The Seed


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The Seed … 

Shadows dark and winding

Making inroads deep inside

‘Come, let the light shine

To chase the dark away, the woman said,

Worry not, she crooned softly

Let lightness soothe you’

And yet it is the shadowland

Where truth lays buried

Like a seed within the earth.

What knowledge does the black night hold

Or secret of despair?

I will worry not

When once I hold

The answers to my query

The seed buried deep within

Mother Nature’s womb

Will split in two and allow new growth

And like that strong green thing

That pushes forth toward the surface

To unfurl its leaves like praying hands

Open to the sun

I will hunker down within the shadows

And wait until I’m done.

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“Psychic Vampires”


“Being kind, gentle, empathetic and helpful should not be at the cost of your own growth. Most certainly help others, lend a shoulder to the wheel when necessary but don’t ignore yourself in the bargain. Strike a balance, help others and help yourself too.” – Latkia Teotia

‘Psychic vampire’ – I first heard that term on a late-night radio program. It describes people who suck the life right out of you. I have known such individuals. People who are so joyless that they sap your energy and leave you feeling empty and exhausted. It can be so tiring trying to help people who are so entrenched in drama that it has become like an addiction for them. I feel for them, I do. At the same time life is short and I cannot afford to be swamped by the never-ending despair that certain individuals seem to be embroiled in. It makes me sad for them. Yet I know there is absolutely nothing I can do. It is as though they have a problem for every solution. And though the problems are not of their making they nevertheless seem to thoroughly enjoy the victim role. What can you do? Nothing at all, but pray for them, wish them well and move on with your own life. And that’s not to be unkind, but to realize that there are circumstances and situations beyond our control. I matter; you matter, and so, too, do the “psychic vampires”, I just cannot afford to allow them to siphon all the love, joy, and peace out of life. But I wish them well. I wish them the blessings of peace.

 

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Andre Lorde

“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”  – Parker J. Palmer, Let your life speak: Listening for the voice of vocation

Gifts of Nature


This past weekend was a long weekend and I was fortunate not to have to work. On Sunday we celebrated Canada Day with a backyard barbecue. We were lucky. The rain held off until the evening and while fireworks were on the agenda across the country, and here in our fair city as well, storm clouds threatened to curtail the festivities. Fortunately, between the supper hour and the much-anticipated display the rain came down, leaving the late evening hours free to indulge in sky watching.

But long before the scheduled pyrotechnics nature had a gift of her own. Across the skies over town the arc of a vibrant rainbow could be seen. I have seen other rainbows at other places, at other times and perhaps I was equally awed by the beauty of a sky imbued with colored hues. But as I stood on our doorstep and gazed up at the wonder I was awestruck once again.

What is it about a rainbow that gladdens the heart so and fills my soul with such deep contentment? I will likely never know. But I am glad for such miracles that remind me of the vastness of t the universe and the wonder of the skies. I hope you enjoy these few photographs of nature’s beauty.

Golden Boy


Aw, golden boy

Your words were sweet to my ears

They were, I thought, sincere

Your face, your dear face

Seemed so open, so honest

Your eyes gazed into my own

And I believed

My stupid, naive heart

Took you at your word

But now your promises lay shattered

Like fragile glass

Aw, golden boy

How can I ever believe another?

Foolishness such as mine

Must be abandoned

Reality is such

That I can no longer deny

The truth your lies disguised

Words are empty tombs

Without action

Aw, golden boy

Life will go on, as it must

And I thank you for the lesson

Your empty vows have taught

Aw, golden boy

Your words are slick

Like unseen ice in winter

But I will slide no more

And this will be

Goodbye to you

golden boy

 

 

O Canada


 

Today we celebrate Canada Day. We fly our red and white flag with pride. There is much to celebrate here in this great land. Sadly, there is much to think about as far as improvements yet to be made. While most live in relative comfort there still exists abject poverty in many places, particularly in indigenous communities. Places where there is no running water. Places where the suicide rate remains high. Places where people mourn the deaths of murdered women.  It is a dismal commentary on how Canadian society treats its most vulnerable citizens.

Today is also the day known as Memorial Day in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada’s newest province, and the place where I was born and raised. It is a day set aside to remember the lost souls of Beaumont Hamel during the First World War. At that point in time the Dominion of Newfoundland was a colony of Great Britain and her soldiers fought under the British flag. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment was decimated at the Battle of the Somme. On the first day of battle over eight hundred men answered roll call. Of these only 68 remained the following morning.

So, I am conflicted about this day. It is a day of great pride, yes. But, it is also a day of sober thought and reflection. O, Canada.

Just a cup of coffee


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The smallest things can make a big impact. I remember my first day of work at the library. I was a bit nervous and wondering what this new job held in store. My manager was giving me a tour and introducing me to all the people who worked there. I was hired to work in the circulation department. That’s where I met Margaret. As I was standing there chatting with my new coworkers she came up to me with a cup in her hand. “I don’t know if you like coffee or hot chocolate, so I got a half coffee and half hot chocolate blend for you. I hope you like it. Welcome to the library,” she said as she handed it to me. And that was the beginning of our friendship. It was January – in Canada – it was a cold day, so a hot drink was most welcome. But more than that, it was not just a cup of coffee. it was one small act of kindness that made a big difference to my day, and ultimately to my life. Whenever I think of my friend I think of that cup of coffee and how it is symbolic of her character: warm and welcoming.  Little things matter, a lot!

Thunder bolts and lightening…are they very, very frightening?


RAIN STORM at Sylvan Lake, AB photo by Carol Morrissey Hopkins

 

There is something magical and also comforting about a thunderstorm. You know the kind – the loud booms followed by the bright flash of lightening and accompanied by a hard rain. The raindrops fall like miniature bombs – big, fat drops that would have you drenched in seconds if you get caught outside in it. Storms like this remind me of how small and inconsequential we are – microscopic really.

Such a thunderstorm takes me back to my childhood when a noisy clap would send me scurrying to my bed to hide under the covers. I remember the sheepish grins of my siblings as we smiled with false bravado claiming, “I wasn’t scared at all!”. Thunderstorms tested our mettle and helped us learn it was really just a lot of noise, and, for the most part, harmless.

Still, there is something mysterious and dangerous about a raging storm – perhaps it hearkens back to prehistoric times when human kind were quite vulnerable and at the mercy of the elements.

Mother Nature can be volatile and ever-changing. Threatening dark skies coupled with wild winds still have the capability to make my heart come up in my throat. My pulse beats faster and I catch myself holding my breath.

Ah, thunder – a familiar old friend and simultaneously a terror to be avoided, if at all possible. Still, I would not want to miss the magic and the wonder. I sit on the front porch, sheltered from the teeming rain and watch Mother Nature’s display –  forever new and yet a timeless and well-loved re-run.

Later I fall asleep to the lullaby of raindrops splashing against the windows and falling upon the roof. I am safe. I am content.