We live in times of uncertainty, but of one thing I am certain: We can create compassionate communities wherever we are. I am grateful for my blogging community. We have learned how to forge connections across the globe. Together, we have built a virtual community that supports and encourages, shares knowledge and wisdom, fosters hope and resilience.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
Celebrating Valentine’s Day is about gratitude for love and friendship
Thank you to my writer friends who have created stories that give meaning to my days.
Thank you to the artists who have shared their vision with the world.
Thank you to the poets, philosophers, teachers and mentors, who have challenged me to think deeply and embrace new knowledge.
To all my family and friends who live close and far. Your support and encouragement has given strength, beauty and wisdom to my journey.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
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!
“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
“Courage Merry, courage for our friends! – Eowyn”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
“I’m glad I’m with you, here at the end of all things, Sam.” – Frodo
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
J.R.R. Tolkien lost his mother at an early age. Friendships were to be a steadying influence throughout his life. He was a member of the famous Inklings, a literary society that included among the notables, C.S. Lewis and his elder brother Warren Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams and Tolkien’s son, Christopher. There was an earlier society, The T.C.B.S. (Tea Club, Barrovian Society) named after their meeting place at the Barrow Stores. The T.C.B.S. members continued to correspond closely, exchanging and critiquing each other’s literary work until 1916. WWI took a toll on this band of brothers. Two of his friends, Robert Gilson and Geoffrey Smith, were not destined to outlive the war. In Geoffrey Smith’s last letter to J.R.R. Tolkien, the message was prophetic: “Yes, publish… You I am sure are chosen, like Saul among the Children of Israel. Make haste, before you come out to this orgy of death cruelty… May God bless you, John Ronald, and may you say the things I have tried to say long after I am not here to say them, if such is my lot.”
In his writings, J.R.R. Tolkien celebrated and acknowledged the great deeds that were done in the name of friendship. He made good on his promise to his much-loved friend, Geoffrey Smith.
“When you have nobody you can make a cup of tea for, when nobody needs you, that’s when I think life is over.” Audrey Hepburn
The art of making tea is not about getting the water temperature right, or setting the table with rare and delicate China teacups, or serving the most expensive tea. It is about taking care of each other and creating an atmosphere where fellowship is welcome and honoured. It is not about being served tea – it is the humble task of serving it to another fellow traveler. In doing so, our life has meaning, relevance and purpose.