: RobinMeadDesigns at Etsy)

That has always been my philosophy.

I’ve tried to live by it.

I know how fragile and precious life is.

I know how tentatively we are all here.

But, sometimes,

out of the blue,

everything you thought you knew

changes

and it’s hard to remember

all your fine philosophies.

You get one of those,

“this changes everything” surprises.

Overnight.

Side-swiped by fate.

Blind-sided by bad news.

Real life.

Can’t ignore it.

Can’t wish it away.

Life-changing moments.

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My Sweetheart has cancer.

It’s not good.

The prognosis is poor.

The treatment options are awful.

His pain is constant and overwhelming.

This.

Changes.

Everything!

It’s easy to get swept up in denial and grief.

It’s hard to stay positive.

But we must face it.

We must puzzle out how best to go forward.

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Life and death.

Not a theoretical discussion anymore.

Not a philosophical inquiry.

What to do–

fight for your life

or make peace with your morality?

At the moment, we’re in the scary netherworld

between diagnosis and game plan.

Stunned.

Scared.

Prone to sudden fits of tears.

Exhausted by the process.

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We’re weighing options and hunkering down.

It’s hard to project too far in front of us…

 one day at a time,

one day at a time.

We’re in a very fragile state right now.

It consumes our every waking thought.

We’re navigating through the treacherous gauntlet

of tests and scans and blood work and specialists.

We’re praying and hoping and trying not to get pulled under.

We’re “processing” and trying to find our way.

We’re looking for tiny spangles of joy in each day.

We’re loving each other tenderly and fiercely.

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Sorry that I’ve not been able to form words for it

or use this blog to keep you informed

while I’ve been floundering in the dark.

Don’t think I don’t love you

or that I’m not thinking about you,

my crazy wonderful tribe.

Don’t think I’ve fallen off the edge of the planet

(though sometimes it feels as if I have!)

I’ve just been swept away by big, gully-washin’

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cuz this fella is sooooo dear to me

and I love him so much.

I tell him

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But I am infinitely grateful

for all the wonderful years we have shared

and I’m committed

to spending every spare moment I can with this remarkable man

who has filled my life with such love.

We’ll travel this path together,

hand in hand,

buoyed by allies and friends

(which includes you!)

who have already swaddled us in compassion and thoughtfulness.

We’re gonna put all our juice into making this process another opportunity for learning and growing and sharing and trusting.

Please understand, it’s hard right now…

we don’t have much energy left for anything else…

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You can support me best by continuing to sign up for Cottage classes (check them out under the Classes tab) and joining me there for our wonderful brew of creative play and tribal wisdom sharing.

Please support kind teachers like Anne, Judy, and Marnie who have agreed to step up and help me with teaching.

And please send little prayers that Albert manages this transit with his usual wit, courage, and consciousness. 

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We are entering the long tunnel

with the fondest hope that we can find the radiant light at the end.

Please stay with me on the journey,

I need you

cuz, in the end,

ram das

Much Love and Gratitude From Kaitlin

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© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

 

SISTER LOVE!

What a wonderful, amazing adventure!

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I spent a whole week with my beautiful sister Kim in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

(Made all the sweeter for the nearly 25 years we lost track of one another!)

This sweet Lisi Martin painting always reminds me of Kim and I…

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Each time I see her it’s as if a new part of my heart opens and blossoms. We leap into each other’s presence (no matter the time apart!) as if we’d just had tea together yesterday. We finish each other’s sentences. We find we like (and dislike) so many of the same (random) things. We nearly laugh ourselves into fits and almost jabber ourselves hoarse.

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We had sooooo much fun this last week together; excitedly sharing news of our lives, comparing our fondest dreams, conjuring collaborative projects, giggling like kids, & always up to some sort of mischief or other.

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It was such a pleasure to join my sister for her Spirit Doll class…

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at the beautiful Intermountain Nursery! It’s a gorgeous nursery, operated by very dear people who have dedicated their lives to plant ecology and restoration projects.

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The class was a pure delight!

The participants were lively and full of creative spark (like my beloved Cottage tribe!)

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Here is Kim’s Crow Woman…

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and my Sierra Autumn Crone

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Everyone adores my sister (ALMOST as much as I do!)

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and she is the most encouraging of teachers.

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We spent another whole day roaming the gorgeous green, spring Sierras, dabbling in the roaring creeks, picnicking and napping, exploring and rejoicing!

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We even discovered a rare Harlequin Lupine…067

And on my last day, Kim treated me to the most amazing surprise! A full day in my beloved Yosemite…

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at the very height of spring!

We took a watercolor class through the Yosemite Conservancy from the delightful Sonja Hamilton who taught us so much

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as we sat around her on the path to the majestic gush of Yosemite Falls.

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We had such an amazing day that we decided to gift each other a week long nature sketchbook journaling class in October at Yosemite with Janet Takahashi. We’re going to stay in the historic tent camps! We’re both incredibly excited!

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The water! The green! The cool! The trees! The flowers!

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I will hold all those memories so dear as we enter our scorching Sonoran summer.

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I feel Kim and I are two magical fairy sisters (like these delightful felted ones from chopoli) who have so much joy and love to share!

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It is my great good fortune to have darling Albert to hold-down-the-fort, keep the critters and the gardens afloat, and send me off with such a happy heart to be with my sister. I am so lucky that the Creative Cottage tribe sent me off with such love. I was so blessed that Kim’s husband Bro was such a wonderful naturalist guide and bemused encourager of all of our crazy fun.

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It was such a beautiful time shared and it will long live in my heart as one the most glorious weeks of my life!

Thanks to Kim & Bro, to dearest Albert, and to all my amazing friends who sent me on my way with such a heart full of love to share!

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Happy Summer & Happy Birthday Dear Sister Kim!

P. S. Please check out my June class schedule by clicking on the Cottage Classes tab and have a gander at our new Art Gifters Anonymous, Random Acts of Art, project by clicking on the Art Gifters tab.

Thanks to Pinterest for images mixed with many of my own photos.

Let love guide and keep you,

Kaitlin

Mistress of Much Merriment

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows. All Rights Reserved, 2017.