Monday, April 27, 2009

The Light Of Encouragement~

Last years Peony

There is something about encouragement that makes possibility grow and bloom and become. I think encouragement is a most vital nutrient for all living beings to thrive, to live radiant and happy lives. I know I could drink vats of the stuff and only benefit. If encouragement was a healing elixir, there would be thousands of different honeyed flavors. For encouragement is one of those wonderful things that appears to come in infinite forms. Sometimes it rides into our hearts on a phrase spoken by someone that sees us, and other times it is brought to us by a sunrise a dawn, or by dog licks on wet tears, or cat purrs, or a child's song, or a grandmothers homemade soup...

My little niece called me last week and said, "Auntie, Auntie, you will never believe it, but a rainbow stopped by our house yesterday, the most beautiful rainbow. It came to bring us the best luck Auntie, I wish you could have seen it, it would have brought you luck too, I am sure of it." I told her that was indeed a lucky thing, when a rainbow "stops by" your house. And when I put the phone down I thought isn't it wonderful the way the universe encourages us.

Senay (My neice making Easter Eggs)

All this is to say, I have had the most wonderful encouragement from so many beautiful people over my latest bee keeping adventure. Even the plants in my garden appear to be cheering me on. Somehow I can't help but thank you all for your kind and supportive and unwavering enthusiasm. Please know how very much it means to me.

Rose from last years garden

And now I leave you with a poem from our Dear Hafiz:

How Did The Rose?

did the rose
ever open its heart
and give the world all of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against its being,
otherwise we all remain too

~Hafiz Sufi Poet 14th Century

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Beetime Traveller Chapter 1~

Image from Internet
Well, I think most of us in the northern hemisphere can officially agree that spring has at last come. There are flowers blooming and birds singing and seeds sprouting in all directions. If I had a favorite time of year ( which I don't) this would be it. Of course I feel like this at every turn of the seasonal wheel. I am like a child trying to decide my favorite color, at first I declare it's red and then swiftly change my mind to, oh no it's blue, and then, actually no it's green, before I say, "no it's all of them, give me the whole rainbow." Yes, I am somebody who loves it all, including spring, winter, summer and fall.

And speaking of loving it all, I will take this opportunity to share with you, my latest endeavour, Bee Keeping. Because, let's face it, spring would not be spring without adding BEES to the mix of birds, flowers and trees. Indeed, the earth as we know it, would not exist without these busy little pollinating friends, whose miraculous ways pollinate 90% of the earth's plants. In fact, if we really think about it, it is quite possible that we humans wouldn't exist without them. For, I believe it was Albert Einstein who said, "if the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live."

Image from internet

As many of you know, there is much discussion with regard to the decline of honey bee's. Indeed, this is a rather enormous problem on our planet at this time, amongst a very long and frighting list of other enormous problems. I don't know about you, but I could get very sad if I let my heart break for the present state of our Good Earth. However, after much thought on this difficult topic, I have come the conclusion that sadness is not the best style for me to adopt in an effort to make positive change during these troubled times. And so, Instead of cultivating sadness I am endeavoring to cultivate happiness and although this is not always easy, it feels like the best option. I, Nao Sims, choose to dedicate myself to loving the earth with nothing but joy in my heart and a radiant unwavering belief that we can indeed heal this beautiful world.

When I first learned about the problems with pollination I cried for two hours straight. And, when I realized that crying wasn't going to do anything for the bee's, I got up off the floor and got organized. Within a week I had ordered 20,000 honey bee's, two bee hives, and registered for a course with a Master Bee Keeper in a large field, under a big sky, an hours drive my house.

I spent the last days of winter cozied up with tea, reading books on back yard Bee Keeping, dreaming of my own honey, and remembering those long ago days when I was a little girl and my father was a bee keeper. There is nothing like the smell of fresh honeycomb, like seeing a bee on a dandelion after a long winter, or like the smell on my fathers hands when he'd come back from checking on a hive.

Yesterday, the boxes containing my hives arrived. After a song and a dance, Gus and I gleefully opened our packages. Gus was just as keen as I was to see what was inside, although his canine sense of smell gave the contents away well before I opened the lid, and the smells of honeycomb permeated the living room. What we found in those big cardboard boxes resembled a jig saw puzzle more than it did a bee hive. Apparently bee hives, like most things, need to be assembled. Our boxes were filled with parts of hives, and one poorly photocopied pink piece of paper, with very few instructions as to how to put the parts together. I laughed for a long time before I considered how to begin.

