Rhythm

There is a rhythm to every place. 
The rhythm here, in Puerto Peñasco, is seagulls and brown pelicans. 
It is ocean line receding and then swelling.  
It is white shells and expansive skies. 

Our schedule is wake up, stretch in the sun on the veranda. 
I make a smoothie, a cup of coffee. 
My breakfasts have either been fresh toasted bread with avocado or hazelnut spread with mango. 
I choose if I walk in the morning, afternoon or at sunset. 
Then it is pool time, we choose from the icy pool or the lukewarm and no matter what, the hot tub. 
Then it is time for dinner. We go to the same restaurant every evening because we don’t have a car. 
I think we’ve tried nearly every item on the menu, and I know I’ve brought back every dessert. 
I eat the dessert while we watch our shows. 
Then to bed with the sound of ocean waves. 

I of course, read. 
This is the first time I’ve written. 
I sometimes wonder am I relaxing, destressing, soaking all this in? 
Does it matter? I am here. 
It seemed impossible I could be, considering the care I’d been giving my dad and the status of my relationship. 
But I was determined and here we are. 
Experiencing a “slice of heaven” where there are no agendas, goals or achievements just another space with its own rhythm. 


~Nikki, The Soul Reporter

Mother tongue

What is my mother tongue
Somewhere mercy is underneath

What is my mother tongue
I know it has something to do with my own mother

What is my mother tongue
I've yet to know it but I know
It has something to do with 
The moss that grows on trees

What is my mother tongue
It's alive and generous 
And also burdened and lost

What is my mother tongue
Somewhere poetry exists 

What is my mother tongue
Moist with lush green forests
And arid rainforests

What is my mother tongue
I'm still trying to figure it out. 



*I've been bone dry for words lately
These came out after a short walk in the forest 
Not even sure what it means and that's okay.

~Nikki, The Soul Reporter

Compass

I found a magical trail. If I lived nearby I’d walk it everyday.

It’s a dirt trail off a paved trail. It follows a creek that begins as a trickle in a marsh

Then

Widens through rock, under trees and over tree trunks.

The path itself descends and descends some more until I feel I’ve found my magical place. No one there. Barely even a squirrel, although I wouldnt mind.

The kaleidoscope of color and the continuous creek made me want to see more and more.

The terrain became more eroded. There were a couple of ways to cross over to another dirt path. I tool the easiest route.

Then, as highway noise got heavier, this magical path led here….

My hikes often occur to me as metaphors, a compass to show me where I am and point to what might be helpful as I travel on.

🧭 The compass readings:

🧭 Enjoy, or at least,be present for the journey. I don’t know what lies ahead. It may not be what I hope for.

🧭 The journey I’ve taken so far has brought me to see the two sides of my current compass: a lot of what I perceive to be missteps, creating a lot of loss and trauma has caused me to deeply mistrust my self and my steps (hence taking the easiest way across). However, on the other side, if only I dare to flip it over, there is an opportunity to live more deeply in knowing and leaving more of the fear and mistrust behind me.

&

🧭 To descend is where the magic lives. To ascend from there you know more than you did before. 🍂🍁

Travel on,

Nikki, The Soul Reporter

Compass

I found a magical trail. If I lived nearby I’d walk it everyday.

It’s a dirt trail off a paved trail. It follows a creek that begins as a trickle in a marsh

Then

Widens through rock, under trees and over tree trunks.

The path itself descends and descends some more until I feel I’ve found my magical place. No one there. Barely even a squirrel, although I wouldnt mind.

The kaleidoscope of color and the continuous creek made me want to see more and more.

The terrain became more eroded. There were a couple of ways to cross over to another dirt path. I tool the easiest route.

Then, as highway noise got heavier, this magical path led here….

My hikes often occur to me as metaphors, a compass to show me where I am and point to what might be helpful as I travel on.

🧭 The compass readings:

🧭 Enjoy, or at least,be present for the journey. I don’t know what lies ahead. It may not be what I hope for.

🧭 The journey I’ve taken so far has brought me to see the two sides of my current compass: a lot of what I perceive to be missteps, creating a lot of loss and trauma has caused me to deeply mistrust my self and my steps (hence taking the easiest way across). However, on the other side, if only I dare to flip it over, there is an opportunity to live more deeply in knowing and leaving more of the fear and mistrust behind me.

&

🧭 To descend is where the magic lives. To ascend from there you know more than you did before. 🍂🍁

Travel on,

Nikki, The Soul Reporter

The Month of September

Below is a post from September 2016. It is 11 years since our car accident, and this September also proves heavy. This entire month I have been dealing with the decline of my dear father. He has been hospitalized and now in a TCU (transitional care unit). It is why I have not been writing as much here, and why I thought I’d reshare this post. The lesson on love, death, change continues to deepen and unfold.

fall

Once, many years ago, while going through a particularly difficult time I got this idea in my head I would die on September 16 (0f that particular year). I was reminded of this today, September 16, on my walk. Suddenly, I smelled something foul. I looked to my right and there was a dead racoon in the grass. Several steps later, once I arrived in the woods near my house, a dead squirrel on the path. The bodies were still fresh. Was this a sign?

I thought: death is all around us. I remembered all the death that has surrounded my family and myself since December. On December 11, just as my kids and I were about to watch A Christmas Story, my dad called. He was not himself. He said, Mary Lou died. Mary Lou was my step-mother. Then, in January my husband’s last grandmother passed away. It snowed in April when Price died alone in his elevator. June took Uncle Mel and then, his wife, my beloved Aunt on September 6.

