Thursday, December 31, 2009
This past year I have lived more mindfully, consciously ... seeking out the gifts in each day. Writing has given me a sense of freedom to explore and excavate my ideas and thoughts on issues - to express the deepest part of myself. I have learned much about myself - from myself. Through my reflections and explorations I have learned what is important to me as well as what and who can bring meaning to my life.
I made my camera my constant companion, carrying it with me at all times. I noted and captured the colour and textures in everything around me and found beauty in the ordinary.
I lived more fully, in every moment and the most important thing I learned ... I write about that which I need most to learn, know and practice.
So 2009 was the year in which I gave myself the gift and luxury of daily writing and through that, I have learned more than I could have ever imagined. I will remember 2009 as the year I set my creative self free.
And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Post Note: I know from reading your blogs that many of you have suffered great pain, struggles and upheaval this past year, and my heart goes out to each one of you. I am a firm believer that it is always darkest before the dawn and that the law of nature dictates that change is inevitable. So as I raise my chipped champagne flute filled with flat white wine, I toast that the winds of change and a new year will usher in hope and a peace and that there will be better times ahead. Thank you to all of you who have been a part of my year of self discovery and offered thoughtful words of encouragement and kindness. I could feel the heartbeat of humankind and universal love. Happy New Year! Let's affirm that 2010 will be a very good year.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I approached tentatively ... eyes quickly scanning for an escape/ safe route should a GIANT mouse leap out to confront me. Where to leap? How to protect my toes from being trampled by little, creepy mouse claws? (OK - even I think I'm sounding wimpy at this point). S l o w l y, cautiously, with stealthlike precision I tiptoed my way across the room and peered (hands covering all but my one eye) around the edge of the arm of the couch.
And there it was. A big FAT cardinal -- sitting on the ledge, fearlessly pecking the window. We stared one another down ... yet he continued. What was he trying to tell me?? I felt as though he was delivering an urgent message and I sensed his annoyance at my incomprehension. After what seemed like an eternity, I motioned to grab my trusty Canon - and I broke the magical spell. Off she flew (her muted colour was that of a mama bird) leaving me somewhat rattled and mystified. I turned to walk away and there was Fritz, looking just a puzzled as me - looking but NOT yapping.
It was a wondrous sight, yet I can't help feeling I didn't get the message -- yet!
OMG -- it's back again!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
- shiny, private porcelain toilets that flush - not one - but four!
- a comfortable bed and fresh sheets - and a dog to keep my feet warm
- running water - not to mention hot water
- refrigerator -- and lucky me -- an ice maker
- a bowl for my milk and cereal
- central heat and cental air conditioning
- more clothes than I could ever wear out
What do I have to complain about - really??? And that is my take away for today!
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Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
And then it blew over - quickly. For as we know,
Christmas does not linger, but the memories do.
I stole today - Boxing Day - for myself. And to an outsider, it may have looked as though I did nothing. And it would be true. I did nothing - consciously; deliberately; mindfully - to soak up every ounce of serenity the day had to offer. Not a day wasted - but rather a day spent puttering, replaying, and reflecting. I am hoping that my blogger friends were fortunate enough to get some well deserved quiet time for themselves as well.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
The fridge is bursting - and the front foyer is catching the overflow. The wine is chilling on the back stoop (yay for sub zero temps). Stuffing bread is in pieces, drying out. The 26 pound turkey is languishing in the water filled sink to rid the last bits of frozen. The stockings are filled to overflowing. The breakfast platters are prepared and the coffee is set for morning. Best of all, the bedrooms are all filled tonight. My babies are home.
And for the first time all day - I am taking just a moment for myself to soak it all in. There is something magical about Christmas Eve that I cannot describe. Peace and anticipation. The calm before the crazy fun chaos of the morn.
But I am ready and armed with rum and eggnog. Bring it on!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I made an effort this Christmas to reach out and give wholly and mindfully. However they say that when you give, you get back tenfold. And I have found this to be absolutely true. I have been on the receiving end of such kindness. Over the past few months my friends and family as well as several of my blogger friends (you know who you are) have supported my dream of going to Africa, as well as raising money to build a Kenyan school . I am humbled by their expressions of love and caring. Thank you ...