And then, without further adieu, I began...

I hammered.

And I painted.

And eventually,
I did it!
(This is Bee hive number one of two)

Gus and Mark cheered me on through my trials and tribulations and an old friend came over with lunch and together we shared the painting. All this said, my first day as a bee keeper, went very well.

The Bee's don't officially arrive until June 1st, but the preparations for their new life, in my garden, have already started. I shall keep you posted as to how it all goes.

To read more about what you can do to help support Bee's and the important work of these winged friends click here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Going Home~

Image by Martina Lang

There is a feeling I get whenever I go to my hometown that always surprises me. It comes the instant that I arrive in that valley surrounded by those familiar hills and mountains. At first it comes in the form of a kind of amnesia, where the memories of my new life disappear. As the car meanders down the winding road to the place of my childhood, I am nowhere else but HOME. In these moments I can barely remember that I ever left and I marvel at this feeling that seems to come up from the very ground I walk upon.

In my mind I can still hear my grandmother's voice showing me the buttercups blooming on the hillside just before town. "Spring is here" she would say, and the way she would say it, those three simple words, would always make me think that the whole world was new and beautiful and filled with promise. As my mother slows the car to round the last bend into town, we both look up at the hill to those tiny yellow blooms that speak to us of all the days before this one, and all of those to come after. We are silent for a moment, before we look at one another and say, "Grandma's buttercups."

Image from Internet
I have heard it told, that in the indigenous traditions, the people believe that the spirits of the land welcome us back to our birthplace. That the elemental beings and the guardians of the earth who dwell in our homeland, never forget us. That we are as much a part of the land as the trees and the blades of grass, as the yellow buttercups on the green hillside.

Artist Unknown
Walking by the creek with my little niece, looking up at a circling hawk in the April sky, I think I might agree with those wise indigenous ones. That indeed there is a kind of invisible magic inviting us to sink down into the roots of our own beings and drink up the nourishment of being HOME.

When I get on my plane tonight and I fly over these beautiful and sacred mountains I will give thanks to this good earth for reminding me of this beautiful circle I am a part of. And when I walk through the front gate of my little green cottage, 300 miles away from my hometown, another feeling will greet me. Another sense of HOME, and one that is just as wonderful. When my dog licks my face in his enthusiasm to see me after four long days, and my man put's the kettle on, I will remember my new life in all of it's beauty, just as I have remembered my old life.

Someone once said, "Home is where the heart is," and I think I would have to agree.

Monday, April 6, 2009


On this day, 3 years ago,
I met the most extraordinary being.

Who grew into the most extraordinary Dog.

Whose wisdom, I am quite sure, reaches beyond the stars...

Who reminds me every day of the most important things:

Like running with the wind in your hair.

Like sitting by the sea in the sun.

Like getting your feet wet, in the in-coming tide.

Like loving, with all of your might.

Happy Birth Day Gus~
How blessed I am to have you in my life.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Waking with the Sun~

"Though we seem to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream, and that will eventually startle us back to the truth of who we are."

I must say that I find these the best sorts of moments, that is, being startled by a wonderful truth.

Just the other morning I was out in my garden doing sun salutations with Gus ( who, by the way, does the best downward dog I have ever seen) and I found myself in the midst of one of these waking moments that our dear Rumi eludes to.

Standing there, the rising sun on my face, my arms stretched up toward the sky, I realized that I was feeling as blessed to feel the warmth of the sun as the dazzling daffodils, standing in their yellowness beside me. That I was not so very different from these stemmed ones in my desire to grow toward the light. Somehow, in that moment, I "woke up" to something golden and divine, something that can be felt more easily than explained, some kind of mysterious wakefulness.

Sometimes, when I cannot remember who I am, I spend time with plants. You see, as far as I can tell plants are sure about what they are, sure about their beauty, about their purpose, about their goal, which appears to be nothing other than simply BEING what they are. And I have always been a believer in learning by example.

I am convinced that dogs know about this too and so do trees and rivers and stars and mountains and all the four legged and feathered and gilled ones. It's just we two legged's that seem to have this habit of forgetting.

It's a good thing that there is a whole beautiful world out there, just waiting to remind us~