all images and stories are the property of Catherine Beerda-Basso and are not to be used without given permission...thank you

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Dear January...

I will be honest
I am not sad to see you go
You've pressed upon me this year
I've felt the shadows closing in
Emotions bubbled up my throat
often leaving it hard to breathe

I've felt the cold of your breath
on the back of my neck
The isolation that 
Cold Winter can bring
I have, at times, felt lost in the abyss
of silence that would seem to steal my voice

You've walked me down
the Winter Path
and pulled me 
through my Flesh
not to suffer,
but for Freedom

 And there 
you showed me Light
Your challenge I rose up to 
and have been revealed in Truth
Discoveries otherwise 
left unfound

New beginnings 
have taken root
Unexpected visitors 
have come to call
And again my heart
been opened wide

No, I am not sad
to see you go
Yet, I say thank you
for all you gave
the challenge
the darkness
the growing
the lightness

But mostly I thank you
for these two boys
As they really are
the best part of you
they lead me to be a better person
they hold a key to what I need

Thank you 
'Til we meet again next year...

Love and Light

copyright 2012
written by Catherine Beerda-Basso

Monday, 30 January 2012

Monday Offering...the Winner

as always I have help when picking a winner

we still do it the old fashion way

we like it like that

then I hand it over to him

his capable amazing hands

and the winner is


Happy Reading Cat!
I'll be sending it off to you asap!

now about loneliness...
go here

Love and Light

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Storytelling...Part Two

Part One found here

 (Something sacred happened to me while running with the wolves, for now I keep that for myself and my sisters in the lodge...)

I have arrived at the lake. The Unicorn and Doves await me there...and something else...someone else is there. My dad.
My conscious self wants to see him in the familiar, but he has other plans. My dad has been gone from this life for 12 years. This past year I went through a huge shift of Forgiveness. Since then I am encountering him more and more, it is quite awesome. He comes to me now as a "close to" middle aged man, the same age as myself.
It is an emotional exchange with the Unicorn looking on. He tells me it was not his plan to become the father he became. That he too had plans to be something different, as we all do. ..."the best laid plans" he says....
He is sorry, he is crying, he is on his knees before me. 
I am confused and try to lift him from his knees.
"I have forgiven you!" I tell him.
" I know this." He says to me, "but I wanted you to see me like this. I wanted you to see that I was young once too, with Hopes and Dreams. I wanted you to see the side of me you did not know."
Again I try to reassure him, but this is not at all what he needs. He has come for me, to give me this. He came to further that forgiveness, so I can be completely I can grow in Trust. he tells me this with his eyes, his heart. 
I still feel a bit confused, and overwhelmed. The pouring out of this medicine, this gift is so huge...nothing I expected or even dreamed of.
I tell him I need him.
He gets up from  his knees and says to me," No you don't."
He looks out to All that have gathered and he waves his hand out to show me.
The Unicorn
The Gizzly
The Doves
The Wolf Pack
He reminds me of the Sacred Encounter on the trails.
He says to me, " You never did....not in the way I wanted you to anyways, and that was hard for me." 

There is a stirring among the animals, I feel it.
More life reveals itself around me...frogs start coming out of the lake.

Up above there is movement.
A Giffion comes down and I feel a host of birds that are about to follow.
This is where I ask Spirit to slow things down, that right now I need to keep it simple...there is so much inside me and I am not sure I can handle much more. I feel the thousands of birds of prey circling in the sky above, I don't look up, I don't see them, but I feel them...
and I hear them calling out.
For now,
just for now
what I have been given feels enough,
more than enough.

A fire was lit and we danced to the sound of the drum...the Native Indian Elder, the same from the trails, was there to provide the drum, the chant.
There was buffalo to eat which had been provided by the White Buffalo who made a brief appearance at the forests edge.
My sisters were there too, dancing with me around the fire...women from all aspects from my life...dancing and celebrating.
We danced and feasted into the night...
When it was time to leave, Ruger, my black-lab-pup, came to get me.
Tail wagging telling me with eyes, it was time to go.

I gave thanks
Followed the pup back up the hillside; back to the hole. This hole into which I entered as a child I now come out as an adult, myself, complete, fully who I am.

