Hunt

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Mist and the last of the smoke blended together when Eli looked back down into the valley at the manor. Beyond that, the fog completely cloaked the river and what he knew would be the boat house at the crossing. He was grateful to be above the stench of the charred remains of animals that they could not save. Eli shuddered as he wondered if some of the burned flesh smell was from any of the people who lived at the manor. Possibly even the master, if the rumors he’d heard in the night were true.

There was a chill in the air, but Eli’s skin still felt the heat of the fire of the night before. His right hand was burned from when he pulled on the iron closure of the last of the horses’ stalls. It was a wonder the animals hadn’t run him down in their panic to be free of the heat and flames that covered the back of the stables. He touched the gash near his temple. The gelding just missed killing him when he leapt past the gate that Eli was trying to open.

They’d managed to save all of the horses that were in the stable. His father and his brothers were collecting the ones who wandered back to the manor when the flames finally subsided. Eli was sent to the hills to start rounding up those animals who had not returned. As the youngest of the farrier’s sons, he did what he was told.

Eli chewed a piece of bread as he checked over the fourth horse he’d tied to the makeshift corral in his temporary camp. It would likely take a few days to gather up the lost horses. He hoped that the missing ones would smell the others and start coming back together on their own.

He had a little bit of food with him; the kitchen was still intact and one of the maids handed him a bundle as he left. He was on foot – his father didn’t want to spare any of the horses for him. Besides, he would find horses that he could ride if he needed to. That meant that he couldn’t carry much for supplies, but his father didn’t seem to care.

“You’re strong and summer is still with us. You don’t need much.” he’d been told when he asked.

And so Eli climbed up the mountainside on foot, searching for the horses. He was a good tracker; not that his father knew. Eli spent most of his life ignored by his father. His older brothers taught him their family’s farrier trade when they had time and Eli begged them to. His tracking skills came from when he’d been a child and served with the master’s hunting parties. Eli paid attention to what the men were doing and saying. He was quiet and no one ever noticed the boy hovering as they discussed hunting and tracking while he poured their wine.

Eli checked his burned right hand. It didn’t burn as much now that he’d been applying the salve that the master’s wife left with him years ago on one of the hunts. It was almost all gone now. He always carried it with him, just in case. Eli doubted that she remembered that day. He would never forget it.

The other men didn’t notice when the wine-boy tripped over the carelessly discarded coat one of the men had cast aside. When he fell, Eli’s leg brushed against the hot rocks of the cooking fire and burned. But she noticed.

The master’s wife – Eliza – rushed to his side and helped him up and back to her tent. The 16 year old “boy” was taller than she was and he felt silly limping along beside her, feeling every inch of her arm around his waist. His face burned more than his leg did as her soft hands applied the salve to his injury. He prayed that she wouldn’t look up to see his embarrassment pressing against the front of his breeches. Eli gripped the wine flask close to cover himself.

“There. Now keep putting this on for a few days and it will heal well.” Eliza stood up from where she’d been kneeling and offered him some water from the bucket beside them.

Their eyes met as he drank and Eliza quickly looked away from him. Eli guessed that she couldn’t be much older than he was. She always looked sad whenever he glanced her way on the many hunts they’d been on. The master rarely went anywhere without his wife coming along behind him. She’d been with him for a little less than a year, but never did she seem to be a blushing bride.

Many rumors fluttered around the manor about where the master’s wife came from. No one knew the truth and the master did not tell anyone. He’d returned from a journey over the pass with her in his group and claimed only that she was now his wife. The Brute was so close to her side that everyone wondered if she was with the Brute or with the master. The only time anyone saw her was when she came on the hunts with them. Out there, the Brute seemed to leave her alone.

The Brute wasn’t with her last night. Last night, when Eli saw her jump down into the hay wagon. He couldn’t imagine what she was doing, he just knew that he needed to help her.

Even in the darkness, he knew it was her. He knew every curve of her body. He couldn’t see her dark eyes very well, but the outline of her face was unmistakable. Especially to him who had looked her way so many times.

