Discover Challenge: Open-Minded

Open-mindedness and mindfulness are themes which have been running through many of the stories, poems and haiku on this blog and today was another example of the blessings they can bring.

Those of you who saw my post ‘Haiku: Witness To The Magic‘ in response to the Daily Prompt ‘Witness’ will have read the following haiku:

In mountain forest
mindfulness carries witness
to all the magic.

© Xenia Tran

The haiku is accompanied by a photograph of Eivor and Pearl watching a bird of prey glide by. I did not mention in the original post what they were watching because I am not sure what kind of bird it was. Sighthounds have much better eyesight than humans and I was also partly blinded by the direction of the light. All I could see was a dark outline and to me it looked the size of a peregrine falcon. It was clear to me though, that it was a large bird of prey and that it had spotted potential prey.

Earlier today Denis from Haiku Hound commented on the post and after I told him what kind of bird I thought the whippets were watching he replied: ‘Hunters watching a hunter, there may be a haiku there Xenia?’

I looked at the photograph again and remembered I had taken two others at the same time. I had not used them for the original post but thankfully not deleted them either.

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This is the first photograph in the sequence. We are energetically connected as a pack and when the whippets notice something I notice them noticing, even though I may not be able to see what they can see.

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This is the second photograph in the sequence. Eivor is still watching the bird of prey and Pearl has now hardened her stance and her stare and is looking further down to see what potential prey the bird has spotted. This is when the haiku, encouraged by Denis and prompted by revisiting the moment, came:

Awoken falcon
glides on a wind of promise
hunters understand.

© Xenia Tran

The third photograph in the sequence is the photograph I posted four days ago with the first haiku.

two whippets in mountain forest.

They are now both watching the bird again.

I am very grateful for Denis and his encouragement to capture another part of this moment in a new haiku.

I am very grateful for all the comments and feedback I receive from fellow bloggers and followers and for all the wonderful photographs, poems and stories they share. Fresh perspectives are always a doorway to new understandings and deeper knowing and for that I thank you all.

Earlier this month I posted ‘Haiku: A Change In The Wind‘ and perhaps this is a nice haiku to end this post with:

A change in the wind
can carry many blessings
to an open mind.

© Xenia Tran

With much love to you all,

Xenia xxx

Photographs taken by Xenia Tran, unedited.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: Outdoor Action.

Daily Post Discover Challenge: Open-Minded

Discover Challenge: Designed For You

 

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Sweet Pearl, I love the way you curl your tail and howl like a wolf in your dreams when the moon is full.

I love how you catch a ball and skip over the sand as if you have wings.

I love how we clicked and smiled at each other that first time we met at the shelter. You made the noise and the fear disappear.

 

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Sweet Eivor, I love the way you flick your paw when you stride over the sands and how your tail is made for writing poems in the sky when you fly.

I love the way you roll and carry the smell of the forest to make us feel as if we belong there.

I love how we clicked and smiled at each other the first time we met at the shelter. You made the noise and fear disappear.

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Our bond weaves the path

our love creates the motion

as we learn to fly.

© Xenia Tran

 

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We are perfectly

designed to love each other

dancing into light.

© Xenia Tran

 

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With love from

Eivor and Pearl xxx

 

Photographs taken by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: Outdoor Action.

 

Daily Post Discover Challenge: Designed For You

Discover Challenge: The Poetry Of List Making

We breathe her clean air

and share quiet peace within

heavenly landscape.

© Xenia Tran

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I had never been taken for a walk before I ended up at the shelter. I had no idea what the world looked like outside of my home at the time.

I did not know that three years later, I would have so many wonderful walks to choose from. The list continues to grow. All these special places in nature to explore in different seasons.

I love running on the beach, catching balls. I enjoy splashing in the sea when the weather gets warm. The magic of the forest, with quiet deer’s eyes watching us from behind the trees, the smells of earth and leaves, the sound of eagles calling.

The snows left the mountains in July and now the heather is in bloom.

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The air is fresh in the mountains when the glens grow warm in Summer. It is rare that we meet anyone up here. When we do, hikers are deep in thought, connecting with the wisdom from the mountains.

We greet each other the Highland way, the deep look into each other’s soul, the instant connection. The conversation without words.

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It is a special place for Pearl and me. Our humans love it too. They smile and go quiet. Our companion sits down on a large stone and writes another poem:

The mountain watches
the loch and glen below
fill with the sound of fiddles,
laughter and the clink of a glass
that is always half full
for the eternal optimist.

© Xenia Tran

 

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I am so grateful for the long list of all the good things that come from spending time in nature where we can be who we were born to be.

I wish every shelter animal and every human in need will get to experience the love and peace that nature brings.

We have a video today where Aly Bain, John McCusker, Mike McGoldrick, John Doyle and friends are playing a set of traditional reels. The music played by the people here captures the spirit of the mountains so well.

 

I am sending you all so much love,

Eivor xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, unedited.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: iA.