With puppy beside me, I came back to myself
back home
with a full heart
and much to ponder upon.

journeying into the East with pixie campbell and my wisewomen sisters at SouLodge 

Love and Light
(ps don't forget to enter my book giveaway here)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

StoryTelling...Part One

The second house I lived in, as a child, was on 18th Avenue.
At the end of our short, partially gravelled road, was the town graveyard. 
The going joke was that we lived on a dead end.

One might think that living by a cemetery would be creepy; but I spent alot of time there as a young girl. I loved walking up and down the rows, getting to know those who resided there. They were mysterious neighbors and I felt a sense of peace when I walk amongst them. The only place that slightly disturbed me was one area where the graves had sunken deep into the ground...and the children's section made me sad....I can still remember some of their names.
Part of the graveyard's perimeter gave way to a steep embankment that went down to a forest line and then 
the industrial section of town. This made a great toboggan hill in the winter and a great hide out place in the summer. This is where my story begins.


I am there, on the back hill, walking the trails, when I see a hole in the side of the hill. I know this is the place I enter to start my journey. I am a child as I enter the hole.
Immediately my subconscious wants to know what is going on so it tries to take me some where familiar...

...but I resist. I have come to learn, I don't need familiar to feel safe. Both places flash before my eyes as if there is a battle of wills. But I want to learn new things, I want to embrace the part of me that is the "Trusting Fool" I want to be here, in a new space, and be okay with that. I find myself in a forest, rich and green. Trees tower above me and giant ferns grow all around me. The colours are alive.

The forest is still and at peace. The Great Magic is here.
I stand on a hill side and at the bottom of the hill I see a small sparkling lake into which a water fall is pouring into. And there beside the lake I see a white unicorn and above it 5 white doves fly in a circle.
I shake my head in disbelief..."Really?" I say out loud to whomever is listening.
I look again and now not only is the Unicorn and doves still there, I notice there is an arched rainbow over the waterfall.

(image found here)

I am feeling so much. I can hear the drums and they are calling me to run. But all I can think about is getting down to the lake, getting down to business, as I realize the lake is my destination. 
Suddenly the Unicorn is there with me.
"Are you really here for me?" I ask
"Yes, I am. Now, go run and play." He nudges me with his nose to go and run in the trails.
Fun? Fun? I think to myself...but I have so many questions, I have come here with a purpose. I have medicine to gather, things to figure out.
But, of course He already knows all this and so much more.
The drums carry me and I run like the wind.

At this point I am an essence of myself and much too serious. I want to the full me, running. I want to feel the fullness of my person now. It takes some time, but it eventually comes to be me running through the trails...not an essence of me, not the child in me, but the whole of me running, running, running in complete freedom and joy.
I catch a glimpse of a Grizzly Bear watching me from the ferns, and a little while later I see a Wolf. 
I still have a strong desire to get down to the lake, but the Unicorn tells me this my time to have run, to run free of all burdens, all that weighs on my heart, all that I insist on carrying around with me. And so I do. A smile is on my face and I feel a wonderful sense of lightness and freedom. I feel giddy.

(note: this is a brown bear, not a Grizzly)
Suddenly, the Grizzly is in my path way and he stops me in my tracks - not to frighten me but to give me medicine, to give me guidance. He tells me to Trust the Stillness, to Trust my strength. He is firm and direct with me, his medicine being of the outmost importance. And though he is firm, he is loving and kind...He pours into me for quite sometime.
After he is finished he releases me back to the drums - back to the forest and the running with the wind...and before I know it I am running with a pack of female Wolves. 

They are beautiful, strong, intuitive and committed....committed to me. They are my pack, I belong to them. They know themselves, they know who they are and so it is with me in their presence. What they feel, I feel. I need not be afraid of what's inside me, and they challenge me in this. They push me to go deeper, run faster, keep going...and so we run...
I am not sure how much time passes, as the elder plays the drum, but eventually I find myself at the lake side. I am there with The Unicorn,  the Doves...and someone I have been looking for......

journeying into the East with pixie campbell and my wisewomen sisters at SouLodge 

(Stay the journey continues)

Love and Light
(ps don't forget to enter my book giveaway here)

Monday, 23 January 2012


"The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We're just quick to hit the snooze button."
This was one of many favourite quotes from my  latest Wisdom Club read : "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown
the cover says:
"Let Go of Who You Think
You're Supposed to Be
and Embrace Who You Are"

I know right??!!
So we gathered to discuss this rich, informative book.
Our first gathering of the New Year...the reunion brought with it much joy in being together again. 8 of the 12 were present.

