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Sundog Stories

Sundog Stories

Stories and sounds from the wilderness, Yoga Nidra, walking, mindful and relaxation Meditations.
The stories weave together experiences, usually of the natural world, with thoughts on impermanence, memory, uncertainty, hope and loss.
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72 Stinging Nettles - A Story
Stinging Nettles is a story about living in England, playing hide and seek in the graveyard, and about the good women who circled the wagon.
June 18, 2021
71 Spring Birds - Sound Meditation
Birds songs recorded early one spring morning at the cottage, including a yellow bellied sapsucker, hermit thrush, a lot of chickadees and a few others.
June 11, 2021
70 Corsets and Lotus feet
Picture for a moment a group of people  high up on a narrow ledge, halfway up a cliff.  Let’s call it a pedestal, the place we put virtuous, nice girls and women. Now imagine our little party teetering about on that ledge in 5 inch high heels, long towering necks,  wasp like, breathless waists and tiny lotus shoes. They wouldn't get very far now would they, which is, I think, the point. This story is about the Pitt River museum, corsets and other shrinking things. 
June 11, 2021
69 Forgetting Mrs Sprout
Two days after we moved in Mrs Sprout came through our always unlocked back door, strode up the 3 narrow steps into her old kitchen, searched the top of my new fridge for tickets  to a concert at the NAC that night. Her friend waited in the car. She asked if I’d taken them, and questioned what I’d done.
June 4, 2021
68 Maple - Yoga Nidra
Maple is a short yoga nidra practice that takes you across a white iron bridge to a large maple tree on an island.
June 4, 2021
67 Bend in the Road - A Story
My husband hitched rides all over the world when he was young. I’ve only dared it a few times, including a ride, on a heavy rainy day, up the sunshine coast, and once when we hitchhiked to our honeymoon. Bend in the road is a story about a canoe trip down the Rideau river, hitchhiking and regrets.
May 28, 2021
66 Free Wine and other plastic Things - A Story
What is it about free wine, food, free anything,  that sends so many of us into a tizzy? Interestingly, we sometimes question the virtue of free items because we judge them to have no, or low, quality. In our minds we unfairly de-value the thing, decide that there must be something wrong, if it's free.
May 21, 2021
66 Compost - A Story
“We are all compost for worlds we cannot yet imagine.” (David Whyte) Composting has always been a bit of a surprise, an experiment: I never quite know what will slowly, and sometimes suddenly grow out of the bins’ corners. And I am a composition of all the good wishes and warnings, insightful and thoughtless, helpful and spiteful comments,  all the conversations I have ever had, and not just the ones I remember and took to heart, but all the ones I have forgotten, dismissed, ignored, rejected, ridiculed.
May 16, 2021
65 Headstand - A Story
I fell off a ladder yesterday. The whole thing collapsed and I found myself lying on the ground, testing body parts, wondering about what I might have broken.  It turns out I got away with a sprained ankle - it could have been so much worse, I tell myself. Sure, this will keep me not busy for a few days or more;  and perhaps it is a good time to practice my headstands, to see the world from a different angle. Headstands is a story about perspective and about framing experiences.  
May 9, 2021
64 Thawing Ice - Sound Meditation
The strange  sound, snaps, cracks, gurgles and whips of a thawing lake.
May 9, 2021
63 Krill - A Story
Some meeting spots create the conditions to support a rich, diverse marine life, including Krill: tiny, shrimp-like sea creatures. To escape hungry predators Krill migrate daily, vertically, in huge swarms that can be seen from outer space;  but despite their brave efforts they end as fodder: far down in deep waters when the sun is high, and near the surface of the rivers in the night. Krill is a story about meeting places and parallel worlds.
April 30, 2021
62 Awe - A Story
For some, awe is proof of God; for others, science not only adds an explanation but increases their sense of awe,  lifts them across the gap left by not knowing, sets them down on the others side, leaving them to wonder, wanting to know more.
April 23, 2021
61 Sleeping Beauty - A Story
Warning: not much happens in this story, unless  you count my description of a breathing lake; or count the unfortunate rent in my winter coat, torn by the thorns of tall blackberry canes.   In this story, no coyote will suddenly trot across a frozen lake; and your tolerance, your threshold for boredom, might not be as high as mine.
April 16, 2021
60 Begin Again - A Story
Come February, when the sun shows increasing signs of strength, when roots emerge from hibernating bulbs and their fleshy green spears have pried their way out,  only then will I bring them out of their patient darkness.
April 9, 2021
59 Endings - A Story
Some endings are explicit: clearly we are told what  happens next: threads are gathered into tidy bundles, there is no room to question the explanation because the teller has decided on this version, as the truth.   Other endings are implicit, and have you wondering what it means  to live happily ever after.