 

Daily Post Discover Challenge: The Poetry Of List Making

Discover Challenge: Connection

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The sea mist has rolled in on the warm wind and we can feel her dampness under our paws. It hangs over the sand against the dunes and makes the beach look as if it is being swallowed up in time.

The gulls are quiet and the only sound we hear is the roll of the waves. Our companion throws the ball as far as she can see and Pearl is the first to catch it.

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Silhouettes of other dogs and their humans appear from the fog. I recognise John’s lonely figure to the right, looking down as if his dog is still with him.

He waves at our companion and I trot over to greet him.

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“How are you all today?” asks John.

“We’re doing grand,” says our companion. “I love it when the haar rolls in, it is so atmospheric!”

“I love it too,” says John. “When it’s like this it feels as if my Dougie is still with me. I have to stop in all the places where he used to cock his leg, especially by that large stone over there. We used to call that ‘the Christening Stone’ because all the dogs would pee on it!”

“That’s why I never sit down on that one!” says our companion.

I look straight into John’s eyes and drop my ball.

“Oh sorry Eivor, I forgot about your biscuit!”.

He reaches into his pocket. Pearl comes running over and gently takes her biscuit too.

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Our companion throws the ball again and this time I get there first.

“I have been thinking about The Book lately,” says John. “You know, all this stuff going on, so many young lives being lost, people being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I cannot praise those men enough, those journalists and historians who put it all together.”

“I agree,” says our companion. “It is an amazing book and shows the human stories so few of us ever get to hear about. I wish people would stop themselves before they take another life, whichever side they are on.”

“They should all have a look at this book,” says John.

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Our companion throws the ball again and I catch it before Pearl.

Her thoughts wander off to the Linen Hall Library in Belfast. She remembers the harp in the hallway, the wooden stairs, the sash windows and the warm smell of old writings.

A man with a cowboy hat carries The Book as if he is carrying each individual life and walks over to the blue chair beside the stairwell.

He opens The Book and turns the first page.

Our companion, the woman in the black coat and the poet in the corner all know the score and clear the floor to make room for the angels.

 

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The mist begins to lift and John walks on along the shore. Every now and then he looks back as if he is waiting for the ghost of his dog to follow.

I am sending you all so much love,

Eivor xxx

Daily Post Discover Challenge: Connection

Daily Prompt: Praise

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, settings: Outdoor Action and Landscape.

(‘haar’ is a Scottish word for sea mist)

‘The Book’ John is referring to is ‘Lost Lives – The stories of the men,  women and children who died as a result of the Northern Ireland troubles’ by David McKittrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney, Chris Thornton and David McVae (1999, Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing Company (Edinburgh) Ltd). It documents the deaths of the 3600 men, women and children killed as a result of the Northern Ireland troubles over a 34-year period.

Haiku: Shared Journeys

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side by side we stride
opposite diagonals
as if we are one

© Xenia Tran

 

Daily Post Discover Challenge: Shared Journeys

Photograph by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: iA

Discover Challenge: The Things We Leave Behind

(Photographs taken by SSPCA)

The pictures above were taken at the shelter. I had left behind the only world I knew. An elderly man had bought me as a pup because he wanted company. He never took me out for a walk and my world was very small. He did give me affection and treats but did not know how to care for my needs.

When I was three years old he could no longer cope. His family did not want me either and they took me to the shelter.

I was very frightened. There were other dogs there, very stressed and frightened too. I could not sleep. I did not want to eat. The shelter staff were kind but could not quiet my worried mind.

I was adopted by our companions who already had older rescue dogs in their home. Seamus and Ruby took me under their wing and introduced me to a whole new world.

We walked in the forests and along rivers. I discovered new smells, new sounds and copied the older dogs wherever we went. The world I left behind was no longer on my mind.

I was scared of the sea, the sound of the waves. I did not want to walk beside the water. Seamus, Ruby and our companion encouraged me to leave my fears behind. They stayed calm, as if all was well. When I stopped pulling on the lead we walked quietly by the sea. The calm in their hearts became the calm in my heart.

Seamus would call me and say “Come in the water, it is so good for your legs!” Ruby would join him and say “Join us and play!”. I was happy walking beside the water but afraid to go in.

Ruby passed away, then Seamus. They are now playing on the other side of the rainbow. They left me behind and Pearl has joined our pack. I am now showing her how to be calm, how to be brave.

I go in the water and show her how nice it is. I tell her “It is good for your legs and cools you in Summer.”

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I left behind a lot of fears. From the world I left behind I have kept my love and compassion for older and lonely people. I recognise them on our walks, go over and look into their eyes. I let the love flow from my heart to theirs. They bend down and stroke me, some kiss me on my head.

From the world I left behind I have kept my love and compassion for the staff and volunteers at the shelter, the other dogs looking for a home. I send my love to them every day and I pray the animals will find their forever home, just like I did.

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When I see water today I dive in and play.

I send you all so much love,

Eivor xxx

Daily Post Discover Challenge: The Things We Leave Behind

Photographs taken by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: Outdoor Action and iA.