There really is something magical about winter. Snow and ice can be challenging, but oh my, to gaze in wonder at a snow covered tree does something to my soul. I cannot imagine living anywhere else on earth and even though I do my fair share of complaining (some would say more than my fair share haha) about the cold I am happy and so blessed to live in the “great white north”.
It is as if nature herself decorates my well-loved woods with paint of white lovingly applied. I am grateful to live in this place that honors nature and understands humankind’s need for “wild” places, even in the midst of an urban area.
I consider myself so blessed, so fortunate to live in this city that makes sure its citizens can enjoy the great outdoors all year long with trails that well kept for skiing, snow-shoeing or hiking through the woods. Both these photos were taken at night and I love how the snow reflects the evening light.
I have nothing more to add. I simply wanted to share this winter beauty with you all. Cheers!
Aw, the Christmas season with all it’s blessings of hope and peace. And in this pandemic year we all need that more than ever! I have been looking forward to seeing the “Christmas star” all month long! But, true to form the skies were blanketed in clouds last evening so I did not get a glimpse. That has been the case all year! Every time there was a special celestial happening the skies would be inevitably cloud-laden. Yet, just knowing such a miraculous event is going on is enough. I get to see the beautiful photos that those who were more fortunate than me were able to capture. And it still gives me hope and a pleasant joy in the fact that it exists at all. Yes, I know it is the planets aligning and not a single star. Still the old Christmas song plays in my head: Star of wonder, star of night, star of royal beauty bright….westward leading still proceeding, guide us to that perfect light. The song is called We Three Kings, just in case you didn’t know.
I miss some of the old Christmas Carols that were a mainstay of my youth; The songs that sparked joy, peace, and love in my heart; the songs that spoke to my spirit. I don’t hear them on mainstream radio. Still, the internet has blessed us with choice and I can make my own playlists. But I digress, this is supposed to be about the Christmas star and the hope it has instilled in so many people. Where would we all be without hope? It is as necessary an ingredient as food, water, and shelter. I am so grateful for the beautiful images I have seen from different points on the globe of this wondrous and beautiful “star”. Wherever you are and whatever may be going on in your life, I wish you peace. I wish you great joy. I wish you hope to carry on. And, I wish you a Merry Christmas!
Little things that make my heart sing: like stopping by the library to pick up books I had on hold and being greeted by members of my team like I’m some sort of rock star! Oh, it did my heart good to see a few dear faces today. We only had a short chat but it did my heart so much good. I have to say, I work with some truly wonderful and kind people. I’ve been off work for a couple of months now while my shoulder heals. I had physio therapy today, that helped a lot. It was after that session that I stopped by my work. The kind inquiries about my health and that of my hubby by my team mates touched me deeply. I have come to care very much for my team, my work friends and coworkers in other departments. My short visit today made me realize just how much I’ve missed them. This past weekend was thanksgiving weekend, but every day should be a day of thanks, shouldn’t it? I mean, we here in the western world have so much! At any rate, today I give thanks for my coworkers, people who serve the public with compassion, pride, respect and good-will. So, kudos to my library family. You make me proud. You make me happy. And, you make me so thankful to know you all.
It’s been different, that’s true. But thanksgiving weekend has been nice and I have so much to be grateful for. It snowed yesterday, most of it is gone this morning. My son dropped by to deliver home-made bread his wife had made for us and to pick up the treats we had for them. And my daughter stopped by to pick up her treats as well. I left the door unlocked so they could just come in. They wore masks, as did we and chatted a bit while standing the proscribed distance apart. It was different, but I was just grateful to see them, even if we could not all partake of the thanksgiving feast together. We have not had many visits since this pandemic began. So, it was a real pleasure to see them both and have a mini visit with each of them. (They came at different times.) We had our thanksgiving dinner, just hubby and I. It was nice. It was different, but so nice. It took me back to the early years, before the children came, when it was just him and I.
