Sunday Evening Reflection – Spring Awakening

Standard

That is one good thing about this world…there are always sure to be more springs.” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

A Spring Walk

“And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Complete Poems

Whenever I feel the uncertainty of a moment, a lingering fear of the unknown or sense of urgency, I go to nature and feel the strength of the earth under my footsteps. The trees bestow their gracious welcome as the sounds of the forest fill my soul with a peaceful silence. The sky, the wind, the sun and clouds remind me that I belong to this world. I am home.

Spring has arrived.

As a global community, we are learning to reinvent our lives. The road turned and we have come upon an unexpected detour. The path may be unclear, but we are together. And that gives me great comfort. Join me on my nature walk and consider the words of the poet, Mary Oliver.

Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.” Mary Oliver

The promise of spring.

Celebrating Hat Day on A Snow Day

Standard

“Some hats can only be worn if you’re willing to be jaunty, to set them at an angle and to walk beneath them with a spring in your stride as if you’re only a step away from dancing. They demand a lot of you.”

Neil Gaiman

January 15th is National Hat Day, an unofficial holiday that celebrates one of the most essential accessories invented centuries ago.  Even the Egyptians sported sassy headgear, along with the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

Think of Winston Churchill’s hat, the homburg, a felt hat with an elegant curved brim boasting a grosgrain ribbon.  And recall Napoleon’s bicorne, which he wore sideways to stamp his brand for all to see his courage on the battlefield. I remember Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat, classic and elegant.  Then there was the famous Panama Hat worn by President Theodore Roosevelt when he was visiting the Panama Canal excavation.  My most favourite “hat” fashionista is Queen Elizabeth II, long may she reign.  Her signature style of matching hat and gloves with a string pearls is timeless and graceful.

Vancouver was under snow today and there is more snow in the forecast.   Winter has arrived and I had the perfect hat to keep me warm on a snow day!

 

 

Sunday Evening Reflection with Christina Rossetti

Standard

 

“Tread softly! All the earth is holy ground.”

 Christina Rossetti

Every Christmas, I listen to poignant Christmas carol, In the Bleak Mid-Winter, which embraces the poetry of Christina Rossetti.  She entitled her poem, “A Christmas Carol.”

Christina weaves the story of the humble birth in a stable into a call to action to “do our part.”  In a few short lines of poetry, she brings together an eclectic gathering to witness this unforgettable event. Ox, ass and camel, angels, cherubim and seraphim watch over the baby.  And yet, it is the human touch of a mother’s kiss that gives the greatest sense of reverence.

Christina’s gift for poetry was encouraged by the works of those that came before.  She repaid this legacy by inspiring others who came after.   She influenced the writings of Virginia Woolf, Gerard Hopkins, Philip Larkin and Elizabeth Jennings.

Join me for a Sunday Evening Reflection with Christina Rossetti.

In The Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Friendships with Commas

Standard

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

Standard

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

 

Cherry Blossoms Welcome April

Standard

“Between our two lives
there is also the life of
the cherry blossom.”
Matsuo Bashō

The cherry blossoms grace our lane ways and gardens, welcoming April, the month that was, in ancient Rome, sacred to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. April is the month that gave us Leonardo da Vinci, William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth and, more recently, Wangari Maathai, Maya Angelou and Ella Fitzgerald.  There is a warmth in the chill of an April evening, perfect for the beginning of journeys as immortalized in Geoffrey Chaucer’s, The Canterbury Tales.

What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms.”
Kobayashi Issa

For me, April has always been about cherry blossoms.  Vancouver is renowned for our approximately 50,000 cherry trees, which flower in varying shades of pink and white.  Every year, we hold a Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.

“In the cherry blossom’s shade
there’s no such thing
as a stranger.”
Kobayashi Issa

The cherry blossom is Japan’s national flower that has given birth to hanami, a century-old custom that is said to have its origins in the Nara period (710-794) which simply means flower viewing.  Families and friends gather under the canopy of flowering cherry trees to share a meal and gaze up at the delicate white and pink against a pristine sky of blue. Nighttime brings out the paper lanterns that people carefully place in the trees to add a spectacular illumination, which highlights the profound idea of the ephemeral nature of life. The blossoms come for a moment to bestow a graceful elegance,  covering pathways with petals, then, slipping away with the silent promise to return the next year.

So, my dear friends, I invite you to join me under the canopy of a Vancouver cherry tree.

Cherry Blossoms from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

 

“Cherry blossoms – lights of years past.”
Matsuo Bashō