Light on the water, or Another fine day for fishing: in response to lynntuesdaypictureprompt week 8


In the breaking dawn he settles into the cabin of his little craft, hoping for a good day of fishing. These hours are precious to him. The citizens sleep on as he starts the motor and points his boat toward the horizon where light is beginning to filter through the darkness. These pre-dawn hours are like an elixir for his soul. He knows that when he stops to drop anchor and set about the business of the day it will feel as if he is all alone in the universe. He will take a few moments to enjoy the view and to listen to the morning’s song: the flap of a bird’s wings; the lap of water against his small craft. Perhaps he will be graced with the lonesome sound of a loon or the hoot of an owl as it returns to its nest after a night of hunting. He takes a deep breath, filling his lungs with the clean, fresh air and smiles. Yes, it will be a good day.

If you wish to participate in the prompt go to

https://justabitfurther.wordpress.com/2020/08/04/lynns-tuesday-picture-prompt-week-8/

You will find the rules and specifics there. Have fun, I know I did.

Serenity Sunday:West Coast of Newfoundland


Another trip back to the island of Newfoundland. These photos were taken at different locations along the coast, so many beautiful vistas, whether of sea or land, marshes or ponds… time spent in nature is never wasted. Summer is the perfect season to wander a little and drink in the wonders of nature. I hope you find a bit of serenity in these photographs.

This was taken on the Port au Port Peninsula near the community of Felix Cove. “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Cousteau
Red Island, off the coast of the community of Mainland on the Port au Port Peninsula. “Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leonardo
Overlooking Little Port Harmon in the town of Stephenville. “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir
There are also many species of birds to be seen on the many beautiful nature trails. This is the common American Robin, which can be seen just about anywhere. “Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.” – Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Wild flowers are many and varied in the meadows and fields … “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir
A bee busily gathering nectar. Despite having a lot of challenges everywhere around the world, bees are doing well in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador “Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” – Gerard de Nerval
Summer brings birds, bees, and butterflies “Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen
Overlooking the city of Corner Brook. “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” – Edward Abbey
Fog hanging over the water at Gull Pond near the Trans-Canada highway between the communities of Stephenville and Corner Brook. “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” – William Shakespeare
Sunrise, soon the sun will burn off the fog that hovers in the early morning hours. “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” – William Wordsworth
Incredible views as a new day begins taking my breath away. “The day of the sun is like the day of a king. It is a promenade in the morning, a sitting on the throne at noon, a pageant in the evening.” – Wallace Stevens

“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.” – Jules Renard

May we be so blessed as to spend time in nature and in it find the peace and the pieces of heaven.

Appreciating beauty of small blessings


“Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities in the world.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Callie-cat loves to smell the flowers photo credit: Anastacia Hopkins

I am giving thanks for these small blessings today: my sweet Callie-cat and the beauty of flowers. Callie loves to smell the flowers, she never chews them (thank goodness, as some may be harmful to her). During these difficult days may we all remember to stop and smell the flowers and let their beauty uplift our hearts and souls. Stay well my friends.

Drifting


Drifting along waiting for this freaking virus to be annihilated. Will that ever happen? I don’t know about you but I feel so very drained by it all. I am just so tired – mentally, spiritually, and physically. And empty – so empty. Yet, I know in my deepest being that we are not forgotten. We are not alone. When my strength is gone, I know I can rely on the Divine One to carry me through; to lift me up and provide the hope and encouragement I need. When I feel lost and alone; when I feel like I cannot go on, from out of nowhere this flickering wick is re-lit and the flame leaps high. Sometimes that comes in the form of human hands. Sometimes it comes during a walk-in nature. Sometimes it comes through the loving attention of family members or friends. Sometimes it is as simple as sitting and stroking my cat’s fur. Yes, it always comes, that strength and peace I need. So, I will rest here and wait knowing that I will be given all I need for this day and the next and the next….

May you be given whatever it is you may need today. And may you recognize the blessing when it comes. Be well. Be safe.

Serenity Sunday: Bell Island, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada


Bell Island is situated off the Avalon Peninsula on Newfoundland’s east coast. It holds special significance for me as it was this island where my paternal grandfather’s family first settled when they emigrated from Ireland. My grandfather worked in the mines there before eventually moving his family to Harbour Grace where my father was born. I have never been to Bell Island.. These photos were taken by my daughter, Anastacia, who visited Bell Island a few years ago. I am grateful to her for giving me permission to share her photographs. I hope you enjoy these rugged images of sea, surf, and coastline.

Mud and mosquitoes


Note to self, Never leave the trail, especially on a humid morning

Some days it just does not pay to go for a walk. It’s been raining here a lot this month. Rain is in the forecast again for every day this week. Enough already! But yesterday was beautiful and this morning dawned lovely and bright. So, I decided to make use of the nice weather while I could and went for a walk along the riverbank. I’d decided to go to a trail I haven’t walked in almost a year, but wanted to be near the river (that was a big mistake). I left the trail and climbed down the bank to walk along the shore of the river. That was fine and I made it without mishap. On the way back I once again climbed the bank up to the trail and fell in the muddy and very wet grass. The grass is very long there. I was soaked! Mud all over me! To make matters worst, the air was thick with humidity and the mosquitoes fierce. And just when I was almost to the top of the bank I fell again. Now my shoes were soaked as were my jeans. My hands and forearms covered in much and nowhere to rinse it off. Good times. And the nippers left many itchy spots. The best part of the morning was meeting Naya (her name means little sister), a husky cross. Her owner told me she is also part wolf. She came out of the woods just as I reached my car. What a sweet doggie, very friendly. I had a brief chat with her owner before climbing into my car to go home and shower. Silver linings. And my sweet Callie-cat was happy to welcome me home, despite the mud. Aw, unconditional love!

