Friday, August 19, 2016

The Unwinding of Days and Small Magic

So the last two weeks. . . ummm so much for blogging more often.

Just busy. . . some good busy some bad

Family visits
Lost almost two weeks worth of writing (learn to use AUTO SAVE!)
Pinched neck muscle = no sleep
Extra busy Etsy shops
Summer's final deadlines arrive out of nowhere! lol

We are constantly amazed at how the days fly by and for those of you who also have families at home, social scenes, outside commitments . . . how do you do it? : )

But what I want to share is my experience last week of something coined as "small magic" by one of my favorite bloggers. You can read more about the idea here: How to find Small Magic

And you can see her first monthly Small Magic post here: Small Magic at Falling Ladies

Unfortunately, due to another glitch in my last two weeks, I have only words and just a few borrowed photos (thanks drained camera battery!) of my own experience to share but will share more about this in the future.

In the midst of the craziness of the past few weeks I knew, though it is rare for me, that I needed a day off to unfrazzle and decompress.

So to "earn it", I chose to do some errands early Friday morning and then, to reward myself with a trip to our county's main library followed by an indulgence in one of my favorite activities . . . one that I do not do often enough.

About five miles from our home is a lovely out of the way place called Kilchis Nature Reserve it's a roughly 2 1/2 mile trail loop through some of the most beautiful, dense woodlands and, if you take the full trail, it leads out to the shore of the back end of Tillamook Bay where you can bird watch (herons, Egrets, Eagles, Ravens, And a multitude of water animals all year long.

Now, I'll post about the trails another time because it is quite the place. When I first moved to this part of the coast 4 years ago, the trails were simply wetland paths thru the forest for the most part. Impassible in areas except in the peak of summer. But the love and inspiration of one couple, the  Albrights, Gary and Carla, turned Kilchis into a magical destination for everyone and not just the intrepid explorers. A small brick loop allows every one to access the woods to a point.

Now,  finely groomed but natural looking trails wind through the forest and across wooden bridges built over the seasonal streams and wetland areas. Massive volunteer hours to move the tons of materials into the forest to make these trails alone is mind-boggling.

Not far from the entrance, this is a favorite bridge to cross. It feels like a "boundary". You step off the brick path on the far end and cross into the dense forest and natural trails. It can feel cooler just as you reach this end. Early Spring here finds huge, prehistoric looking Skunk Cabbage in abundance under the bridge!

But, for me, the small magic of this place is that every so often there are natural, mossy tree stump "benches" that await. I rarely see anyone sit on them as there are also more modern, wooden benches along the paths too and it is easy to miss the log benches as they blend seamlessly into the surrounding landscape.

But the small magic of Kilchis reserve for me is this.

On any given weekday, and even weekends in the off season, it is possible to take a favorite book, (preferably one about faeries, magic or other worlds) walk a half mile into the trail and find a mossy log bench. Then, I'll sit on the mossy bench and read my book and I can hear almost nothing but the sounds of the forest. The wind whispering through the trees. The trickle of leaves tumbling to the ground. The scurry of wrens and robins in the underbrush. There are banana slugs, Rough Skinned Newts and an occasional squawking Stellar Jay. You may even see a Barred Owl and Bald Eagles close up when you sit still enough to become part of the scene.

Not far from my mossy log bench, this little bridge turns you out towards the bay trail. 

But that hour or two, reading a magical book in this enchanted setting. . .

That is a dose of small magic for my soul. :)

And this is the back end of Tillamook Bay at the very end of the trail.

So please visit Falling Ladies at those links above and, as Andrea gets the monthly Small Magic theme going, join in, won't you?

And lastly I could not resist sharing one new creation. My "Little People" figurines are taking off quite nicely and I am working on a variety of looks for them to encompass all the tiny folk of the "otherworld". I am just about to list this little guy.  The first Little People "Troll", named Volker!

I've been making larger figurines for a few years but, let's face it, mini is my thing! lol

He's just 2.5" inches (6+ cm) tall!

Thank you for dropping by and I will get caught up on all my favorite bloggers soon I promise!

Have an enchanted weekend!



  1. I left a comment earlier that seems to have disappeared so if you get two, blame the computer gods.....what a great spot! That place is totally full of small magic, or even actually really big magic! How wonderful. I hope that after your trip there and to the library your were able to relax. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    I am also already planning for next month's post, and i have so many ideas to choose from. I will be ready on the 13th! Thank you so much for the links to my blog! I really hope others join in as it will be fun to see what others find magical!

    Your new pieces are so charming, good luck with them! And i hope it gets easier to find time for the writing again! Have a good week!

    1. Oh the curse of the disappearing comment! We have one more visitor tonight and then the summer season is on the quick slide to AUTUMN! :) Yes, Kilchis is full of magic and I wanted to show the small in my images but that will have to wait til next time. Tiny Newts, wild and edible berries, spiders etc etc

      I revised the blog above a bit to make it clearer that what happened was I actually lost two weeks worth of writing that I had done! It's fine though as know from past computer losses or artwork or music composition that it always turns out better the second time around and, since the were all very rough first drafts, I can't feel too badly. . . just the hours are lost and not the ideas!

