International Women’s Day 2021

March 8th, a day set aside to celebrate women and the contribution women make to societies around the globe. When I was a little girl, I often lamented being born female. In my view boys had many more opportunities than girls and I disliked, what seemed to me, the uneven allocation of duties, responsibilities, chores, call it what you will. I no longer feel sorrow for my gender. I am glad I am a woman. And though there are still mountains to climb as far as true equality is concerned, I believe strides have been made and we all owe a debt of gratitude to the women who forged the paths we now walk a lot more comfortably than they were able to.

I have many “sheroes” in my life, women to whom I will always and forever be grateful for. Women who shared so much of themselves; women who toiled for me and for others; women who helped me grow to be glad to be a female in a male dominated world. Those women taught me resilience, tolerance, patience, love and so much more. Today I will celebrate women, those I’ve known and those I have yet to meet.

Happy International Women’s Day!

20/20 vision

Twenty-twenty, the year was a roller coaster, unfortunately there seemed to be more downs than ups. Or were there? It was a year that I learned (once again) to take one day at a time. Do you remember the jokes about 2020 and perfect vision? I’ve been thinking of that quite a bit, because, after all, the past year did deliver just that. It made us realize that people should always come before things; that money will not solve all our problems, no matter how many dollars we throw at them. It made us want to hold our dear ones closer and made us appreciate them all the more. As the economy was shut down and more people had to work from home; as all forms of entertainment were brought to a stop; as places of worship also closed their doors; as every bit of life we had become used to became turned upside down, it forced us all to look at our values and at what we had once given priority to and it made us take a second look. Did we learn anything at all? I hope we did. I hope the lessons of the year 2020 remain with us for life.

I know for many people it has been an extremely painful year. Many people have lost loved ones and could not even say a proper good-bye. Many lost jobs or homes, some lost both. Yes, 2020 has been a year of intolerable loss, grief, and sadness. But I hope it made us all re-examine all that is truly important in life. I hope it made us realize how much we’ve taken for granted for too long. I hope it shook things up enough to cause a change of heart in us as individuals, and as a society. I hope we do not go back to the way things were pre-pandemic. I hope we change for the better in the way we treat one another, and particularly in the way we treat the most vulnerable. I hope we have increased respect for the people who work with the public in every sector from health care to grocery store cashiers; from janitorial staff to cooks and chefs; from the poorest to the richest. May we treat one another kindlier and with utmost respect. I hope 2020 has taught us that, and I hope we remember well the lessons.

May we move into 2021 with eyes that see clearer, ears that hear better, and hearts, though bruised, that love more fully and with a mind set and new resolve to do better.

My own worst enemy

It’s good to have a good work ethic. Right? Except when it isn’t. I had been off work for months and only recently returned. I have hurt my shoulder somehow. I don’t know how and I don’t know when. I do know that I push myself constantly. I grew up in a world that expected me to work hard. In fact, the highest compliment any employer could give was “she (or he) is a good worker”. All right then, that’s okay. The problem is I never learned in my youth the equally, and maybe the more important, need for self-care. My mother, may she rest in peace, modeled self-sacrifice and care of others, even to the detriment of her own health. A recipe for unhappiness, really, if I continue to practice it. But life is a harsh teacher sometimes.

Yes, I worked hard all my life, really. I don’t think there’s any who can honestly dispute that. So, this is honestly all on me. My doctor sent me back to work on modified duties. Okay, that’s fine in theory anyway. Problem is theory does not always work out in practice. I have hurt myself again. And in such a stupid way. It was just instinctual when books began to fall over on the shelf to reach out to stop them falling and push them back in place. Yeah, I said it was stupid. In my own defense, years of doing such simple acts kicked in, habit kicked in, instinct kicked in. And now I am kicking myself for the pain I have inadvertently caused. It’s been pain that never goes away and can bring tears to my eyes when it is particularly intense. It is pain that will not allow me a full night’s sleep.

I will see my doctor again in a few days. I have an MRI scheduled for February (covid has caused a backlog). I am hoping the MRI will tell my doctor and me what exactly is the problem with that shoulder. I am right-handed, so of course it would be the right shoulder and that is scary. I can ill afford to lose the use of my right arm. At any rate, consider this a warning. Self-care is important, very important, both in the work place and outside it. Work safe, play safe, take care of yourself, and please, stay healthy!

Serenity Sunday: Building bridges

These photos were taken mainly in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador, a few here in Alberta, and one in Ontario. At this time of great change and great challenges I thought it would be worth sharing and contemplating, as we all need to build bridges in this world of turmoil and challenges. May we all be architects of bridges and not of walls.