I am overwhelmed by the generosity and giving hearts of people ...
And for this, I am eternally grateful.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Unexpected hockey game in a town hours away. Last minute Christmas preparations - cancelled - or maybe just delayed.
No energy to panic, I'm just staying the course. What gets done, gets done - the rest will have to wait - or won't.
To top it off - we're sneezing and coughing and burning through the tissues.
Lesson: Release that which you can't control! Embrace that which you can. Merry, *cough* merry *sniffle* ...
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Time is forever serving up new changes and evolutions. I can feel the cosmic shift and soon my universe will look quite different. In the next nine months I could very well become an empty nester - just hubby and the dog and I. The house will be quiet and cleaner! No more aromatic hockey bag lodged in the front foyer. We'll only need three litres of milk instead of nine every week. I'll probably only have to do 2 loads of laundry and a jar of peanut butter will last for months -- not to mention the ice cream! Kidlet's bedroom floor will reappear and there won't be any wet towels slung over the bannister to dry.
But for now, I still have my little girl here, at home .... in front of fire with her boyfriend. Time to unleash Fritz the yappy schnauzer for a recon mission.
Friday, December 18, 2009
I guess that goes for making others happy as well -- small gestures can make a big impact. I had someone recently pay for my coffee in the drive through. The clerk said he was paying it forward - so I paid for the car behind me. Just the experience of having someone extend such a thoughtful gesture made my heart sing and fill me with warmth that lasted all day. I have learned that small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness can reap big rewards. I am off to put my thinking cap on ... and check my fridge for cream!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
It was fascinating to watch my coworkers respond to the hypnotist's every suggestion - no matter how silly. He had them pulling at their clothes and wiping "sweat" at his suggestion that temperatures were soaring into the high 30's (Celsius). Then he had them falling in love with the first person they laid eyes on so they could slow dance. Of course we in the audience were laughing hysterically at the sight.
But it occurred to me how incredible it would be if it were only that simple - to suggest a positive thought and have people respond so enthusiastically. So many things would be different. We would all be kinder to one another. We could have our hearts opened to and seek the goodness around us. If we started each work day with a suggestion that it was going to be a wonderfully fulfilling, productive day - it would surely become one! So we think - so we shall be. Positive affirmations have the same effect ... but some struggle with the concept. The hypnotist - in a few short minutes had the volunteers reacting and responding to his every comment.
Right thinking begins with the words we say to ourselves.I was taught at an early age to program myself with positive thoughts and imagery. I have an internal conversation with myself every day, and when I need it most ... my mother taught me to rephrase my words and wishes from "I want to be" or "I wish" to "I am ..." . She explained that at first it may not be true at that moment but that if I kept affirming my desires and goals, they would eventually become a reality. The power of suggestion and affirmation are powerful practices and they work both ways (positively and negatively). Channelling energy into destructive thoughts become self fulfilling, so they have to be kept in check.
- James Allen, As a Man Thinketh
It works. Maybe not as quickly as a hypnotist ... but it works. Something to keep in mind when making up my "resolutions" for the new year. A list of affirmations of the version of myself that I know I can be - that I am - in the present tense:
> I give more than I get.
> I am generous.
> I am healthy and strong. etc. etc. etc.
I am hopeful and optimistic - and affirmative!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The hum is all around me
Everywhere it seems – at work, in the stores, and on the street that I live.
Everywhere - but home.
It’s quiet here; there is no hum;
Everyone has gone – my mother, my loved one, my friend – passed or just moved on.
No one here – but me.
The holiday hum is getting louder
Someone is reaching out – a card, a hug and love – turkey with the clan
A Christmas wish – come true.
We all know that the holidays can be the best of times and the worst of times for those who are experiencing sadness, loss, upheaval or loneliness. The very best gift we can give is of ourselves – giving our time, and sharing our love and expressions of kindness and gratitude.
