Sunday Evening Reflection – Reconciliation

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“The overall purpose of human communication is – or should be – reconciliation. It should ultimately serve to lower or remove the walls of misunderstanding which unduly separate us human beings, one from another.” M. Scott Peck

International Centre for Reconciliation, Coventry, UK

 

As the Year 2019 makes way for the Year 2020 to begin, I have embraced the word “reconciliation” as my mantra for the coming year.  The definition is simply, the restoration of friendly relations, a coming together in understanding and compassion.  And yet, the act of reconciliation has emotional complexities that may be difficult to overcome.  In many ways, reconciliation is an act of faith with the anticipation that there is a beginning and a fulfillment.

“Those who love, friends and lovers, know that love is not only a blinding flash, but also a long and painful struggle in the darkness for the realization of definitive recognition and reconciliation.”Albert Camus

International Centre for Reconciliation, Coventry, UK

Join me on my walk through The International Centre for Reconciliation located in Coventry Cathedral, UK.  In 1940, with the destruction of the Coventry Cathedral, a choice was made to seek reconciliation, to model and promote the power of embracing peace and empathy.

Reconciliation Coventry Cathedral from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Sunday Evening Reflection with Christina Rossetti

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“Tread softly! All the earth is holy ground.”

 Christina Rossetti

Every Christmas, I listen to poignant Christmas carol, In the Bleak Mid-Winter, which embraces the poetry of Christina Rossetti.  She entitled her poem, “A Christmas Carol.”

Christina weaves the story of the humble birth in a stable into a call to action to “do our part.”  In a few short lines of poetry, she brings together an eclectic gathering to witness this unforgettable event. Ox, ass and camel, angels, cherubim and seraphim watch over the baby.  And yet, it is the human touch of a mother’s kiss that gives the greatest sense of reverence.

Christina’s gift for poetry was encouraged by the works of those that came before.  She repaid this legacy by inspiring others who came after.   She influenced the writings of Virginia Woolf, Gerard Hopkins, Philip Larkin and Elizabeth Jennings.

Join me for a Sunday Evening Reflection with Christina Rossetti.

In The Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Sunday Evening Reflection in Emily’s Garden

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“I think that one’s art is a growth inside one. I do not think one can explain growth. It is silent and subtle. One does not keep digging up a plant to see how it grows.”  Emily Carr

Welcome to Sunday Evening Reflection.  I invite you to join me in a walk through Emily Carr’s garden, Victoria, British Columbia. It is a September day, the gentle warmth of the sun nourishes the vibrant colours of late summer.  In the air, winter is stirring, readying for the days of rest that prepare the earth for the coming of spring.

“It is hard to remember just when you first became aware of being alive. It is like looking through rain onto a bald, new lawn; as you watch, the brown is all pricked with pale green. You did not see the points pierce, did not hear the stab – there they are!” Emily Carr

 

A Walk in Emily’s Garden from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Sunday Reflection with Jean-Jacques Fournier

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Welcome to Sunday Evening Reflection. I invite you to join me on a quiet walk along the Breakwater District, Victoria, British Columbia. The Poetry of Jean-Jacques Fournier accompanies my thoughts as I look out at the distant horizon.  

 

“ Singlehood ”

– rather in between –

I contemplate

The solitude
Of single life,
And find somehow
It’s rather in between
The then and now,
Like not too hot
Or not too cold,
A sort of midway
Life and death
Tho not so bold,
A kind of lazy comfort
That goes nowhere
In a most committed way…

Don’t get me wrong
That’s not to say
It’s all without reward,
Who can deny
The pleasurable sensation
Of unbroken blissful silence,
No need to share
Or patience held be there,
No threat of deprivation
Nor succulent seclusion,
A feast without an equal
For one-way conversations!

ode to a solitude awakening…

© Jean-Jacques Fournier

“Singlehood” – rather in between – by Jean-Jacques Fournier from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

O Tannenbaum!

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“ O Christmas Tree O, Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us.
They’re green when summer days are bright;
They’re green when winter snow is white.”

Vancouver’s Christmas tree, from what I witnessed when it was being assembled in the Vancouver Art gallery plaza a few days ago,  is a masterful piece of engineering.  The cranes were in place, and the sidewalk was blocked off from pedestrians.  An attentive ground crew, along with two brave men high above the ground, worked together to secure the placement of the branches. There was even a brisk chill in the sunshine of a Vancouver afternoon that gave a nod to winter with the possibility of snow for Christmas.

December is fast approaching, the month that heralds the upcoming holiday festivities with the promise of gingerbread cookies, eggnog, and gathering of families and friends. The  music that came to me as I watched the evolving tree transformation was “O Tannenbaum.”

To be clear, Tannenbaum is a fir tree, not a Christmas tree, nor does the original lyrics refer to Christmas.   It has an old and ancient history – that is, if you consider the Renaissance to be ancient.  This is the story of how O Tannenbaum came to be a Christmas carol:

It all began with the German composer Melchior Franck, (1579 – 1639), who was both an influential and prolific composer during the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras.  One of his compositions was a Silesian folk song, “Ach Tannenbaum.”  Silesia, as I found out in a Google search,  is a historical region of Central Europe which is located mainly in present-day Poland, with small parts in the Czech Republic.

Fast forward to Joachim August Christian Zarnack, (1777 – 1827) a German preacher, teacher and – here is the important part – a collector of German folk music.  In 1819, he transformed Melchior Franck’s composition into a tragic and heartbreaking love song,  using the symbolism of a faithful and loyal fir tree in sharp contrast to the unfaithful lover.

A few short years later in 1824, Ernst Anschütz, a Leipzig organist, teacher and composer decided to add his creative touch by including two verses of his own, still keeping to the theme of the fir tree being true and faithful.   Somewhere along the way,  the word “grün” (green) was added to the lyrics.

How did “O Tannenbaum” become “O Christmas Tree.” No one knows for certain how it all happened.  It just did.  Somewhere in the 20th century, it transitioned into a new role of becoming a beloved Christmas Carol.

 

Maybe it was the magic of this holiday season.  Or… maybe a song takes on a life of its own.

O Tannenbaum, Vancouver Art Gallery from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Sunday Evening Reflection – Shetland

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“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” Khalil Gibran

Welcome to Sunday Night Reflection. I invite you to join me on a quiet walk through Kergord Woods. It is early Spring and green leaves are beginning to appear. It is a little chilly so bring along a sweater.

Kergord Woods is a symbol of resilience against Shetland’s fierce winter gales.  It is a forest that thrives since its planting in 1913 by Dr.George Munro who owned Kergord Estate. What was designed to be a shelter belt of Japanese larch, Sitka spruce, Silver fir and other species, has become a welcoming home to woodland birds.