Surrender

This kept calling until I surrendered
These kept calling until I shared my morning coffee with them.

 Morning through bedroom window

Tree and sun say, “Come.

Be present in reflection.”

I enjoy my back yard often looking at the migrating birds, but only occasionally do I go out and be present to it. Mowing the lawn or pulling weeds out from between patio stones represent the lion’s share of my back yard activity. I promised myself to get out there and enjoy.

The above sugar maple tree is now the best tree in the yard. It seems to be recovering nicely from the ice storm damage and happy to be out from under the ash.

After an early treadmill and tai chi session I made coffee and a usual light breakfast. I forgot about the back yard, but the autumn-coloured maple and spectacular sky stubbornly appeared again reflected in our glass-topped breakfast nook table as I sat reading and sipping. I couldn’t resist this second beckoning.

Barefoot, I went down the deck stairs and set out a very old redwood chair on the cool, dewy lawn. We slowly lost a 40 foot white ash tree to the invasive Emerald Ash Borer. Sadly, we had the ash removed last fall. I sat on the space where the ash once stood, enjoying the lovely, eclectic gardens that Anita has created and nurtured since we moved here in 1985.

I finished Helen Oyeyemi’s wonderful book, The Opposite House, in that chair. This book has contributed much to my sense of interconnectedness. Having appreciated interconnectedness for a long time, this morning I felt it with profound emotion. I could even smell the remains of the tree beneath me – or at least the fungus that was gently consuming its roots. It said “I am not all gone, just changed, and you are not alone.”

A bee checked out my coffee mug on the arm of the chair. I relaxed, grateful, in its company. I swatted no mosquitoes and, surprisingly, they did not take advantage.

Microcosm

DSC09343crop4x6

Two and one are here

Sanctuary here, and joy

Sun and moon, and more

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This photo, as I worked on it and after, sent me into a reflection on life and its symbols. So many aspects. So many important things.

What do you see here?

South America Trip.2

OK. Still not about South America yet, but I warned you last time. Anyway – if I hadn’t gone to teach in Trinidad in 1965, I probably wouldn’t have done the two month South America trip in 1967. So kindly bear with me, or, if not, feel free to skip to the end of this post or go elsewhere with my good wishes and abject apologies.
Boarding The Plane in September 1965 Boarding The Plane in September 1965

Our West Indies CUSO volunteer contingent (young adults with university degrees or special skills who had selected to serve in the sunny Caribbean over more distant sunny places like Malaysia, India or Tanzania – about two dozen of us in all) assembled at Ottawa’s international airport on a very chilly morning in early September, 1965. We climbed an outside ladder, waved to our loved ones and entered Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson’s Canadair North Star. This was not a jet, but a plane powered by four Rolls-Royce Merlin propeller engines. They were proudly termed “turbo-props,” whatever enhancements that meant. Still slow and noisy compared to modern jet planes. Simpler times. It took us 19 hours of island hopping before our 8-member Trinidad contingent arrived at Piarco Airport in Port of Spain, the North Star’s last stop. Continue reading “South America Trip.2”

Open Our Hearts – A Song

Eunate Church near Óbanos, Navarre
Eunate Church near Óbanos, Navarre

Open Our Hearts is a religious song I wrote years ago for our church’s Lenten liturgy. I’ve added photos from our recent Camino Santiago in April and May, 2013. There are more songs (not all religious) to come; I add them when the spirit moves… You will find the ones I’ve “You-Tubed” on the My Songs page. You-Tubing my music files is “hard work,” which is why they aren’t all up yet…

Respecting Serendipity

Muskoka Loon – 2008

It is so easy to diminish a blessing by hoping too hard that it will happen again. Instead, we should respect and appreciate fully how lucky we were to have experienced that blessed event. To expect it to happen again is to diminish the specialness of the first experience. It can also decrease the potential for ongoing joy that remembering the unique encounter can give us, and replace this joy with disappointment.
This can happen in something we consider to be terribly important, such as romantic love. More often, however, it is with everyday things. Continue reading “Respecting Serendipity”

Cars With Fins And Sharks Without Them…

In October, 2004 I turned 60 and posted this blog of memories:

I was born on October 25th, 1944, which makes me 60 years old on Monday, please God. That sobering fact cries out for a blog of some sort.

Yes, I, dear reader, predate the end of World War II, the end of the Nazi death camps, the modern, and quite persistent, state of Israel and the age of TV. I have some very early memories, such as:

  1. being too shy (at 3) to visit my father in the hospital after his heart attack, after he had been in for months with no visits from children allowed. The treatment of HA’s is so much smarter now. I know that from personal experience
  2. burning my finger with an electric cigarette lighter (at 4) in the back of my Uncle Bill’s car because I trusted my cousin Jo-Ann when she said that it wasn’t hot after the red colour went away
  3. hoping there would never be another war in which I would have to fight and possibly die (I escaped, but TV reminds me constantly of those who don’t)
  4. being talked into trading, by some shyster in grade 1, my Maurice Richard hockey card for two or three others not worthy to tie his skates Continue reading “Cars With Fins And Sharks Without Them…”