Later I looked at photos my sister-in-law had posted of my brother, nephews, and nieces. They were taken at the side of the highway where the memorial cross stands for our brother who was killed by an impaired driver four years ago. Four years! It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. Anyway, they were there to refresh the wood that had become weather-beaten. They re-stained the wood, added wreaths, and an owl. An owl because Chris, our brother, was a great lover of owls. I was grateful to them for doing that. Family. Family is what it’s all about, right? And though I live miles away, in another province, in fact, and could not be present, their thoughtfulness in posting the photos made me feel included and I am grateful.
I interacted with siblings, cousins, friends, and family of various relation on Facebook and was grateful for all the love and kindness shared there. Thanksgiving, wishes for good health and happiness were exchanged and I am grateful.
My Callie-cat was her usual loving and silly self, after a day of business it was nice to simply play with her, pet her, and appreciate her. And I am grateful.
Yes, it’s been a very different thanksgiving, but there is still so much to be thankful for. We have one another. We are still here, still alive, still celebrating life, still sharing our gifts, talents, selves and I am grateful.
One of my all-time favorite songs is It’s a Wonderful World by the great Louis Armstrong. Every morning waking up to the beauty of this good earth how can I not feel it is anything but wonderful world? There is so much beauty in every nook and corner of the planet. Yes, this pandemic weighs heavy at times, but when we go outside nature is always there to provide balm for the spirit. I hope you will find balm for your soul in this week’s offerings. We won’t be going anywhere today but I hope you enjoy the wonderful beauty right here at or near my home.
“Mirth is like a flash of lightening, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” – Joseph Addison
“You see, I had been riding with the storm clouds, and had come to earth as rain, and it was drought I had killed with the power that the Six Grandfathers gave me.” – Black Elk
“When I began to listen to poetry, it’s when I began to listen to the stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say, and I began to listen to others. And I think, most importantly for all of us, then you begin to learn to listen to the soul, the soul of yourself in here, which is also the soul of everyone else.” – Joy Harjo
“Ah, Hope! What would life be, stripped of thy encouraging smiles, that teach us to look behind the dark clouds of today, for the golden beams that are to gild the morrow.” – Susanna Moodie
“Never lose hope. The darkest clouds precede the loveliest rain!” – Avijeet Das
“At the entrance, my bare feet on the dirt floor, here gusts of heat, at my back, white clouds. I stare and stare. It seems I was called for this: to glorify things just because they are.” – Czeslaw Milosz
“Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.” – Regina Butt
“Only he shakes the heavens and from its treasure takes out the winds. He joins the waters and the clouds and produces the rain. Only he realizes miracles permanently.” – Michael Servetus
“I think I will be able to, in the end, rise above the clouds and climb the stairs to Heaven, and I will look down on my beautiful life.” – Yayoi Kusama
“Religion is among the most beautiful and most natural of all things – that religion that ‘sees God in clouds and hears him in the wind,’ which endows every object of sense with a living soul, which finds in the system of nature whatever is holy, mysterious, and venerable, and inspires the bosom with sentiments of awe and veneration.” – William Godwin
“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.” – St. Augustine
“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther
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.
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.
“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.
“Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities in the world.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
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.
As children you were an awful tease, a tormentor and a fiend But somehow as we grew, I came to realize The protector and the friend you were And remain so to this day I know I can always count on you No matter what life sends Your humor can be depended on To chase away the blues Integrity? Oh yes, indeed You have that and more in spades Honest, kind, and thoughtful, too Though you try to keep that hidden Commitment to our whole vast brood Is melded to your being And proud am I to be a leaf On our family tree And grateful too That God gifted me with you So, thank you dear, dear brother of mine I know you always have my back And I, in turn, will have yours too I’m so glad we are related And on this day that you were born I raise my glass to you In love and gratitude For all you do For all you are And all you will be, too I wish you every joy and bliss May your cup always run over With all that makes your heart so glad And makes your life worth living For you mean so much to me And always, always will.