“The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.” – Andre Lorde

An old bridge that is no longer in operation, though it served the communities of Stephenville and Stephenville Crossing in Newfoundland well for many, many years.
sometimes, the gulf is not wide and we need only a little bridge to cross it. This one is part of the Gravels Nature Trail in Port au Port West, Newfoundland & Labrador
Crossing a river in St. George’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
One of the pedways that cross above the busy street and connects the various buildings of the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, AB, Canada keeping pedestrians safe….let us build bridges of safety
Bowring Park, St; John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
The “new” bridge over Romaine’s River near Port au Port East, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
A bridge to safety – the overpass over highway 63 taken during the enforced evacuation during the wildfires of 2016 in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
Even little bridges serve a function, taken in Stephenville, Newfoundland & Labrador on the “Wee Care Nature Trail” behind the Kindale Public Library
Heritage Park, Fort McMurray, Ab, Canada
also taken in Heritage Park, Fort McMurray, AB, Canada
In Riverside Park, Guelph, ON, Canada
St. George’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

I leave you with this prayer, written by Alycia Longriver, because I believe in the power of prayer as a bridge between all peoples:

Creator, open our hearts
to peace and healing between all people.
Creator, open our hearts
to provide and protect for all children of the earth.
Creator, open our hearts
to respect for the earth, and all the gifts of the earth.
Creator, open our hearts
to end exclusion, violence, and fear among all.
Thank-you for the gifts of this day and every day.

~ written by Alycia Longriver, Native American (Micmac), 1995

Lynn’s Tuesday Photo Prompt #21: A brand new day

Glen is the host of LTPP

Art(including pictures and images)should evoke an emotional response in those who are viewing them. That’s why art can leave such a long-lasting and poignant imprint within the depths of our psyche

Your challenge or writing prompt is this:

  • what emotions or feelings get evoked or aroused in you when you look at this photograph taken by Lynn

Remember, the goal isn’t necessarily to tell me and others exactly what the picture is.

The creative goal for all of us is “what does the picture evoke in youwhat emotion; feeling; memory or whatever it may be – what does it arouse in you and to share it that with others.”

The sun rises as waves break on the shores. Snow covers the sand and the sun is weakened, its rays unable to melt the frozen pellets that stick to sand and rocks. Tis the season for fire places and hot chocolate, preferably with a good book in hand. I am saddened that that book will not be read while I rest on sandy beach, but will make do here on my comfy couch and dream dreams of summer and let memories of the crashing waves carry me away.

A small note to my American friends and relatives

It is now 4:20 local time. I have been thinking of our friends (and relations) south of the border all day. I just want to let you know you’re in my prayers as you elect your leaders for the next four years. I pray for guidance for each of you. I pray for peace, safety, and protection from the hateful pandemic that has made your election day so much more of a challenge. It may take a while before all the votes are counted, so I pray for patience, not just for Americans but for all the citizens of our world. I hope the next four years will bring blessings, cooler heads, and beautiful bridges to heal the divisions and fractures of the past. Be well and stay safe. Sending my very best wishes from Canada.

Awaken Me

Barnacles image courtesy of Pixabay

Am I one of the ‘unawakened ones’?

Are there barnacles covering my soul,

Like those that encrust the ship hulls at anchor?

Please come awaken me, Divine One

Remove those crusty, bitter bits that cling

Soften any hardness in my heart

So that my soul may sing again

Repair the broken pieces

Heal the cracks and tears

If you will it, it shall be done

This I trust, Divine One

Please, come

Serenity Sunday: Beauty

I won’t be taking you anywhere again this week. There is a lot going on in life at the moment. But, I did want to share a couple of photos of a mother robin who made her nest in my neighbor’s flower box in the spring of 2018. Yes, I know it’s fall (in our part of the world, anyway). I hope this photo will bring a smile to your face and peace to your heart.

A lesson in trust
Seen from my window every day until the hatchings fledged

Wherever you are, I hope you find serenity in this day. Wishing you all an abundance of blessings. Cheers!

Let Compassion Be Our Guide

And when he lays upon that bed

Alone in his suffering,

Then will he see

Will his eyes be opened,

To his frivolity?

When he lays upon that bed

Will visions of superiority comfort him,

He that thought himself above such commonality?

When he lays upon that bed

Will arrogance still hold sway?

Or might his heart be softened,

By experiencing first hand this dread?

Do we lower ourselves to a level

We construe to be unkind?

Or do we beg for mercy

From the One and Holy Divine?

To wish not hot coals be delivered on his head

But a change of mind and purpose

For the one who has misled so many

So, come now, please Divine One

Let your compassion be our guide

And let not his sins be the occasion

For us to judge and to deride

Take from our minds the temptation,

The urge to dance ‘I told you so’

Let us seek sober thought and reason

Let us not be set adrift on the ocean of unforgiveness

Let your compassion be our guide