As the bird appeared on the beach, a lovely scene unfolded before me and as I stepped out of the car to take this photo, the sun began to set. It was a peaceful time, a quiet moment, a gentle experience of Love and I wondered “what will Tomorrow bring?”

Not just Tomorrow of the next day, but also the Tomorrow of when we die.

Many who have died and been brought back to life, speak of feelings of peace, of gentleness, of a Love that transcends any love they’ve ever experienced before. My mother was one such person and that experience changed her. Fearful of death (and much of life) before that experience, she lived her remaining years filled with joy and wonder and anticipation of the peace, gentleness and Love that awaited her when her sun set.Today is the anniversary of 9-11 and today became the sunset of a friend and extended family member. I am comforted by my mother’s experience and live in the expectation and hope that all who died are now experiencing a peace that passes understanding, a gentleness beyond comprehension and a Love that is inexplicable. Rest in peace and gentleness and Love, all who have gone before … those who are known and those who are unknown.

<Photo & Text © June Maffin>

sunsetandbird

Thoughts of Shandy and Gertie and Izzy and Foxleigh and Chet and Quinn
and all the wonderful four-legged creatures
who have taught
and continue to teach me the meaning of unconditional love.

*********************************************
FOR THOSE THAT THINK “IT’S JUST A DOG” <author: unknown>
From time to time people tell me, “Lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or “That’s a lot of money for just a dog.” They don’t understand the distance traveled, time spent, or costs involved for “Just a dog.” Some of my proudest moments have come about with “Just a dog.” Many hours have passed with my only company being “Just a dog,” and not once have I felt slighted. Some of my saddest moments were brought about by “Just a dog.” In those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “Just a dog” provided comfort and purpose to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it’s “Just a dog,” you will probably understand phrases like “just a friend,” “just a sunrise,” or “just a promise.” “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person. Because of “Just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.

For me and folks like me, it’s not “Just a dog.” It’s an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. “Just a dog”brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday people can understand it’s not “Just the dog.” It’s the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “Just a man” or “Just a woman.” So the next time you hear the phrase “Just a dog,” smile, because they “just don’t understand.”

<Photo & Text © June Maffin>

shandy

Sweet hummingbird – how can I not be fascinated by you?
Your grace, your beauty, your agility … you bring peace; you bring joy.
You are a gentle reminder of the wonder of the cycle of life.

I honour you and thank you for being such wonder-filled subjects for my camera lens.

<Photo & Text © June Maffin>

 

bird2

There she was – strutting her stuff across the street in the little town of Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, looking oh-so-certain of her destination.

Then she stopped. Didn’t move – at all.
Camera in hand, I watched her … watching me.

“A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere” said Groucho Marx.  What a delightful quote.

Ms. Black Cat and Groucho’s words were another gentle reminder that life offers moments of reflection in the most unusual situations and moments.

“The animal is going somewhere …”
Today will bring unique opportunities for me to ‘go somewhere” and appreciate the precious gift of life in new ways.
Will I stop, as did the black cat – and look?
Will I make time to reflect?

Thank you, Ms. Black Cat, for capturing my attention, inviting me to take your photo and offering yet another opportunity to reflect.

<Photo & Text © June Maffin>

cat

 

 

 


A gentle walk along a rural path brought forth images of summers long ago when a swing under the huge cherry tree in the back yard provided countless hours of relaxation and fun for son, Tod.

As he swung, his feet would move back and forth to maintain a rhythm and he would hum — quietly, to himself.
For a moment in time, his world was peaceful, safe and gentle.
If only children everywhere, could live in a world that was peaceful, safe and gentle.

<Photo & Text © June Maffin>

 

 swing

Three chairs on an overcast day, waiting … waiting … waiting.

No one sat in them that afternoon – inclement weather.

Imagine the stories they could tell about the people who have sat in them over the years. 

<Photo & Text © June Maffin>

ThreeChairs

A sunset – yes, this is a sunset!
And no, it’s not a black and white photo.

What is seen in that photo is just as I remember it – expansive, beautiful, breath-taking and illustrative of the possibilities that abound, when we open our eyes and see, truly see … truly see what lies before us; truly see what lies behind us; truly see what lies beneath us; truly see what lies above us; truly see what lies within us.

… physically, spiritually, intellectually, creativity
… each day/night, living on this beautiful island
… is gift

and
i
am
blessed

<photo & text © June Maffin>

isunset
a

I peered through the no-longer-existing-fence and looked beyond the tall weeds and grass to the farmhouse so I could take its picture. What stories that building could tell!

Tales of a long-ago time, when it stood tall and erect and provided shelter, wonderful space for children to play, and listened to the stories of its residents as they shared their daily activities around the table.