And it doesn’t have to cost a cent, shilling, peso, franc, mark, or rupee. Let's squish the hum bug!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
As I drove to work this morning, at zero degrees Celsius it occurred to me that winter was stuck in neutral. It was mid December and there was no traction - no snow; no wintry ambiance; just England weather -- gray and damp.
I'm getting impatient. Green Christmas' make me blue (just a little). I took Kidlet to hockey in the city tonight and as we drove in, I could see the temperature steadily dropping. On the drive home we ran into black ice - a real adventure on a 5 laned highway. We picked the least travelled lane, kicked Benzie into 4 wheel drive and resisted all urges to brake. An abrupt segue into full blown winter!
When we pulled into the driveway - blanketed in a few inches of the white stuff, and minus 5 temperatures, I gave a silent apology ... winter is in low gear ... but gaining momentum.
Monday, December 14, 2009
My daughter and I caught up last night with a nice long phone chat. She lives just far enough away that we miss the day to day contact that I have with my other two girls. We plotted our Christmas plans and ploys and of course dragged out some dusty stories from the musty memory sack for a few chuckles. Can't wait to have her home for a few days.
Faraway sister also checked in to tell me she loved the pictures of our Christmas tree that I posted on Facebook. She and her family won't be with us for Christmas this year so she's on stand by ... and it won't be quite the same - a little quieter and definitely more wine in the bottle! (Just kidding - it was a weak attempt to transfer guilt).
And I think I got my last call from my Pops tonight before he flies his snowbird self home for the holidays. I had to update him on the lack of snow, give a weather report, briefly discuss the prospect and insanity of not passing universal health care in the US, hear about his citrus crop, review the attendance for Christmas dinner etc (you get the picture).
So now I feel organized and set - the gang have all checked in, our buffet is lined with sparkly, thoughtful Christmas cards, two parcels arrived in the mail and my new box of cards calls from the coffee table for addresses. All a precursor for the good times to come.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Hubby and I stole a day for ourselves and I even wrangled him into watching a cheesy (AKA chick flick) Christmas movie with me. I am not sure how I managed it but I seemed to have removed frantic and replaced it with contented. And that's a first for me.
After I placed the final gift under the tree and sat admiring my handiwork with the tea towels and safety pins, I couldn't stop the anticipation from creeping from my toes to my heart. What is it about Christmas that reacquaints us with the child in ourselves? I went to bed feeling more alive and joyous than I have a right to ...
Friday, December 11, 2009
When my daughters were little we would light the menorah for the eight days of Chanukah and hang our handmade popsicle stick Star of David ornaments on our Christmas tree. Their bubbe and zaidy would give them little netted bags of chocolate gold foiled gilt coins and the girls would exchange Christmas presents with them. A cultural-traditional morph of sorts.
My kids and I were never a church going family (for obvious reasons). I was baptized in a Christian Protestant church and attended Sunday school when I was a child, but when I couldn't bring myself to utter the declaration that I accepted Christ as my saviour, and that he died on the cross for my sins - I wasn't able to be confirmed in the church and it ended my feeling of belonging in religion. I always loved the stories about Jesus in the bible -- he was my favourite person and I admired his loving, non judgemental ways and wise words and teaching (which I still follow) but I fell short of recognising him as a saviour. It wasn't a stretch for me to marry someone outside of my "faith" - because my faith and sprirituality was and is deeply personal.
I tried to provide an open minded, respectful environment for my girls so they could experience all they wanted from the veritable feast of religions, spiritual ideologies, and philosophies - that they may find what, if any, connected best for them.
And so although Christmas is a Christian celebration of the birth of Christ, for families such as mine consisting of different faiths and cultures, it has become a season of peace; a time to reach out to others; a time to give to and help others; and a special time for our family to come together as one - and celebrate that we belong to something bigger than ourselves.
Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and other celebrations and festivals are a channel for joy, expression and unifcation of human spirit. Whatever the label -- dance in the light of this magical season and shine your love brightly!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
It was a blustery, bitterly cold day today - I still haven't defrosted not my toes anyway. My hair wasn't washed, my toes were (still are) freezing and I had to pump gas without gloves. brrrr
The sweet crept in at the end of the day when I drove into the city to meet my lifelong friend J for dinner. We don't do it often so our visits are cherished tasty morsels. A few hours with J melts the chill and brings me home. We munched on
Now it is a little late - so I'm off to bed so that tomorrow - I won't be ... a little late.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
And then the snowplow roars around the corner dumping its full load at the end of the driveway. I look up and smile (through gritted teeth) at the driver and he gives me a wave. I wave back, with a finger or two and start cleaning off my car with a rubber skate guard (gotta find my snow brush).
And so it begins ... the long winter ... but it starts with the first snow.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
So in this Season of Love, let's remember to give it, say it, mean it and feel it. L O V E.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I can't complain though ... the tree decorating tradition had remained unchanged for 23 years, and now that my girls are grown ups, I can expect more "adaptations" - lots of good ones too I'm sure.
The tattered boxes that held the tree treasures were stacked three high. Each ornament has special significance - and each one has been a gift; I have not purchased a single one. Our tree is no Homes and Gardens, but rather, an eclectic mish mash of homemade craft projects, Goebels china figurines, pictures of the girls, superheroes, brass bells, and angels all topped off with a linen angel to watch over us. We laughed in awe that Kidlet's homemade garland of macaroni and froot loops survived yet another year - now counting thirteen.
Each ornament is supercharged with the DNA of Christmas' past - one touch triggering a flood of images and memories. These monumental holiday seasons are emotionally charged and can deliver joy exponentially - the first time you experience it and then each year thereafter that these special times are relived and recounted.
So tonight, after a long day of cleaning, decorating and remembering, I sit here, fire blazing, tree sparkling and a row of Christmas stockings hanging from the mantel. Our home is cozied up and I surrender gratefully to the cocoon of peace and serenity invoked by my favourite time of year.
It is my deepest desire that all could be so fortunate and full to overflowing.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
One of the upsides of being a blogger is that I have become more observant to everything and everyone around me. It has deepened my appreciation and gratitude, and inspired me to take notice of signs...
Yesterday as I ventured out for my inaugural shopping expedition, I was reminded that I was having a Canadian Christmas (whatever that means -- touques and beer??). A station wagon drove by with a scotch pine strapped to the roof and I couldn't help thinking that it was a perfect sign of the times ... it was indeed that time of year.
Today was a great day to do grocery shopping. There were volunteers outside handing out pamphlets from Food For Life asking people to consider donating a turkey so an underprivileged family could enjoy a nice Christmas dinner as well. Coincidentally the grocery store was running a special that awarded a free turkey ($25 value) to anyone spending $250 or more. I filled my cart. We only shop twice a month so I didn't think it would be a problem to spend that much. I stocked up on stuff, and bought extra stocking stuffers - even tea towels (for wrapping). When the cashier rang up the bill, I had spent $250.67! Talk about cutting it close! I was able to leave the store and hand over my prebasted frozen turkey to the charity waiting outside with a big refrigerated truck. Technically, the store donated a turkey on my behalf. It still felt good.
Tonight we had the first holiday gathering of season at hubby's uncle's place. We crossed the threshold into a wonderland - with decorating that rivaled Homes and Gardens and planted us staunchly in Christmas. No excuse not to be in the mood now ... I love all of the visiting!
I have no right to ask for anything more, but I admit that I am praying for, affirming and singing for a white Canadian Christmas. Let it snow!
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
What - nothing fantastical happened in the world today? I don't believe that for a moment. Not sure when news had to mean bad news. I think we need a daily dose of the spectacular; we need to hear the stories of the heroes and angels who walk the earth transforming the ugly into beautiful, fixing the broken and healing the sick. We are starving to be inspired and uplifted.