Where was she going? What was happening? Why was she choosing to run? Would she make it to wherever she was going? How could she, with so few supplies? His meager food he’d given her would not take her very far. How could a women survive in this wilderness? The master would surely be out looking for her. The Brute was probably already on the hunt.

Eli chewed harder on another piece of bread and re-wrapped his hand. He knew that it wouldn’t take them long to find her. His jaw clenched…he had to find her first.


See the previous part of the story here: https://cevraini.com/2018/08/19/escape/

Photo by Marc Marchal on Unsplash

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Fifteen

Fifteen…I really can’t believe it. She is 15 today.

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Four years ago, I wrote a love letter to my daughter. Today, I write again.

I am so grateful for you. You teach me something every day…

Patience – I am learning to understand how you do things; not necessarily at the same rate or the way I would do them…lol!

True Beauty – Let’s face it, you are absolutely stunning, but most of all, your true beauty is in your heart because you are always so thoughtful and kind. Often thinking of others first.

Individuality – You’ve never followed the crowd. You go where you want to go, you are who you are. That’s just brilliant, especially for a young woman in this day and age.

Perseverance – I’m always amazed how you never settle for less. Not less from others and certainly not less from yourself. For you, it’s always gotta be 110% or not at all. If your heart is set on it, it happens.

Grace – How do you always manage to look so amazing? It’s the weekend or at a baseball game and you’ve always got it together? Incredible!

Confidence – I never had the kind of confidence you have at your age. It continually amazes me how you believe in yourself. I have learned a lot about confidence from you my darling girl.

Warmth – You have such a warm heart. I hear from people all the time who comment on how you are always so thoughtful and gentle and polite with them. I have a hard time thinking of any time that you have spoken harshly about someone. It’s just not what you do. I still talk about the day in the car after I’d “road raged” when you reminded me that my reaction was cruel. That the person going too slow in front of me may be having a bad day. You always think of them first, don’t you? We could all learn that lesson from you.

Generosity – You work so hard for your money, yet you are the first person to spend it on someone else, even your brothers. Not many teen girls would do that.

Love – That early morning 15 years ago when I held you in my arms; all that long and 11lbs 3oz of you, I was changed. I had a girl now too. I never dreamed that I could have a little girl who would teach me so much. Your beautiful eyes and thick hair stunned me that day – so very, very beautiful. I’d never seen that kind of beauty before. It made your father cry and my heart soar.

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Thank you dearest darling girl for coming into our lives. We are forever changed for the better because of you.

You’ll never lose because you lead with your heart.

 

I will be…

…stronger…

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Today, I don’t feel very strong. My CDF’s (Core Desired Feelings) that I just figured out, only a few days ago, seem to be difficult for me to achieve today.

Well, ONE, for sure. I don’t feel strong.

My back is giving me so much pain. Yet, I can’t even allow myself that pain. I feel guilty because so many others are going through worse pain. I feel annoyed because it’s getting in my way of doing what I want to do…

Perhaps that’s the lesson here:

  • I am strong enough to bare the guilt of feeling less than ready for the day.
  • I am strong enough to feel weakness.
  • I am strong enough to allow healing without judgement on the dis-ease.
  • I am strong enough to BE; whatever that may look like. Even if it’s not 100% on.

I will be. I can be…I am.

~this is a post prompted by my Desire Map Journal. Truth & Freedom. Find yours here: 

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Gather with other Goddesses. Be supported, be loved, be YOU

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Our Deepest Fear

“It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us…”

I know sometimes I’m too much. I try too hard. I talk too much and too loud. I’m tired of shrinking. I’m tired of making myself small so that I don’t stand out. I’m tired of keeping quiet.

There once was a girl who stood up for what she believed in. To the point where some people didn’t like her. This girl believed she could do whatever she wanted. That nothing could stand in her way. But then, she made a mistake and she got afraid. Afraid to try. Afraid to start again. She felt like she needed to fit in; just do what she was supposed to. It was safe. It was easier than fighting the current. She was afraid that no one would accept who she really was. And so she hid. She pushed all of her art, all of herself down, DOWN…deep within her so that it wouldn’t scare anyone off. She desperately tried to please everyone until the girl inside had shrunk so small it was hard to see her.

