Deep in the Meditative Woods

The winds have quieted down some and the rains have become patchy showers. With this relative retreat in the stormy weather, we head out for a long walk “to stretch the kinks out” as my mother would say. These walks do more than stretch out our physical bodies. They also refresh our emotional, mental and spiritual being. Most often the walking is done without talking and at a good pace but not power walking with arms swinging. That kind of walking would be exercise not meditative. We can do that kind of walking at another time — such as when we are going to get the mail and climbing back up the hills home.

So because the weather was only in “relative retreat” we decided to take a middle trail out to the point and walk deep in the meditative woods. We can hear the surf and wind in the distance but the big cedar trees in this part of the forest cushion all that they hold. Sensual whiffs of trees, shrubs and the rain-soaked earth permeate the cool air as it drifts past my cheeks. We keep walking.

(image is available for purchase HERE)

Did you think I was going to leave my camera behind? Taking photographs is very much like part of my meditative breath and personal practice of being present.

Today’s post and sprout question are part of a call-and-answer with Laurie Buchanan over at Speaking from the Heart and her post today “Rain Retreat Meditation.” I am going to borrow her question and sprout it here while encouraging you to answer it there – and here too if you like 🙂

Laurie’s SPROUT: Where do you go to retreat?

It may have been divine intervention that had me read Laurie’s new post just before setting this one for publishing here. Whatever the reason dear readers, you get two unplanned, uncoordinated, just-happened-that-way meditative posts in one today.

© 2012 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at

Calm before the Storm

There is a wind warning put out by Environment Canada for Mayne Island:


Southeast winds up to 100 km/h expected today for North Vancouver Island, central coast, north coast and Haida Gwaii. Southeast winds 70 to 90 km/h expected to develop this morning over the south coast. This is a warning that potentially damaging winds are expected or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions. Listen for updated statements.


It has been posted and revised since Saturday – last updated at 4:43 am PDT this morning. Just now the winds and more rain have arrived. While they have been delayed I am reminded of the calm before the storm. The wild birds and farm animals have been unusually quiet. My wish now is to get this up before the power is interrupted. I am thinking about calm and tranquility. I am thinking about my last visit to Narvaez Bay on Saturna Island. The humidity was at 100 % with the earth softly releasing its breath across my skin as I gazed into the stillness, the mist and the soft light.

Today’s post is a poem-like meditation with words and photographs….

The bull whips in Echo Bay softly roll on the gentle swells

as the sea flows around what remains of a temporary monument, with its puppy-dog resemblance.

There is perfect in imperfection of one red leaf.

Heavy clouds lift off the Straight of Georgia as I crouch next to the cliffs.

Reminded of the unyielding strength of nature,

such as this large ragged-edged clump of collected bits.

Chosen seashore pebbles and sea-glass remain as if for evidence.

Down by the rocks in Little Bay.

Mist rolls on the quiet sea.

The threaded sea.

The calm sea.

On the last day of summer.



Sprout question: Where does your gaze soften into the stillness that is today?


CELEBRATION: It happened yesterday – my redbubble account went over 100,000 views and I have a celebration journal entry HERE with my thanks and a few of my favourite images.


New: Check out my coffee table book PRECIOUS SECONDS – Mayne Island in paintings and photographs


© 2011 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

FromMayne Island,British Columbia,Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at


loft from sitting on meditation cushion

Last night’s a summer solstice labyrinth walk is slipping into the soft dust of yesterday. Today I have a list. It is a long list of tasks that must be accomplished today, this week and next. Some are routine commitments, like typing up the minutes for a meeting. Others are unique and one-time requests, like painting signs for a wedding on recycled wood so that the 120, or so, guests can find their way around a large venue. Nowhere on this list does it say “put brush in hand and do the underpainting for next painting.”

My first response to this creative dilemma was to sleep until twenty-to-eight this morning. Now, my body feels like it has been pretzel-wrapped and would rather break than unfurl. My mind is grumpy. With puffy, blinking eyes I look out the window and see that the sun is already settling on the valley floor. Grudgingly I note “at least there is sun.” Then I remember “oh yeah, I have a blog to write too… and that package needs to be mailed this mornings as well.”

What is a creative woman in service to creativity and its inspired  Creative Potager community to do?

# one – get out of bed and gently untangle limbs and brain… at first hobbling and then gathering some form of jerky tempo on a trip to the washroom. Nothing can be formulated until this task is accomplished.

#two – heat teakettle, hand-grind blend of organic coffee and fill stainless steel insulated coffee press as body and brain cells begin to stretch and fall over each other to gain a more positive outlook on the day. In a moment of stubbornness I ignore them.

#three – climb the wood stairs up to the loft with coffee pot and cup. Place both by laptop for later as I glance longingly at the blank canvas on the easel.

#four – return to the top of the stairs and move past its invitation to decline and go over to the other side of the loft where its high ceiling lets light caress the small space.

#five – bow to the cushion on the floor.

#six – SIT

#seven – go back to desk and add “paint underpainting” to list with an asterisk… which denotes a very important “to do”

I am smiling. All my grumpy stubborn resistance has evaporated like morning dew. Now the day can begin. Among other things, I have a painting to paint!

Not everyone has a formal “sitting practice” such as meditation but most us will sit quietly, informally resting, gathering and sorting mentally, physically and spiritually. In these moments of simply being we can gather direction.

Sprout Question: When has simply sitting been your creative response?

p.s. this is not the blog I intended to write this morning but the goddesses of blog writing had their own ideas… what can I say? Have a most wonderful Tuesday:)

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada