Celebrating Earth Day 2021


Yes, we are still dealing with a pandemic and all the fall out that has ensued and I know it will continue to wreak havoc. Yes, life is very difficult for humankind at this point in time. Regardless of the plethora of bad news stories I choose to celebrate this beautiful planet today and all the life it contains. Wherever you live on this little blue marble I hope you have the opportunity to pause and celebrate too. Here are a few of my favorite photos I have captured over the years. Happy Earth Day!

Buds and Birds


It’s been a lovely week, busy but lovely – lots of sunny days and a bit warmer temps. It’s nice to see people walking their dogs and children playing in the green space behind our building. I went for a walk on that same trail where only days before there was still snow and ice – it’s gone now. Lots of trees are budding and I was overjoyed to see a flock of cedar waxwings. Here are a few photos from my walk in the woods:

Snow and ice are mainly gone, it was a wee bit muddy but a joy to walk anyway
One of many cedar waxwings
There were also a few juncos
The flock of cedar waxwings at the very top of a birch tree, you can also see the buds on the tree
Buds and birds and beautiful blue skies

The number of cases of covid is exploding here in the city where we live. It is distressing. Before too much longer most of the population will be vaccinated. Something to look forward to, as well as the lazy days of summer.

HOPE


And the days are come with hope in the air and the sun kisses our faces with love, filling us with joy. I have been thinking a lot about hope and all it means. The photo is mine but these beautiful words are not. Still, I hope they touch your heart as they have mine.

SUNRISE!

“HOPE” :  a poem by Alexis Valdes

When the storm has passed

And the roads are tamed

And we are the survivors

Of a collective shipwreck.

With tearful heart

And our destiny blessed

We will feel joy

Simply for being alive.

And we’ll give a hug

To the first stranger

And praise our good luck

That we kept a friend.

And then we’ll remember

All that we lost

And finally learn

Everything we never learned.

And we’ll envy no one

For all have suffered

And we’ll not be idle

But more compassionate.

We’ll value more what belongs to all

Than what was earned

We’ll be more generous

And much more committed.

We’ll understand how fragile

 it is to be alive.

We’ll sweat empathy

For those still with us and those who are gone.

We’ll miss the old man

Who asked for a buck in the market

Whose name we never knew

Who was always at your side.

And maybe the poor old man

Was your God in disguise.

But you never asked his name

Because you never had the time.

And all will become a miracle

And all will become a legacy.

And we’ll respect the life,

The life we have gained.

When the storm passes

I ask you Lord, in shame

That you return us better,

As you once dreamed us

Muck, mire, and wet feet/happy heart


It was Easter Sunday, a day I’d normally be spending with family but once again the pandemic prevented us from doing so. It was an overcast day and threatening rain but the outdoors was calling so I took myself on a little walk. We live in Northern Alberta where true spring doesn’t make an appearance until April, and then we have to wait for the warming temps to melt the snow and ice. Needless to say there was still signs of a receding winter on the little trail I walked. There was mud, muck, and mire aplenty but I didn’t care. My soul felt a need to walk beneath the trees and I humoured it.

I’d stopped to try to capture a photo of the little juncos that were singing prettily along with the sparrows, welcoming spring. I should have known better, the ice was not solid and as I crept closer to the tree it broke. Needless to say my feet were soaked. I really should have worn rubber boots! On top of that the little junco flew off just as I was about to snap the pic. Still, it was a lovely little walk and hearing the birds made my heart so happy! Here are a couple of photos, evidence if you will, of the woods in springtime Alberta.

As you can see, the snow is melting and the ice was very soft
Overcast skies threatened rain, but it cleared off later in the evening

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, I hope your feet are dry and your heart is happy.

Methinks spring is springing


Aw the sound of Canada geese honking away as they fly overhead – a sure sign that spring is officially underway. I am beyond grateful for that. I have written a few posts lamenting the fact we still have snow but today it is mostly gone and the ice that was thick on the pond is also melting. It is Easter weekend. Sadly, we still cannot gather for a family meal, but this morning I was up early enough to watch the sun rise. Today I am counting my blessings and celebrating a new day, a new season of life bursting forth. And asking forgiveness for my recent grousing.

Sunrise on this beautiful Holy Saturday morning
Mere days ago – it’s mostly all gone now. Color me happy! 🙂

Walk a mile in their shoes: a challenge in these times


As I write the news screams about rising cases of the new variant across the country and around the world. While new vaccines have given us hope, the reality of the virus evolving into strains that may be resistant to these same vaccines is depressing. Our federal and provincial governments are stressing the need to stay the course, to continue social distancing, hand-washing, and the wearing of masks. As I write I continue to struggle with the present dismal realities. We have yet to be vaccinated, hopefully that day will come soon.

 A friend of ours insists there is some ulterior motives out there aimed at keeping people fearful and not fully living. I have tried very hard to see things from his perspective; to walk a mile in his shoes. I am not having any success at all with it. To my mind governments are not trying to control us. They are trying their best to navigate this pandemic and giving the best advice they can. (Well, some governments are.) The way I see it governments who stress the whole social distancing regulations are simultaneously losing many tax dollars due to these same regulations. What politician or government would really want to do that? I would not want to be the one having to make decisions on the part of the populace at any time, much less during this pandemic.

Try as I might I just don’t understand what the big deal is? Okay there are fair points when it comes to staying away from family and friends. I get it. We celebrate Easter this weekend. In my family it means another holiday without the usual family dinner that I love. That makes me incredibly sad. Yet, I am hopeful that the efforts at social distancing, etc. will eventually pay off.

To my mind it comes down to what is most important: individual rights or social responsibility to others. For me the latter will always be my first priority. Yes, right now that requires sacrifice but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make if it means less people getting sick or dying; if it means keeping our health care systems from being overwhelmed; if it means having family dinners again where we feel truly safe and joyous in one another’s company.

We are entering the spring season, a season of new life and rejuvenation. It is my hope that the vaccines will do their job; that people can, eventually anyway, gather in celebrating life. Until then I will make whatever sacrifices are needed toward that end.

If you are a Christian, I bid you Happy Easter. If you are not then I bid you a Happy Spring!

Help to make a difference


Divine One

Please, help us set aside our small concerns

Help us see the broken people,

The people who have lapsed into despair,

Who see no reason to hope,

No way to go on

And if it is Your will

Grant us strength to stretch out a hand

In kindness and compassion

Show us, please,

Divine One,

Where we should be in unity

With those most in need

And grant us the tools and wherewithal

To make a difference

Soft and silky ball of fur and niceness


I’m so done with winter. Today the winds are howling and according to Environment Canada we are in for a snow storm. I sure hope they’re wrong. I guess March will be going out like a lion this year.

Here is something else that is white (sort of) and fluffy that I much prefer to what’s outside my windows atm.

If this is your first visit, please allow me to introduce Callie-cat. She is so warm, and so sweet. Unlike today’s weather.

My baby 🙂

so, while the wild winds blow I will stay inside, safely ensconced on my couch with my favorite (and only) kitty. I hope you all have a great day and a wonder-filled week.

Patience!


Depending where you live in Canada you need a lot of patience awaiting spring. Technically the calendar says we have arrived at the spring season. Sigh! I am extra impatient for spring this year, likely due to this pandemic and the long isolation we’ve been through. We went for our vaccines two weeks ago. Unfortunately they were using Actra-Zeneca, a vaccine that is not recommended for people with chronic conditions. So, we are waiting for one of the others and awaiting spring. Too much waiting!

On a positive note, while the sun sparkles on the remaining snow, at least there is sun! There has been a lot more people walking the little loop in our “back yard”. I enjoy watching all the dog walkers and the children. One little bull dog likes to carry his toy with him. Every day I see him and sometimes several times in one day, always carrying his Frisbee around the loop. Maybe it’s a security Frisbee. And if it is, where can I get one? Haha

Here are a few photos I took while walking the loop a couple of days ago.

Tres Canadian! Somebody moved it off the pond where it’s been since early December.
I love evergreens!
The loop that encircles the green space behind our apt. building, I am grateful the city keeps it cleaned for walkers.
The ice on the pond was starting to melt a few days ago and then we got more snow.
Benches are placed at three bends in the loop for people to sit and rest. It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to walk around the loop but many people go around it several times, they might need a rest.

Slay this beast


Divine One

Questions persist

With them come worry

Anxiety rears its ugly head

Divine one

Come with your sharpened sword

Slay this beast that runs amuck

Around the globe

The beast is real

But You, Divine One

Hold out hope

And love

And peace

To heal tortured minds and souls

And so, I call on You,

Divine One

Fill us with Your grace

Replace our fears

With confidence

In your Power and mercy

Send forth Your protections

That we may breathe freely once again