The light dimmed.

I’ve been afraid to let my light shine. Afraid that it will dim the lights of others. It is so much easier just to keep the light hidden. To be less of who I am so that no one will be uncomfortable around me. I won’t “chase” anyone off if I’m just like everyone else. No one likes to be left out. So I chose to just fit in.

And the light dimmed.

There have been times where that little girl stood up. Where I let my light shine. It did make people uncomfortable. It got me in trouble. It made me stand out and not everyone liked me. It hurt. It hurt that I was misunderstood. I told myself – not again – I’m not doing this again – I’m not shining anymore, I’ll just keep it cool and everyone will be happy with me. Everyone will like me. And so I smile and nod.

And the light dimmed.

Well, you know what? I’m not getting any younger. Some shit has happened to me and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. And still some people don’t get me. I’m starting to realize that’s OK. I see my children being who they are. Unafraid. Not content with blending in. In them, I see that little girl I used to be. I don’t want my children to become who I became. I want to see their light shoot across the Universe, never fading.

They are so special. It’s about time I realized how special I am too. I’m not perfect. My light is sometimes some crazy colors and even a little shaky; even a little dim some days. I will be loud. I will be too much because that’s who I am. I’m shining my light the way I need to shine.

I’m going to help thousands of women stand up and be heard. I’m going to help them find their light and shine for all of us to see. Women will change corporations & companies. Women will create businesses around connection & love. Women will change communities & countries. Women will change the world with their big hearts, big dreams and big souls. I know this to be true. I see it in every woman I know. I see it in the stranger as she approaches me on the street. It’s there in her eyes. I’m going to help her see it too.

And the light will NOT be dimmed. Not anymore.

Join the Divine Goddess Circle and be inspired, nurtured & supported. You are not alone. You ARE a GODDESS www.divinegoddesscircle.com

Our Deepest Fear – Marianne Williamson.

The Magazine Game

Picture yourself on the cover of a magazine. Dream big!

Here’s a great idea from Tonya Leigh (http://tonyaleigh.com/you-on-the-cover-of-vogue/) I just had to give it a whirl, because, yep, it’s all about the dream. You gotta start somewhere…

It’s Tuesday, February 17, 2015 and I’m out and about celebrating my 45 birthday! I notice the magazines at Chapters as I pass through. Oh! I forgot that my article comes out today to celebrate my big day! ;P

I pretend that I forgot, even though I’ve been anticipating it’s release since last month when I did the interview for “O” Magazine. I pick up a copy… “Simple Gal Creates Big Change in Complex World” – I smile as I read the headline; remembering all those bumps along the road and how much I’ve longed to create massive change. I’m excited about how many people I’ve been able to help take baby steps and how that’s snowballed into something really big and really fun!

I laugh when I remember Oprah’s people trying to do my makeup. I wasn’t very cooperative – I would only wear the most basic, simple colors. I insisted on still being me on the cover of the magazine. They’d tried to get me to wear a dress! LOL! Too funny! Nope, there I was in my most comfy jeans and a pretty purple top, curled up on the couch. I loved it! Not glamorous, just me.

Turning the pages to the article, I read about how the interviewer saw me that day:

“Shawna is most at home with her laptop, a latte and comfy clothes. She has spent the time to get herself in pretty good shape, enjoying her varied workout routines and loving her mostly vegetarian meals. She says, ‘I still like the occasional homemade hamburger my hubby makes, but most of the time, I love the simple raw foods I get to eat every day’. You can’t tell that she turns 45 – she looks a lot younger. She moves with the grace of an athlete. A fact she attributes to her yoga practice. ‘I used to be sore all the time until I changed what I was eating and got my body moving – that is one of the things I encourage others to do in the Divine Goddess Circle: Just get your body moving in whatever way makes you feel good!'”

