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.

Sunday Evening Reflection: Klapa Music in Croatia

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The Vancouver winter storm was to be over in an afternoon.  And yet, here I am in the late evening looking out my window onto a street full of snow, with more coming overnight.  It is a lovely sight, especially from my warm perch with a cup of tea close by. Tomorrow, everyone (including me) will be out with their cameras determined to capture the layers of snow.

Tonight, I chose to leave Vancouver and head over to memories of Croatia, where I discovered Klapa music.  Well, to be honest, I did not know it was Klapa music until a few days ago when I met up with my Croatian neighbour.  When I showed her my video, tears came to her as she remembered her homeland. It is a magnificent blend of voices that resonate with exuberance and power.

Klapa is a form of traditional a cappella singing that comes from Dalmatia, Croatia. In 2012, Klapa was inscribed in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Klapa speaks of love, life and home.

“Klapa singing is a multipart singing tradition of the southern Croatian regions of Dalmatia. Multipart singing, a capella homophonic singing, oral tradition and simple music making are its main features. The leader of each singing group is the first tenor, followed by several tenori, baritoni and basi voices. During performances, the singers stand in a tight semicircle. The first tenor starts the singing and is followed by the others. The main aim is to achieve the best possible blend of voices.”

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Welcome to a new week.  May your days be filled with music of love, life and home.

 

 

 

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.

Sunday Evening Reflection – Waiting

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“Nature looks dead in winter because her life is gathered into her heart. She withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger. She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth.”

Hugh Macmillan, “Rejuvenescence,” The Ministry of Nature, 1871

 

Winter has come and, with it the promise of long winter evenings of reading in the coming cold days of January and February.  I have a stack of books at the ready and have signed up to a competitive family book reading challenge that has set me on a course of discovery. Winter is a time of respite and renewal, waiting, preparing…

The soil appears to be dormant, but there is unseen activity happening in the depths of the earth in preparation for the coming of spring.  So it is with us.  May we “gather our life” in the same way as Nature and recognize the beauty of a winter landscape.

Join me as I look back on the late blooms of Autumn, just before Nature called her family together.

 

 

Solitude: A September Garden from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

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.