Have a nice, mud-free, day my friends. I am going to try to find something to take the itch away from these bites.

Serenity Sunday: Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada


In 2016 wildfires forced the evacuation of this city where I live. We were so blessed to spend the month of evacuation in the town of Sylvan lake, a small town located at the halfway point between Calgary and Edmonton. I hope you enjoy these photos from our stay there.

From sunrise to sunset the lake is a beautiful place to be
Is there anything more serene than time spent at (or on) the water?
The marina at Sylvan Lake
Beautiful paths along the shoreline
Stairs provided from street level to the the beach
Downtown Sylvan Lake
resting places are provided
A boat at anchor on Sylvan Lake
We spent many hours walking along the shore and I often had my camera in hand
Tranquility
These benches provide a wonderful view of the lake

We lived with many unknowns during the evacuation. It was stressful in many ways, but being able to walk the shores of Sylvan Lake and experiencing the kindnesses of the people of this small town helped tremendously. I hope that these photos lend themselves well to creating a small bit of serenity to your day. Be well. Be blessed. Be safe.

On “Holy Insecurity”


“This is the kingdom of God, the kingdom of danger and of risk, of eternal beginning and eternal becoming, of opened spirit and of deep realization, the kingdom of holy insecurity.” – Martin Burber

If there is one thing that is true about this Coronavirus, it is in this quote from Martin Buber. When the world is shaken to its core and all seems dark and dismal. When sickness and death surround us. When we hit rock bottom. It is then and only then we begin to realize our powerlessness. It is then we are opened to throw ourselves on the mercy of a higher intelligence, a merciful divinity. It is then we begin to search the mystery of the Divine One. For surely these days are filled with “holy insecurity”.

A little over a year ago I was in Edmonton with my husband. He was so sick I was convinced he could die, and probably would die. It was a time of great stress, great insecurity, and many questions and doubts. Yet, against all odds he made it. He survived. My weak faith became strengthened through these days only to be tested once again as the Coronavirus plagued the world.  Fear ruled for a while. Anxiety reigned supreme. But then, out of the darkness faith was once again reborn.

I live in Canada, but news of the horror presently taking place in the United States and around the world has me very concerned. Yet in these times of great suffering, death, and loss of every kind a quiet, still voice reassures me: we are not alone.

 As I sit with the mystery that is God, I am comforted. The world has seen other great plagues and during those times surely people felt insecure, anxious, afraid. Surely it was an opportunity to turn again, to become, to learn and live and come to greater understanding, insight and wisdom. People ask where is this God? Where is this love and mercy? And I think to myself: it is in the kind ministrations of health staff. It is in the compassion and care of family members and friends. Sometimes it is in the kindnesses extended by strangers. It is in the patience and endurance of people who, perhaps, do not share our convictions, opinions, or faith traditions. It is in the trust of a child and the wisdom in the eyes of the old. And, it is in abundance in nature.

I sit here and I pray: May the Divine One bring us all we need. May we know the comfort of loving hearts and hands. May we know justice, kindness, patience, friendship, and help in all our needs. May we be granted the gifts of trust and perseverance. May we sit with this “holy insecurity” knowing we are held in infinitely tender hands by an intelligence that is far greater than our human understanding.

Amen.

Back to work


I am back at work and missing the extravagance of time to read your blog posts and respond in a timely manner to your kind comments on mine. The library is not yet open to the public and I don’t know yet when it will be. (If you didn’t know that’s where I work, at the local library.)  There is just a skeleton crew at work right now and I miss the staff who have yet to return. It’s nice to be able to see regular patrons, if only from the proscribed social distance. We are doing curbside pick up. Patrons order their books, movies, games, etc. online and come to the back door where they have to call in to let us know they are there to pick up their holds. Items are then checked out on their account and put in bags which are then placed on a table outside for them to retrieve. It’s interesting, but also strange being in a library empty of people, except for a few souls. I am grateful though that the director and powers that be are taking a very slow and careful approach to re-opening. There is a lot to consider and several changes are in the works to deal with this new ‘normal’.  Things will never be the same. Still, I am hopeful. I am also a bit nervous. But so far, so good. Life will, no doubt, look very different when all is said and done. Yet, there is much to be grateful for and many blessings to count as we navigate our way through these deep waters. Stay well my friends, and stay safe.

When a Raven comes to visit


I was surprised to see this big guy sitting on the window box on the balcony. He did not fly away but stayed a few moments, his head cocking back and forth as I spoke to him, as if he understood what I was saying. The Raven is often held in high regard by indigenous peoples, sometimes called “The Trickster”. I quickly grabbed a few photos of my afternoon visitor.

He’d been mouthing the flowers as if checking to see if they were edible. they do kind of look like popcorn.
He cocked his head sideways when I asked him to please don’t eat my flowers, as if to say, “I was just having a taste”.
Gazing out over the green space
My daughter took this one just before he flew off

When I was a child we would count crows: “One for sorrow, Two for joy, three for a letter, Four for a boy ….”. Crows and ravens were often thought to bring bad luck, illness, or even death due to their black feathers. I didn’t feel any such thing as I “conversed” with this fellow. He seemed quite amiable and he didn’t eat my flowers. I’ll take that as a sign of friendship.