I flip through and see the pictures they’d taken of my house:

“The Cevraini’s don’t have a lot of ‘stuff’ in their house. Nothing fancy – just simple, comforting furnishings. It’s apparent that they are movie lovers when you see the rows of DVD’s arranged by genre and alphabetically! Shawna laughs when she relays how she sometimes forgets which movies she already has and gets duplicates. She always donates those to the local library for their collection. A stack of books are next to everyone’s bedside – an indication of how avidly the family reads. It’s a home set up to welcome anyone who comes by. We felt like we were going to our friend’s house the moment we stepped in. Warm blankets and colors met us with open arms. You could smell the fresh flowers there on the coffee table, newly clipped from Shawna’s own garden.”

“Bruce is Shawna’s husband and “My Rock”, she tells us. They’ve been through some hard times, but they’ve only grown closer in their marriage. She blushes when we ask if being able to work from home has changed their relationship; ‘Yeah, we spend a lot of coffee breaks in our bedroom…’ She giggles. Shawna’s kids love that their mom is usually home for them at the end of the day. They take regular family vacations; their favorite location: Florida! There are office hours posted on her home office door – this was an important tool for everyone, including herself, to keep work & family time separate. ‘It really helps me let go of helping the world, and focus on my family. It all begins at home, doesn’t it?’ ”

“Shawna loves hanging out with her best friends. She tells us of her regular lunch dates with them. They even go on picnics in the park or country drives to favorite spots nearby. As part of her “Goddess” lifestyle she teaches in the Divine Goddess Circle, Shawna hosts monthly creative days with her friends where everyone comes over, has a glass of their favorite beverage, laughs, talks and creates! It’s become a ‘must-do’ on everyone’s to-do list. ‘It’s so important for women to come together as a group. Our ancestors gathered around tanning hides and quilt frames and church lunches. It’s about time modern women realized how important real connection with other women is.'”

I get a little teary as I read the next paragraph. That part of the conversation brought up a lot of emotions for me:

“We noticed how Shawna’s confidence fills the room. Her smile shines so brightly, you can’t help but smile too! We asked her if she’d always been this way. She pauses for a moment. ‘No, no I certainly have not always been happy and excited for the future. There were some very dark days, where I’d even considered letting it all just disappear. I truly felt that I was worthless, a terrible mother and wife. I hated myself, my job and felt so alone. I lived in my husband’s sweat pants and shirt on weekends and secretly cried all the time. I was always yelling at my kids and having to escape before I did them (or myself) serious harm. My relationship was a complete mess. I was a mess.’

‘The turning point for me was that I just couldn’t keep going like that. It was either End This Now or Get Up and Start Again. I couldn’t take my own life or even run away. I just couldn’t do it. So…I had to choose the second option. I started with looking after me. I learned that if I couldn’t love myself, I’d never be able to truly love anyone else. Including my kids! I used my birthday money and paid for 10 personal training sessions. It was the best thing I did. I learned to have fun with my workouts. To try new things. To fuel my body properly. I signed up for events that raised money for causes that meant something to me. It got me outside and spending time with friends. There was no turning back after that.’

‘Being able to learn to love myself was my proudest achievement. Sure, there are still days where I beat myself up, but they are much fewer than they used to be. I’ve become a crusader for helping other women do the same. Women can be so hurtful to themselves. Comparing ourselves to another woman’s highlight reel is the worst thing we could do, yet we do it every day. It’s time we stopped the madness! It’s time we supported each other in meaningful ways. We need to set the tone for our children to believe in themselves and follow their hearts. The only way we can do that is by loving the woman we see in the mirror every day. When we love her, we can’t help but love the others we see each day. And it just grows from there! The love of a woman is truly a powerful thing, don’t you think?’

There is a tear in her eye as she says this. ‘I can see the world changing, becoming more loving all the time. Stories have become less about climbing the ladder and the next best thing and more about getting back to nature and dreams. That is what I wish for; and I think it’s happening! I will teach this until my dying breath. I will teach it not just by talking about it, but by living it myself. The only way to make a change in the world is to start with me. And that’s what I do, each and every day. Who’s with me?’ She gives us all a huge grin and you just can’t help but feel this infectious love from this open, passionate woman. You know in your heart that she’s right, times are changing…and for the better. ”

I close the magazine as another tear runs down my cheek. It’s so amazing to be here, right now. This is where I want to be. This moment. Filled with love for the people closest to me, including the strangers nearby. This is what life really is about. I am so blessed to be able to be a part of this Earth. I bow my head in thanks for a minute and continue on with my day. It’s my birthday after all! Time to celebrate!

