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WHY DO WE WAIT FOR THE RIGHT CONDITIONS?

WHEN THE WRONG ONES WILL DO

WHY DO WE WAIT FOR THE RIGHT CONDITIONS?

GROWING AND MAKING STUFF

MAKES ME HAPPY

GROWING AND MAKING STUFF

AWARENESS...

STAYING AWAKE TO THE REMARKABLE IN THE ROUTINE

AWARENESS...

Hi. I’m Maery, a writer in the Twin Cities. Although I no longer have the body for extreme adventures, I love to bicycle, go horse trail riding and take hikes with my dogs.  

One thing you should know before you join me on my quest -- I don’t have a map. And I’ve been known to wander off course and stop to listen to birds and look for agates. I also have a few issues with fear and anxiety. In other words, I’m not a good role model or adventure guide. But in this time of uncertainty and polarization, I'm not sure anyone has a reliable map. We'll just figure it out as we go.

fat bike

fat bikeIt was very cool on Thanksgiving when I rode my fat bike along the Mississippi River. I stood for awhile just listening to the ice flow by, with its mysterious crunching and whooshing noise.

“Ah, but the winters! The earth’s mysterious
turning-within. Where around the dead
in the pure receding of sap,
boldness is gathered,
the boldness of future springtimes.
Where imagination occurs
beneath what is rigid”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, “O Lacrimosa”

This winter started early and landed like a glass of ice cubes dumped down the back of my shirt. I usually don’t get crabby about winter until January or February but this year, I’ve grown weary of it already. Maybe that’s just because I’ve been working so much and have barely had any time to get outside. I feel fat, blobby and dull-headed from sitting at a computer day after day.

One more week, and things should start to let up a bit. Until then, I just have to sneak in a few moments of sanity now and again. And think about Rilke’s poem.

In what ways am I gathering boldness?

In what ways are you?

woman wearing winter goggles

contemplative dog

(my contemplative girl)

I recently completed a free online course called “The Science of Happiness.” Sounds hokey, touchy feely, worthy of an eye roll, I know, but it was actually very good. The course covered things like gratitude, meditation, social connection, kindness and compassion, appreciation of other people, forgiveness, and the power of awe and mindfulness. There’s a Science of Happiness Mooc starting up December 1, the same course only self-paced, if you are interested. Or you may just want to check out the Greater Good site for articles and videos.

The topics covered are ones that almost everyone I know is familiar with to the point that overused words, like “mindfulness,” have lost their meaningfulness. How much more can a person stand to hear? But the great thing about the class was that it presented stunning scientific information about the benefits of these practices that had me tripping over myself to fit meditation into my day. You tell me something is going to help build up my gray matter (brain) and help decrease my reactivity to chronic pain and I am on board!

So today I am thankful for what I learned in that class, for all the lovely people in my life (especially Steve), for warm, cuddly dogs who blanket my lap on a cold winter night and for so much more that it’s too long to list here.

I hope, whatever your circumstances, you too can find reason to give thanks on this holiday and always.

dog by the river

dog by the river

I decide a photo is enough
Says it all really
I love this dog
This river
This bite to the air