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.
Sadje over at life after50 tagged me to play along. You can visit her blog here:
List out 10 of your favourite feelings! It’s just that simple!
So, Sadje, here we go, in no particular order:
1. The feeling of hope when the sun pours through the windshield and warms my face after a long and hard winter. It is such a wonderful feeling.
2. The feeling of pure tenderness when an infant grasps my finger. Gazing into an infant’s face wondering what life holds for this new soul and being wonder struck at the trust placed in me as I hold that dear little hand.
3. The feeling of contentment as I listen to my cat purr as I stroke her fur.
4. The feeling of pure joy and utter amazement when I stand before the ocean or gaze up at mountains high.
5. The feelings of exhilaration, utter freedom and pride at overcoming a fear of heights when I went zip lining.
6. The rush of excitement after weeks of anticipation of something long waited for, such as a visit from a relative I have not seen for a long time.
7. The feelings of delight with unexpected surprises.
8. The feelings of belonging and acceptance when I am with family.
9. The feelings of pure love when my dear heart gazes into my eyes.
10. The feelings of unadulterated peace and happiness when I see a beautiful sunrise or sunset or discovering wildflowers in the woods, or listen to the birds sing and I am awe struck.
I grew up in rural Newfoundland, perhaps I’ve mentioned that before? It was a very tiny community where everyone knew one another. It was settled by mainly the English and the French. There were no women when fisherman first settled into the area so many married Mi’kmaw women, the people who are indigenous to the East coast of Canada. There were prejudices while I was growing up, religious bigotry was common as was prejudice of the English to the French and vice versa, as well as toward our Native peoples. My father worked on the American air force base (built in nearby Stephenville during the Second World War) for most of my childhood years. He was what’s been termed a “cradle Catholic” while my mother had been raised Anglican. From the get go there were issues for my parents as both sets of grandparents were not happy with their union. “Yellow belly Protestant” and “Dirty Mic” were a couple of the derogatory terms slung about. I also remember never having seen a person of color until American airmen of African descent were posted to the base. I remember being fascinated with the color of their skin and asking my mother why their skin was so much darker than ours. I remember her explaining how skin color has a lot to do with hereditary genes and how the sun burned some people but others would tan deeper shades of brown. She was very matter of fact about it and explained in ways I could understand. She made nothing of it; it was no big deal. At the Catholic school I attended we were taught that all people – ALL people, were our sisters and brothers. Those lessons were reaffirmed at home. I am grateful for my parents and for my teachers and for their lessons of acceptance and understanding.
Fast forward to when I had grown up, married and had children of my own. Today is actually my daughter’s birthday. She is the eldest of our three children, and as often happens on birthdays, I find myself wandering back through the years. When my children were born, we lived in Brampton, Ontario. At that point in time it was a small town, predominately white. We seldom met people of other nations or people of color. It was a nice day and we had been out doing a bit of shopping for groceries and sundry items. Afterward we went to McDonald’s, my daughter was two years old at the time and our son was six months old. We got our order and were headed to a table when she spied a black couple sitting with their children. They had a new infant and my daughter ran to see the baby. My daughter was a very friendly child and would talk to anybody and everybody! This was not always welcomed. At any rate, she excitedly called back to me, “Mama, mama! Come see the little brown baby!” I hesitantly approached their table apologizing for her intrusion as I came. I remember the parents just being so kind and delighted with my girl. I remember the pride on their faces as we cooed and ah-ed over their little one. They also had a toddler about the same age as our daughter. In our short exchange it was more about what we had in common – our children. Although it is now so many years later, I remember how proud I was of my daughter and relieved at their acceptance of her.
Acceptance is something children readily display, until they are taught racism, bigotry, and prejudice by misguided adults. Let us look to the children, they can teach us much! And let us not lead them astray!
Complaining seems to be as much a virus as Covid-19 and, although not fatal, can be debilitating. I know I am just as guilty of complaining from time to time as the next one, but experience has taught me that it is not good for my mental health and, since my mental health impacts my physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, not good overall. And who likes to sit and listen to somebody who is given to whining and complaining? Not many people. As the saying goes, ‘misery loves company but company does not love misery’. Ain’t that the truth? It is so easy to get trapped into a cycle that can quickly become a downward spiral into depression. At least that’s been my experience.
I have been making a concerted effort to pay close attention to my thoughts and to guard against negative thinking. It’s not easy at times such as these when there are so many unanswered questions concerning the corona virus and its impact on life as we’ve known it. Yet, life itself is so fragile. Not one of us have a guarantee we will be here tomorrow. There is so much we have taken for granted in the western world. ‘First world problems’ is a phrase I often see bandied about. Such things as not being able to visit the hairdresser or go to a concert or out to dinner.
Perhaps this virus will help us learn more about ourselves, about our values, about what is truly important to us. Perhaps it will help us learn that social connection is much more important than we’d previously realized and treasure time with loved ones and friends much more deeply. Perhaps we will learn that care of our health and the health of others is more important than that trip to the hairdresser or to see a movie. Perhaps we will learn that life, all life should be valued, including that of the planet itself. Perhaps it will help us turn over a new leaf, to realize we are not the be all and end all of the universe. Perhaps we will become less self-centered and less selfish. Perhaps it will make us all better people, more caring, giving, and loving. Perhaps this is a golden opportunity for self growth and growth of society at large. Perhaps …..
“There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.” – Ronald Reagan
“A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it. – Frederick Douglass
Today is Mothers’ Day. It will be a different Mothers’ Day for all of us wishing to be near the women who have blessed our lives. Today I won’t be taking you on any far away tours but I invite you to enjoy the beauty that I see here at home. And I wish all you who are Mothers, all who nurture life, whether you wear the banner of “Mom” or not, a joyous day filled with beauty and love.
Happy Days are here and now, not in some “after things go back to normal” future. I wish you happiness, joy, peace. and all that is life-giving, all that is good.
I was so blessed. We all were, my siblings and I. In the words of Jan Arden’s song, Good Mother:
“I’ve got a good mother And her voice is what keeps me here”.
Our mother left this plane of existence many, many years ago. Yet, I still hear her voice in my mind, and still feel her blessings in my heart. She had several health issues, including diabetes. At that point in time she was admitted to hospital to learn how to take insulin by injection. Ten days later she was gone. Just a couple of days after she’d been admitted we learned she had cancer. Liver cancer is known as the silent killer (at least it was at the time). She knew long before the diagnosis. At different points she had told me and my sisters her premonition, her deep instinct that her time was limited, that she believed she had cancer. We each struggled with that information; with the idea of her death, which was impossible to accept. Months later we would have no choice. Yet, it is not her death that left the most important imprint, but a lifetime of loving, living, giving, and caring for her family, but also for the community at large.
Mom was wise and insightful; understanding and compassionate. Family meant everything to her. She was devout but not dour. She sang a lot. She laughed a lot, too. She left us an example to follow, which is not easy sometimes. I could write so much more about all her positive attributes, but I think you get the gist of it. So, while I still miss having her in my life in a physical sense, I know she is always nearby, encouraging us as she always did. When I was visiting her in hospital one day she turned to me and said, “You’ll be all right, you know”. I remember answering, “Yes, I know, because I’ve had you”. That answer remains true today. And I will be eternally grateful for her care of me.