By Lynda Shadbolt

It was a very busy day. My mom and I have been taking advantage of these warm and inspiring November days, and we have been cleaning all the windows and screens in our house.

It is not a small job and not one I particularly enjoy or do often.

But, it is so very satisfying when we have a very clear view of the trees and the meadow from the inside. I love feeling like we live in a tree house.

So, we worked hard for a few hours. After that was done, I spent the afternoon getting ready for a dinner party.

We were having folks over for a “post-dock” party. Jim and a few of the guys were taking out docks at our friend’s cottage.

They help because we all use the cottage all summer long, and so, it is a way of saying thanks for the memories and the place to swim on those hot summer days.

We are all better people because of the sharing of the cottage.

My afternoon was full with food preparations, cleaning the house, and setting up the campfire. Jim chopped wood and put some outdoor lights up to make the space feel festive.

We had to walk the dog and a run to town to get sparklers for my dad’s birthday cake (he is turning 94 on Nov. 8, and so we were having cake to celebrate him).

In the middle of all of this, I had the tunes cranked, listening to Sue Shikaze who was hosting Northern Aire on Canoe FM. She hosts from 4 – 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and on this day she was highlighting the start of “Treaties Recognition Week” (starts Nov. 6), and so, she was highlighting Indigenous artists.

She was playing great music, and I was dancing around cleaning and preparing. I was very aware that I was multi-tasking.

I was focused but a bit chaotic, and I just knew that it was all service in the effort of a lovely evening. 

People started to arrive around 5:30.  We lit the fire, and our outdoor dinner in November began. It was so warm, I had bare feet. 

It was a beautiful evening. The almost full moon was rising and peaking out from behind the clouds. The food, which was potluck, was delicious, as always.  People were happy, sharing stories, catching up, and celebrating the success of one of our kids who just got a new job, and another friend who is heading out for a big adventure.

I just sat back at one point and took it all in; the friends, the campfire light, the food, the sparklers when we sang happy birthday to my dad.

I stopped all my running around and fussing over details, and I just let myself be. I absorbed all the good vibrations.

If there is one thing that the practice of yoga has taught me over the years, it is the capacity to be aware (this is how it is right now). So, being aware of being busy (doing) and working and then the awareness of slowing down and just being is important; being present to all the love, the goodness, the light, the warm November evening, the possibilities, the hope, the laughter, the ideas, the stories and the gratitude that all existed around the campfire.

I soaked it all in. And then I cleaned up. Being and doing in harmony.