Power-Dependent Power

“Everyone can exercise at least one hour per day,” claims the healthy octogenarian Dr. Norman Shealy.  My respect for Doctor Norm had bloomed while studying the Medical Intuitive course he presented with Caroline Myss.

With the hour-a-day in mind, I ramped up last week:  one Yoga class, three aquafit classes and two hikes.  After nursing a very ill Duc le Chat the week before and after his Lazarus-like recovery, I needed to celebrate health and vitality.

Then Nature took command.

After a dry October, our watery retribution arrived in full force on the first Saturday morning in November.  A loud, undulating rain pounded the metal roof and shook my peaceful, cat-less sleep.  Listening from the comfort of my warm bed, I heard rain swoosh against windows.  A chaotic symphony of wind chimes confirmed the leaf-blasting-blow had arrived.  No wonder Duc stayed inside all night.

I slid out of bed, grabbed a shawl and dashed through the chilled house.  I opened the outside door to a swirl of golden leaves and a driveway covered with dead, rust-coloured spruce needles. Streams ran down the street at the end of my driveway and fed waters that gushed through the culvert.  The storm had been raging for hours.

“Perfect day to stay home,” I said and closed the door.  I headed for the kitchen.

“Bleeeeep!”  The smoke detector!  The power had just gone off.  Time to build a fire.

Once the wood was ablaze, I snuggled under a blanket and began my vigil of hunger.  I longed for my gourd of hot Yerba Mate.  I imagined a steaming bowl of porridge with liberally sprinkled cinnamon, a dollop of milk, a thin layer of maple syrup, and toppings of hemp hearts and chia seeds.

Monkey mind.

No computer!  No writing, reading, connecting, paying bills, meeting deadlines, studying, playing games, movie watching, researching.  In the glare of reality, my dependence on technology felt like a spiritual challenge.  I grabbed my Isaac Singer novel and found detailed descriptions of war-torn Warsaw.  Seeing the folly of my inner whining, I reluctantly admitted I lived in relative luxury, comfort and self-indulgence.

But a shower would be good.  Or just enough hot water to wash my face.   I chomped on a handful of mixed nuts and goji berries.  Should I head to the village?

Monkey mind!

Not once did I consider going for a walk. Never thought about practicing Yoga moves.  No long and deep meditation. Primal needs laid my brain at the base of Maslow’s hierarchical pyramid:  Food, Shelter and Security.  How long could I live like this?  Could I actually figure out the Coleman camp stove someone gave me?

As wind and rain continued to blast the house, Duc settled into his favourite chair by the fire.  He needed no electricity or technology to purr gratitude over his chicken thigh breakfast.  Golden cat eyes blinked contentment.

“Blast this!  I’m going to the Village” I said seconds before the smoke detector screeched its announcement.  Electricity had returned. In an instant I was at the stove. The pot of porridge was soon bubbling and the water was boiling for my endless sips of Yerba Mate.

Having succumbed to lethargy and light-brained thinking, my pace for the rest of the day suited a Two-Toed Sloth.

The next morning, I was awakened by my walk buddy’s phone call.  As we talked, sun beams streamed through half-closed blinds.  Had power fully returned?  Electricity, technology, motivation, energy, good health and freedom – the total package?  The monkey mind had been replaced by enthusiasm.

We’re back in power, Dr. Norm!  Meet us at the Cemetery!  We’re up for a challenging Canadian coastal power-walk!

While waiting for my Walk Buddy, I discovered the gate to the cemetery was broken.  To keep critters out, I used the only thing I had to tie it closed...a shirt I was taking to the thrift shop.

While waiting for my Walk Buddy, I discovered the gate to the cemetery was broken. To keep critters out, I used the only thing I had to tie it closed…a shirt I was taking to the thrift shop.

Looking back and down at the long steep climb we had just made.

A quick shot of the beginning of the trail.  We’ve been warned.  This one’s “Difficult”.

Yes, it was steep and slippery.  No wonder this  trail is "Difficult"

Yes, it was steep, windy and slippery. It earned its designation.

Look at that great sunshine.  Who would believe yesterday's storm.  West Coast Weather!

Look at that great sunshine. Who would believe yesterday’s storm. West Coast Weather!

