Is it Haunted here?

Is it Haunted here?  It opened in 1904 and was revered at the time as the asylum for the mentally and criminally insane. As medicine and research evolved over the years the name and the direction of the Riverview institute transformed into hospital that specialized in mental health issues, until it closed in 2012  

Let me take you back to the 1900″s.  Imagine this place perched high on a mountain side. With trees of all species that have never been logged, that have been here since birth. Such history in the pristine and raw forest.  Such strong forces of energy still at play all these year’s later

 Now imagine, still standing but crumbling, some of the original buildings that housed some of the most mentally ill people that were cast out from society

Witchery and barbaric methods thousands upon thousands of misfitted people locked away behind bars longing to touch what only their eyes beheld them through their windows

As I walk amongst the buildings, windows still barred holding in the spirits that walked the halls. I imagine the hand prints on grimy moss covered windows and the echoes of their screams and laughter as they struggled in their existence

This place is magical but eerie and haunting…. hairs stand on end as you peak through an open window to halls of emptiness but beauty in the building remains

Then out of nowhere a crack of thunder so loud we jump with fright followed by hard rains that send us the message we have over stayed our welcome move on now let us rest in the peace that we had longed for

My spooky Halloween 

Catherine

 

 

A Perfume Called Fall

Two of the greatest smells of all.

When you combine the smell of decaying leaves after a rain storm and campfires burning you have a collision of fall scents that awaken every sense of your being.

Taking deep breaths to try to take in as much of the aroma as possible hoping that if I hold it in, the smells will stay deep within my soul.

Bottle this and call it fall for these two smells can calm the most erratic mind and elevate mood to the point of elation

How is it that two means of ending, wood burning down to ashes and leaves decaying into dust can create such an alive feeling?

 Strange what nature has to offer, leaves, fire and life …. a perfume called fall

My Story My Fall

 Catherine

In awe of the fall

 There is something healing and energizing about sitting under a tree with the wind blowing through the bows just enough to drop pine needles and coloured leaves all around you, hiding out from the rain but still immersed in nature…..  Everyone has long since run indoors, even the chipmunks and squirrels have taken coverimg_6571.  But here we sit in awe of the sounds……

The birds have stopped chirping so the only echoes we hear now is the heavy rain as it picks up energy and moves through the trees The rhythm of drops that slip down between the branches, landing on exposed skin and rain jackets, one drop then two then a few more creating a steady beat,  a drumming sound

Listening with all senses the sounds of the rain, the wind through the trees the rhythm of escaped rain drops, a small miniature outdoor orchestra of music

 A sense of letting go, of releasing thoughts, worries and troubles if only for a moment….

The quiet and the peace, simply in awe of the fall

Catherine

The Road to Fall-September 17, 2016

 

Found high up in the BC mountain ranges it was sort of like driving right through a postcard.  Traveling on this narrow road with mountain ranges all around and steep valleys far below you feel vulnerable and exhilarated at the same time. Clutching the wheel as the car rounds curve after curve but also a sense of freedom,  of letting go with each new twist and turn.

 The scars of the mountainside seem visible today. A rock slide that has scraped the mountain clean of all trees but left one standing alone to carry on and start its own forest again and purple blackened colour of burnt forests left to decay and rebuild themselves.   And peaks and valleys, peaks and valleys one after another, after another each one leaving me speechless in their beauty.

 Fall winds that pull the leaves from branches, they swirl and twist in a whirl of colour all around a sense of peace and amazement. How do you capture this? 

 The sun peeking out, it s rays hitting the intense yellow leaves in just the right way causing the leaves to shimmer like thousands of tiny lights twinkling and then the moment is gone 

 The smells of this fall road fill all your senses.   The amazing smell of decaying leaves, fires somewhere in the distance and the earthy smell that accompanies this early fall.

 The colours on this road, dark evergreen with patches of bright yellow. A natural quilt of colour through the forest back drop 

 So many moments of awe, magnificent, unbelievable, calm, excitement, joy, elation and respect for this great province, this earth

This road, this fall, this story 

Catherine

    

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Conquering Hiking Solo # 2- Hicks Lake

Well Maggie and I did it….. 2nd solo hike, Hicks Lake, Sasquatch BC  Holy freaking out fear but we did it.