Thankfully social media - just like the blog I am writing - has liberated communications. I can simply turn to my "follow" list and read the insights of my blogger friends, my special community who can share and express their ideas and stories freely. And that, they do. Every day I read something that makes me laugh; that causes me to reflect; and inspires me.
And that is not just good news -- it's great news. Every day.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Last night Kidlet and I watched a documentary, A Song For Africa that told the story of the Watoto Children's Choir of Uganda made up of youngsters orphaned by AIDS. The choir performs all over the world, helping to raise awareness of Africa's AIDS crisis.
Kidlet and I watched in awe as the sparkly eyed orphaned children of the choir swayed and stomped and danced their way through their music, their voices soaring .... such spirit. Such inspiration. Sheer heart and joy. We were witnessing the remnants of the AIDS crisis .... children without parents. They described in vivid detail how they witnessed the demise of their families ... or recounted their personal stories of being abandoned, or left for dead. We marvelled at how they could dig deep and express such joy despite experiencing horrific tragedy.
Today is World AIDS Day and I spent a good part of it reflecting ... Men and women must be educated about AIDS - how it is contracted and how to prevent getting and spreading it. African men have to learn that having sex with a virgin will not cure them. Women have to be equipped and empowered to protect themselves and refuse unprotected sex. Not to simplify - as I know that the issue is much more complex than I have described here. It can start with awareness, understanding and respect.
So today, I will honour those who are battling the disease; the children who have been robbed of parents; and the courageous, generous people who are waging war against this pandemic or caring for those who ill or have been affected. Bless you.
To end on a hopeful note, here is the choir singing I am not forgotten ... Prepare to be inspired.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I am excited at the prospect but ill prepared. Where did I stash my ice scraper? I can only use my credit card for so long - not to mention it takes me forever to clear the windshield.
Lights are starting to appear randomly on houses on our street (not ours yet or if). After years of white lights being in vogue, technicolour is making a comeback ... red, green, gold and blue. And you know what? I like it! It looks kind've retro and takes me back to my youth.
So I am bracing myself for December, Christmas and everything that goes with it. I predict loads of snow, famjams, shopping, cooking and cleaning and I am going to make sure I savour every last bit of it. I love the anticipation and possibilities of change ... a brand spanking new month.
Who knows what's next?
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Instead you are forever fifty-eight. You will never be old and I think that would give you a somewhat smug satisfaction.
We are your living legacy - your family.
Today there will be no cake, no fuss, no fanfare. Just a family quietly reflecting, nursing the space your left unfilled. I feel your love - but miss your hugs. And on this anniversary of your birth, I will say what I have said so very often before ... we had the very best.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I wish for everyone what I have -- a lifelong friend. And today is her birthday. Fate delivered us to one another and the universe has worked hard to keep us forever bound.
We have celebrated 37 birthdays together .. as little girls we dreamed of writing together, rooming together and standing in one another's weddings. We dreamed of having little girls (just like us) and being friends as old women. If we both make it to "old" then we'll have the list completed.
She is more than my friend - she is a part of my very being and possesses a piece of my "complete".
And so my friend who I love so dearly - happy, happy birthday. My greatest wish is that we grow old together to swap medical mysteries and share seniors' discounts.
I've written more about J here.
Friday, November 27, 2009
On the way to the arena at 7:30 this morning we could see malls packed chock full of cars. For once I felt like the lucky one - opting for an early morn cold seat rinkside vs a cold long line in front of Walmart or Target. Several of the girls on the hockey team had to hitch rides with other parents bacause their mothers had been out all night shopping. I admire their stamina!
So to all of you who endure the ritual (I think my Pops is included in that group) I take my hat off to you. But for me and Kidlet, this will just be another quiet Friday - no Blackness here - biding our time and enjoying the togetherness. On second thought, it could turn dark! *smile*
Have a great weekend everyone.
Signing off from Motown
Thursday, November 26, 2009
So if you are a hockey fan, and are watching the Detroit game Saturday night ... and you see a giant maple leaf waving frantically from a box, it'll be me!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
- the Tim Hortons cups are decked out in Christmas finery a sure sign if there ever was one
- I haven't started my Christmas shopping despite my best intentions I must be comfortable in that wild eyed, frantic frenzied state of last minute shopper.