Now here's an interesting little squeeze.  Trees loving the hugs.

The trail presents an interesting little squeeze. This tree must love the hugs as hikers squeeze by.

Welcome splash of bright sunlight.

Welcome splash of bright sunlight.

Down the other side...very steep and twisting.  We're heading for the ocean.

Down the other side…very steep and twisting. Thanks to our Parks people for all their great handiwork in setting the trail.  We can just catch a glimpse of the ocean.

There it is...we made it through the tough parts.  Now the other half...and a good lunch!

There’s the Bay…we made it through the tough parts. Now on to the other half of the hike; then to a delicious lunch where we solve all the problems.

30 thoughts on “Power-Dependent Power

    • There was a spot on the steep climb where we had to pick our own way – the trail was not distinct. Our big thrill after a climb is to see the marker on one of trees confirming we’re still on track! Would like some of those in my life! 😀

    • Kim, do you see the welcome mat with your name on it? And about those trees. If we truly KNOW the oneness of all beings – if we truly believe we are all simply varied forms of energy, it means we respect the effect we humans have on everything around us. Look at the experiments with water – where there’s proof of the effect of our thoughts on it. Okay…back to trees. How would your hike be transformed if you knew that trees “watch” us? Sounds preposterous doesn’t it? It’s easy to see the effect of our energy on the plants we grow; yet saying that trees respond to our energy can sound nutty.

      If it’s nutty, it’s good news that science is finally capable of “losing its mind” enough to focus on energy. Thank God Einstein proved that energy can only be transformed – never destroyed.

  1. I’m really glad to hear that Monsieur le chat is feeling better Amy.
    I can just imagine how uncosy it must be to have to snuggle under the blanket in front of the fire without your morning caffeine or hot porridge. I would have gone straight to the village coffee shop!

    I love the pictures especially the one that shows the hikers hugging the tree as they creep around it. Hooray for the Canadian Parks Board [is that what they’re called?] for saving the tree!

    I just went on a long glorious barefoot walk along the beach in Malibu. It was low tide – an extremely low tide – so I was able to walk around many places where rocks and ocean usually announce the end of my walk, which allowed me to walk much further than usual… Even though I’ve done so much walking sand is abrasive and I’m sorry to say I came home with a huge blister under the heel of my left foot – ouch! – and now I have to take my “personal trainer” for a walkie…. not sure how!

    • Le Monsieur was out last night getting his whiskers bent out of shape. Some new cat has DARED move into the neighbourhood and territory is the hot topic. Duc thinks he’s still a teen, but, instead of blasting in “full of himself”, he came in looking mightily sheepish. In other words, he’s been bitten – or something – and I’ll have to watch to see where the damage was done.

      Yes, Rosie, we work with nature. Some of our island homes are designed around trees thanks to an architect who used to live here and who had studied under Frank Lloyd Wright. He’s now passed on, but we have many of his creations snuggled naturally into their surroundings.

      Ouch…a blister under your heel! Because of our rocky shores, beach walks around here require good runners to protect the feet and stop slippage. Our low tides are usually July/August and again in December. One place that is very accessible at low tide looks like a mud flat. I suspect rubber boots would be the best footwear. One of these days, I’ll have to get out of the forest and see what’s on that exposed stretch of ocean bed.

      • P.S. Rosie – It gives me such pleasure knowing there’s another person out there who, while walking her dog, gives it the pleasure of scouting its world. My heart is tugged every time I observe a human tugging on a dogs leash and denying it from living its ‘dogginess’. Bless you for that.

      • I think I got blisters because I walked too fast. and the grains of sand act like sandpaper. I walked without my shoes on Sunday and and didn’t get blisters because I walked s-l-o-w-e-r . 🙂
        Oooo its yukky to walk without shoes on muddy bottoms.

        Didn’t know that the architect who designed so many of your island homes studied with Frank Lloyd Wright. Thanks for telling me.

  2. What a glorious walk through the woods that looks – wonderful trees, moss, rocks…the air must have smelt beautiful…
    Oh I so know that helpless feeling of no power… we even need power to make our pump work so we can get some water – is it the same for you?

