Wild synchronicity


Synchronicity is the Universe tapping you on the shoulder, inviting you to notice what resonates with you. It’s a portal into your deeper self.

Three things are tapping me on the shoulder:

  1. Three weeks ago I was in the middle of a wilderness quest; two days and two nights in the wild with no food. I am in the process of integrating this experience into my life – mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. 
  2. As I fell asleep, for several nights after the wilderness quest, I could see clear images on my eyelids. A friend named this phenomenon: hypnagaia. With a little research, I found the acronym WILD. Wake Induced Lucid Dreams.
  3. While listening to David Whyte’s What to Remember While Waking, he speaks of the revelations we have where we no longer recognize ourselves, and the wilderness skills we need because we don’t recognize “home”.

As I weave these threads together, I see that the wilderness quest was a way to wake myself up – to me. I knew heading in to this experience that I wanted to crack myself open. I thought the crack would let light in, and what I would see would shake me up. I wanted to see what would come of it.

The wilderness quest crack is not only about letting light in – it is as much about letting my light out. It is about seeing things I have never seen before, and welcoming and integrating them into my very being. It is about waking up, everyday, any time of day. Being awake in every moment.



Soul hungers


Two weeks ago today I emerged from the wilderness after two days and two nights alone, on a vision quest in the Cascade Mountains of Washington.

At the end of my fast, I was reflecting on a passage by John O’Donohue, where he invites the reader to “Listen to the voices of longing in your soul. Listen to your hungers.”

I wrote this in my sketchbook:

day 2 of vision quest. late afternoon, early evening o’clock. 6 meals missed. this is an interesting time to think of hunger because I am really hungry. 


As part of the process to prepare for the vision quest, I went for a walk in Elk Island National Park, Canada’s first wildlife sanctuary, and now home to North America’s largest land mammal – the bison.

They welcomed me to the trail head.

Bison welcom

They surrounded me while I paused midday for a snack.

Bison at lunch

They shared their land with me. And as I followed one of their trails off the official trail, I came upon a green, glass bottle.

the bottle - medium

These bison are here because of a series of human interventions. Humans created this sanctuary, a sanctuary needed because of human activity. But in the middle of this natural area the bottle was out of place. I know nothing of its story, of how long it has been here, or who left it. The only thing it could tell me was that was made in Canada (this was imprinted on the bottom).

I picked it up, initially because I felt a need to carry out any garbage I found. As I carried it around with all my own questions about the bottle, I wondered what questions the bottle might have for me.

We walked together and we sat together.

the bottle in the field

And eventually, a couple weeks later and just before leaving for the vision quest, it asked me this:

For what are you a vessel? 


On that last night in my tent, hungry, the beginnings of an “answer” came.

Today is tuesday
on the Sacred Mountain
which means I notice
what I’m really hungry for
i have shelter
i am warm enough
my thirst is quenched
my hunger is 
for my soul to be seen
by me
for my soul to be seen
by others
for my soul to be seen
by this place
to see Me
to see Others
to see my Place
I am hungry for Me
here I am.


Let the pollen dust you


Let the pollen dust you


Don’t let incorporation fly away

let the pollen dust you, every day

with spouses, children, singing

singing full of gratitude

of land, of holding this way

deep in your heart, returning

celebrating home and her guides

her 108 ways of making space

in the extraordinary endless gifts

of life, hosted by nature

nurtured grief, receiving

the work of real people

flowing with Earth, as we ask

with purity of heart, with life

showing sacred life in life

overflowing, spirit guiding

growing the honour of listening

to readiness inherited

known and unknown

as we reach out for Earth

to do most of the work


what kind of tribe has no place?


the wanderers with stars in their eyes

and full hearts


the grouse dancer

the spirit leader

the irreverent ukulele lady

the nest maker

the deeply rooted

the cosmic life force

the freedom climber

the star traveler

the courageous heart of the sun saluter

the journeying medicine man

the spirit steward, of this land



** Caught at the closing circle, Cascadia Quest 2014



Chronos + Kairos


A quest begins before the quest itself.