April 2, 2021
58 Ice - Yoga Nidra
Explore an icy world in this Yoga Nidra practice. 
April 2, 2021
56 Chocolate Rabbit - A Story
For years, I have been palming off a particularly adorable baby picture of my brother as my own. We mostly share the same features: blue eyes, nose, cheekbones. But that is where the similarity ends.
March 26, 2021
57 Early Spring Colour - Walking Meditation
This Walking Meditation has you attending to the colours that surround you.
March 26, 2021
55 Free Will - A Story
Are the paths we walk our own? What I mean is this: does everything unfold with intention, according to my own plans and free will? Is there inside me a tiny wizard of Oz, hiding behind the curtains of my mind, peering out through bony sockets, pulling  levers, turning dials, shouting hoarse commands, keeping me on time, and on the straight and narrow path?
March 20, 2021
54 Water - Sound Meditation
Sounds of a water, a canoe, crows and a loon (at the very end).
March 20, 2021
53 Thunder and Rain - Sound Meditation
A few minutes of rain and thunder recorded last August.
March 12, 2021
52 Stormy Sky - Yoga Nidra
This Yoga Nidra practice involves rapid visualizations of objects and images.
March 12, 2021
51 Refrain - A Story
Apparently he always had a book on his lap, marked his notes in its margins; filled notebooks with observations on migration, nature and spring. Later they all went missing: someone who was more practical likely used them to started a fire on a cold winter night. Refrain is about Atti, my great grandfather, and the tracks we follow.
March 12, 2021
50 Missing Words - A Story
Sometimes you meet the perfect word, like gigil, a Tagalog word meaning the irresistible urge to squeeze someone because they are loved or cherished. And sometimes there is no single word to capture a fleeting moment.
March 6, 2021
49 Snow - Yoga Nidra
This Yoga Nidra practice takes you onto a field of snow and sun.
March 6, 2021
48 Navigating the Movement of your Mind - Meditation
This meditation will make you more aware of the chaos of your mind, and practice navigating the waves of your thoughts.
March 6, 2021
47 Thin Ice - A Story
The first step you take on a frozen lake is a beginning that you will never feel again. It catches the breath in your throat, and has you wondering: is it worth it? will I fall? should I turn back? And with every step you leave a little bit of yourself behind.
February 27, 2021
46 Forest (Full) - Yoga Nidra
This long practice takes you deep into a forest. 
February 27, 2021
45 Sound Movement - Walking Meditation
This walking meditation helps you to become more aware of the sounds that appear in  consciousness as you walk through your city or through nature.
February 20, 2021
47 Wet Wool - A Story
It sometimes feels as though memories are awakened and tugged upwards by the finely tuned strings of our senses,  linking a forgotten past to the here and now. Wet Wool is about sounds and smells, and the link between sensations and memories.
February 20, 2021
46 Meadow (Long) - Yoga Nidra
This long Yoga Nidra takes you through a meadow of goldenrod, thistles and milkweed to an old apple tree.
February 20, 2021
44 Ruminants - A Story
To ruminate,  to  revisit a thought over and over again, comes from the word ‘ruminant’ - an animal that eats grass;  chewing, swallowing, regurgitation and rechewing the same fodder over and over again. It is the same with us humans, we constantly consume our thoughts.
February 13, 2021
43 Samuel - A Story
February 6. The earth is still spinning on its winter arc, though days are growing longer: a minute in the morning, another one at night. A very brief story about loss and life unfurling.
February 6, 2021
42 Eavesdropper - A Story
It wasn’t just Rosa’s voice I'd overheard; slowly, I picked up the many whispers that drifted out of other neighbours’ open pipes and widened seams. It was as if I’d discovered new frequencies on my dial, found private stations that I had never known.
January 29, 2021
41 Walking Meditation
This walking meditation helps to ground you in your step by step movement. 
January 22, 2021
40 Knots and Ties - A Story
My grandmother kept chocolate, an apple and a paring knife in her apron pocket, read to us, cheated at cards but let me win. She knitted socks and liked her tea with cream, told us stories about talking pigeons and rabbits and owls.
January 22, 2021
39 Mud Lake - Yoga Nidra (for sleep)
This Yoga Nidra practice takes you on a walk to a small lake and a hollow tree.
January 22, 2021
38 Migration- A Story
Transition sometimes patiently waits, and works, in the  regeneration of a fallow field, a metaphor to describe the seemingly  barren possible, the creative in-between of what was and what might become.
January 16, 2021
37 Patsy Cline - A Story
An old man once told me that not so long ago this city was a forest, then the Algonquin people called it their home, later Europeans came, took and cleared the land and farmed the rocky ground. Someone  built a tram line from east to west, then came sidewalks and hydro lines. Who is to say when a neighbourhood should freeze in time? When is it at its prime? This story is about my neighbour, 3 rusty cars and racoons.
