2017 was a quiet, relaxing year... Wayne officially retired in October. My roses bloomed in time for my birthday in June. There is a lovely photo of the Bitterroot Mountains. Heidi, Chuck and Caitlyn Easter Sunday. Heather wishing us a creative 4th of July! Caitlyn and Ruby having a cuddle time. The Star Gazer Petunias were gorgeous and Seedlings of Change.org kept us busy throughout the year. All in all it was a delightful like a bowl of cherries!
Making happy memories is my favorite activity! Our annual Mother's Day Tea at the Daly Mansion (the historic home of 19th Century American industrialist Marcus Daly) in Hamilton, MT has become a tradition for us. My mother Anna and I flew and visited my daughter Heather and son-in-law AJ in Southern California That is the two of us looking for sea shells center right. Wayne and I decided to take a road trip to visit friend Joan Douma (Seedlings of Change co-founder and board secretary) in Napa, CA then onward to Encino, CA to visit daughter Heather and AJ. Rosie and Ruby came along for the ride and adventure! We're always open to trying creative ways to raise much needed funds for Seedlings of Change.org and at the lower left is a glimpse of Heidi, Caitlyn and my booth at the Summer Montana Maid Fair. 2016 was a delightful year I remember the spring flowers were abundant and beautiful.
I've been so busy with my Seedlings of Change.org non profit work since its founding in 2009 I've neglected my personal website Eveline Maria Smith.com when I recently visited I realized how much time has passed since my last blog posting I felt overwhelmed at the thought of updating. I've missed having time for my Artistic side! So I thought why not share the Gratitude Highs experienced each year leading up to 2018. In 2015 my husband, Wayne, myself and my mother Anna went on a road trip with our granddaughter Caitlyn to meet and visit her great aunt Dorlene in La Pine, OR. All in all 2015 was a great year sharing and making happy memories throughout the year.
Reflecting back it seems not so long ago February 13th to 17th, 2006 that I attended the 3rd Hado Instructor School in Hilo, Hawaii. The experience for me was mind, body and soul empowering… it was life changing.
Dr. Masaru Emoto’s messages from water research I feel is a validation of the interconnectedness of life with everyone and everything. The knowledge that everything is energy in vibration… this awareness includes the power of our thoughts, words, feelings and actions awakening Mindfulness!
To be Mindful is to live life reflectively with conscious awareness of one’s inner and outer world; positive in thoughts, words, feelings, and actions. For me this requires I make a day-after-day conscious choice to be awake, aware and considerate of others expressing gratitude for blessings of all things good.
Author, Jim Yates satirical historical novel about Oscar Wilde and George Sand Oh! Pére Lachaise Oscar’s Wilde Purgatory.
I am honored and flattered to have been invited being given an opportunity to take part in Jim's commission search for 10 drawings or paintings to be included in Oh! Pére Lachaise. I very much enjoyed reading an excerpt from Jim's novel for my inspiration in creating "George," "Morgan's Chair," and "Vagabond." And now I look forward to reading Oh! Pére Lachaise in its entirety! Jim has an autographed copy on its way to me.....
Jim's novel was launched at the Oscar Wilde House in Dublin on the 11 September 2007. This is the best possible venue Jim could have been given. His beautiful new book became available on line at midnight of 11 September and may be purchased through Amazon.
I felt such excitement for Jim and his lovely family and with 11 September 2007 being the new moon he must of felt my energy all the way in Dublin! I can only imagine the anticipation and emotions and excitement he must be feeling right about now as I look forward to all the wonderful success unfolding for Jim and his beautiful novel Oh! Pere Lachaise!
Jim emailed me 18 September 2007 to share, “Oh! Pere Lachaise had a successful launch at the Oscar Wilde House at the American College Dublin on Tuesday 11 September! It was a great evening. The US ambassador sent an attaché and the Swedish Ambassador and his wife were there as well as representatives of the German Embassy. Irish politician Mary O'Rouke did the honors and delivered a very good speech. Other guest included Angela Schofield the artist who was given the commission along with her friends from Yorkshire. There was also a good mix of the literary and artistic fraternity of Dublin.
A big heartfelt (((((Congratulations))))) goes to Yorkshire artist, Angela Schofield on receiving this commission.
