Tuesday June 22, 2021
Jim and I were in the Sculpture Forest (SF) the other day being filmed for a promotional video about the Sculptures. We were chit chatting after the filming with Jim Blake who is the curator for the forest. Jim and his committee work year round maintaining the sculptures and the land around them, promoting the SF, commissioning new structures and getting them installed. It is a magical place and we have loved walking in it for over 20 years. We stood chatting to Jim when a mid age(ish) women came walking along and stopped to say hello. She overheard the two Jim’s talking about golfing this summer, and she joked asking if she could join them. Of course the two Jim’s said yes! The women went on to tell us that she lived and worked in downtown Toronto and had come up for the day to have an adventure. She had driven to Minden, to the log chute and was now exploring the SF. She told us a friend had told her about the Sculptures 10 years ago, and she had been thinking about visiting ever since then. She was having her own grande adventure and was really enjoying the parts of our county that she was seeing.
Before talking to this woman, Jim and I had been walking in the woods looking at the Sculptures and I had been thinking about how much space there is around all of them. It feels open, spacious, peaceful, calm, quiet and relaxing. It’s one of the reasons we love walking there. The Sculptures add a creative and interesting focus to the walk in nature. One thing I have learned in my years of doing yoga, meditation, qigong and energy work is that I feel healthier when I pay attention to the space around me, and the space within me. I have learned to pay attention to space, and sometimes when I feel like things are getting intense in life or closing in on me, I find some space. I give the issue or the challenge some space. And then I respond to it.
In the practice of qigong there are 3 guiding principles that the practice is built on. You can apply these principles to qigong, yoga, walking in the woods, doing the dishes, driving, reading, going for run or whatever you happen to be doing with your body. First, relax. Only use what force or tension is required for the activity you are doing. And then soften and relax. Second, make space for your joints. Allow the joints to be like well oiled hinges. Third, elongate yours spine. Essentially, be relaxed and have some inner spaciousness in all of your joints with a nice long spine. Be spacious in your physical body and find space around you when you need it. Space is something we have an abundance of here in Haliburton and people come to visit us, often seeking space. Our jobs are to hold the space for all the visitors we welcome into our home this summer, and all the tourists who visit! Let’s have a great summer everyone, and make sure you find and create space for yourself as you look after your family, friends, community and the planet! There is space for all of us! (Thanks to Myra Stephen for the beautiful picture of this sculpture from the Haliburton Sculpture Forest).