Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A hundred shades of green...

The outdoor "rain room" - a place to reflect on life's stories.
In our home, we have a "rain room". The walls are glassed on all four sides - two looking outside and two looking inside. The room is so named because the large skylight in the flat roof allows the meditative and soothing sounds of the falling rain to enter into this special space and into our consciousness. Looking outside, rabbits dash happily across the drive, chasing each other into the dense woods on either side. Deer nibble on our "experimental" blend of grass and clover. Fat robins strut around, exuding a rather endearing sense of self-importance. In the dark hours, we know that an occasional bear follows a well-worn animal trail. Nature is at peace.

The arbutus trees, the maple trees, and the Douglas fir present a hundred shades of green. Strangely, the piece of music I am listening to at this very moment is Jon Mark's and David Anthony Clark's Celtic composition..."A Hundred Shades of Green". It is haunting and deeply moving.

I have, it seems, spent every free moment in the "rain room" these past few weeks...an admitted amateur, immersed in the art and craft of creating a media presentation. It is to celebrate the official partnership and twinning of two parish communities, St. Margaret's in Forfar, Scotland and our parish community here, on Vancouver Island. As challenging as I found the project, it was a labour of love. It involved editing and choosing from hundreds of images and dozens of video clips taken on the exchange in Scotland last summer. The final 295 images and 11 musical selections (some whole, some in part) distilled into 37 minutes and 37 seconds of story-telling. There was a second "layer" to it...a very personal element. It was with a sense of deep satisfaction (and relief), when the last "touch" went on, late Saturday night.

Similarly, so many folks create wonderful stories with words and images in their blogs. Reading and frequently re-reading the reflections, it is possible to feel joys and moments of personal triumphs in the words. Often, there is a tangible experience of high adventure in the shared accounts - it is easy to be there, on the water or deep in the hills and mountains or perhaps on a personal spiritual or vocational quest. There are heartfelt descriptions of personal experiences, some very difficult, and fraught with frustrations. I often want to reach out, with a caring hand, into this shared medium. Usually, all that is possible is to offer a brief word, in the comment box...and hope that the message comes through.

I suppose all I'm saying is that the words others write, the images that are shared, from whatever or from wherever they find a "rain room", are always meaning-filled and enjoyed by so many. The stories reflect life - shared life is so important and the shared experience enriches us all.

Keep on writing...and sharing. We'll keep on reading.


Image: Joan, reflecting, under a Gabriolan tree. Beyond...a hundred shades of green.


  1. Wonderfully said Duncan, as wonderful as your presentation was on Sunday.
    As for shades of green...we have so many here on the island but I have found in England and Scotland their shades of green seem much brighter than ours. Did you notice that?
    A rain room sounds wonderful...wish I had one to meditate in.
    Thanks for writing...I'll keep reading.:)

  2. And the very same to both of you; your blog is always thought provoking and often inspirational.... keep writing from the rain room, we'll keep reading! :o)

    Kind regards

  3. Hi L, yes the "shades of green" are stunning as you fly into the UK - such incredible beauty on both sides of the "water". You know that there's a "rain room" here for you anytime. :) Thanks so much, D.

    Thanks for that, Ian. You clearly have a similar "rain room" from which you write your reflections on the hills and on the water - we look forward to each and every one. For such a connection, we are thankful. Warm wishes. Duncan.

  4. Thanks for reaching out in your comments. It's striking how the wonderful bloggers out here cross my mind from time to time during the day.

    A hundred shades of green; a hundred shades of life.

  5. My experience is the same, Lee. The postings out there often spark an idea, and often a solution.

    "A hundred shades of life" - how true that is. And what an excellent post title. Appreciate you stopping by. D.