Over the course of last week, I was tucked into the Eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains in Washington, USA on a Wilderness Quest, with the support of Ann Linnea, Christina Baldwin and Deborah Greene-Jacobi. My intention was to rewire the reptilian in me, to awaken my whole being to what scarcity looks and feels like, so I could more fully see and appreciate – and embody – the abundance in life.

My drive to the Cascade Mountains was full of scarcity, and so began my learning journey.

Here’s what I did.

I wake Thursday morning to have breakfast with my husband and kids as they head off to work and school, then jump in my car to begin the 15 hour drive (the route: Edmonton, Crowsnest Pass, Fernie, Eastpoint border crossing, Spokane, Cascade Mountains).  At this end of the drive, I can move quickly and efficiently.  I can drive faster than 100km/hour, which means that I when I factor in the odd stop I can still travel on average 100km/hour. This was the case for the first 5 hours of my trip, on open highway.

As soon as I entered the Rocky Mountains at Crowsnest Pass, the highway goes through a series of towns and I am forced to drive slower. Once through the towns, I am forced to travel the speed of the slowest driver. When there is an opportunity to pass, I take it. I have a long drive ahead of me and I have to make best use of time. Moreover, I am keeping track of how much time I am ahead of my 100km/hour schedule. I am also noticing how I am losing time.  I hit a construction zone and have to sit for a while. I open my windows and enjoy the smell of the ponderosa forest, but truly, I am anxious about how long I will have to sit. I am losing time.

The hardest part was exactly where I knew it would be – in Idaho, north of Coeur d’Alene where there are traffic lights on the highway every mile. Then where the highway is in the middle of an urban area and the traffic crawls. I find myself appreciating all the transportation officials I have worked with in Alberta and Manitoba who limit the number of roads that have access to highways, allowing the free-flow movement of vehicles. I think to myself, if you are going to build a highway, let it be a highway.

It takes me 11.25 hours to cover 945km and reach Spokane, my stop for the night. Much less than my 100km/hour average that is my goal, or the 10.75 hours it should have taken according to Google. But I have arrived, found my hotel and the gym. I find some supper and go to the gym. I have a schedule to adhere to here too – I am training for a 200km bike ride in 2 months and I have been unable to train due to illness. I am at last well enough to get some time in on a bike. I find myself back on the treadmill for another 32 km.

Then back on the treadmill in the morning, for another 20 km, then a 4 hour drive to meet up with my fellow questers and guides.

And after all the rushing, and watching the clock, I find myself in beautiful Skalitude, nestled in green, lush mountains, longing to go for a walk and explore, but I don’t have the energy.  And during our free time the next day, I set up my tent for a nap in the warm sun; the perfect antidote to rushing in chronos time.


Chronos = time. The passage of time. The measurement of time. Related words: chronology, chronometer, chronic, anachronism, chronicle.  Quantitative.  A specific amount of time. An day. An hour. A minute.  (Link to Wikipedia.)

Kairos = the right, or opportune moment in time. The supreme moment.  Qualitative. A moment. A season.  Crises that bring opportunity. The crucial time.  (Link to Wikipedia.)


And in my exploration of chronos and kairos in Wikipedia, I come across Madeleine L’Engle, author of a book I read at about 12 years old that still resonates with me: A Wrinkle In Time. (A 1962 Newbery Medal winner that was rejected by publishers 30 times.) Her works are divided into chronos and kairos frameworks. The chronos stories take place in primarily realistic settings; the kairos books in realistic and magical settings. They are not separate worlds, for the characters travel in between…


As I drive home, I find myself receiving the gift of time, of many, many moments, to simply be with myself.  The time the drive will take is the time the drive will take. And there is so much to notice along the way. Notice the conversations I have with myself. Notice when I feel like singing. Notice the birds that are shepherding me northwards, to home: the hawks, the raven on the Crowsnest Pass sign, the crows on fence posts, the pelicans on the lake where I had a picnic, the eagles all over the prairies. Notice all the little things that remind me of the people I explored the wilderness with for a week.

I camp by the Moyie River between the border and Cranbrook on my way home.  A swollen slumber. I get up in the morning, and after so much stillness, it is hard to move fast.

I settle in to travel in both chronos and kairos time, enjoying the abundance of moments.

The quest continues after the quest.