Did you get a gift today?

Gift of nature before you

You never know what the day will bring you as you wake up, place your feet on the ground, and rise. Rise and shine. The gift of the day before you. It is here, today, ever present even when you do not think of it as such. It is a gift to you this day, to enjoy, to embrace, to have, to hold, to keep….the whole day. And that gift holds many other smaller gifts (or huge ones) ;oh that would be nice. LOL. It does not matter the size, it is thought that counts.

But what gifts are we talking about. Ones that are wrapped up in pretty paper and bow so beautifully, ready to be torn open to see what is inside. Like my sister who received a gift last Thursday. My younger sister and I went together to get a few items to send to her as a ‘cheer up’ kind of gift. No reason except to say thank you for being her. And also to give a little bit of spoiling as she has to live in a house full of men. No offence intended to men. Just like you know when you are outnumbered and there is way too much testosterone or estrogen, you need just a hot minute to yourself. Just saying. Anyway, she had a hard time opening the parcel as my sister likes tape. LOL. After much finagling she opened and voila….a Golden Girls mug that had a funny saying on it (not for little ears), soothing lotion, tea, herbal vitamins, eye gel massager, island treaties etc…. just a little something something to say she is loved. But the gift for me was her tears. Yep, got her. Thank you sis for all you do.

Unwrapping… for treasures await

Or are we talking about another kind of gift? One that does not have wrapping paper or a ribbon or bow; a gift that comes in a different form, an unexpected, surprising and in some cases so unwanted form. But comes nevertheless. Do we see it as a gift? In that we should for, it is the gift of love, the gift of the world around you, the gift of life and celebration of life lived. Can we with arms spread wide to welcome whatever and to see the real importance of its value and worth in whatever way it comes. May pull at the heart strings, yes. May cause angst, yes. Nevertheless it is gift landing at your feet so to speak.

This week I received sorrowful and heartfelt news of three different people who had lost the battle to walking this earth no more. What kind of gift could that be? Well, beyond words that is for sure. One child, only four years old, lost the fight to cancer….so with love I put a yellow ribbon around a tree reminding me of the gift this little being gave….herself (blessings my dear). The second was a school leader who too lost her long battle to cancer. Being an educator, how many lives do you walk with, talk with, be with….and she did it spectacularly and wondrously and with a smile. Oh to say goodbye (especially leaving her family behind). And the final one was my dad’s BFF. Total surprise but battled many health issues; and it was his time. Boy he brought sunshine to my dad’s life…real warped sense of humour that one. My heart goes out to my dad and to the family and friends of many many years. Each in their own way gave an indescribable gift… themselves of heart, mind and soul. And so for that, a gift has been received and treasured from this day forward to all who knew and walked with them. Lasting peace now.

So then I look back on this week and think of the gifts laid out before me….life lived and witnessed. Like on my walk, when two young eagles standing in the grass next to the red cliff’s edge which I barely could make out until I drew near. They must have sensed me, more like Maggie May and her incessant yip….and broke into flight. Oh my goodness what a glorious sight as the two in tandem rose up quickly with their wings spanning wide and free, soaring overhead as they took off. Beautiful gleaming white on heads and feathered tails, body black as night, holding steadfast against the wind as they regally flap their strong wings gracefully o’er the fields to the grove of trees yonder. God’s Creation personified. Eagles are right up there with the blue heron which I love to look at too. What a delightful gift! And where would my phone be? Not on me.

Or maybe it was the gift of invite to attend a zoom prayer service for the woman, the school leader mentioned above, who I had the pleasure of meeting and working with her for a time. But having been a way being retired, I was remembered to be called to participate in prayer for her. Thank you. My heart teared. Or maybe it was the gift of discovering there are good people to meet, being kind in their words and for some reason have crossed your paths, whether for a short moment or a longer period of time. You do not know the whys but you embrace the gift for as long as you have it.

