Tag Archives: mountains

NaPoWriMo 2017 Day 6: A Day in the Life of a Mountain

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Morning
Rising up out of the Earth
the young mountain
towers over all it sees.

Afternoon
Mellowed by many eons
the mature mountain
watches and listens.

Evening
Crumbled into fine, shimmering dust
the ancient mountain
holds the memories of millennia.

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Today’s prompt, for those who are interested.

 

Embracing My Path

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Packing up to go back home,
there is that same old feeling
I’ve always had when readying myself
to leave a beautiful place.
I drag my feet; I don’t want to leave.
I’ll miss these mountains,
the dry air, the smell of alpine forests.
As I feel the surges of resistance,
my breath comes in to remind me
that there is space everywhere,
and especially within me.
May I carry this feeling of spaciousness,
breathing into the fullness of this moment,
embracing my path
wherever it takes me.

Moved by Mountains

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We went to the mountains today.
I was moved.
My heart sang.
I felt grateful.
Such simplicity–
some delicate wildflowers,
a stream flowing over smooth rocks,
warm sunshine,
the scent of a nearby campfire
wisping along softly with the wind,
the aspen leaves responding
to the breeze’s caress,
hearing my children laughing and playing,
eating a simple meal,
laughing with loved ones.
Some talk about
faith so strong that it can move mountains;
I know nothing about this.
All I know is
the mountains move me,
and my heart sings.

NaPoWriMo Day 14: San San

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Another challenging prompt today…and it’s late, and I’m halfway considering reverting to my default free-verse poem of the day, but willpower is the mother of all virtues, and methinks I will help build some more of it by JUST DOING THIS.

San San rhyme scheme:  a-b-c-a-b-d-c-d
General idea…use three images and repeat them three times each within an eight line poem sticking to the rhyme scheme. A bit complicated, perhaps–especially to my tired mind.  But I must start somewhere, decide on three images…hmm. How about some things I love?

1)achingly beautiful peaks
2)clear blue sky
3)wide open heart

Okay, here goes:

Alone I stand looking out upon achingly beautiful peaks
partnering gently, completely with the clear blue sky–
reminding me of the vastness of my wide open heart.
This sky blue dress the great mother wears stirs as she speaks
her wind-language. My aching heart opens wings to fly  
across the beautiful peaks. The sun bends down to kiss
the clearest of blue skies, while thought curtains part
revealing the peaks of this wide, open-hearted bliss.

image credit: https://lephylis.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/montagne01.jpg

NaPoWriMo Day 11: Le Mélézin

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I come back to this place again and again
in my dreams, the dreams I hold in my heart.
Green grass mown by munching goats and sheep
their bells sounding a right racket as they amble along
tracks they’ve worn into the mountain meadow.
I look up and see a crystalline blue sky.
I look out from where I’m sitting and see
more mountains than I can count and the city
where I left my heart nestled in the valley below.
I take off my shoes and dip my toes into the ice cold water
of the stream that has gathered momentum
from its origins in the valley behind me.
A bit of emmental cheese, a bit of dark chocolate,
a hunk of baguette, a sip of water
and now my hands are drumming this drum
I lugged with me from the valley below.
The breath of summer and the scent of wildflowers
caress my soul as the wind whispers through the conifers.
I have endured such heartbreak.

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 12: Round Like Balance

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Today’s prompt over at NaPoWriMo.net is a lot easier for me to wrap my head around than yesterday’s:

Describe in great detail your favorite room, place, meal, day, or person. You can do this in paragraph form.

Now cut unnecessary words like articles and determiners (a, the, that) and anything that isn’t really necessary for content; leave mainly nouns, verbs, a few adjectives.

Cut the lines where you see fit and, VOILA! A poem!

Okay then!  My favorite place for some time now has been a perfectly round hill tucked in a valley between two mountains in the Briançonnais region of the department of the Hautes Alpes of France.  I lived in Briançon for a few years and came to know some of the mountains like the back of my hand, and there are pieces of my heart and soul that remained there after I left my beloved France to return home to the US.