    • We cannot use water either, Valerie, when the power is out, but not because of a pump. If we use up the water in the lines, air pockets form. They can be a real problem for the water lines when they blow and blast through the network of pipes. Thus, I live with spare containers of water in case I wake to another outage and I want to do morning ablutions. Every night I usually remember to fill my drinking-water container.

      Though people find this unpalatable, it’s simply a way of life. The inconvenience keeps me aware of our dependence and helps me test my mettle when it’s not available.

  3. Walking for an hour every day is beyond me – or is it? Or has the power just gone and so like you i just sit and wait for it to come back on again before i even attempt to do one or two yoga moves. Besides i live in the city and the only greenery around here is the park, only it’s not very green at the moment and rather slippery with wet leaves. What i need is motivation, crunchy leaves to walk on and trees to hug.

    • The reason I like to have different types of exercise is to keep my physical discipline fun, interesting and varied. I have gone through stages of walking alone which means I stick to more trafficked areas. Though the routes can become boring, I note the changes during each trip. I get out of myself and train myself to “see”.

      However, I love my Walk Buddies. Their conversation makes the trip interesting and we lose track of time. All of a sudden our bodies tell us we’ve stretched the time a bit and we feel so good about ourselves!

      • right now physical exercise is really difficult for me but maybe a ‘physical discipline’ is just what i need. I had a walk buddy for a while but life changes and we moved on, still best buddies when we meet just don’t get chance to meet very often.

        • I understand, Beverley. It really is challenging to find a Walk Buddy – then to keep them. So many changes occur in our lives. For a while, I had a daily one, but her heels gave out. Thankfully, I now have a buddy for week days and one for weekends. But that took quite a while to set up! Exercise is health so it’s a high priority for me. Keep visualizing – someone will show up.

  4. Your pictures are so beautiful, I would have loved to be hiking with you on that trail. We have one similar in southern Ks that we hike, not always well defined. Macy and I walk our hour a day, guess that is why I have a dog, she gets me out. I am so glad that Le Duc is doing so much better. To me a warm fire and a good book is a always a good day, but would be a great day if we had food available, lol.

    • The insert to my fireplace has a narrow mantle on which I can place half of a foil Chinese food container. Thus, I’m limited to heating…no cooking. I like to keep individual containers of homemade soup in the freezer, but thawing takes some time! Fortunately I always have some sort of “grazing” food. I wouldn’t starve, but I feel hungry when I don’t start my day with porridge.

      My Walk Buddy told me she used to cook inside the stove when she had young children and the power would go out for a week sometimes. That’s quite an accomplishment! But that’s another example of a mother going to any length to help her babes!

  5. Hi Amy,

    Those are lovely pictures you have clicked. Clearly sunshine was on your side:)

    Reading your narrative, what strikes me is how we tend to take so many things for granted. Getting lulled into a day to day existence, comforting in its predictability but moving us away from the Gratitude space.It thus becomes important for situations to arise that force us to shift out of our conditioned action set. This is what the loss of electric power did for you.While initially this can seem somewhat upsetting, the forced change in our work pattern can bring in a freshness from which new possibilities and perspectives can arise.

    So Amy, do you see what a blessing that wet, windy day was for you?


    • Yes, Shakti – and that’s what motivated me to write about it. We learn in “opposites” – being without electricity causes me to look at my ability to be without it. Power outages are a fact of life on an island subjected to good blows and flurries. So in facing my dependencies, I am grateful I store containers filled with water for uses other than drinking. I’m especially thankful I remembered to fill my filtered water jug before going to bed.

      Before putting my nose in a book or a sudoku, I mentally scan elderly neighbours – and make sure they are not alone. I’m a Pod Leader for emergencies and disasters in my neighbourhood so I know who may be alone. Since phone service can be down as well, it means a little hike…fresh air is good!

      I take great comfort in my wood pile!

      The one thing I keep neglecting is showing myself how to operate a camp stove if I REALLY needed it. The stove was left for me to use, but with no instruction booklet. I simply have to google the question and do my homework!

      All in all? It puts a smile on my soul!