Hicks lake is a nice easy  walk about 2 hours (we speed this up quite a bit )….. So today was not a vertical challenge but was more a deep forest bear country sort of challenge.

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This lake is located about 10 km down a dirt road to a place called Sasquatch Provincial Park. Yes this is the place where the infamous spooky siting of the half man half animal” Bigfoot” has been known to reside

 However it was not this mystical creature that I feared, are you kidding there were a few times that I would have welcomed the Sasquatch, just for the half human side that it possesses. It was being in bear country that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

But I love the forest and there are times when you have to go it alone …this was one of those times.

 The start of this trail runs along the lake and the campsites for a short bit and the smells of the camp fires helped to fill my senses and bring in some elements of calm. And the first half of the trail travels along Hicks Lake, the views through the fall coloured trees was pretty and relaxing so I was still feeling pretty composed, in the moment….  Maybe even a little over confident……

My senses were on such high alert that I swear I could hear the mushrooms popping up from the soil but I was enjoying this feeling of freedom.

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I should have counted my blessings with this part of the trail and doubled back the way I came…The second half of the trail took me down an old logging road which I now know most people do not choose to take. But I was determined to overcome this self-inflicted fear. So Maggie and I decided to take the “road less traveled”

Hmmmmm …..  This logging road took me away from the placid calling of the lake and the comforting  smells of the campfires and left me with what felt like endless kilometers of logging road,  no one around but  me and the dog….

After a short realization on the decision I made, it was time to put on some load music to help drown out my crazy thoughts and what ifs., thank you Pat Benatar and Queen.  With an ocean rock in hand ( to stay grounded you see) and music on , we decided this part of the trail was going to be more about exercise then exploring and increased our walking pace .

After a few kilometers of  way to much self-awareness , lots of self-talk about pulling myself together, we get what we put out there,  the law of attraction and so on .We were starting to get into the fast past grove of the hike. My new positive affirmations were bringing me back to tranquil

And then we saw it….. A big pile of bear scat. Still fresh and buzzing with flies…. If you ask me I swear it was still steaming…. We were 3 quarters of the way around the lake so it make no sense to turn back and besides it is not like the poop was pointing in what direction the darn animal was anyways 

Where in the heck were all the humans?

Squeezing and rubbing my ocean rock so hard I do believe I have turned it to a diamond, we did the next best thing, we ran and ran until I saw our first humans

I greeted them with such enthusiasm, with the look of fear on my face and Maggie’s tongue dragging along behind us.  They must have thought I had been in the forest for years and they were my first glimpse of humanity 

 Ah thank you to the humans….. I was now confident again, for if there was a bear still around it would focus on the new people ……. We calmed down and finished our walk through BC bear territory….

 Feeling a little braver and very proud

 Thank you for reading Live Love Laugh

 Catherine

 

 

 

 

How to capture the wind


How do capture the wind in a photo in an expression or even in words, how do I share the experience of this day?

 The amazing effect of the wind as it rustles through the forest. The sweet whispers the wind makes at it passes over the leaves. 

 How do you capture the smells that the wind carries along with it?  The early aroma of fallen leaves or a wood fire somewhere off in the distance conjuring of memories of a lifetime ago.

 I breathe deep trying to capture as much of the amazing smells as I can. And with each breath a deep exhale and brief pause about where we find ourselves in life.

 How to capture the look of the wind, the way the leaves appear to be reaching as they hang on with all their might to the tree that had given them birth. Or the new sapling that is bending over under the strain of the breeze as it passes over it. I wonder if will stand strong enough to sustain the coming winter and will grow tall alongside its siblings 

 How to capture the sheer joy, the sadness and the emotion that waves over me again and again with each new pulse of wind 

 My day, my wind,  my story …..

 Catherine

The draw of the ocean

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Watching the ocean hour of hour how quickly the time passes.  I thought it was mere minutes but realized I had lost track of time 

Mesmerizing ……..with each new gust of wind the patterns on the water change from calm to stormy…. from small ripples to large rolling waves . The ocean looks like a painter had a hand in its creative beauty with varying lines of colour.

Scanning looking from the shoreline then out to the horizon where mountain meets sea meets sky and then back to shore again.

