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Posts Tagged ‘creative living’

As you may know already, Jamaica is pretty rugged. Life and weather arrive and disappear in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it’s rough. Sometimes it’s sad. And most of the time it’s not easy for children to grasp the concept of people, pets and plants going back to the earth. Or as we say in modern times, death.

Yesterday, we lost our cherished, little friend Mylo (pronounced My yo in our household as we are still working on annunciating l’s). Mylo was a survivor and lived through the tumultuous storms and floods of 2010. You may remember we were trapped (by rain) up in the hills and could not get to the GPs to protect them. We finally arrived home to find Mylo, shaking, hungry and terrified but her sister, Spot, and babies, weren’t as lucky. We nursed our beloved, last remaining Guinea Pig back to health and she’s been fine ever since. Until, just the other day when she became a little sluggish. Mylo died at home yesterday morning. The transition appeared peaceful. Ultimately, we think it was a heart attack.

Living in Jamaica, the children have become excellent grievers. Over the years, they have lost three grandparents, a couple of close aquaintances, fish, guinea pigs and their best friend, Cree Dawg. As parents we have discovered how crucial it is to provide opportunities for them to participate in the ritual and celebration of life and it’s passing. And so, we have fabricated several funerals.

Mylo’s celebration and burial was particularly heart warming. The children gathered flowers, made a heart and Iz (6) wrote out the head stone himself. We buried Mylo early in the day and returned after nap to decorate the grave site. Beautiful songs were sung. Memories laughed about and many, many, tears were shed. It almost broke my heart. Mylo was “such a pretty yady” (lady). “We yoved her so much.”

I think it’s important to help children through rites of passage. Allowing them to guide a ceremony for lost loved ones is empowering and healing. In some ways, I am sad that they have witnessed so much loss. At the same time, I realize how spiritually connected they are to life and nature. Gratitude.

Yesterday evening, as the babes headed outside for a sunset, ackee picking session, I overheard Izra say to his little sister,

“Miwi (meely), life comes and it passes. It’s alright, baby, that’s just how it goes.”

One Love, walk good, RIP Dear Mylo…

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This is what winter looks like  here, in Jamaica. Well, in our yard anyway. The ackee trees are so heavy they are leaning with heavenly fruit. It’s not surprising to reach home and find a bag or  bash full of ackee waiting for us on the veranda. Yup. It happened just yesterday. Here are the lovely gifts we found on our front porch. Reaching for the sun and biding their time until we arrived. I know, I know, what you’re thinking, what a hard winter right? This is just how we do February.

A fabulously abundant tropical fruit, ackee is indeed one of my favorites. I can eat it night and day. I often do. If you haven’t tried it I would definitely add to your life list of things to do (taste) before departing. I know that it can be purchased canned in the states but honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it. It just doesn’t do this precious staple justice. I guess you’ll have to plan to come on down. Trust mi! We’ve got the winter blues remedies here on this little rock!

Oh yeah! And a crucial tip. You cannot eat ackee until it has ripened and opened naturally on the tree. It can be poisonous if the pods are split open before they naturally ripen. So we wait.

One Love, walk good, off to clean ackee for lunch…

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I love dinner parties. Monday, we started the week off right with a quaint evening gathering. We welcome lovely, ital, cuisine, good music, friends and fabulously entertaining conversation. Never mind that the  verbal and culinary exchange was punctuated with high pitched squeals of juevenile delight, running in the house, noise making toys, and some extra parental guidance and commentary (i.e., “you can’t stand on your sister”!!! etc.).

All in all, it was a beautiful night and I look forward to many more of it’s kind.

Perhaps some people wouldn’t consider having a Monday night dinner party, on account of scheduling, fatigue, laundry, the long week ahead, (need I go on?). Well, I think it’s a helluva way to open the week. Applause for bucking convention. I must admit I woke this morning thinking it was Saturday, wait no, isn’t it Sunday?. But you know what? Once in awhile it’s okay. Okay for the kids to stay up a little later, okay if the dishes swim in the sink for a couple of hours and it’s okay  to wake up questioning what day it is. The experiences whirl, swirl, and continue to create such a beautiful and spontaneous life. A life full of color, music, laughter, good food, and an occasional glass of red wine, or two. Not to mention the opportunity to boast and share our beautiful homegrown pumpkin. I mean, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Challenged by shuttersisters (an awesome online community of shutter clicking ladies) today, to post a photo with out editing. The disappearing art of SOOC, or Straight Out Of The Camera, reveals the true nature of the image without interference. No scheduling, editing, planning, or erasing. Imagine life unedited???

The morning after the dinner party, shot. This is it. Plain and simple.

Here’s an idea. Gather up a few of your favorite local folks and dinner ingredients and have a Monday night dinner party. I suppose Tuesday could work too. Your bound to have a marvelous time!!! We certainly did.

One Love, walk good, ciao!

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Last year I learned of the practice of choosing a word to guide you and your aspirations in the new year. A creative and intentional road map, a focus tool, if you will. It seemed like a nice idea. And I found several folks engaging and offering tips and encouragement around how to discover a personal word.

Eventually, and after much deliberation, I came up with a few words and concepts that suited me and my situation alright. Elevate, launch, soar, to name a few. Ultimately, none of them stuck. So, I thought I would make a whole hearted attempt at finding my word again this year.

After all, I am a bit of a wordsmith. I mean, how hard can it be to choose one?

This year, I was pleasantly surprised to unearth my word with little to no effort. Effortless. That’s not the word but it does describe how graceful and easy it was to navigate the process of finding my word. It came in an instant, like a flash. I didn’t even have to think. For me, this word rings so true and resonates with the progress, inspiration and aspirations I have for this year. Flourish. Yup, it’s that simple.

My word for 2011 is F L O U R I S H!!!

As in: Blossom, bloom, thrive, prosper, etc…

Perhaps, your word has been floating around in your heart and head for sometime now and you’ve had no context to place it in. Perhaps, you have no clue what your word is or will be. In either case, in joy, this should get you started.

Check out these links for help and tips in finding your word. Christine Kane offers a free download/worksheet. This is also a nice article re: how to choose a word by Maria Martinez.

One Love, walk good, practicing flourish…

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