Celebrating World Photography Day 2018

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“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long a we remember it.” L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

Photography has changed the way we visualize our lives in retrospective.

A photo holds the story behind the sunrise, the emotions of a wedding day, the hope for a sleeping newborn resting against a mother’s shoulder.

Photography stops time so that we can return again and again to the moment.

This photo, taken many years ago, brings back the ocean breeze that tossed my hair, the bright sunshine that penetrated my sunglasses, the white sand that invaded my sandals, and the delightful companionship of the photographer, who continues to share my life’s journey for over forty years.

May we continue to leave our footprints in the “pixel sands” of time.

Happy World Photography Day!

Kâkesimokamik – The Healing Garden

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Kâkesimokamik in Cree means “healing garden”.  There is a rich symbolism of nature held safe within the garden.  This is a spiritual place that brings together the earth, sky, water and air.

August 9, 2018 celebrates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which came into being by the General Assembly of the United Nations resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994.   This marked the beginning of the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People proclaimed for the decade, 1995 to 2004.   A Second International Decade occurred from 2005 – 2015, with the theme of “A Decade for Action and Dignity.”

This year, I celebrated International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples by visiting “The Healing Garden” in St Albert, Alberta.

The Healing Garden was officially opened on Friday, September 15, 2017.  It is a place of peace and comfort, a testament to St. Albert’s commitment to healing and reconciliation.

Situated along the scenic Red Willow Trail across from St. Albert Place, The Healing Garden is “to be a place of truth and reconciliation, a visible sign of our community’s commitment to walk in right relations with First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples, and with all Nations.”

May we continue to celebrate inclusivity and diversity, experiencing the profound healing power of reconciliation in our lives and within our communities.

Celebrating International Friendship Day

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“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Canada Day

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July 1st is a special day for Canadians. We are celebrating the anniversary of July 1, 1867 when we became a Dominion. The Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867) united our three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into a single Dominion.

Join me on a walk along the Vancouver Seawall and meet up with my friends, the family of Canadian Geese. It seems they know how to enjoy a day of relaxation even when they are positioned on the edge of the busy bike-path

“My dream is for people around the world to look up and to see Canada like a little jewel sitting at the top of the continent.” Tommy Douglas, Father of Medicare, Premier of Saskatchewan 1944-1961

Happy Earth Day – Thank you!

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Thank you!

Thank you!

Whenever I look at the world around me, I feel gratitude to those who share the wonder of our world and work together to preserve it for those who come after us.

Thank you!

Thank you!

“We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.”  W. H. Auden

Thank you!

Thank you!

World Art Day – A Declaration of Spirit

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Today, it is World Art Day (WAD).  And what better day to celebrate than the 564th birthday of Leonardo da Vinci.  Why WAD?  After all, we are surrounded by art and creative accomplishments on a daily basis.  But to set aside a day for the whole world to participate, to party, to enjoy – that is an entirely different happening. It is collective resolve to become involved in the full measure of artistic expression. It is offering art to those we love.

Dr. Elizabeth Elliott - Declaration of Spirit

Dr. Elizabeth Elliott – Declaration of Spirit

Art is a profound reflection of what we hold dear, symbolizing our values and belief systems.  When we experience art, we enter the whole of human experience.  Today, I want to offer a glimpse of this thought with art that celebrates the memory of Dr. Elizabeth Elliott,  Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Centre for Restorative Justice at the School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University.

The corridors of SFU have a peaceful reverence on Sundays mornings.  This is when I visit the totem pole that is dedicated to the “compassionate and courageous spirit of Dr. Elizabeth Elliott.”

Carved by two First Nation men in 2011, nearby signage describes the symbols that are embodied in this remarkable artwork:

“A single female figure is wrapped in the wings of an eagle, whose strength and wisdom guide a journey honouring social justice and human dignity. Leading the way is a tiny hummingbird, whose grace and tenacity opens our heart in the face of injustice.  The figure holds a bowl of water for the hummingbirds, who with a single drop, and then another and another, can make a difference.”

I have never met Dr. Elizabeth Elliott, but I feel a connection through the creative endeavour that honours her memory.

Let us continue to offer art to those we love.

Acknowledgements: Tsleil-Waututh Nation; Men of Ferndale Institution who honoured Dr. Elliott; Correctional Service of Canada; Alex Paul, Spiritual Elder