In deep thoughts of what lies beneath the ocean that I see.  A family of otters, seals and their pups diving deep for the oceans bounty I have been blessed to witness and watch

A pod of orca fishing for food their spouts of water shooting up on the air, the echoing sound as they pause for a breath of air before diving down deep again  for their bounty beneath the sea .

All at arm’s length from my shore to my sea.

I will miss this place my summer get away. I will dream, I will plan and I will envision a life here one day for to dream it is to make it happen

Thank you for reading Live Love and Laugh

Catherine

 

Laundry – Back to My Roots

First rocks and now laundry…. Do you get a sense I have been in need for the simpler things in life?

The morning here is slightly overcast. The sun and the ocean marine layer are fighting with each other for space in the sky.  For now the marine layer wins out and the winds toss around a fine mist so gentle you wonder if it is mist at all.

Saturday morning laundry is one of the chores we did as children and it was one of my favorite ones.  I simply love laundry.  I love the idea of the dirty clothes going in and then coming out with that clean smell (all natural lavender and rosemary soap of course).   The aromatic smell of clean clothes awe…….

Today,  just like when I was a child I get to hang my laundry outside.  Back then, way back then I used to wait in anticipation for the washer to finish anxious to get the clothes on line. Today was that day, the one that took me back to those moments.

Try to imagine a breeze blowing off the ocean the shorebirds and seagulls calling out to one another, the winds rustling through the trees and me hanging sweet smelling laundry just like my mom taught me

I took my time hanging everything just right so that it would dry with that crisp outside feeling, wishing that I had more to wash, more to hang and more moments like this in my life.

I think if there is a heaven this moment, this feeling must be part of it,

Thank you for reading and being part of my journey

Catherine

 

 

 

Ocean Rocks- Relaxation Therapy

My fascination with ocean rocks may bore some, but can keep me fascinated for hours.

My attempt  at building  rock formations  fails  in comparison to most , but even my feeble attempts  bring me to a place of solace and calm as I  try to get one rock to connect to another. Teetering and close to falling but yet hanging on with a slight touch of my hand.

The elation when the rock structure holds and the big awe when they tumble down.

Searching for just the right rock in a seashore that is made up only of rocks is part the fun, just the right shape and size for the base of the structure, different weights and shapes, allow the minutes to pass over me like the waves hitting the shore. With each new find and new wave a little less stress and a lot more calm

I am amazed at how each rock holds a different colour , pattern or texture and how years and years of being tossed around in the salty ocean have formed what they have become and will become.

How different they look as the tide comes to take them away.  Now immersed in water their colours patterns and true personalities emerge.

Thousands and thousands of rocks each with their own story

And just as I finish my rock art,   a seal swims by, pops it head up to take a look at what I am convinced is admiration of my work

My therapy today
Thank you for reading as I journey through Life, Love and Laughter

Catherine

The Solo HIke

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Well it was more a walking/ hiking trail but it was certainly solo.

I much prefer NOT hiking alone but with everyone’s lives taking different twists and turns no one was available to come along so this one was on me

Hiking without a partner is different , it was less about enjoying the little things that most people miss on the trails, likes weird trees, snails and tree bark…. and more about self-awareness and positive affirmations

We are in bear country here and my only aversion to hiking alone is the Bears. With another human with you, you have someone to hide behind, someone to feed to them , someone to go get help while they are feeding on you and or simply someone to talk loudly with so you are not seen in the forests talking to yourself .

All kidding aside I believe in the law of attraction so I made a decision today to stop thinking of the Bears and to think only of cool, positive, self-supporting things.  Off we went on this short pretty shoreline / forest hike.

With no one to talk to I cranked up the music on my phone and opted to sing really loud. It was sort of liberating acting like I had the singing voice of an angel. And I can assure you no wild life would approach us after they heard my first few high notes. Even Maggie looked at me funny and I suspect I bit embarrassed.

I should have brought my heart monitor , I know my heart thumbing as I rounded each corner and I am not sure if the sweat coming off of me was due to hot flashes , the humidity or the adrenalin .

The longer I walked the more calm I became, perhaps the positive internal reinforcement was helping or it was John Denver singing Sweet Surrender https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDl8c5dtqdk   , but I started to see things around me, I started to see nature….

So my first solo hike with Maggie and me was not so bad. My choice is to always hike with my friend but I now know I can go alone if I need to

Thank you for reading and being part of the journey

Catherine