"I am enough"

These three words were the heart of this book. And on a personal note this book was a perfect fit along with my word for 2012:  Vulnerability.

"Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy--the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the Darkness will we discover the infinite power of our Light." pg.6

As we fed our bodies, so we also fed our souls with Brene's wise words and naked experiences.

"Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity......The heart of Compassion is really acceptance." pg 16

"When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness--the feeling that we are enough just as we are and that we are worthy of love and belonging. When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don't fit who we think we're supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performingperfecting pleasing and proving. Our sense of worthiness....lives inside of our story."pg 23

Oh how I know about that hustling. It brought me to my knees about 5 years ago. No more. Not to say I don't slip down that familiar path now and again. And certainly not to say some of those adjectives are harder to rid myself of then proving.
I recently had a sister who was in my inner circle judge my Faith Walk. Through all the emails, cards and accusations I remained silent. That was very difficult to do. I wanted to prove myself. I still feel it. Instead I remain firmly rooted in my my walk. I have revealed myself to her and she has forgotten...there is nothing more I can do. Sad, but true.
I  ask myself..."Is it right with my soul?"  And my Spirit answers, "Yes." And that is enough. Nothing to prove.
Just me, living my Truth with the Divine always present.

Brene also talks about finding someone who as earned the right to hear our story.
How often do we just blab it out?
To shift our perspective and treasure it for what it is-a moulding of who we are. I really liked the freedom that statement gave me. That there are things that I can keep sacred and give only to those who have earned it is something precious and special. What a gift a slight shift can bring to a seeker of Truth.

"If we really want to live a joyful, connected, and meaningful life, we must talk about things that get in the way." pg 35

AMEN! Couldn't agree more

"Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we thing we're supposed to be and embracing who we are."pg 50

In particular I wanted to point out the word "practice"
It's a practice--being Authentic and being authentic takes practice.
So many things that we think are just a given, that they should just show up and be there for us at our beckoning call.
Things like Love, Grace, Compassion, Faith and Authenticity.
But these all take practice...these are all A PRACTICE.

The soup gets ladled out for us.....

...but it is up to us to eat it...and how did we learn to feed ourselves? Through practice.

In her research, Brene found out that Spirituality was the corner stone to living a Wholehearted Life.

"Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing Spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives." pg 64

"Again I didn't find that any one interpretation of Spirituality has the corner on the resilience market. It's not about denominations or dogma. Practicing Spirituality is what brings healing and creates resilience. for me, spirituality is about connection with God, and I do that most often through nature, community, and music. We all have to define Spirituality in a way that inspires us." pg 74

Inspire Us
Us living Inspired

what happens when we practice that?
what happens to the world around us?

Yes I say
Lets do it
Live inspired
This world offers much to be inspired by...truly it does.

This book is bursting with great insight and guidance.
I will end my quotes with one on it is one of my most important practices...that I practice.   : )

"Faith is a place of mystery where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty." pg 90

"The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty." -Anne Lamott. pg 91

Beautiful words from a beautiful book
*a book that finds a permanent home on my shelf and one I would love to pass on to you. So if you are interested in getting a copy of Brene Browns book " The Gifts of Imperfection" leave me a comment...let me know who you want to be.
I will be announcing the winner on the next Monday Offerings.

And who do I want to be?

This girl.
This brave girl who is not afraid to walk the road less traveled. A girl who practices Eagle vision. A girl who communes with Mother, Father, Spirit, Friend. Who is one with Earth and Sky and all that lives within them.  A girl who Loves deep, Laughs big and Lives Free.
A girl who know's who she is...
the Light
the Shadows
the Everything.
A girl who is enough.

