A Wink & A Prayer!

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I know the real saying is “a wing and a prayer” but it never hurts to give a saucy wink to the fates, does it?

On the wing of our successful trip to the Sierras to spend time with our loving families in January, we think we passed (with flying colors!) the test of our ability to travel a wee bit again while Albert enjoys a “good spell” in his cancer treatment. Soooooo–we’re off on another adventure!

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If cancer teaches you nothing else, it teaches you the immense importance of being firmly planted in “NOW.” There are all sorts of other things pressing on us, jabbing us with sharp sticks, unsettling our world…but we’ve decided,

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and…

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It’s hard for me, ya know? I’m the super responsible one, the always worried one, the cautious, sensible one (are you laughing?)…I had classes & clients, appointments & meetings inked in my day planner. I didn’t want to let you all down on a scheduled class. I was worried about the budget and the chance Albert may not be up to it. But…I’m learning a new way of being now. I’m listening for the siren song of “FUN” in the midst of all the chaos of cancer. My amazing Sweetheart is teaching me, through his illness, that we have new rules now, new ways of being.

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Why didn’t I think of this earlier?

What the heck was I thinking, to let the idea of FUN be so often the carrot at the end of a very, very long stick of responsibilities & commitments? Why am I capable of filling the lives of others with joy, always ready to incite merriment, while denying myself those same healing hours of happiness? And why, in the name of “duty” or being a “good girl” (now I know you’re laughing–no one really thinks of me as a  good girl!), WHY have I waited soooo long in my life to just let loose and ENJOY?

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I can tell you one thing for sure…

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Life is about sooo much more.

Making art, playing in the sprinklers, having a midnight picnic under a full moon. Family, friends, critters, and crazy-renegade- mischief-making sidekicks!

So we’re off on another adventure! New Mexico! The mountains. A funky little cabin. Nature. Stars. Quiet. We’re gonna unplug. Re-boot. Sleep in. Read. Make art. Stare off into space…smiling.

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I’m not gonna worry about nuthin’ at all! The crazy, tragic, battered old world is gonna have to continue to spin without me. I’m skipping out for a few days, running away from home in broad daylight, playing hooky as I never did in school. I have my  Brave Girls badge that says “Closed For Renovation” pinned neatly to my “play clothes.”

And–I have a new mantra…

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 I’m singing a new song…

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Thanks for holding my place on the carousel (I like riding the shiny black, wild-eyed colt with the flowing mane please). I’ll be back soon  with all sorts of colorful stories to share and a very happy heart. I’m packing light, cuz remember…

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Don’t forget about our awesome Soul-Full Bookmaking class with Teresa on Saturday the 17th–it’s gonna be epic!

Love from The Happy Adventuress Kait

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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By thundermoonstudios

Moon Child Musings

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I was born a moon child…after midnight but before dawn on a cool, windy, September full moon. Since then, the moon has been my beloved companion & my soul’s sweet sidekick. It is my touchstone and my north star. It is my mentor and my muse.

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I am from a long line of healer/poet/storyteller/sages. Women who gather in circles around fires. Women who drum and dance and howl at the moon. Women who brew up mischief and merriment. Women who create. Women who cahoot. Women who defy.

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I have had deep connections with wise and holy souls all my life and been deeply honored to be trained by them in the ways and wisdoms of the ancient ones–(which promoted me to  get degrees in archaeology and eventually meet my Sweetheart on an archaeological dig–but that’s another story…)

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So, let it be said, I share much kinship with the crones of my various tribes. I am drawn deeply into my soul by the full moon. I am pulled into high tides of creative energy & spiritual passion by the full moon. A hundred of my life’s peak experiences have been related to the full moon. I practice full-moon rituals and celebrations and use it as a monthly opportunity to release and recalibrate. The full moon is my consort and my illuminated path.

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Just so you know, I’m no ne’er-do-well, fly-by-night, casual observer of the moon.

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Moondance by Van Morrison is my favorite song for gosh sakes!

My grandfather built an amazing celestial observatory in his back yard and I remember being absolutely enthralled by the moon’s pocked, polished surface and its suffused pearly gray light. I keenly remember the moment I realized what a tiny speck I was in the vast galaxy and how petty my tiny problems were in the realm of the greater universe.

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The full moon has always lured me out to gaze up in awe & wonder. I remember a hundred places around the world where I have been to greet the moon and be calmed by its luminous glow. My dear friend Mariah from Maine and I have connected across the ether that separates us every full moon for 40 years.

I love the hugeness of the moon as it lifts itself up over the mountains, spreading its glow over the landscape but I’ve always been intrigued by that very mysterious dark side of the moon that never shows its face to us on earth. I imagined as a child that there was a magical realm on that dark side–free of war and hatred, full of flowers and music…and maybe I still believe that.