Last June I wrote this post in response to a prompt from a WordPress Writing 101 course.  When I read today’s NaPoWriMo prompt I said to myself, “Ok, dear, let’s not reinvent the wheel.  You know what your favorite place is.  Find that post from last year and make a poem!” Ah, I love the internets.  I went to my list of the 504 posts I’ve published on Yoga Mom, searched for “mountain” and voilà! There was my favorite place described in detail…ahh, the nostalgia.  Here’s a blurb from that post followed by the poem I constructed from it for today’s NaPoWriMo offering:

If I could go anywhere right this second, it would have to be a little hill nestled in a high mountain valley close to Briançon, France, in the department of the High Alps (les Hautes-Alpes).  The first apartment I lived in during my time in Briançon boasted a lovely view of countless mountains including two which I came to know intimately– le Mélézin and la Roche Motte.  From my apartment window I could just make out the valley in between the two peaks.  I remember wanting to go there, curious about that valley for several months, and then one day…

 

Drive up the winding mountain road,
park in the little village.
Now hike in.

Magical.  

Pine forest, gorgeous wildflowers,
mountain breeze,
sunshine, heaven.
Mushrooms here and there–
Maybe a fairy or an elf
will saunter by.

Stop every now and again
along the winding mountain path
to 
sip some water,
breathe the most gorgeous perfume
of  fallen pine needles,
rich earth,
wildflowers, rock.
Round le Mélézin and
face the hot sun beating down.
Laying eyes the hill,
now climb it.

Sit and watch life unfold from this vantage point
cradled there between the two peaks–
a proper hill,
a BIG hill,
a hill that is steep and rocky on one side
gently sloping on the other.
Choose your steps
rock to rock,
across a rushing stream,
pick your way through mushy grass
wet with the spring thaw
melting into summer.
The greenest grass,
marmots scrambling,
sheep pastured for the summer,
their bells
peppering their bleats
with the monotone music
of intermittent clanging.

At the far end of the valley,
a shallow, ice cold torrent,
melt-off from the surrounding peaks
–the wonder of seeing snow in the middle of July,
icy refreshment
to soothe and invigorate
this body, so hot after a long hike. 

Be brave.
with nothing but the blue sky,
birds, marmots,
and some sheep to witness your courage–
strip down,
take a dip for a few AHA seconds,
hands cupping ice water
pouring over face and body,
shivering.

Get dressed now.
Tingling skin
warming in the sun,
walk back to the beautiful round hill,
round like the earth,
round like a woman in her 40th week of gestation,
round like wholeness,
like completeness,
round like balance.

 

 

A Few Things I’m Wanting

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Nature
mountains, trees, streams,
rocks, moss, ferns,
earth
sustainability,
health, deep breathing,
connection,
beauty,
creativity,
elemental balance,
trust
peace
appreciation for what I have,
movement, dance,
rock climbing,
yoga
music
art
delicious food,
love,
the ability to direct my life force energy
in service of others to enrich their lives
evolution
communion
lightness

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This evening I was mulling over the idea of signing up for an online business school that one of my teacher colleagues recommended to me one week ago at our teacher training. It’s relatively expensive, and I would certainly need my husband’s agreement before I could make such an investment.

Thinking about this expense, I began asking questions like:

“Will I experience measurable results?”  
“Will I be able to map out a plan for a clear progression in all aspects of my inner and outer worlds?”
“Will I be able to generate greater income that will allow for an abundance of different experiences for myself and my family?”

These questions led me to ponder yet another important question:  “What is it that I really want right now?” The above poem offers some answers to that question, but it is by no means an exhaustive list.  It is just a few little words describing what was on my mind, just a few words revealing what I keep in my heart…

And now I want to know, really I do–What are YOU wanting right now? Do you often ask yourself that question? Have you noticed your desires changing as time passes?  Are there certain among them that remain constant? Tell me!

At Home in the Mountains

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Earlier this week my family and I hiked a trail through Albion basin, up to Cecret Lake. This photo doesn’t nearly capture the amazing wildflowers that were in bloom everywhere.  I wish I could send you the smell of the Alpine forest and the feel of the wind.

Albion Wildflowers

Today we took a tram up from Snowbird to an altitude of 11,000 feet.  Not as many trees, but there were lots of wildflowers, beautiful clouds, open sky, incredible vistas.

Mountain Horses

Whenever I’m up in the mountains, a peace comes over me, and a joy.

