Saturday, June 18, 2016

Turtle Woman

On rare occasions, I witness something beautiful and wonderous in nature. No, I'm not seeing platypuses again. The otters have not returned, nor the muskrat. Since they turned the big fountain back on in the lake, most of the birds have stayed away.

Yesterday I was working in my office and turned to my printer.  Something drew my attention outside. There on the sloping edge of the yard, a mama turtle was busily laying her eggs in the sparse grass and sandy soil. I watched her for a few minutes, glad I had seen film footage of turtles burying their eggs. Otherwise I don't know what I would think she was doing.

I don't know how many eggs she buried. She was a good-sized creature. Her shell measured probably 14-16 inches in length. Her head and neck extended another 5 inches or so. When I left my office about 20 minutes later, she was still out there doing her job.

In spirituality terms for some Native Americans, the appearance of a turtle in your life or your journeys (or meditations) signifies a pregnancy - nope not me that ship sailed long ago - longevity - or awakening to new possibilities.  I'll be interested to see what comes to pass.

On my last trip to Hawaii on the Big Island I met a kahuna. I learned later this unassuming man was known and revered internationally.  His signed pictures of the Dalai Llama and other spiritual teachers should have clued me in to his prominence.

At any rate, he insisted we stop on our way back from Kona to Hilo at a state park and historic site, Puuhonua O Honaunau, also known as the City of Refuge. In ancient times a warrior or anyone else could seek sanctuary there from his enemies. The refuge was honored by all people. Although it's also where they killed the Englishman who discovered their paradise, Captain Cook - go figure. Maybe they saw the future of their islands, taken over by foreign interests.

Legend said a great turtle ruled over the place. Indeed there is a small pond located back from the shoreline. Occasional bubbles rise to the surface which Hawaiians say is proof the turtle is in the pond.

So my friend and I stopped there late in the afternoon. The sun was already dropping toward the horizon. No one else was there when we arrived. We each went exploring in different areas.

Okay here's the deal, I studied different forms of spirituality - not religion. There are incredible worlds out there which can be reached by certain forms of meditation or since I had shamanic training, journeys. Usually you prepare to journey and state your intent. Once in a while it happens with no preparation - just zip and you're traveling. No I don't take drugs or drink alcohol.

At Puuhonua O Honaunau it happened to me. I met the spiritual turtle who guided me on an incredible experience. It was so incredible I had a really hard time coming down.

Funny thing was I started to chant, which I've been known to do. Wish I'd had my drum, but it didn't make the trip.  The kahuna and I discussed how we made our drums when I met him. He told me he'd always made the drum head out of shark's skin, the traditional way for his people. But he could no longer find anyone willing to go fish for the shark. So he ordered rawhide (cow) from Tandy Leather in Fort Worth. We had a good laugh because that's where I ordered the rawhide for my drum heads. Although I did order elkhide for the best drum I ever made...sorry I digress as usual.

Okay, okay, I was chanting not seeing who or what was around me. The next thing I knew there was a flash right in my eyes which brought me back.

I blinked and saw the sun was just about gone on the horizon. A tourist in polyester had put her camera right in my face, snapped a picture, and scuttled off to her companion saying, "I just got a picture of a real Hawarrian!" She giggled as she jiggled to the parking lot.

Angry at first at the loss of my journey, the connection broke and it was time to leave. I realized later - much later, it was supposed to happen that way.  I certainly didn't want to come back. We were always warned in our classes about being so enthralled we would not want to come back. At the time I was in that spiritual world I wanted to stay. In retrospect, the prospect frightens me.

Luckily my friend was driving. She guided me to the car, opened the door and pushed me inside. I was still very out of it. She insisted on stopping to get some take-out for us.  When she did, she insisted I eat right away.  It's the best way to ground yourself after such an experience. I couldn't tell you exactly what she brought me, only knew it was Asian.

As to what the turtle showed me/told me, that's private. But last night, I hit myself in the head and went "duh!" Seeing the turtle yesterday gained meaning for me.

Sometimes it takes time to work it all out.

Our country has been embroiled in lots of conflict in the last few months - first with the combatting candidates trying to gain the nominations for President; the presumptive nominees - neither of which appeal to some voters - recently we have experienced the horrendous killings in Orlando and the beautiful two-year-old who was dragged to his death by an alligator at a popular theme park.

I've about had it with the news lately - way too much negativity. And one final point I am still in mourning for my late father.

Is it any wonder the turtle showed up for me? I'm glad she did. I will watch over her eggs for her.

Here's a picture of me from a couple of years ago with the elk hide drum I made.

Blessings to you all.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Kristin Painter's wonderful series - Nocturne Falls

Kristin Painter created a town somewhere in Georgia, where everyday is Halloween.  The town is named Nocturne Falls.