- our outside Christmas lights aren't up yet where the heck did we store them last year?
- but some people's are neighbourhood show off
- a happy little tickle is forming in the part of my tummy where excitement lives
Monday, November 23, 2009
the invisible internal clock
keeps track of minutes and hours
leading up to the
After all these years it still seeps and spills
profound and utter grief
for all that we had and lost'
leading up to the
It's that month, that time of year
internal memory recounts
precisely what procedure, medication
you endured leading up to the
It's that month, that time of year
when I want to steal
just a moment to let down -
feel the impact, shock and awe,
It's that month, that time of year
a dozen years have passed
I speak your name,
I sing your song and still
love lives on.
And still, the countdown is on ...
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The afternoon was billed as a ladies only luncheon and silent auction. Known for my brawny athleticism (NOT) and love of food (YES), throw in a cause - and it was a no brainer!We arrived to a room abuzz with the chatter and laughter of women - a diverse, eclectic group of ladies - some groovin to the live Beatles Tribute band, some greeting one another with open arms, hugs and kisses and others just enjoying the electric vibe (akin to a big pajama party - without Twister).
Women like to help other girls and women. We get it - we've been there. We're daughters and many of us have daughters. We know the struggles with "self" and we also know that confidence and sound self esteem is paramount to being a happy, healthy girl ... and woman.
But who am I to find fault? The foundation has a noble mission and the founder is clearly passionate about making the lives of these impressionable young girls better, and helping prepare them for the future. Bravo ladies! You warmed my heart and made me proud that I am your friend. You really are FAB. Me? Fit, active, beautiful ... one out of three ain't bad! *grin*
Saturday, November 21, 2009
You may be interested in my previous posts:
Friday, November 20, 2009
As optimistic that I usually am, I’m not sure I’m gonna make it this year. I haven’t even started. I haven’t formulated my thoughts around what special gifts I want to make/buy/order for the special ones in my life. And it really has to start with the thought, otherwise you waste countless hours aimlessly wandering a mall, wide eyed and panic stricken or glazed over and zombie like. I’ve done both.
But not this year! Last year I decided to bring extra joy and meaning to my Christmas gift giving and vowed not to do anything without love in my heart – I imposed a "no complaining" sanction on myself. I focused on buying gifts that were either handcrafted, locally or Canadian made, fair trade, organic or made from recycled materials. I also gave gifts that keep on giving: Kiva microloan gift certificates, cows and goats from Heifer.org, water for African communities and education for Afghan girls. The GreaterGood.org website has a huge variety of ideas for Gifts that Give More and trust me when I tell you that when you hit that donate/buy key, you will feel a rush of satisfaction knowing that you just gave a second chance to someone who really needs it.
I didn’t buy any wrapping paper so I had a lot of fun trying to figure out how to disguise the gifts in creative ways (hello newspaper, coffee cans and tea towels!). I found joy in the journey and it was one of my most memorable holidays ever. I plan to do the same this year … Pity the one who gets pjs that smell like dark roast.
Actually – after writing all that out, I’m thinking that I may not have to leave the comfort of my couch! Just have to figure out where to keep that cow …
Do you have some sites or ideas for creative, thoughtful Christmas gifts? Do share!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
For three hours we swapped work philosophies, updated one another on our parents, our husbands and our children.
It was a little odd to cover ten years in such a short time. Our lives look quite different when they are condensed, with time and space removed. As I was explaining the twists and turns that my own life had taken, I started laughing ... it all sounded so sorted ,,, but as I explained, it felt so normal to live it.