But that was long ago.  Now the farmhous is beginning to tilt to one side. Before long, it will be a relic
… perhaps like us who begin to tilt to one side and someday will be a relic with stories to tell?
Let us not wait until it is too late to share our stories – for we all have them.
Tell your story to a friend, a family member, record it in a Journal, speak it into a recording device.   It’s important.  :-)
<Photo & Text © June Maffin>

house

 

 

 

 

jlk;lkj;k

 

house

The world is a mess and there is so much that is wrong, hurtful, frightening, negative … some would say ‘evil.’ What can we do? Ignoring the situation won’t make it go away. We can pray but our individual prayers may not seem like much in the broad scheme of things. Then again, neither does one little drop of water, seem like much, by itself. But …


But we know that when droplets of water are put together, great things can happen … parched dry crops become nourished by life-giving rain … flowing rivers abound with salmon … glistening snowflakes remind us of our individual uniquenesses … magnificent waterfalls bring forth powerful energy … new life emerges from the waters of baptism.
If these can result when tiny droplets of water come together, it is awe-inspiring to realize what can be done with tiny droplets of prayer and positive thoughts, words of encouragement / support / affirmation offered in our families, communities, countries, around the globe.

In the midst of feelings of helplessness, anger, hopelessness and acts of betrayal, abuse, disrespect, violence, etc., may we, daughters and sons living in various parts of this planet, be conduits of healing – transforming the negativity into cascading waterfalls of healing for our families, communities, countries, world.

May parched and dry political (and theological) discussions be watered by reason.

May rivers of conversation flow freely, gently and respectfully among the leaders of the world.

May these leaders be sustained with waters of life-giving energy as they face trial after trial.

May we, the people, anticipate great and wonderful (wonder-filled) results and not focus on the controversies, friction and divisions. And may all drink from the well of loving kindness which sustains, encourages, comforts and connects and unites us as human beings who share Planet Earth.

ShawniganLake-IMG_4016

 Have been thinking about life and death today prompted by news this morning that a new great-grandchild is on its way and that family / friend is near death.    When I took this photo at Goldstream Park on Vancouver Island, I was struck by the dual symbolism of life and death in the same photo: tall, strong trees standing on the edge of fresh running water that brings life; leaves falling to their Demise from those same trees as salmon are swimming upstream in the waters to their End.When we are born, we change our address: From Beyond (in the care of our mother’s womb) … to This World. When we die, once again, we simply change our address: from This World … to Beyond (in the care of the Creator/God/Love).

So this night, I remember all who are about to be born (From Beyond) and all who are about to be born (To Beyond). May your journeys be peace-filled and blessed.

<photo & text © June Maffin>

park

There they were — mama and little ones, crossing the road. I didn’t see them but dear husband did.  He stopped the car to let them pass <whew!>.

“Quick – get the camera!” he said.
I wasn’t really quick enough to capture what I wanted to, but enough to remember the moment.
And, I will remember.
After all, isn’t life all about “Remembering the Moments” … the big … the little … the “I almost didn’t remember this” … the “I’m so grateful I was here to experience this word, this kind action, this look, this flower, this loving gesture, this selfless act, this rainbow, this meal, this person, this …” ?

Little did the little mama and her babies realize their stroll across a busy intersection would impact my day.
But it did. And in such a wonder-filled way, too.

<photo & text © June Maffin>birds birds2

solitary flower by the roadside
you are a gentle reminder of
the cycle of life
the beauty of life
the fragility of life

all three
wrapped in
one
little
flower

<text & photo © June Maffin>

flower

Can’t believe it’s the first of September already! While the leaves haven’t begun to change colour (yet), they are beginning to fall to the ground. I took this photo at Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island (British Columbia) last Fall and find it to be a gentle reminder of the Seasons of Life … not just for vegetation … but for us.

Many of us are in the Fall Season of our Lives. And while there are times when we feel alive and vibrant in our body, mind and spirit, there are other times when we realize the withering of skin, the creaking of bones, the aching of muscles, the forgetfulness that comes with the aging process is part of our reality.

To ignore these signs is to be foolish. To focus solely on these signs is foolish. How to strike and maintain a balance between them?

Perhaps we let the trees be our teacher and remember that
… when the leaves change colour, some remain their original colour
… when we see our skin texture change on our face, legs, hands,
arms, shoulders, the twinkle in our eye is still there

… when leaves begin to fall, not all leaves fall at the same time
… when we find it difficult to rise from a chair or sofa, the stiffnessShawniganLake-FallPhoto-IMG_2208
doesn’t always remain with us

and remember the Advice from a Tree <author: unknown>
Stand tall and proud. Go out on a limb.
Drink plenty of water. Remember your roots.
Be content with your natural beauty. Enjoy the view.

Happy September!

Can’t believe it’s the first of September already! While the leaves haven’t begun to change colour (yet), they are beginning to fall to the ground. I took this photo at Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island (British Columbia) last Fall and find it to be a gentle reminder of the Seasons of Life … not just for vegetation … but for us.Many of us are in the Fall Season of our Lives. And while there are times when we feel alive and vibrant in our body, mind and spirit, there are other times when we realize the withering of skin, the creaking of bones, the aching of muscles, the forgetfulness that comes with the aging process is part of our reality.