Mountain Horses 2

Maybe the combination of the resins from the trees, the scent of the earth, and the wildflowers is aromatherapeutic.

Sky Mountains Flowers

Maybe the wind reminds me to breathe…and the cool air revitalizes my senses.

snowbird

But I don’t really need to understand why.  There are no words to describe this feeling of being at home when I’m so close to the sky and can see for many miles.  Every time I leave the majestic peaks, I count the seconds until I can get back again.  I hope the mountains will call me back home to them soon.

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A Recipe for Happiness

Start with sunshine
and vibrant wildflowers.
Pour in generous quantities of blue sky.
Add plenty of Earth.
Garnish with Rocks.
Serve on a bed of trees
and drizzle on top a touch of wind scented with nature’s finest perfume.
Season with your appreciation,
say a prayer of thanksgiving.

Sit down at Nature’s banquet table,
Sip delicately the broth of heaven.
It only takes a little sip.
Then–
Smile broadly, jump up, and dance for joy!

 

 

Writing 101, Day 2: A Room With a View

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Day 2 of Writing 101, here I come!  When I read today’s prompt, I had no trouble choosing the subject of my post, there wasn’t a shred of indecision in my mind.  Here’s what we were asked to do:

Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?

Yes, definitely somewhere I’ve been, definitely luring me with the power of nostalgia. Here goes!

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If I could go anywhere right this second, it would have to be a little hill nestled in a high mountain valley close to Briancon, France, in the department of the High Alps (les Hautes-Alpes).  The first apartment I lived in during my time in Briancon boasted a lovely view of countless mountains including two which I came to know intimately– le Mélézin and la Roche Motte.  From my apartment window I could just make out the valley in between the two peaks.  I remember wanting to go there, curious about that valley for several months, and then one day, driving up the winding mountain road, parking in a little village, and hiking in.  Magical.  Pine forest, gorgeous wildflowers, mountain breeze, sunshine, heaven.  Mushrooms here and there–I expected a fairy or an elf would just saunter by at any moment. The path was winding and long and I stopped every now and again to sip some water and breathe in the most gorgeous perfume of  fallen pine needles, rich earth, wildflowers, and rock.  I rounded le Mélézin and faced the hot sun beating down upon me. When I came upon the hill, I just knew I had to climb it and sit and watch life happen from this vantage point.  I never knew the hill was there until I hiked in and saw it cradled there between the two peaks–a proper hill, a BIG hill, a hill that was steep and rocky on one side and gently sloping on the other.  I chose my steps carefully, from rock to rock, across a rushing stream, and then I picked my way through some mushy grass, wet with the spring thaw melting into summer. The greenest grass, marmots scrambling, sheep pastured for the summer, hearing the bells they wore clanging intermittently, peppering their bleats with monotone music…at the far end of the valley, a shallow, ice cold torrent of melt-off from the surrounding peaks–the wonder of seeing snow in the middle of July, and I was so hot after my long hike.  I was also completely alone, with nothing but the blue sky and the birds and the marmots and the sheep to witness me summoning my courage, stripping off my clothes, taking a dip for a few refreshing AHA seconds, water just up to my ankles, feet nearly numb, hands cupping icy water to pour over face and body…and then dressed again, tingling skin warming up in the sun, walking back to the beautiful round hill, round like the earth, round like a woman in her 40th week of gestation, round like wholeness, like completeness, round like balance.  And I was fulfilled, I was content, snacking on fruit, bread, cheese, nuts, dark chocolate, drinking water collected from the village fountain, water collected straight from the mountain spring, water of life.

I dream of this place, surrounded as I am today by the sprawl of urban progress.  I dream of going back to my mountain heaven, taking my little children with me.  Walking the path I walked, watching them sniff the scent of pine needles, of wind, of wildflowers, of perfection.  I want for them to hear the marmots’ whistles, and I want to hear them laugh at how they waddle quickly to return to their burrows when they get spooked.  My children were with me that first day on the hill, as they have been with me since before I was born.  The dream of them came to me when I was resting on the hill one melancholy day, looking up at the impossibly blue sky.  I was grieving and had gone back to the hill for her solace, her wisdom. I knew, in spite of my sadness, that one day my belly would be round like this hill.

