Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Magic Meanderings

"Turk" the Tuxedo Cat I met on my walk today.
He is eating grass next to my sketchbook.

One of my favorite things to do is wander older neighborhoods. I love old houses and I love gardens, and the two often go hand-in-hand. I try to go on these journeys mid-week, because, while I love talking to people and making new friends, these wanderings are more for quiet solitude and peacefulness in my heart. I find that mid-week, most of these neighborhoods are relatively quiet and empty, except for the fantastic neighborhood cats who always come out to greet me and get lots of love and pets.

I always bring my sketchbook so I can sketch interesting shapes, that will later work their way (or not) into my paintings (a great tool I learned from the fantastic Flora Bowley, whose Brave Intuitive You: Bloom True e-course, I am currently taking). Today I sketched stone walls and acorns and fence posts and growing gourds, just to name a few.

Tree Pods and Old Houses.

I had to go to the doctor today, and that always stresses me out. I am so glad that I gave myself this gift to go walking beforehand. I had an intention to do this every week, especially before the rainy-season started, and yet here we are in October and I have only made these walks twice this Summer/Fall! Why do I deny myself this simple, easy, free experience? I think there is a very fierce voice in my head that thinks I don't "deserve" to space out and walk around for a few hours. It's this very old voice that is a fierce task-master. This voice (I call her "Greta" and picture her as a giant German Mistress) often yells at me to "work harder" and whatever I do is never enough for her. I'm trying to not listen to her and follow my deeper, soulful instincts that call me to walk and dream and draw.

I also make sure to bring along my I-Phone, so I can also catch images that my sketchbook cannot. I'm always looking for new garden growing and design ideas. I've also been hunting for a Gardening Guru - someone I could visit and play in the dirt with, while s/he teaches me new gardening magic I can apply to my own rough garden. I really want a magical garden, full of color and beauty, but my poor garden gets all-day hot sun, so it's hard to create a "lush" feeling here!

Gorgeous stairs leading to a very secluded house. Dare I climb them?
 I also use this time to play around with some of my favorite I-Phone filter apps. I know that it's starting to "not be cool" to use these filters. I've noticed all the photo sharing sites are using #NoFilter tags with pride, but I still enjoy playing with filters. The app I'm using today with these photos is Toy Camera, which is really fun.

Oak Hill Park, Petaluma, CA
Another aspect of my walking magic is putting out an intention before my walk. I learned this trick from SARK and her "Miracle Walks." Sometimes I ask to "have an adventure" and sometimes it's "discover something new." Today, I asked to "find a secret place," and sure enough, I did! I came across Oak Hill Park, a park I did not know existed. It has a lot of old trees and even older giant stones. It's also a dog park, which is always fun, as it's impossible for me to be sad when dogs are running around with crazy smiles, feeling free.

As I wandered to the back of the park, what do I discover but a stone, outdoor labyrinth! Talk about "discovering something new!" I adore labyrinths. Walking them always calm me and I have walked just about every labyrinth in the Bay Area (find a labyrinth near you here!)  This one was a bit dusty, and the nearby kid party (on a Tuesday afternoon?) was distracting, but I was still able to calm myself down and focus enough to block out the distractions and focus on my own prayers. It was really perfect to finish my walk here.

What's a simple, easy gift of peace and creativity you can give yourself this week?


  1. Wow...how cool that you found the labyrinth. It seems like you were meant to find it on that day!

  2. Yes! It was such a delight to find such a magic place!