Celebrating International Wetlands Day

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“I believe you should try to help your community if you’re fortunate enough to have that opportunity. I think you should leave something behind.”

John E. Poole (1917-2007)

Today is World Wetlands Day. I am celebrating by remembering a day in October 2017 when I walked along the interpretative trail and boardwalk of the John E. Poole Wetlands near St. Albert, Alberta.

The air was pure Alberta, Canada.

The snow had not yet arrived but there was the unmistakable hint of the cold winter that would soon blanket the area. Vancouver is surrounded by the majesty of mountains, but Edmonton and St. Albert are encircled by a big sky that goes on to an infinite horizon.

John Poole died in his 90th year, suddenly and peacefully on January 22, 2007, after a joyous family birthday celebration. Thirty years before in 1977, he sold his construction company to its employees, which is now known as PCL Construction. The company continues to be 100 percent owned by employee shareholders across Canada, the United States, and Australia.

John Poole devoted his retirement years to philanthropy and was beloved for his knowledge, creativity and humanity. In 2009, Ducks Unlimited and PCL Construction announced the creation of the John E. Poole Conservation Fund to help preserve wetlands throughout the province.

World Wetlands Day is held annually on February 2nd, to commemorate the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands called the Ramsar Convention on February 2, 1971. The Convention is the intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

The John E. Poole Wetland is a call to action. The preservation of our wetlands is safeguarding life on our planet. Wetlands are biologically diverse ecosystems that provide habitat for many species, serve as buffers on the coast against storms and flooding, and naturally filter water by breaking down or transforming harmful pollutants.

This is our time, our watch – may we celebrate our wetlands by seeking environmental solutions in our daily lives. We can make a difference.

Join me in walking the John E. Poole Wetland:

My dear friends, The Fab Four of Cley, were celebrating World Wetland Day too! We belong to a compassionate blogging community that spans the globe!
https://fabfourblog.com/2019/02/01/world-wetland-day/

Between Celebrations

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The week between December 25 and New Year’s Eve is a time of respite. After the excitement generated by the joyful lead-up to Christmas, December 26 signals a time to take a breath, and welcome the coming winter months that entice us with a stack of books and copious amounts of tea.

The streets and stores have quieted, waiting for New Year’s festivities to begin. Even Granville Island has taken on a charming calmness.

Granville Island in December

A colourful day-planner is close at hand, open to January 2019, with Karen Lamb’s call to action, “A year from now you may wish you had started today” on the first page.   Usually, I use my on-line calendar to keep track of my important events and engagements, but this year I decided that the act of writing would add to “living the moments.”    Especially now, that 2019 is the last year of a remarkable decade, to be replaced by 2020.

Granville Island in December

As we await the coming of 2019, may we enjoy these in-between days.  There will be time for busyness.  But for this special time, I am resting up for the adventures and conversations that await us in a New Year.

Happy New Year!

Granville Island – Christmas from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Labyrinth – A Christmas Celebration

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Christmas Eve has arrived.  The streets are less crowded as people gather in homes to celebrate this special season.  Walking home via the Vancouver Seawall, my husband and I came across a lone artist working with absolute focus on a complex Christmas tree labyrinth of brightly coloured chalk against a large open walkway in Olympic Village.  Without doubt, it is a labour of love, a gift to our community.

The definition of labyrinth is a complicated irregular network of passages or paths in which it is difficult to find one’s way. Walking the maze – I couldn’t resist the challenge – was a reminder that we experience complexity and ambiguity.  Many times, we face crossroads and competing alternatives that shroud the road ahead.  And yet, it is the challenge that makes life interesting, the moments meaningful.  Time passes, new opportunities arise.

As we look forward to 2019, may we embrace the labyrinths that come our way.

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.

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.