I just spent three nights in a small cabin in a coulee at the Qu’Appelle House of Prayer. A retreat, a time of quiet, a time to be still.
This time I brought a task or two – a writing project and some art experiments, but more often I come here just to be still, to sit and wonder, to nap. It was a rare and wonderful treat to focus on work with few distractions, and with the time and space to take in the beauty all around.
I have been revelling in the incredible light we have been enjoying this spring. It took a few days of quiet to realize that all of this white snow is contributing to the particular dazzling light that marks these last days of March.( I know there is a powerful wish to have this snow gone, and I kind of share it, but am savouring this light also.) I watched deer nestled right against the window of my cabin, eating the sunflower seeds on the snow that the chickadees, red polls, purple finches, nuthatches and woodpeckers had missed.Later on, a young deer settles down for an afternoon nap in the woods behind my cabin while bathed in the afternoon sun. Such a sight! At night, the almost full apricot moon rose over the hills in a twilight sky.
As I made a big mess with rice paper, I realized that part of the joy in creating flying birds and fairies, as I am doing these days – is that the light shines through the rice paper, illuminating the colours and the subtle textures of the paper. Soon this white snow will melt, giving moisture to the vibrant green moss tucked here and there in the paths on these hills. It was in moss like this that I first knew there were “little people” or fairies. I remember making small tables with sticks and bark, trying to write letters to the fairies with berry juice. Like me, the little spring fairies above know its winter, but the green sap of spring is running in their veins. The small deer who sleeps outside my window may be dreaming of tender buds and more plentiful food.