  6. That certainly looks like a lovely walk. I bet that the woodland scents were delightful! As for the technology thing, yes, it only takes a power cut to show how dependant we are. I find it bewildering that we’re constantly being told to ‘be green’, save energy whilst being encouraged at the same time to buy more and more electronic gadgetry! The amount of plugs, wires and re-chargers in the B and B rooms over the season is shocking! Sorry, bit of a soap-box moment there!

    • Good point, Christine. I hadn’t thought about the technology needed in each room of a B&B. Yikes. Certainly it’s expected in hotels, but for private home owners to be so accommodating… One day we may find people turning away business because they have NO techno gismos for guests who truly want to get away.

  7. That’s a beautiful walk and I love that you’re making a commitment to exercise an hour a day. I am having one h*ll of a time with middle age weight gain and am really going to have to step it up. As I work for the power company, I always enjoy when someone points out a time when they appreciate it.

    • My weekend walk buddy is looking at new-to-us trails right this minute for our hike today. She and I are usually out for more than an hour. We have a similar pace and take time to really enjoy the surroundings. My week day walk buddy is a burst of energy – for an hour – and then she’s done!

      Yes our Hyrdo crew are angels. Man, their appreciation has been taking a beating thanks to these dang smart meters. What’s your opinion about them, Tammy?

    • Hey, Joss…can’t smell any Big Macs on this comment! You must love having WIFI freedom. I really like that umbrella – have not seen one like that here at home, but then I do live on a rock!

      I’m enjoying seeing your surroundings. Do you feel bereft in any way about not having a home tucked away somewhere? Or have you relinquished all those old conditions?

  8. Ah, to have that privilege to walk in the lesser traveled places. I was bragging up being able to walk a mile (broken up into 2 pieces) on my one little crutch–looking like some duck in a shooting gallery…..back and forth, back and forth. LOL NOT that I want to diminish the accomplishment. When the physical therapist asked what I wanted to be ‘restored to’…..your path is what I requested. I look forward to NOT being that duck in the gallery.
    And I’d welcome a moment without power IF the heat wasn’t an issue…which it would be given that it’s November and the mornings dip down into the 20’s. No noise! OMGosh, how heavenly. No noise, no distractions….gorgeous silence. Ah, the price we pay when the partner likes noise. LOL I will give that as the hour gets later, he-who-likes-noise dons earphones. I wonder if I oughta invest in a nicer pair for him. Seems more appealing than earplugs for me. LOL
    I’m glad the kitty is feeling better–and glad you got that bit of of walk. Holy moly…..what a cool place to have a wander.

    • I’m trying to picture you on one crutch – moving back and forth. I see determination, frustration, appreciation, joy and mirth. Understand, of course, that none of it is done without chatter! Inner and outer…lots of it would be fodder for David Letterman. Or, even better – Ellen.

      Seriously, Mel, I respect your determination and good attitude so much. Bear with me – my healer’s hat is crying for attention. I’m saying a prayer for you and visualizing you wrapped in healing – a golden blanket to soothe the whole you – soul and bone! I imagine a strong, sturdy, healthy bone in your leg.

      I know you aren’t fussy about energy healing, but what have you got to lose by taking a few minutes every day and visualizing the bone completely healed. Picture it whole, strong and healthy. As one of the Naturopathic Doctors says, “If you don’t know what a healthy bone looks like, google one and get the image.”

      You know the power of the mind.

      I really dislike bossiness, so I hope I’m being a leader!

  9. ((( Amy ))) You’re such a source of joy, it has to be ‘leader’.
    White lights, golden blankets, loving healing thoughts…I have no problem tossing in a healed, happy bone! 😉

  10. I needed a Soul Dipper fix so found one I’d missed. What a wonderful place to walk. It’s too cold here now to walk. I actually pulled out my Yoga for Dummies book. That may be an answer. Love to you. Enjoy winter’s reflectiveness. Just got a Richard Rohr book of advent reflections!

    • You’ve cinched my resolve to get through my writer’s block. However, I’m not much concerned until after Christmas. Just finishing courses and moving through social priorities… As much as I enjoy some change and diversion, I am missing my “outlet”! Thank goodness for my walk buddies and Yoga. Thank you for your friendship – it has been one of the blessings of blogging. Proven significance of the intangible? Love to you, too, Victoria. So, until later.

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