How about you? What is your “Magazine Story”. Check out Tonya’s article and  write your own story. Now, what are you doing to create that dream?

I’ve started creating my dream that I talk about in this article: The Divine Goddess Circle – a community for working women who are seeking support and ACTIONS to become the Goddess they truly are. Sign up and start living your Goddess Life!

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The Transformation Arrow

April 23, 2012…My transformation arrow has taken me two weeks to face! I can blame it on the snow – sure – I can’t find a stick in the snow. I can blame it on being busy – sure – there’s always something else to do.

Really? Really?

My visions of Kali at first freed me – I felt courageous and ready…but then the doubt and resentment and fear and unworthiness set in.

Who am I trying to kid?

  • a goddess?
  • an artist?
  • a writer?
  • a creative soul?

NEVER!

There would always be an excuse, a road block that can never be moved…

…Friday night, I left the house. Full of disappointment, resentment, anger…and after such a crappy attitude week. Every day, I intended to be better. Every day, the disappointment set in…

There were so many sticks thrust in my path that night. I couldn’t believe how many. There in the middle of sidewalks, along the sides of the road, in the grass. All beckoning, all ignored as I fumed forward and the temperature in the air and in my heart dropped.

Suddenly, there it was, a spindly spruce branch. Naked of needles, far from the tree. My favorite tree-type; the scent always reminding me of happy childhood days around a campfire.

I walked with it swinging in my hand. My anger turned to regret and sadness. My heart just felt sick and alone; empty as the barren stick in my hand. I set it on my front step; not feeling ready just yet. There, it waited while I spent the weekend soul-searching and reconnecting.

When I went to find the stick, it was gone. It called to me from the garbage bin where he’d thrown it. The bin had just been collected, so there it lay alone at the bottom. It seemed to say, “Ready?”…and so it began…

Transformation Arrow

Strips of paper from a sheet where I’d written words as they flowed in different colored pens. I thought of all the times I worry that my story is not good enough to be told. I wrapped the words around the stick. The colors of them releasing my fears of sharing them with the world. Fabric strips of autumn colors; a season I love and hate at the same time. A season reminding me of my own confusing ups and downs. At one time beauty and warmth, and all at once cold, dead and the end. Fabric strips of precision and accuracy so unattainable in real life…

Purple and blue antique threads. Memories of the past, and the mistakes I’ve made. My past is not who I am, but it made me what I am today. A single safety pin: letting go of so-called security because there is no such thing…not if you really want to bleed and feel and love and live…

And now, as I watch, it burns….releasing all of this. The fears, the anxieties, the unworthiness. Letting it go…It is none of my business. I am not meant to know the destination. I am only meant to learn and love the journey…

Transformation

My First Painting

I have joined Goddess Leonie’s Goddess Circle. It has been calling to me for months and then April 1 was the start of the Creative Goddess e-course. I could not resist. Creativity has been calling me for quite a while now. I want to explore what embracing it will do…and so it begins…

Tonight, my daughter and I painted. I have not painted since…like…forever. We made a mess, we listened to our hearts and we just did it. She moved on to other things after she was done, but my heart still had something to say…

And so I wrote words as they came to my head. I drew wavy lines that at first had no meaning until I began to see. I then picked up my pen and created a story that curiously matched the picture. Where did that come from? I don’t care, it just feels good to create!

My artwork:

My daughter’s artwork:

My drawing:

My story:

A light rain drizzled over her head. It dripped down the side of her face and off her nose. She could feel the wetness building at the nape of her neck. Her shoulders hunched as she tried to pull the jacket closer around her neck. She knew the tears would come soon. At this point, who cared? Alone in the dark…again. She felt the cold seep into her bones. The rain came harder and her soul grew heavier. The voices teased her over and over. Her own words, spewing hatred to the face in the mirror. His words of rejection and ridicule. Their laughter behind her back.

“Ridiculous”

“Silly”

“Stupid”

“Weird”

“Unworthy”

Each word pushing the knife deeper into her heart.