January 9, 2021
36 Sehnsucht - A Story
Happiness comes from the Icelandic word “happ”, meaning luck or chance. We do tend to tie the two together, as though happiness were a thing we might hopefully trip over one day, should we be so lucky. Sehnsucht is about our yearning for happiness, and the challenges we face in its search. Photo Credit: Fridolin Walcher "Sehnsucht".
January 1, 2021
35 Mud Lake - Yoga Nidra (for sleep)
This Yoga Nidra practice takes you on a walk to a small lake and a hollow tree.
January 1, 2021
34 Night Sky - Meditation
We seem to seldom give ourselves the opportunity to experience our minds without the noise and clutter of our busy lives. Like a night sky polluted by city lights, we might, through the haze, only recognize and attend to the brightest and loudest experiences. But In the wilderness the stars are more clear, less distorted.  Mindful meditation is a practice to begin to notice and better understand and experience the moments of our lives, the sights, sounds, sensations and thoughts.
January 1, 2021
33 Milkweed - A Story
One might think that the show is over once the flowers of the Milkweed have flashed their beauty, and the leaves have fed the hairy black and orange caterpillar; but no, the best is yet to come. This story is about Milkweed and a silver tour bus.
December 26, 2020
32 On Balance - A Story
Yesterday, weeks after that first day of the deer hunt, on a snow covered path along a line of now bare trees, I saw a large Barred owl, perched high, still, waiting, watching for its small furry prey.  And then, quite suddenly, it lifted and waved its powerful wings, and dove towards the frozen earth. On Balance is about expectations, uncertainty and hope.
December 21, 2020
31 Apart - A Story
A story about loneliness and connection. 
December 12, 2020
30 Egg - A Story
While travelling, eating hard-boiled eggs comes second only to apples, which, by the way,  happens to be my only party trick - I eat them whole, apple seeds and all.  My kids have grown up  eating eggs on trains and planes, on mountain tops and on park benches. For years they hissed at us, embarrassed, but now they follow suit, peeling eggs around the world. A story about eggs and ego. 
December 7, 2020
29 Moment to moment awareness - Meditation
This foundation meditation practice brings you into the present moment.
December 4, 2020
28 Field - Yoga Nidra
This practice will walk with you through a fall field.
December 4, 2020
27 1979 - A Story
1979 is the year my family emigrated from our small town in Switzerland. The story is about that time, Canadian lunch boxes, and crossing disorienting gaps.
November 27, 2020
26 The things we keep - A Story
Years ago I broke a pale yellow water pitcher that I’d received from a close childhood friend.  We’d lost our connection but I kept the shards in a drawer, feeling pangs of regret and guilt for my carelessness.  I asked my mom how I might fix the pitcher. She suggested I repair my friendship instead.  A story about regret, my great grandmother and her broken hip, and precious moments. 
November 20, 2020
25 Tunnel - Yoga Nidra
Journey deep into a tunnel and rest on the shores of a moon lit beach.
November 16, 2020
24 Returning Mind - Meditation
This foundation meditation practices bringing back the wandering mind.
November 16, 2020
23 Fractals - A Story
Through the lens’ furthest reach the scene loses its shape, colours merge and blur, as I zoom out and drift into space and slip through a narrow gap. I follow the sun, as does the earth, as does the moon. All of us, tiny electrons spinning and circling. This story travels along a wild coastline, where the scene changes constantly, yet seemingly repeats itself again and again.
November 14, 2020
22 Sundog - A Story
Sundogs, like all moments in time,  are fleeting  - we only notice them if we pay attention, (if we’re lucky enough to look up at the right moment), and our brief experiences of them sift through our hands - as does life. This story is about a black dog, and speaks about the moments we live. (photo credit: C. Milne, "Sundogs North of Swift Current")
November 7, 2020
21 Fossils - A Story
Conscious or not, the sorrows, secrets and the guilts we keep don’t rest peacefully.  They are working on us, reminding us of our failings - usually more than fits the crime. I’ve watched guilt at work, have learned that it will not set you free, will not atone for your mistakes. 'Fossils', explores a deep lake, what lies beneath, and the sorrows we keep. Photo Credit: Q. Gall.
November 1, 2020
20 Snakes and Ladders - A Story
 I know that I am not telling you anything new. But, do you know the answer to this: is this it, is this all that life is, and will be? And should the question make you shudder? Or is it an invitation to wonder? Snakes and Ladders, spins together dancing men,  a canoe trip into the wilds,  and the question: is this it?
