Sunday Evening Reflection: Who has seen the wind?

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The wind and trees have a special relationship. Together, they create exquisite music that comes with fluttering leaves and waving branches. The fresh air that trees bestow on this earth brings a sense of well-being.  A recent Instagram post by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization stated that “studies show that trees boost happiness and reduce stress levels.”

Trees are the vital source of fruits, medicines, oxygen.  They decrease the greenhouse effect and prevent soil erosion, which in turn prevents water pollution.  Under the shade of trees, wildlife find protection.

Tonight, I am celebrating trees with poetry by Christina Georgina Rossetti.  Embracing the dance of the wind and trees.

Who has seen the wind?

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

 

 

Sunday Evening Reflection: Desiderata

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“You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

 

Tonight, I am going back in time to the moment I first heard Desiderata, which is Latin for “things desired”.

It was the beginning of a new year and a new decade – 1970.

A poster designed to look like ancient parchment with the Desiderata written boldly in an elegant script was a treasured purchase. It remained on my study desk for inspiration and traveled with me to college a few years later.

2020, the Desiderata continues to be relevant as I look forward to the years ahead.  It is a new year and a new decade.

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann Recitation by Rebecca Budd from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

 

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, 1948

Sunday Evening Reflection – Canada in Winter

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Canadian winters are legendary.  Think Snowmageddon St. John’s Newfoundland this past weekend and Edmonton, Alberta’s coldest morning of this century: Wednesday morning (January 15, 2020) when the temperature set a record  of – 37.8 degrees Celsius.  I grew up in Northern Manitoba where the average temperature in January is considered “severely cold.”  So, when Vancouver had a winter storm warning this past week, it felt like we had joined the rest of Canada.

I love our winters – the snow, cold air, the fresh smell.  Yes, I can smell when snow is in the forecast.

Canadians know how to embrace the cold!

  • Buy boots with removable liners and be sure that your feet don’t feel cramped.
  • Wear a hat and cover your face. I learned firsthand what it felt like to have frozen cheeks.
  • Buy a thermos so that you can bring along a hot drink if you are walking. You will notice that I have a stash of regular and herbal tea on hand in winter months.
  • Protect your hands. While I love gloves, mittens are even better for keeping your fingers warm.
  • And if you are in cold, cold, cold weather, check out those fashionable fleeced-line leggings. Your legs will thank you.

Vancouver’s snow is disappearing with the rain, but I captured the moment.  Join me on my snow walk.

Celebrating Hat Day on A Snow Day

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“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!

 

 

All Aboard

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It’s January which means resolution time.

And of course, my exercise program is firmly in place, set to begin tomorrow, or the next day or the next.  You know how it is when the winter sets in and the tea, cozy chair and stack of books are in desperate need of our immediate attention.

But I was inspired by the “All Aboard” crowd at Granville Island.  Now this would be an amazing exercise program.

All Aboard, Mini-Ramp Pilot Project, Granville Island

I was even more impressed by the “All Aboard” pilot project that “demonstrates the need for a publicly accessible, dry, well lit, safe and fun skateboard facility in Vancouver during the winter months.

Happy exercising! (And reading, too!)

All Aboard from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Sunday Reflection: Walking the Red Willow Trail

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“There comes . . . a longing never to travel again except on foot.”

Wendell Berry, Remembering

Red Willow Trail, St. Albert, Alberta

I live in Vancouver.  It has been my home for many years, and it is highly likely that I will grow old in a city that has always been kind to me.

And yet, St. Albert, Alberta, the city that is known as The Botanical Arts City is an enticing possibility.

Founding in 1861, St. Albert is the oldest non-fortified community in Alberta and is now the sixth largest city in Alberta.  It is home to the International Children’s Festival, the Arden Theatre that hosts over 150 performances a year,  and The St. Albert Botanic Park, dedicated to the collection, cultivation and display of a wide range of plants labelled with their scientific names.  And have I mentioned that the Outdoor Farmers’ Market, held in downtown St. Albert, is Western Canada’s largest outdoor farmers’ market.

Now you see why I am tempted.

Red Willow Trail, St. Albert, Alberta

The Red Willow Trail system stretches down the river valley connecting to the City’s major parks and neighbourhoods. Join me as I walk the Red Willow Trail System heading down to the farmer’s market

Walking the Red Willow Trail from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.