      Looking forward to small magic once a month! :)

    2. Ooooohhhhhh noooooooo! You are handling it well but i would be crushed, i could loose art work easier than writing. For me it is harder to recreate words. Glad you feel you can recreate them better than before!

  2. You have to find the small magic in everyday life! I love to watch my birds and squirrels play. To say hi to a stranger. Smile, always! (Just had a lady yesterday who told me, she loved my laugh.) Magic truly is everywhere, we just have to open our heart and eyes!!
    The area you went to and shared with us, is truly magical! Breath taking! I could lost there!! WOW!!!
    Time does go by fast, especially when you get older! LOL! That's why you have to make the most of everyday!! Make sure to breathe Nicolas!!!
    I love your latest creations! 2.5"!!!! Truly amazing!
    Big Hugs!

    1. Hi Stacy! Yes, magic is everywhere!! Just a matter of opening our hearts and eyes a bit wider sometimes, isn't it? I want to post about my morning bird rituals with feeding, watering and talking to the two dozen or so that visit. :)

      Thank you for coming by!! Have a magical week ahead!

  3. A magical place for your inner majick to unfold, it reminds me in parts of ancient Japanese gardens, so much serenity and solitude that you can't even imagine the paths being built. So thrilled to hear your writing is coming along as planned, sounds like the fire is burning inside :)

    1. Hi Louise! Yes, it reminds me of ancient Japanese gardens too! It's become a more popular place this year but it still is jarring to happen upon another human when I am there. Fortunately, in winter, one can have the place to themselves for hours it seems and the rain, under that thick canopy, is hardly a bother :)

  4. Your little people are oh so cute! I love them. Your "creations" are so wonderful and I love the childlike heart found in all you do.

    I also enjoyed your portion of "small magic" and the photos to accompany them. Wow! Amazing photos and words to tug the heart of anyone who is truly listening. Thank you for that and your wonderfully written words.

    ...with all that's going on, I do hope things slow down a bit for you. You are certainly missed out here in the blog world and hope to "see" you soon!


    1. Thank you Alexandra! I plan to be in the blog world more. We have developed such a routine here around solitude that even the welcome visitors seem to disrupt the ease and flow. And, to be honest, having a life that is so "monastic" and built around simplicity and routine is the only way I can get so much done.

      And it's also the way I protect that childlike heart. It's funny but I find that, as an adult, it requires more than it did as a child to keep it from being hurt and discouraged. I often think of it as the programming of adulthood that we all receive. Thru no fault of our parents or the world really. It's just that we do not often get the encouragement we need to keep that spirit alive. So I have come to believe it is entirely up to me and that requires hard choices about what and who get "in". : )

      Thank you so much for taking a few moments to drop by and share your thoughts. It means so much!

    2. It's so true and I couldn't agree more. Maybe some of it is as a child, we're so innocently oblivious to things around us, we're more "shielded" from most things that now hurt as an adult due to the fact we know and understand more. idk Just a thought that comes to mind. But yes, finding time and ways to inspire and encourage ourselves as an individual is crucial and sometimes, requires a bit more time. That's what I truly love and cherish about my bloggie friends (like you)...true, genuine love and support come almost exactly when we need it. ;)

    3. I think that's true Alexandra. Innocence of childhood is the hardest thing to replicate as an adult. It's why I gravitated towards the idea of paracosms and I've come to feel each of us lives in one of our own choosing/design to a great degree. I try to stay as much in that space as I can day to day. No newspaper, no tv (netflix and the such yes!) no outside dissonance and no internet news too. Obviously, I am aware of much of the darkness of the world we live in but I find that the more I push it out and away, the less it has a hold on my world at all. Yet I utilize it, like with my larger story/world-building even for my fantasy work, there are a lot of dark undertones and threads running beneathe the surface of the stories.

      Thank YOU so much for being a bloggie friend too! What you share always inspires and your touches of the world around you remind me to not close off totally to it and to share those as well. :)

  5. OH, how awful to lose two weeks of work! I believe things happen for a reason and, as you mentioned, the second draft may indeed be better. I thought I had lost work years ago due to an unexpected blackout but then, I was so relieved and happy to find that auto-save was a default feature of the program and my work had actually been saved.

    What a beautiful nature trail...definitely magic happening there. I love walking our local nature reserve trails although they aren't as dense and more typical of the Australian Bush. Our rain-forests are more like your pics, lush, dense, and full of wildlife activity. I adore the sounds of the many bird varieties. Yes, being out in nature is definitely good for the soul.

    It's easy to see why your 'Little People' figurines are a hit. So expressive and detailed. Volker is amazing!

    Have a creative and happy week,
    Serena :)

    1. Hi Serena! Well, it goes without saying that I am now using a writing program WITH auto save! lol

      Thank you for your comments on my figurines. I am excited to explore them further this coming year. :)

      And yes, nature is wonderful for rejuvenating and recharging. Theres an old Japanese saying called Shinrin-yoku or "forest bathing". It's actually become a part of Japanese health care in the last thirty years! I can understand why.
      Though I'd suspect that the Australian Bush has it's own healing energy too. :)

      Thank you for dropping by and taking time to comment!

    2. I can identify with that Japanese saying too. :)