The rain ran in rivers down her neck. She’d given up on holding the collar tight to her throat. There was no point waiting here any longer. It was evident that he wasn’t coming.

Somehow, her feet moved. Her mind had nothing to do with it. It didn’t care if she stood there and dissolved into the nothingness she felt. But somehow…her feet carried her.

Her hands were numb as she lifted her sleeve to check the time. She had to look again when the only thing that registered when she looked was the fact that he hadn’t called. No one had. No one was looking for her or wondering if she was OK.

The rain poured harder. Thunder began to rumble in the distance. Her feet still carried her forward. Relentless. Pushing on. Splashing through puddles. Forward. She did not think about where they were taking her. All she could hear was those terrible words.

Somewhere, she heard a bird singing. She noticed the water running down her face was just from her hair. The rain had lifted. Still her feet carried her…closer and closer to the quiet. She heard the dripping leaves litter the forest floor with moisture. More birds chimed in and rustled above her.

She noticed she was on a different path this time. This one was quiet. Flickering sunlight peaked at her from through the glistening leaves.

Her icy hands pushed her hair slick back on her head. It felt good to get the dripping off of her face. Her temperature slowly climbed as her feet carried her along the path that gently rose up toward the sky. She could feel her heart in her chest, pushing blood to her cold fingers. The sun was stronger now. She could feel the steam starting to rise from her soaked clothing. The birds were louder; louder than the words.

As her hear pounded, her mind began to settle. The screaming faded to a mutter that she had trouble hearing. She began to forget those angry faces and noticed the clouds as the sun pushed through them.

She remembered a poem that she had written so many years ago. At another time and place when the ideas flowed from her heart like the rain that she’d just been through:

The waves that once were raging with fury

now lap softly at the deserted beach.

The green, murky waters wash the traces

of the storm away to hide in its depths.

Never to be see by the fretful world

in all its grimness and all its pain.

The Lord has commanded the waves to show us

that there is peace, along with the storms.

And the parting black clouds in our hearts

must give way to the shining Son — always.

Why had those words come to her after all these years? Why now? And how did she remember every word she’d written? Suddenly, she realized her feet had stopped moving. The path was gone. She lifted her head…

She felt it more than saw it. The grace. The beauty. Tears blurred her vision. She could see so far around her from this spot. So beautiful, so peaceful, so small. How did everything get so small? She felt so big. Higher than that dark world below. She realized she’d stretched her arms out and had lifted her face to the sun. She felt its warmth deep in her soul. Warm tears squeezed from beneath her eyelids. They ran down her face until she felt them on her lips. She tasted the salt and felt her own smile.

She turned and looked back towards the path…only to find that it was not there. Dense foliage blocked her way. The birds soared about her calling her name. She was sure she’d heard her name? Was she mistaken? Where did the path go? She was sure she’d come from that direction. The only way she could see was a rocky path along a ledge in front of her. She knew she did not come up that way.

Her clothes were starting to dry. The voices and the faces had disappeared entirely. Gone with the strange path that her feet had followed to this place. The words of the poem repeated and ran together in her mind.

The rocky path ahead was narrow. She felt her heart quicken and her face flush:

“What if it wasn’t the right way?”

“Maybe she should force her way back through the dense foliage?”

“Stay with the way she thought she knew?”

“What if she went ahead and the rocky path got steeper?”

“What if it became two paths?”

“Which way would she go?”

She could just sit here and enjoy the view, couldn’t she? Surely someone would come? But who? Who was she waiting for?

The birds continued their glorious celebration all around her.

She took one last look at where she thought she’d been. She breathed in the beauty all around her once more. Her body filled with the sights and smells and sounds of this glorious place. It filled up her courage and her heart. Her mind stopped asking the question as her soul took over:

“What a grand adventure may lie ahead?”

“I wonder what I’ll see?”

“How many other paths are there?”

“How many will I get a chance to follow?”

“Will the birds follow me?”

“What am I waiting for?”

And her feet carried her forward once again. And the sun shone. And the birds sang. And she heard these words:

“Strength”

“Love”

“Healing”

“Faith”

“JOY”

…and she smiled.