Let’s celebrate! It’s World Environment Day!


So, it’s World Environment Day! Let’s celebrate the planet and its awesomeness! I truly do love nature. As I write I am remembering visiting my husband’s aunt and uncle. While we were there we somehow ended up at their neighbor’s place across the street. My children were very little then and one of them had picked up a caterpillar and brought it to me. I bent down and what followed was a conversation with my little ones about caterpillars. I have no idea what that conversation entailed but I do remember the neighbor remarking, “Oh, we have an environmentalist in our midst”. I remember being somewhat surprised by the comment. I honestly thought at the time that most people shared my views. Sadly, I came to understand that no, that was not the case.

We are living with climate change and all the backlash that has entailed with so-called natural disasters causing untold destruction and upheaval. It does not have to be this way. Human beings can make better choices. Politicians can be moved to enact better environmental protection laws. I have seen politicians back down when faced with public outrage over a variety of social issues. We need to make our voices heard.

What social issue is more important than the environment on which all life depends? Let us all make better decisions, please. We can do our small parts at home by reducing waste, by becoming more informed, by respecting our local green spaces and wildlife, and in a myriad of other ways. I will not belabor the point, better writers than I have articulated it well, time and time again.

Let’s celebrate this world.  Take a deep breath and thank the trees for providing us oxygen. Listen to the birdsong and be grateful for their music. Dip a toe in a river, pond, lake, or ocean and be cleansed, or better yet drink a tall glass of cool water and be quenched.  Gaze at the beauty surrounding us all and let it feed your soul. Take your shoes of and walk on the cool grass on a hot summer’s day. Life is good, but it could be so much better. Let’s take good care of this little blue marble we call home.

Remembering Christmases past and wishing you all the best of the season


Merry Christmas!

I haven’t been feeling my best for weeks now. But, despite that I am looking forward to Christmas. It can be a bit crazy, even depressing at times, but I truly love this time of year. People seem more caring and empathetic than at any other time. When I was a child our family would drive to the church for midnight mass. We lived in rural Newfoundland, on the west coast of the island. Life was so simple then – or maybe it’s because I was a child and it seems simpler looking back. I remember the moon shining on the bay we drove along and my father remarking on how calm the water was. I remember singing Christmas carols and I remember my parents sitting waiting for all of us to get up Christmas morning. The tree never went up before Christmas Eve and in the morning it all seemed so magical. There were never a lot of gifts, but we appreciated the few things we received.

What is it about Christmas that makes me so nostalgic? As I place ornaments on the tree each one brings back memories of Christmases past and how very blessed and fortunate my life has been. No, it hasn’t been easy and sometimes life seems so unfair – but it is a good life nonetheless.

Wherever you are, and whomever you are sharing Christmas with this year, I hope you feel blessed. I hope joy overwhelms you. I hope you feel the peace and goodwill the season can bring. And above all this, I wish you love. Merry Christmas!

Summer: Family and time to celebrate


“For there is no friend like a sister in calm or stormy weather; To cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands.” – Christina Rossetti

“I have wonderful shelter, which is my family. I have a wonderful relationship with my brother and sister; this makes me feel that I know always where I belong.” – Jose Carreras

I am so excited. My sister arrives for a visit this evening. Summer is wonderful that way – for the ease of travel. My sister is a year younger than me and growing up we were always together. Even as teenagers we stayed close, often sharing the same friends and social circles. She is my best friend, confidante, and source of support. She is just wonderful!

I am also looking forward to family gatherings with my brother and his wife and family. Their daughter is also visiting. I have not seen her yet as they have been on a little road trip exploring other areas of the province. I can’t wait to see her and her hubby and children. Family – that’s what it’s all about, right?

I am grateful for summer days; for bar-b-ques and long walks with my friend; for lazy days basking in the sun; for time to spend with loved ones and opportunities to celebrate life!

Today, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, I wish you blessings of love and light. Cheers!

“If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

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.

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.