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

 

Cherry Blossoms Welcome April

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“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

World Water Day – Leaving No One Behind

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March 22, 2019 celebrated World Water Day, which is the annual UN observance day that highlights the importance of freshwater. The day is used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.  I am writing this on March 23, 2019 to reaffirm my commitment to participate in this important dialogue.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right.

Water Day 2019 – This year’s call to action is to leave no one behind:

Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. But today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive.

Living Water Smart provides the B.C. Government’s vision for sustainable water stewardship and sets the direction for changes to water management and water use. These changes are crucial for adapting to climate change impacts and the pressures placed on water resources from a growing population and economy.

Water from Rebecca Budd aka ClanmotherA

The Journey into Silence

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“Silence is a source of great strength.” Lao Tzu

 

This month, I am following my dear friends, The World According to Dina, Leaping Tracks and Silkannthreades into silence. For most of us, this is entering unfamiliar territory. We have become accustomed to sound, whether it be the soothing lilt of music, the white noise of traffic, urgent text message notifications, or the inevitable clamour of an alarm clock. At the same time, our affinity with silence has lessened to the point that we are uneasy in what seems to be a “void.” Consider how we rush to fill a conversation when there is a lapse into silence.

Silence is a complete absence of sound, something which very few of us will ever experience. City dwellers will always have the company of noise.  Nature offers the echoes of ocean waves crashing along a shoreline, wind rattling the trees, rain pelting the ground, voices of animals and the songs of birds. And the universe – even interstellar space is filled with noise.

I am discovering that silence can be reached when we allow the noise to drift away, when we relinquish the message conveyed by the incoming signal. In so doing, we open ourselves to new possibilities and outcomes.

In the end, silence is a personal journey, an inner conversation, an open invitation to explore and celebrate.

“I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” Chaim Potok

 

Finding Silence within a City Garden from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Conversations in the Sky

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“There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.”
Michel de MontaigneA GatheringThere is a stretch along the Vancouver Seawall where great conversations are held.  The voices, loud and impetuous, are heard from great distances.  But it is only in the winter that we are able to see the participants.  Every day, they gather to discuss the events of the day, their animated caws reverberating across the bare branches.  They are a community that allows for forthright discussions.  And then, in unison, they stretch out their wings and make their way home.

A Conversation