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!

Artists in a Rose Garden

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“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”

Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib

Artists in a Rose Garden from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

I have always considered the month of June a synonym for roses, for it is in this special time that the fragrance of this flower is especially sweet and enticing.  There is a fresh green to the leaves, a steadfastness to the petals that attracts the gentle buzz of bees. The sun has yet to show the heat of a summer’s day, the breeze still holds a crispness of late spring.

There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Gather the rose of love whilst yet is time.     

Edmund Spenser

A ChasingART series on “Artists in the Garden” explores the connection between nature and the creative spirit.  Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Gustav Klimt  and Paul Cézanne intuitively understood that gardens have restorative power to inspire, heal and bring a calmness that encourages freedom of thought. The intermingling of sun, soil, seeds, and water brings forth new life, even as an artist gives birth to an internal vision that seeks an outlet.

But the rose leaves herself upon the brier, For winds to kiss and grateful bees to feed.

John Keats

Gardens continue to work their seemingly magical powers.  A few days ago, I happened upon a rose garden with artists situated throughout the pathways, intent on their artistic endeavours.

 

I invite you to join me on my walk through a rose garden…

 

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.

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.

53 Seconds

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53 Seconds of Meditation.

Meditation has been defined as engaging in mental exercise, breathing deeply and repeatably so as to reach a special and elevated understanding of our place in the fast-paced, mercurial world that surrounds us.

Reflections, pondering or whatever you believe meditation to be – definitions are easier than the practical application. Simply because of our time-constraints and responsibilities. Our minds are active throughout the day, and according to brain research, achieve heightened activity in sleep.

Today, this is my way of slowing down! Happy meditating.

Stopping Time

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“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”  Anaïs Nin

I have often thought of this quote by Anaïs Nin – not in the context of a writer, but in the framework of a photo. Ever since Joseph Nicephore Niepce clicked the first photo in 1814, humanity has been beguiled by the ability to capture something important.  It is our only way to stop time, to remember our journeys, and proclaim that we have lived, felt love, endured challenges and sustained losses.

I confess that I am a “photo hoarder.”  Yes, even the photos that I consider “second best” remain safely stored on external drives in hopes that some day there may be an editing program that will be invented that will enhance and bring out their beauty. By beauty, I mean the emotional impression of that event.

Just last week, I went back to “taste life twice.”  The year was 2004.  I had purchased my first digital camera, a Canon Powershot A70, for a long-awaited trip to Italy to enroll in a 3-week Italian language course.  The reviews were as generous as I was enthusiastic: “The PowerShot A70 is much more than just a 3.2-megapixel version of its predecessor, the A40.”   I was convinced that this was an excellent purchase.

With a camera in hand, there is added emotional drama at play, more clarity, more interest in the “now.”  This awareness was most keenly felt when I walked the lush paths of Frederick Stibbert’s Garden.  It was a late October afternoon. A gentle light settled on the trees and aging walls, a faint wind tossed the leaves.  A quiet solitude lifted my spirits.  I had recently finished an arduous academic journey and was at a crossroads.

Looking back on these photos, I remember a pivotal decision, made with a recognition that we move in tune with the music of time, surrounded by those who came before and those who will come after. Our myths, our struggles, our joys are intermingled.  Perhaps it is in the retrospective, in knowing what happened afterwards, that reveals a greater understanding.  And with that knowledge, we move forward with profound resolve to embrace the next moment.