Little things mean a lot

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.

A very different Thanksgiving

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.

Serenity Sunday: Beauty of Nature

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.

On Canada Day in 2018 we were treated to a double rainbow. The colors were especially vibrant that day on July 1st

“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

The skies always amaze me, constantly changing with clouds that morph into various shapes in the blink of an eye

“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

I don’t know which is more beautiful to witness, dawn or sunset, both are so beautiful

“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

This was just one of many beautiful sunrises

“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

Sacred night, when the clouds separate and the moon shines down on the city

“Never lose hope. The darkest clouds precede the loveliest rain!” – Avijeet Das

Summer, season of long days and beautiful flowers….life seems to expand in summer

“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 beckons us to come to the water . . .

“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

Nature at it’s most dramatic …

 “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

Blue skies, smiling at me …

“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

A new day, a new dawn a sacred gift, always

 “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

Over the hills and among the trees, what new mystery awaits?

“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

No matter what storms may come, a new light will always break through

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther

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

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.

For my brother

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.

Tagged: Ten of my favourite feelings

Sadje over at life after50 tagged me to play along. You can visit her blog here:

The rules:

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.

Birthdays, memories, and reminiscences: what children learn, and what they can teach us

Concerning racism and bigotry

 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!