May 2005: I felt humble and very much honored when invited to join in a sweat lodge ceremony based on the Blackfoot tradition. I accepted with childlike wonder and great anticipation in being able to experience my very first sweat lodge. What time will the sweat begin? "Indian time, right time, intuitive time, nature's time when the fire burns down."
In the center of the circle is a well-used fire pit where the ancient spiritual songs are remembered and the purification rituals relived. The leader asks if anyone is here for the first time. He says the medicine circle has no beginning, no end; he speaks of unity and the importance of the Four Directions; of Grandfather, creator God and the earth, our Grandmother. He continues speaking quietly about the lodge as a womb: the darkness, the heat; a ritual of purification going back to connect us with Grandfather and Grandmother. He tells of the stones that will be brought in; the stone people our ancestors.
The ceremonial pipe is lit and passed; the stone tender brings hot stones to place in the pit, the leader scatters Sweet grass on the stones and the scent and wisps of smoke fill the lodge. The door of the lodge is closed now, the blankets pulled down over the entrance. Darkness surrounds us; care is taken that no light is visible during the ceremony. Whether eyes are open or closed will not matter. In the darkness there are sounds of the ladle being dipped into the pail, then water being poured upon the rocks. The heat intense, increasing envelops the body in waves. The hiss of steam fills the senses. There is nowhere to stand up, no place to move. The singing of a spirit song; the steam and heat penetrate the darkness. I hear gasps for breath. Inside, deep within me, I feel the grip of fear with a sudden, desperate urge to escape. I steady myself. More steam. Familiar habits, techniques for dealing with fear of being trapped, don't work now. The senses are bombarded with intensity. My nostrils and eyes, my mouth and ears, are filled with steam and heat. I feel the moisture dripping from my body as the lodge fills with the rhythm of the chant. I hear others around me join in an easy, high-pitched wailing song.
The makeshift door of blankets is thrown open. Cool air and light surround us. No sense of hurry or time here; five minutes pass, ten. More stones are brought in. The fire tender closes the door. Once again, we are surrounded by darkness. The second round begins. "Grandfather, have pity on us top-legged creatures." There is more steam and heat; the boundaries of time and space begin to collapse. I hear petitions of thanksgiving, prayers for family, for the fish of the rivers. The heat becomes more intense. I give up control; I let the chanting of the ancient songs carry what is left of my consciousness.
The third and fourth rounds follow, intermingled with resting times of light, cool air and water. The scent of sweet grass burns, permeating our circle. Somewhere in those moments, I open my eyes to the darkness, and carried by the dull rhythm of the ceremonial chant, sweat soaking my body, heat singeing-my nostrils, I wait for a vision from the other side of the vail. I catch then a glimpse of an Indian brave on horseback in stillness amongst the Aspens waiting for a vision. His face is mine. The vision is a real one for me, foretelling of pride and despair, to be broken only in experience of forgiveness and rebirth. The heat increases now, the chanting becoming stronger. Steam and heat fill my mouth and eyes. In the darkness, there are prayers now for gratitude, healing, the earth, and peace... "Have pity on us, Grandfather." Then the door flap is flung wide open.
Walking back to my car I reflected on the sweat-lodge's role in the Native American spiritual tradition; a unique blend of cleansing, a guided encounter with the deeper levels of "Self" and Spirit. Once home again I wanted to collage a visual of my sweat lodge experience. Both "The Road Less Traveled" and "The Light Undressing" came together intuitively. And yes, I definitely intend to paint the Indian brave on horseback amongst the Aspens waiting for a vision.
My furry, little friend, Wild Rose is taking time to smell the roses :)) No thorns just lots of kisses!
Of New England in June
Pink roses cascading the old gray wall
As streams of shimmering sunlight
Dance among the silver birches
And meadows of white daises
Wave in the gentle breeze.
From the stone-fenced rolling pasture
To the twilight night in the deep wood
Where fireflies with fairy lanterns
Shine their silver light
Among this primrose scented starry night
In stillness I listen to the crickets serenade
All the while embracing the soul of June.
Eveline Maria Smith © September 2005
Eveline Maria Smith Blog shares some of her happy memories