Bike the Night Vancouver

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Cycling has become a major player in responding to the need to seek the cleanest and most energy efficient forms of transportation. With every push on the bike pedal, we are the energy creators. It is the best of all solutions, for we respond to two imperatives: embracing a healthy lifestyle all the while seeking solutions to safeguard our precious world.

Serendipity is timely. On my evening walk up to my local grocery store, something exciting was happening.

Bike the Night, Vancouver

Bike the Night, presented by MEC, brings out over 5,000 cyclists, young, old and in-between, to ride through the streets of Vancouver. Starting at 8pm, riders embark on a 10-kilometer journey through the open streets of Vancouver. Even the Burrard Street Bridge is closed for the event.

 

The excitement and energy is unmistakable and compelling. The spirit of adventure comes through the lights, glowing reflectors and stickers. Bike the Night lights up Vancouver.

Come and join the party!

The Legacy of Callum and Fury

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I am celebrating International Dog Day by going back to my first visit to the National Galleries Scotland, located in the heart of a vibrant Edinburgh. It was during the height of the Fringe Festival and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, when the Royal Mile is filled with festivities, laughter, and excited tourists (I include me in that description). Inside the Gallery, there was a tranquility marked by an occasional hushed comment.

I happened to look up as I passed through an archway. That was the moment when I saw the painting of Callum by John Emms, 1895. What I had stumbled upon by “looking up” was a profound connection between a man and his dog.

Callum, John Emms (1843 – 1912)

Callum, was a Dandie Dinmont terrier owned by Mr. James Cowan Smith. The painting was a bequest of James Cowan Smith in 1919. According to the Gallery notation:

“Mr James Cowan Smith bequeathed £55,000 to the National Gallery of Scotland in 1919. This enormous amount formed an important trust fund for acquisitions. His bequest had two conditions: the first that the Gallery provided for his dog Fury, who survived him; the second that Emms’ picture of his previous dog Callum should always be hung in the Gallery. Both conditions were fulfilled, and although Fury is long since dead, Callum still hangs in the Gallery in memory of his owner.”

The legacy of £55,000 provided funds to purchase invaluable art work, including Constable’s Dedham Vale, and Sargent’s Lady Agnew and Goya’s El Medico.

I wonder if there is a painting of Fury. Always a mystery to solve…

Happy International Dog day. Let’s celebrate!

Callum, John Emms (1843 – 1912)

Sunday Reflection: The Best is Yet to Be…

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Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”

Robert Browning

The Best is Yet to Be…

Friendships with Commas

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A long-time friend once said to me, “We have a friendship, with commas.”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“It means that, no matter how much time has passed, we pick up our conversation where we left off. There are no “periods” in our friendship timeline.”

This memory floated into my thoughts as I was reaching high above my head to capture a photo of a flowers.

What I love most about flowers is their willingness to bloom, without receiving anything in return. There is no quid pro quo. They bloom because that is what they were meant to do. They arrive in season, without commas, welcoming us to enjoy their moment in the sun.

Georgia O’Keeffe wrote: “Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”

May our time be fill with many commas.

Join me in walking in the St. Albert’s Botanical Garden. You need to take a rain hat, because it is raining!

The Art Road

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Every child is an artist.  The problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”

Pablo Picasso

The Art Road from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Vancouver winters and early springs bring an abundance of rain, with heavy clouds surrounding our mountains.  The wind is brisk, but not cold, and there is an  invigorating moisture in the air. When I leave home, I contemplate whether I should take an umbrella or not.  The day that I first discovered what I now call, The Art Road along the Vancouver Seawall,  I chose my camera over umbrella.

It was a good decision…

The Vancouver Seawall from Cambie Bridge to Olympic Village had been turned into a mural extravaganza, seemingly overnight. The City of Vancouver and BC Housing created an innovative way to use art to conceal construction work.  Even more exciting,  they featured artwork by grade 6 and 7 students from the False Creek Elementary School.

Look closely at the artwork embedded with stories and symbolism.

 

An inukshuk, a landmark built for use by the Inuit, recognizing the diversity of cultural heritages.


 

A salmon in flight, signifying our responsibility to the environment.

 

 

Our water taxi, Aquabus, with mountains and the Burrard bridge in the background, representing the roads and waterways that connect our communities.

 

 

The Vancouver Skyline, a reminder that our city is growing and evolving.

 

 

The Canadian Flag, celebrating our great nation.

 

 

The Peace Symbol, accepting our responsibility to our  global community.

 

Children have the power to transform our world, even at a young age.  May we celebrate their work and validate their creative spirit.  Remember Pablo Picasso’s mother:

“When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll be the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”

Pablo Picasso

 

The Story Pole

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All that we are is story. From the moment we are born to the time we continue on our spirit journey, we are involved in the creation of the story of our time here.”

Richard Wagamese

June 21, 2019, Canada is celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day (French: Journée nationale des peuples autochtones) to recognize the vibrant cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada. Festivities are happening all across our nation.

Join me as I commemorate this day with the Story Pole which was placed in Beacon Hill Park and dedicated to the City of Victoria on July 2, 1956

Majestic, resilient, a silent storyteller that overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The Story Pole was carved by a team led by Mungo Martin, Kwakiutl tribal chief and renowned carver.  At the time of its creation, it was the world’s tallest free-standing Story Pole or Totem Pole, rising into the sky nearly 128 feet or close to 39 meters.

Totem poles are monumental carvings that hold stories that remember ancestors, symbolize legends, preserve cultural beliefs and speak of historical events. They welcome visitors, even as they care for the well-being of the community. Carved from large trees, mostly western red cedar, by First Nations and indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast, tradition calls for totem poles to return to the earth from where they first came. So it will be with this Story Pole.

There is an end to their natural lives, but their stories live on.

“It is what we arrive with. It is all we leave behind. We are not the things we accumulate. We are not the things we deem important. We are story. All of us. What comes to matter then is the creation of the best possible story we can while we’re here; you, me, us, together. When we can do that and we take the time to share those stories with each other, we get bigger inside, we see each other, we recognize our kinship – we change the world, one story at a time…”

Richard Wagamese

 

Story Pole from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.