October 28, 2020
19 Well - Yoga Nidra
This Yoga Nidra practice will take you down into a deep well.
October 28, 2020
18 Grounding Body - Meditation
This meditation includes a body scan to relax the body.
October 28, 2020
17 Warts - A Story
She sat down and told us that when she was a small girl, growing up in Eastern Europe, she too had warts on her feet. Her mother took her to see a wise woman in the village, who told her to take a bite out of an apple and bury it under the next full moon. According to our doctor, this cured her of her warts. Searching for a cure for warts and other questions and quests.
October 28, 2020
16 Lola - A Story
I had heard that cats bring dead, or half dead mice, to their human owners to teach them how to hunt. Given our lack of responsive learning,  I have always been impressed by Lola’s patience, her unwillingness to give up on us. But recently I came across a different theory: that animals might leave us presents to show their gratitude. A story about our cat Lola, harvesting brussels sprouts and gratitude.
October 28, 2020
15 Terns - A Story
I once read that lightning fixes nitrogen in the soil. The lighting bolt's electric charge breaks the stable strong  bond that exists between the nitrogen atoms that fill the air. The separated atoms rearrange and attach themselves to oxygen and rain delivers these molecules to the earth.  It can burn you too. The shoreline remembers the power of such storms in its blackened trees, which,  like the small flowery monuments to the highway dead, post their warnings along the way. The story is about navigating your way in a storm.
October 28, 2020
14 Log - Yoga Nidra
This Yoga Nidra practice journeys into the forest to listen to beetles and other life in a nurse log.
October 28, 2020
13 Anchoring Breath - Meditation
This meditation anchors you in the moment through your breath.
October 28, 2020
12 Path - A Story
Last winter a man I met in a small northern community told me that when he was young he would hunt for Caribou with his uncle. One evening, at dusk, he watched as thousands of the large lumbering animals moved not as one, but swirled in all directions. He said that the ground moved and shook with noise and motion. But the caribou don't migrate that far south anymore. Impermanence, toads, caribou and the forest.
October 28, 2020
11 Silkworms - A Story
Of course there is no guarantee that change, and the stirrings of a thousand earthworms will restore life, there is always the chance that it won't. Life is not predictable and it might not end as happily as you once hoped. Nonetheless, even if choice seems faint, do remind yourself that you don't have to wait for the frail promises of your unraveling life. Silkworms spin together no-till farming, silkworms and life transitions.
October 28, 2020
10 Remnants - A Story
Remnants is a story about memory and the clear and blurred remnants that mark us.
October 28, 2020
9 Forest - Meditation
Take a quiet walk through a forest in this meditation.
October 27, 2020
8 Waterfall - Yoga Nidra
This Yoga Nidra practice will take you on a brief journey to a waterfall.
October 27, 2020
7 Entanglements - A story
At our small cabin, the lake is moving and churning today, thunder threatens, the light bounces off the waves. I step into the water and pull myself under the surface and open my eyes, as beams of light reflect off tiny particles. And I become aware that I am this too, a tiny particle in an ever changing sea of light and life. Entanglements is about the connections we share with the big and small, the living and dying.
October 27, 2020
6 Maps - A story
Perhaps stories,  our mental maps, our perceptions of the world are only illusions, marked by clear or faint, experiences along the path. We do seem to have an insatiable need to create meaning, to connect seemingly random memories, to help us make sense of the world, and our place in it. This story threads together maps, owls and wolves.
October 27, 2020
5 Floating Body - Meditation
This meditation will take you on a journey above the sea, and the earth.
October 27, 2020
4 Farm - Yoga Nidra
This Yoga Nidra practice walks you across the fields of a farm.
October 27, 2020
3 Bhola - A Story
Very early, on the second last morning of my month in India I crossed the clear, blue-green Ganges. The narrow, usually packed footbridge was quiet. Ahead was a woman, her dark pink sari fluttering in the breeze.  The mountains rise up north of the town, cast their long shadows, keeping the air cool in the late winter morning. This story is about a conversation at the edge of the Ganges.
October 27, 2020
2 Spiders - A Story
One summer afternoon a thousand strings of light emerged from this wall of green and drifted into space, each end strapped firmly to the tiniest of spider babies, little parachutists, bravely and willingly allowing themselves to be carried by a faint breeze into the unknown. This story weaves together images of parachuting spider babies, an ancient turtle, love and loss.
October 27, 2020
1 Lost - A Story
I was hiking in Utah once and had to keep myself from diving off a cliff. L'appelle de vide, it is called. The call of the void. Surprisingly there is little written about this. Doesn't everyone feel the urge to enter the  void at some time in their life? Maybe not.) Find helpful instructions here on what to do when you are lost in the woods.
October 26, 2020