To ignore these signs is to be foolish. To focus solely on these signs is foolish. How to strike and maintain a balance between them?

Perhaps we let the trees be our teacher and remember that
… when the leaves change colour, some remain their original colour
… when we see our skin texture change on our face, legs, hands,
arms, shoulders, the twinkle in our eye is still there

… when leaves begin to fall, not all leaves fall at the same time
… when we find it difficult to rise from a chair or sofa, the stiffness
doesn’t always remain with us

and remember the Advice from a Tree <author: unknown>
Stand tall and proud. Go out on a limb.
Drink plenty of water. Remember your roots.
Be content with your natural beauty. Enjoy the view.

Happy September 1st.
<june maffin … Soulistry>

ShawniganLake-FallPhoto-IMG_2208

Visited a friend today and, sitting amongst her lovely camellia flower bush was a Mama robin, nesting. As much as I wanted to capture this grace-filled moment and move the leaves/flowers for a different perspective, I didn’t want to disrupt her, so carefully and quietly took her photo from where I was. She was so still, so intent on her calling. It was … A Moment In Time.

We each have Moments In Time in our lives. Moments where what we are doing … how we are feeling … where we are standing … what we are experiencing … is perfect. Moments where happiness, joy, peace, love, contentment overwhelm us and we feel connected to God/the Universe/another human being in a way that transcends words. Moments where we realize that we are here on Planet Earth for a purpose. We may not know or understand that purpose but for that Moment In Time, our soul speaks and we listen.

As I looked through the lens of my camera this afternoon and Mama robin focused on her calling, I experienced a precious, profound and powerful Moment In Time.

Thank you Mama rRobinInNext-1-DSCN4789obin; thank you Creator, for that gift.

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There’s something about Nature that continues to remind me of the miracles around us if we have eyes to see … like this tree. When I first walked in front of it, I kept on walking but then I turned back. I wanted to see if what I thought I saw, I really did see. I took its photo – just to be certain. But there it was … a face within – not carved by human design but carved by Nature and complete with hair (albeit green)!

A smile began to form on my face – I could feel it. And once again, I was aware of the connectedness of all Creation. To ignore our forests, our waterways is to ignore a precious gift we have been given.

This night, my prayer is for this fragile planet, Earth.

 

TreeFace

May all who dwell on it treat it with gentleness and loving respect. May we be guided by need rather than greed in our connection with the oceans and lands, remembering the generations that follow will need fresh water and healthy sea life to drink and eat and they will need growth in forests – to heat and breathe. May the sanctity of the created order be treated with civility and common sense.

Thank you ‘Face in a Tree’ for your reminder that just as we need you and all Creation to survive, you need all of us to survive.

It was just a photo, that’s all
just a photo
- a photo of a young man in uniform hanging in a frame in a living room window.
What was it about that photo that grabbed at my heart?
What was it about that photo that created a deep chasm in my soul?
What was it about that photo that brought tears to my eyes
and gripped my chest so I couldn’t breathe?
It couldn’t be named.
I only knew that my soul had been touched
my mind raced
my emotions felt
and I understood them not.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the salute.
The car’s driver saluted the photo quietly, quickly, calling no attention to himself.
For a moment, he was in another world
- a world that connected him to this young man
- a world that united them as siblings of conflict
- a world that reminded him of the fragility of life and the happenstance of circumstance.
He in the photo, eighteen or so.
He in the car, old enough to be grandfather.
And yet, for that one brief moment, they were brothers.
Salutes happen all the time every day, on every land, in every continent.
But this one …
This one was different.

 

beauty

  last night I saw
beauty
experienced
grace,
touched the holy

 it was brief

 in just a few moments it
was gone and in those
seconds the colour, the contrast of sky
and trees, the sacredness of it all took away
my breath and wonder filled
my soul and peace entered again

afresh

 


stones

In the Jewish tradition when someone dies, friends and family often leave a stone at the grave. There are several reasons for this, but for me, because stones don’t die, I find them to be a reminder that a gravesite is a holy place.

Lately, I’ve been discovering some Facebook posts are holy places for me. Sometimes I leave a note. Sometimes I click “like”. And sometimes, when what has been written is received as ‘holy’ – when my heart is touched – when the tears are close or flowing –  when my soul soars – when I experience Grace – when I see holy Presence in the words – and I have no response, I just leave a simple “o” because for me, the “o” (the shape of a stone) represents the Oneness that unites us and expresses holy words.

 

Lessons abound each day … opportunities to develop spiritually; be challenged intellectually; discover things about other people, about God, about ourselves. Sometimes, learning is rich and wonderful, exciting and a gift; sometimes learning is difficult, discouraging and yes, even hurtful

I'velearned

 The question is, who would want to live a life where there was no personal growth? Not me. I want to be a student who is willing to receive Life’s Lessons – like this one which I learned many years ago.

 

Such wisdom. Truly, life is far too short and too precious to allow such people to be a negative influence and drain our time, energy and spirituality.

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