September 6 is now shared with September 24, my father’s birthday, when my best friend from Kindergarten died in a car accident when she was only 27 years old. Along with September 11 and September 29. On September 29th, 2011 I was driving my white Toyota Matrix on a Los Angeles freeway. My mother and 11-year old daughter were in the backseat, my 19-year old daughter in the front seat with me. We were listening to Enya and playing the alphabet game. Suddenly, a large truck with glaring headlights was in my rear view mirror. Before I could finish my sentence about what I saw, that large truck hit my car. The car flew and flipped through the air several times until it finally landed on its side. I remember wondering, am I going to die?

car

The Toyota Matrix

I have told and written this story many times, and this year, five years later, I notice the story no longer holds the emotions and trauma it once had.  Now, what seems to be unfolding are the lessons and awakenings from that day that changed everything. Death is all around us.

But, what does this mean exactly? And, is it death or just change? Here’s what is becoming clear for me— life. I think I have been so afraid of death and that impending shoe drop (in my case a tow truck that comes out of nowhere) that life has been cumbersome. I noticed this heaviness after I returned from my aunt’s funeral. Prior to her funeral, I sat with her for four days while she went through the process of death, of change. I had never been this close to the death of another human being or for so long.

flo

Me and Aunt Flo

Before I entered her home, I was afraid of what I might see. But, all my fear went away when she opened her eyes and smiled at me (and my dad and daughter). All I felt was love. I knew I loved her, but those four days I felt my love for her. I was able to tell her she mattered. This experience is invaluable to me now.  But there is a physical, mental and emotional price, at least for me, when going through something like this. That price felt heavy. It felt exhausted. It felt sad.

After the car accident, I carried heavy, exhausted and sad for nearly 5 years.

I feel lighter now. Life is becoming more clear, but not because I have figured anything out. But because I’m not taking it all so seriously and maybe because the desire to live life finally outweighs the fear of living life. I am moving, once again, toward curiosity, beauty, wonder and listening. Listening, as I did on my walk today, that I needed to get grounded. This looked like me stopping in the middle of the forest doing tree pose and volcano breath. This means committing to creating a life that will match my desire to stay in harmony with my higher self and nature, and not the day-to-day grind of this current culture.

I also intend to move more toward what my aunt taught me—love. And, believe me, I am a newbie to love. It’s always been inside of me, but it’s the emotion or state of being that I resist the most. At the least, it makes me feel awkward. At the most, it frightens me as if I might be swallowed by it. But, while my aunt was in  hospice I had a new experience with love. As I stroked her hair, held her hand and kissed her forehead as I said goodbye and I love you, love comforted me.

Love is a comfort, not a burden I need to protect myself from. So yes, death, the unexpected, change surrounds us—not to stop us or scare us or burden us, although it can, but to notice it, wonder about it, learn from it and let it guide us to more clarity of life, comfort of love and truth of being.

The Soul Reporter

Cascade Trail

Life....
I’m not getting my life right 

Nature.... 
She will keep destroying you until you see what you’ve done 

The Way Back Trail.... 
The Way Back Trail is more
Relaxed and refined 
There’s a calmness to it 
A way of knowing 
The steps slow 
The air breathed 
A smile 
I’m not trying to get anywhere 
I’ve been

A broken tree....
There She is again 
Within Her a touchstone
Circles of life that tell Her Story 
Unburdened now by life, 
A relic of her life 
For me to wonder about 
To receive a lesson 

Back to the Way Back Trail....
The Way Back Trail is a gift I hope all receive 
It tells you more about those layers, those circles within 
So many circles 
They accumulate 
It’s important to sit and rest along this trail 
And listen, feel, understand 
And say thank you 
And ask:
What do I need for my soul?
What does my deepest nature want?


~Nikki, The Soul Reporter

We’re Closing Down Summer

I bought the mums 
and make plans for a plant that’s been outside. 

A man says, how are you young lady
I say alright
He says I’m working too hard— as he throws large logs on the ground— 
But I’ve got to heat the house for winter.

A woman crouches cleaning up her yard 
Soon her Halloween display will turn to Christmas. 

The crickets know what time it is as do the leaves—
ombré then a swath of color. 

I experience the closing down and I’m relieved 
The summer was hectic 
The heat horrendous 
I made it and wonder 
did I prep enough for winter? 

There’s still time. 

~Nikki, The Soul Reporter

Dad

My dad got into my bones
I didn't know he was there 
until he started to fade away 

The other night at Red Lobster he talked about bunnies eating lettuce—
the kind on his plate
He didn't just talk, he mimicked their bunny eating ways

I thought: what is he talking about....
and what does this have to do with anything....

You see, for me, the conversation has changed 
as my dad's brain gets chipped away by diabetes or 
alzheimer's— we don't know. He says it’s spiritual, he's going "higher" so maybe it's that

But gone is the comfort of bringing him anything 
and him always knowing the right thing to say
or when not to
Now I speak and he munches on his salad like a bunny and laughs

Later we sit on his driveway at dusk
There are the bunnies!
They munch on his grass and 
driveway crack microgreens
I see what he means

There are two chairs on his lawn—
two choices on where to sit and watch the bunnies munch
As we watch together the crows caw and he says
the crows crow, the squirrels squirrel and, yes dad, the bunnies bunny
This is his lesson now

He was once an athlete, 
top of his football and baseball game
Then handball
It's hard to see the cuts and bruises on his body from losing balance 
Once a strong, intimidating man—and still so damn stubborn—
he now laughs, smiles and attunes to my emotions, 
even the angry ones about what is happening to him

Lou, my dad's name, is Lou-ing, 
becoming more real
As he fades and goes higher the strength and wisdom of him 
is in my bones. 

~Nikki, The Soul Reporter