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This magical Super Blue Blood Moon is highly charged with creative energy and a big “kick in the pants” boost to any grand dreams we have been incubating. It is a time for reflection and deep connection. It is a time for allowing both the dark and the light into our hearts in a way that allows us to stand in the lovely gray of things and not the black & white.feb 18 8

Watching the full moon rise with someone you care for is one of life’s great treasures…and I remember so many beautiful, loving faces of friends and loved ones in the luminous glow of moon and firelight.

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So in these perilous and fraught times, in the midst of the chaos and heart-ache that is our present world, please take a moment to go outside and bask in the full moon light. Lift up little prayers for our beleaguered planet and ALL the creatures that make their home here…sing & drum & dance & howl…and please remember that

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Love and Happy Full, Blue, Super Moon To You!

From Kaitlin Moon Child

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

P. S. Please come join a caravan from the Cottage to a wonderful exhibit of celestial new works from our beloved friend Catherine Nash on February 10th!

“An Inner Astronomy”  

A Solo Exhibition – Installation and Sculptural Assemblage by Catherine Nash”

February 3 – March 20, 2018

Triangle L Ranch’s Adobe Barn Gallery

2805 N Triangle L Ranch Rd, Oracle, AZ 85623  

Saturdays 10-3 pm and easily by appt.  Call

Opening Reception Saturday, February 10th, 1-5pm

The artist will talk about her work at ~3pm.

Closing Reception, Sunday March 18th, 5pm to 8pm.

The artist will talk about her work at ~6pm. 

With telescope viewing provided at Triangle L Ranch by Mike Weasner, 

Chair of the “Oracle Dark Skies Committee”  Link

Live music for both receptions by hypnopad

www.trianglelranch.com

www.catherinenash.com

By thundermoonstudios

Soul Sisters!

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I am blessed.

The Creative Cottage has become a such beautiful oasis of friendship, creativity, and FUN!

All my life, I’ve been a rather shy, solitary, internal, independent sort of person with friends scattered far and near. Because I wear so many hats–artist, teacher, nurse, counselor, community organizer, mentor, grant writer, and all-around wild woman activist–I have friends in many realms. I have really wonderful comrades, cohorts, and creative chums. I have great working relationships and professional partnerships. 

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But I firmly believe that it wasn’t until I conjured a new life in Tucson a dozen years ago that I began to build friendships based almost entirely on “soul connection.” Friendship-building is a big part of my “oasis” concept for the Cottage. I want the Cottage to be a creative incubator on so many levels–not the least of which is the amazing, loving, supportive network of friendships the members of the Cottage weave together.

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At the Creative Cottage we make art–lots and lots of art–but, more importantly, we share stories, encourage each other over the bumpy parts of our lives, and uplift each other through compassionate listening and heart-felt sharing. We talk and laugh and cry and rage and commiserate. We celebrate and lament together. And we enthusiastically activate our inner wild woman together.

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It is so heartening to experience how deeply and abundantly these friendships blossom. It is so moving to watch our members support each other through health, family, & LIFE crises. It is magical to see Cottage members help each other cope, manage, mitigate, mourn, and triumph. I believe with all my heart that…

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Over the almost seven years I have kept the Creative Cottage afloat, I have been blessed to watch friendships build, bond, and bloom.  I have watched shy, broken, sad, worried, ill, muddled wimmin become more sure-footed and strong, eager to raise their voices and grow into their expanding souls. I have watched wimmin who have served and sacrificed and worked long years in careers that may (or may not) have been fulfilling, or lived lives of dedication to children, parents, and work responsibilities come to the Cottage and become wonderful artists with amazing new friends.

I firmly believe…

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I am so proud of the wimmin of The Cottage who so generously love and support each other. I am proud of their dedication to the work of their souls–the healing of their hearts–the strengthening of their bonds. I am proud of the way the Cottage Tribe leaps in to help me when I am down or ill or just a tad bit overwhelmed by my Sweetheart’s cancer fight.

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I love that we’ve decided to embrace the Wild Woman Creed..soul4

and that we, as a tribe, have come to passionately know that

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I am, indeed, blessed to be the ring-leader of this wild, crazy, wonder-filled tribe!

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Thank you, my beautiful tribe, for continuing to inspire, heal, celebrate, and activate your wild womaness!

You are what keeps me going on this adventure of holding sacred space. You are what makes my heart leap with compassion and my soul quiver with joy. You are the Soul Sisters–and together we are a mighty strong band of renegade wimmin who can change the world one day, one friend, one piece of art at a time.

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Thanks for holding hands and howling under the full moon together–thank you for supporting the Creative Cottage–thank you for knowing and trusting and investing in the notion that…

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Thank you dear Creative Cottage Soul Sisters for being such an amazing, loving, caring tribe! I am so honored to be your Mistress of Merriment Kait.

P. S. Check out remaining classes for January under the Creative Cottage classes tab and sign up for classes by emailing me at: paloma@dakotacom.net

©Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2018.  All rights Reserved.

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Thank you to the Wild Woman Sisterhood and Pinterest for images.

By thundermoonstudios

Making The Leap!

