Sunday Evening Reflection with Mary Jo Malo

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Tonight, as I look out into my city that is embracing the night, I feel a sense of solidarity that comes from the lights that shine in the darkness.  In a time of uncertainty, we continue to meet challenges together, as a community.

 In the darkness, there is light.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once wrote that  “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”

I have taken Johann up on his thoughts for my Sunday Evening Reflection. I feel the call of poetry and found the words have come from my dear blogger friend, Mary Jo Malo, from her blog, “This Shining Wound, Original Poetry by Mary Jo Malo.”

Mary Jo has graciously allowed me to recite her poem, “Sleight.” As I read her words, I feel that I am there in the woods with her, walking by the edge of the lake.  It is a marvelous song of winter and spring negotiating the terms of transition.  Her last lines conjure up profound memories of seasons that have come before.

I invite you to read along with me as we walk with Mary Jo Malo

 

Sleight by Mary Jo Malo, Poet from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

Sleight by Mary Jo Malo (pronounced Maylo)

Spring can be so
winter encumbered
I learn to walk again
layered in a long-sleeved tee
and hoodie sweatshirt
and bulky jacket
and thermals
and jeans
But the sun is hot
and will no doubt
spot and freckle
my hands and face
The old woman
I never saw myself
becoming

Far into the woods
tracing my familiar path
around the little lake
worried frogs launch
from their spawning shore
stir up muck and lurk undercover
Minnows dart beneath
woolly floating leaves
survivors of last Autumn
then frenzy back
into clear warm water
when I pass
They pull up short
out in the deep cold
murky center of the pond
where bigger fish await
to feed off their mistaken
direction

A giant carp slowly
trolls the shallow water
surrounding the island
roiling up mud and
purling water along its shiny back
Game fish lie in wait
and jump
to snap up bugs
I rarely see them hit
but hear the splash and
watch concentric circles
left behind
calmly disappear

I nearly submerge a memory
one you often asked me to remember
that pale yellow sundress
with little blue roses
and twenty tiny buttons down the front
You plucked a wild violet
from behind my ear
as if you could
keep me fooled

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.

All Aboard

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It’s January which means resolution time.

And of course, my exercise program is firmly in place, set to begin tomorrow, or the next day or the next.  You know how it is when the winter sets in and the tea, cozy chair and stack of books are in desperate need of our immediate attention.

But I was inspired by the “All Aboard” crowd at Granville Island.  Now this would be an amazing exercise program.

All Aboard, Mini-Ramp Pilot Project, Granville Island

I was even more impressed by the “All Aboard” pilot project that “demonstrates the need for a publicly accessible, dry, well lit, safe and fun skateboard facility in Vancouver during the winter months.

Happy exercising! (And reading, too!)

All Aboard 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.

Farewell to Winter

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Remnants of Winter

Remnants of Winter

Spring has come.  The daffodils announced the arrival of a new season, which was underscored by the rainy days that followed.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the world has stirred as if from a deep sleep and is welcoming a warmer sun.  Even as I embrace the energy of rebirth, I cannot help but recall the comfort of hearth and home where tea and a fine book filled the long winter nights.  Winter is a time of respite and contemplation that accompanies an inner journey.

In the midst of the new growth, the remnants of winter remain as a reminder to seize the moment, for winter will come again.

“Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.”

“Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow.”

Horace