Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”
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!
“Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”
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.”
“All that we are is story. From the moment we are born to the time we continue on our spirit journey, we are involved in the creation of the story of our time here.”
June 21, 2019, Canada is celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day (French: Journée nationale des peuples autochtones) to recognize the vibrant cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada. Festivities are happening all across our nation.
Join me as I commemorate this day with the Story Pole which was placed in Beacon Hill Park and dedicated to the City of Victoria on July 2, 1956
Majestic, resilient, a silent storyteller that overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The Story Pole was carved by a team led by Mungo Martin, Kwakiutl tribal chief and renowned carver. At the time of its creation, it was the world’s tallest free-standing Story Pole or Totem Pole, rising into the sky nearly 128 feet or close to 39 meters.
Totem poles are monumental carvings that hold stories that remember ancestors, symbolize legends, preserve cultural beliefs and speak of historical events. They welcome visitors, even as they care for the well-being of the community. Carved from large trees, mostly western red cedar, by First Nations and indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast, tradition calls for totem poles to return to the earth from where they first came. So it will be with this Story Pole.
There is an end to their natural lives, but their stories live on.
“It is what we arrive with. It is all we leave behind. We are not the things we accumulate. We are not the things we deem important. We are story. All of us. What comes to matter then is the creation of the best possible story we can while we’re here; you, me, us, together. When we can do that and we take the time to share those stories with each other, we get bigger inside, we see each other, we recognize our kinship – we change the world, one story at a time…”
“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
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.
Gather the rose of love whilst yet is time.
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.
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…
“On World Oceans Day, people around our blue planet celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all. Get together with your family, friends, community, and the planet to start creating a better future. Working together, we can and will protect our shared ocean. Join this growing global celebration on 8 June!”
Today, I am celebrating our oceans, that wide expanse of blue that bestows an abundance of benefits to humanity.
Oceans resonate with our creative spirit. We feel alive when the salt air touches our face and a brisk wind buffets our bodies. We revel in the sounds of waves splashing against the shoreline, recognizing we stand on the edge of an infinite grandness.
Oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface, regulating our climate and weather patterns. The ocean produces over 50% of the world’s oxygen and stores 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. Oceans offer a pharmacopoeia of medicines, ingredients that fight cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s diseases and heart disease. More than one billion people depend upon the ocean for sustenance. Nearly 50% of the world’s population lives within a coastal zone and are engaged in ocean-based businesses to support their families. From an economic perspective, oceans are the shipping routes for 90% of international trade.
Without oceans, we would not survive.
We live in a complex time where climate change, shrinking resources, and population growth are challenging us to participate in creating sustainable communities.
Everyone has a vital role to play, beginning with celebrating our precious oceans.
“For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.”