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I feel like I’m leaping out of speeding clown car, careening down a curvy, fog-soaked road, in the dead of night, toward a tiny beacon of light, flickering on the other side of a huge chasm. Leaping over it is an act of pure faith. 2017was definitely not a good year for me. Perhaps the whole devisive political climate set the incessant negative tone, or perhaps it was my dear, loving husband being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Maybe it was everything in general and nothing in particular. Maybe it was in my stars or something I ate. But 2017 was a very rough year for me and most people I love.

Don’t get me wrong–there were lots of “life lessons”…bless their little hearts…

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The biggest of which was learning on a very personal and visceral level that

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It’s a mighty powerful lesson and one I grappled with after my own heart attack in 2016. But it’s amazing how easy it is to gloss over. Ignore. Push down. Forget.

Turns out, there are some things that you just can’t wish away…starting with a POTUS bent on pillaging the country, whipping up hatred, repealing health care, and destroying environmental protections and public lands. There are just some things you can’t pretend aren’t real. Cancer for instance. 

But…

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I’m from a stubborn, head-strong, heart-proud, clan of renegade wimmin who power through things on their own. We “buck up” when things get tough. We grit our teeth and hunker down and do what needs doing. We’re terrible at asking for help and even worse at accepting it. We figure other folks have plenty to worry about in their own lives and need not be bothered by what’s going on in ours. We prefer to suffer in silence. Eat a lot of chocolate. And watch 1940’s noir movies on Turner Movie Classics in our jammies.

But…in 2018…

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I’m going to trust that you want me to take better care of myself.

I’m going to believe you want happiness and peace and good health for me, as well as for yourself. 

So, in 2018, I’m going to take more time off to play and laugh and make art and have adventures. I’m going to spend every moment I can with Albert and my family. I’m going to take Albert on an odyssey for his 80th birthday in late January to visit his beloved son Erik in Grass Valley and swing by my beautiful sister Kim’s homestead in the Sierras. We’re going to spend a couple of days at a fun, funky cabin in the Chiracuas for Valentine’s. I’m going to San Diego to visit my dear, old friends, Allan, Sandi, Ski, Ann, Virginia, Mnimaka, and others in April…and there WILL be a beach trip in September! In short, we’re going to LIVE every single danged moment we have left! I’m letting go of being such an over-doing, over-committing, over-obsessing person and use one (and only one) mantra in 2018…

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The list of things I hope to do better in 2018 is short and sweet. No grand plans to change the world, save the planet, or single-handedly put an end to child abuse, racism, and war.

After years of dedicated resolution-making, intention-setting, and vision-boarding; here are my simple hopes for 2018…

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My word for the year is: RELEASE.

Release ideas, people, things, obligations, relationships, and responsibilities that no longer serve me. Release guilt & shame & “never enough.” Release the demeaning, critical, mean-spirited self-talk I so often whisper to myself. Release the notion that my house has to be perfect to entertain friends instead of just a cozy, messy, life-spilling, joyful filled space for people to eat, drink, and be merry. Release the bad habit of trying to juggle too many balls in mid-air. Release clutter and collections gone viral. Release expectations and projections and being “stuck.” Release old hurts and slights and inscrutable break-ups with people I have loved.

Release dreams that no longer fit: I’m just never gonna make it to the jungles of New Guinea,  for instance, or learn to play the cello. There’s a very good chance I’m never gonna finish my novel Brogan’s Book or challenge Mary Oliver to a poetic duel.

But I can learn to savor, enjoy, celebrate, and uplift all the things I love and believe in. I can spread joy and creativity and the marvelous healing balm of deep friendship. I can love and be loved and make tiny contributions to making the planet a better place. I can keep The Creative Cottage afloat and throw open the doors to greet you with hugs & laughter when you come to play. I can remind you to

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Maybe that’s all I can do. But I have to believe it is enough. Enough to give, enough to share, enough to be just my whole, flawed, messy, HUMAN self in front of you because you can see through all that and into my heart. Where I love you. Where I will stand beside you, hoisting up the banner of our shared belief in love and friendship and healing.

So, here’s to 2018 and here is my wish for you…2018 7

I love you and will continue to plug away at life if you’ll join me in the glorious, difficult, absolutely relentless work of being a change-agent for joy. I’ve got your hand. We can get through it together. We’re on the high, windy, sacred cliff of Third Mesa in the land of Hopi as the last sun of 2017 sets over the mountains and the first glorious, radiant moon of 2018 rises to guide us on our soul’s deep and joy-full journey together. Let us begin…

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Happy New Year!

With Great Love & Renewed Hope, Kaitlin

P.S. Check out my classes–please note some changes due to “Albert & Kait’s Great Adventure” in January!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

By thundermoonstudios

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!

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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.

 

 

 

By thundermoonstudios

Nature Calls!

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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.  

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We need the medicine of the campfire

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and the joy of rambling

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and the fine art of:

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For a few days you can

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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,

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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…

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Images with thanks to Pinterest.

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

 

 

By thundermoonstudios

Life On A Roller Coaster

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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

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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!

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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! 

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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.

 

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