Love and Light (check back as I will be replying to your comments)

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Where we come from...

This is my mom
She is 73 and very  active.
She is a wonderful mom.
She is kind, giving and very very patient.
Today she sent out an email that I really wanted to share.

 it was 60 years ago : Jan.22  that Dad & Mom , myself, (Anna) Clarence (Klaas )  & Jack (Auke ) left Holland , from Rotterdam, boarding the Zuiderkruis. The voyage took 8 days ,and we were well looked after.  We arrived in Halifax on Jan.30th.  Boarded the train , destination Houston , B.C. the train trip was a challenge for Dad & Mom sometime,small quarters with two active boys,  arrived in Houston on Feb.5th. met by Mom's brother Oom Adriaan & his wife Tante Annie ,and several cousins , Auke, Fimke ,Wynand & Frits. Right away had the taste of moose meat at supper time.
We reported for school the next day ,but were promptly sent home , because King George had died .We moved into a one room cabin behind Oom Adriaan's house ,home made bunk beds,( all unplaned lumber ) a airtight heater in the middle of the room.Our stay in Houston was not long as there was no work for Dad ,he went to Smithers and got work there on the Planermill. With our few belongings we went to Smithers and moved into a home behind the planermill,it was called the 12 acre place, for us it always remained the 12 acre place . We lived in the back of the house , 2 bedrooms, pantry (a luxery ) living,dining & kitchen all in one , a small back porch.and of course the outhouse.We had the pump in the kitchen ,   we had to share this with the couple that lived in the front part of the house with two little boys ,they were Piet & Annie van Egdom & Janneman & Peter. Piet was a mechanic at O'neills Chevrolet.  When the pump was frozen, snow was melted,and it took a long time to get a pail full of water,or we went to the creek ,made a hole in the ice, and pulled the pails of water up the hill on a sled.  The house had a wood/cook stove .The three of us also had to get the firewood from the planermill, but at least there was no shortage of firewood ! We went to Muheim Memorial School  in Smithers. The snow did not leave us untill around Mothers Day.
 Our belongings arrived finally when we were 12 weeks in Canada. That was a great day ! To see things that we called our own. This was the year 1952 , when Louis St.Laurent was our Prime minister, W.A.C.Bennett ('till 1972 )was premier of B.C., we had never heard of the Chinese New Year, or the Robbie Burns day. I could go on , but just did not want this day go by unnoticed .This is just a little history about our first 3 months in Canada,I could have been a lot more elaborate , but I do know that Clarence & Jack enjoyed the snow, and I enjoyed the two little Van Egdom boys.Their mother died in child birth / Cancer in 1956 . The Adema's & the Hamhuis' became friends of Dad & Mom right away.These early immigrant days were not easy for our parents and we have to be thankfull to our Heavenly Father,for supplying us with all our needs in those years.
 Hope you all have a good day , Love Ann

(this picture was taken this past summer. It is my mom with one of my brothers and her brother Jack)

This email really touched me.
A lot of times those who have gone through war or immigration do not often often talk about those times. 
Over the last number of years my mom has revealed to me more and more about some of the things she experienced as a child.
Like her mom having a baby but then  few days later the baby was gone, yet no one told my mom what had happened...(the baby had died)
Or when her and my Granny had to go into hiding when Germany was occupying Holland. My Grandfather had escaped from a work camp and there was concern for my mom and Granny's safety if the German army came to  look for him at home.
My mom and Gran went to the country and lived in a barn, with other families. My Granny earned their kept by being and seamstress for the farmers wife.
(Both my Granny and Mom are gifted seamstress')

(my mom, this past summer, with some of her grandchildren...3 boys and 1 girl is missing)

Amazing stories.
I came into my mom's life when I was 3 weeks old. 
I was to be their fourth and last child,
three of whom were adopted.
And even though I am not flesh of her flesh
blood of her blood
Her stories mean more to me than words can say.
For they are my stories too.
Her life has influenced mine
and I am grateful.

Thank you mom
I am so proud to be your daughter.

Love and Light

(upon doing this post I realize I do not have any recent pictures of my mom and me...I will have to remedy that!)