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Do any of you read French? Are any of you French?  Here’s a little blurb for my francophones out there:

Je rêve à retourner en France.  Ce pays est dans mon cœur et il me manque terriblement, une manque qui me touche au plus profonde de mon être. Le jour òu j’ai quitté la Françe, j’ai laissé une partie de mon cœur, et il n’est plus entière depuis. Cette partie m’appelle de loin, et je l’entends, et quelque fois c’est la torture. Parfois je me souviens de mes experiences là-bas, et je me r’appelle de me sentir bien assimilée dans la culture–après 9 ans aux E.U., je continue à me sentir plus française qu’américaine.  J’imagine que ce sera mon état d’esprit pour toujours.

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Here’s my poem of the day:

The mountains are in my heart,
they’re in my soul
and for nine years I have wanted to return to them.

Why am I in the city when I feel most fulfilled walking in the forest,
hiking up a mountain, heart pounding, lungs full of fresh air?

Real life has taken over I suppose,
but perhaps one day this real life
will take me back to the place I miss so much
so that I can find the piece of my heart that stayed behind
when I left nine years ago.

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Mandala #2…and My Foray Into Antidepressants

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The all-seeing witness at the center of being, still in the midst of movement, silent in the midst of noise, peaceful in the midst of chaos.

The all-seeing witness at the center of being, still in the midst of movement, silent in the midst of noise, peaceful in the midst of chaos.

I drew this mandala when I found myself with a bit of time before a scheduled appointment.  I was in a quiet room, at a big table, and I had an hour and a half to kill–which is a very rare occurrence these days.  I got out my pens and the small journal that I often take with me just in case I have a moment to write, and I doodled.  It’s meditative drawing a mandala–I can become quite nicely absorbed in the present moment when my only question is, which color pen will I pick up next?

In other news, after years of encouragement from multiple people including my therapist, my husband, my mother-in-law, an ex-boyfriend and his mother–among others– I finally went to a doctor and got a prescription for an antidepressant medication.  I’m not telling my family.  They are staunchly opposed to medicines for regulating brain chemistry.  This is probably one of the reasons that they are all depressed.

I always thought yoga and meditation would save me from this.  I thought I was better than this.  Taking medication feels like I’m giving up.  But I can’t afford to wait any longer, not when I see myself raising my voice at my children, stomping and slamming around, unable to control my temper, feeling low, feeling worthless.

I have been telling myself for years that I’ll be happy when the conditions of my life change:

If I could only live in the mountains, surrounded by trees, ferns, rocks and moss…
If only I could have a supportive community around me, other parents of young children, people to meditate with,  friends who show up…
If only I had more time to write, to practice yoga, to rock climb, to dance in a forest cathedral, to listen to the whisper of river water gliding over stones…
If only, if only, if only
then I could be happy.

I had been waiting to create the perfect life, to move away from the city and be closer to nature. I had been waiting to find more balance, to have more time to myself.  I kept telling myself that my depression was linked to real conditions in my life that could be changed, and it was only a matter of time; I needed to be patient and allow the transformation to occur, find my peace with what is, not be too pushy.

Meanwhile I can’t seem to control my rage, and I lack the motivation to do many of the things that I know would bring me satisfaction.  No matter how hard I try, I end up being impatient with my kids, short-tempered, and then I feel guilty for erupting, being reactive.  I don’t want them to turn out like me, I don’t want them to be angry people.  I don’t want them to be traumatized; they’re so young, they deserve to feel happy and to know that they are safe at all times. They deserve to be around a mother who is happy, competent and peaceful.

My husband picked up my prescription from the pharmacy tonight, and I eyed the bottle sitting on the kitchen counter for a couple of hours before I worked up the courage to open it and examine its contents.  I took off the cap and saw a bunch of harmless looking,  round, pale lavender pills–but they might as well have been roaring monsters with sharp teeth for all of the anxiety I was feeling.  I plucked one out and held the small lavender disk in my hand for a few minutes, on the verge of tears, feeling so hopeless, defeated.

When I finally swallowed the thing, I was swallowing my sadness, my anger, my regret, my guilt.  There was a big lump in my throat that made swallowing nearly impossible, but I did it.  I took my first antidepressant pill–and then I burst into tears.

I’ve been told that life doesn’t have to feel like such a struggle.  I’m looking forward to experiencing that.