Today when I was telling my work colleague about my dinner to reconnect with my friend, she asked me why it had been so long since we'd been in touch. I didn't have an answer. Sometimes life just happens.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Your children are not your children.From the first moments I was pregnant I had the acute sense that the life growing inside me was "on loan" -- not mine to own. I cherished the months I had my unborn baby to myself, knowing that in due time that baby would be shared with all who loved her. My babies were born, each with their own unique personalities and I was surprised by this. I had the notion that babies were born blank slates, and that we as parents would be the influence in shaping them. That was only partially true. In some ways I felt that my babies were born intact with special aspects of them already seeded. My role was to nurture that which had already been delivered, to allow and cultivate them to grow into themselves.
They are the sons and daughters
of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may house their bodies but not their souls ...
This is especially poignant. It is a good reminder that we are not parents to impose our own will, personalities and opinions on our children, but to help them develop free thought, perspective, evaluation and problem solving skills. (Easier said than done, for certain.) It is our job to love them and teach them about love and kindess ... and how to survive and thrive.
It's true ... they are merely passing through us on their life's journey. Just stopping in long enough to nourish and equip themselves before embarking on their own adventure.
And if we have played our part well, and loved them with every part of our being, then maybe, just maybe they will make home a frequent stopover on their life's travels.
They come through us - and back to us. But first we have to let them go ...
Monday, November 16, 2009
I think "the underdog" reminds us of our own frailities and insecurities. When we witness obstacles being overcome, ceilings being smashed -- the possible made possible -- we are filled with hope. Our own sense of "anything is possible" is validated.
So I guess you could say that when we are cheering on the underdog, we are cheering on a part of ourselves. Make sense?
PS -- Inspiration for the post -- I was just watching Dancing with the Stars ...
Sunday, November 15, 2009
She told me last week that she felt Africa calling. I feel it too -- but even more than Africa, I feel time calling. My daughter is on the cusp of adulthood, about to leave the family cocoon to pursue her own dreams, embark on her on life's journey. Time is at a premium and I can't think of when next we will have an opportunity to share a life altering experience. There will be no distractions; we will have only one another to turn to, to converse with (in transit anyway). I am looking as forward to the long hours we will spend on the plane as much as any other part. Kidlet is so busy that I rarely get those quiet times anymore, just to chat. I miss her, and having two older girls who have already left home, I have a better appreciation of how precious and fleeting this remaining time together is ...
Planning is underway. Excitement is growing to overflowing and I can barely believe that this dream is about to be fulfilled. Kidlet and me. Africa. It's calling -- and we're going!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I wanted to see what would be revealed if I made myself available for writing each and every day. A year later, I feel satisfied with my efforts, the joy that has been expressed, and the fulfillment I have experienced. This is a gift I gave myself.
I recently gave myself another gift ... a return to reading. And I am loving it. Last Christmas I was given a stack of favourite reads and months had gone by without me making so much as a dent in them. Next to writing, reading is one of my favourite things to do ... and I realized that unless I built it into my daily routine, it wasn't going to happen. Simple as that!
So after finishing A Thousand Splendid Suns (simply wonderful), I delved right into Say You're One of Them. I am only half way through the book, but I am enjoying it so much that I don't think I want it to end.
I am learning how to give myself the luxury of guilt free time to do things that are important to me.
Gift in aging: free to be! Life is good.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The parade of military, Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and local police, firemen and Scottish Regiments that solemnly marched behind the piper painted a colourful canvas that completely overwhelmed me. People dabbed their eyes with tissue as they passed. Collective reverance and respect -- and gratitude. It doesn't happen often enough. But today we stood still and silent as a community and refllected. I thought of the men and women who spent years in trenches, water up to their knees, who faced their "enemy" in hand to hand combat. I reflected on the waste and pain of war -- and how soldiers are called into service in our country to keep peace and help rebuild nations. I thought of wars being fought at this very second around the planet and of people who cannot lay their heads down at night without fear.
I bowed my head in silent prayer and respect. No matter how we may feel about war and the politics that go with it, we have to remember that it is our brothers and sisters (and their families) who carry the torch and bear the burden of service.
And today, my beloved maple leaf flew at half mast, her brilliant crimson cutting the gray of the day -- and she was as glorious as ever.