So far six full novels and a couple of short works are published. I just finished reading #6, The Shifter Romances the Writer. It's about a human romance writer whose best friend is married to one of the creators of Nocturne Falls.  After a messy break-up, our heroine is persuaded to move to Nocturne Falls.

The only trouble is, this town where everyday is Halloween (their town motto), a tourist trap for people wanting a fun vacation - is filled with and run by real supernaturals.  They work very hard to make sure the tourists never catch on.

There are gargoyles decorating the fountains and patrolling the skies; vampires walking around the streets; a vampire has a sweet shop where she makes delectable candy and incredible cakes and pies. The friendly neighborhood jewelry designer is fae. The bridal shop is run by a powerful witch. A werewolf owns and operates the local biker bar, where the burgers are huge and irresistible, and her brother is the town's sheriff.

This is the one town where the supernaturals can be who they are with regular people none the wiser.  It's a great premise for the series.

There is also a spin-off series, "The Jayne Frost Mysteries." So far, there has been one novel in the series. I'm hoping for many more.  You see Jayne Frost, the daughter of Jack Frost, is an elf with brilliant investigative skills.

Ms. Painter writes an enjoyable book filled with comedy and drama.  The reader comes to care about these beings and their daily struggles.

Check out this terrific series of entertaining and fun novels.

Oh and she posted on Facebook there is now an adult coloring book based on the series. Two bad I can't stay within the lines!


Until next time...

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Platypuses in the Pond

It's been a hard week and it's only Tuesday. First my perception of the name Colin has been forever changed. Prior to last week, the name Colin, held only a vague distaste for me. I used to work with a strange man named Colin. He was sort of a combo preppy and hippie.  (The only hippie I ever knew who wore Italian loafers instead of sandals. Lots of the guys walked barefoot.) Even in the 1970s he stood out from the crowd.

But no, Colin was one of the names on the World Meteorological Assn. list from which the names of storms are given.  These lists repeat every six years. Some of the bad ones, i.e. Katrina, are forever retired.

This time, Colin was a minor blowhard in the form of a minimal tropical storm.

My anticipation was worse than the actual event itself.  Don't you hate it when that happens? Plus, in the past, my plan would have been to retreat to my father's big, well built house with my little dogs. But Dad is no longer with us. His house sold five months ago.

So I faced Colin all alone - not a pleasant prospect. I went out and got a few supplies. Then the day before Colin was due to come to town I moved the plants in my container garden out of harm's way.  The ones on the back patio were moved up by the building out of the wind entirely. There is an overhang covering a good-sized patio.

My precious plumeria plants were transported to my kitchen, along with an orchid cactus.

Nervous and glued to the Weather Channel as Colin huffed and puffed his way toward us, I slept less than usual.  Doesn't make clear thinking, let me tell you. The night before he got here, I didn't sleep more than two hours.  Naturally on THE day, I was a tired grumpy mess of nerves. The last thing I need these days is more stress.

Sigh, it will probably result in my serial killer in my work-in-progress committing one more murder.

We made it through the day and night with our power intact, no trees crashing down on the building, no rains entering my place from the roof or the foundation.

I slept okay last night after I checked the radar to make sure Colin was making a quick exit. But with all the stress, I woke up woozy, read out-of-it, lacking in energy.

Making through the morning, I watched the noon news and saw the damage caused by tornadoes around the area. Then I decided to go out, so I took my dogs outside before I left.

While they were enjoying the sunshine and wandering around in the grass, something drew my attention. Movement as something ran down the bank off to my right, and then jumped in the water. It immediately went under but not very far.  I could still see it just under the surface.

It wasn't too big, maybe twelve to eighteen inches long with a wide body and either flippers or paws. It swam, dog-paddle style.  It had a long snout, though I never got a good enough look at it to really see the face.

I wondered if it could be an otter or a muskrat, both species have been seen in the pond before.  But the long nose didn't look right. We do have cormorants who dive under water, but they don't jump in the water, they fly to the surface and land on top. I thought is it a strangely shaped gator? No, gators slide into the water and swim on the surface trolling for food before going under. Couldn't figure it out.

When I was out on my errand, I realized what it looked like - a platypus!! This is the second time I thought I saw a platypus in that retention pond.

Only problem is, there aren't any in Florida...I checked. I suppose the odd one could have been smuggled in, but they are not native to this continent. They are only indigenous to eastern Australia.

So how could they get here? Would a dingo bring them?!!!

I looked up the reason a platypus would appear to someone as a spirit animal. Okay, yes, I'm weird, but I deal with the world as I see it...Said if the platypus has appeared to you, you enjoy a solitary profession...duh, I write in my private little office, accompanied by Amazon Prime Radio and my two elderly tzus.  It also said I should embrace my weirdness or something to the effect...

The ship has long since sailed on that one, platypus.

I will be putting up a post on Kristin Painter's wonderful series of novels entitled, Nocturne Falls, in a few days.

Take care and avoid blowhards named Colin.

Until next time...