Now one recent gift I was so grateful for and just so menial in nature but thankful nevertheless. I was cutting the grass the other day and it was kind of warm doing it, But glorious sunny evening in fact it was just perfect to be outside. So you know when the breeze has a bit of warmth and coolness all at the same time.Well, I took the stretch of lawn and then whipped the mower around and the wind caught me just right….almost like that cool mist sprayer at Canada’s Wonderland. You know the apparatus near the water slide park and rides where you can get so hot and then you go into this space with the tall pillars and overhang, and it sprays out this cool light mist. Immediately your body goes into pause mode, grabbing the coolness from the mist, and your rejuvenated instantly. That was the feeling I got when cutting the lawn that night, an instantaneous breezy cool delight. Sort of like getting a cold one, like ice cold lemonade or maybe a cold beer (not me) or an ice cream at Cows Creamery.

Speaking of which. Now that was some kind of unexpected gift. Unlike many other parts of our country, PEI gets to have a bit more normalcy, protocols still in place, but getting out and going on family outings. Ergo, Frosty Treats Dairybar. Ice cream is NOT a gift to start off. FYI: Long story made short, I worked at an ice cream shack and tasted enough ice cream to turn me off of it. BUT. Fast forward, I am sitting with part of my family in my truck as my daughter goes to get some frosty treats. Well the gifts given were two fold…eating kiddy size soft ice cream and it being good and sitting beside my granddaughter sharing it!!!! Just plain vanilla soft cone but yum. I think they may have to look at the size again, maybe a tottie tot size. So the other gift was my granddaughter grabbing my hand and not letting go as she pushed her nose and mouth right into the cone. Yep. What part of your face little one, eats? Just saying. Thank you for the gift of joy and family.

Each day we are given gifts. Expected or unexpected, wanted or unwanted. Surprised or not surprised. Rendered speechless….the best kind. Recently a story was shared with me of a beautiful moment about a man who because of covid could not propose with gathered friends and family. So he invited friends and family to a place where they could gather unbeknownst to each other without breaking protocol….to a Costco. Bending down on one knee, after she met quite a few people she knew there but never clued in until she watched her then boyfriend kneel down and propose to her. Never going to forget that moment. What a gift for all!

Yes there are moments when you think no. I could do without that gift. Like when I go down to the beach and the flock of seagulls take off, and you are winged by their droppings. Wear a hat. But the gift of seeing them in flight, floating so gracefully. Or when you are taught that any gift given is okay. Reinforce being gracious. LOL. The way ones face may contort or twitch because you received a gift that is just not you….at all…ever. You gotta to love children as they can be quite blunt….I already got that or I do not like that colour or that’s for babies. But being kind…we receive, nod thanks, and regift to someone else. LOL. Just remember that gifts are given exclusively for you, whether unexpected or unwanted.

But one gift, the really unexpected gift, is the gift before you, to recognize the gift of others. Do we see each other, including ourselves, as gift. Not to toot one’s own horn but to truly give ourselves to another, nourishing and feeding the other. It could be like an onion (not that friends or people we meet are onions…meh) but peeling back the layers that unravel. Nothing gives me greater joy than making people see how they are to me. Building them up….not ego and puffed chest kind of building up…but be the gift of helping them see the gift they are. To be life-giving gift to them as they in turn are to you.

So today….Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

The older I get, the better I understand that every day is a gift.~ Joel Osteen

The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to comprehend what we see.~ Albert Einstein

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.~Mary Oliver

Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention~ Jim Rohn

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God’s gift, that’s why we call it the present~ Joan Rivers

I look upon life as a gift from God. I did nothing to earn it. Now that the time is coming to give it back, I have no right to complain~ Joyce Cary

Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.~ Mother Teresa

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers today and for all to know each are gifts.

Saying A Goodbye

Always waiting for company.

Life is precious. You know I must say that phrase about twenty or more times a day. You only have to listen to the radio or watch the 6 o’clock news or go on Social Media or read a text from someone or get off the cell/telephone just now with the news from somebody saying something that is not even in your thought processes. Man, if you could only turn back the clock for just a hot minute. Say what you need to say before life takes on a new face, a new look, a different space and journey. It reminds me of that one line in Thomas Merton’s prayer Unknowing….”I do not see the road ahead of me.” We have no idea what is before us, only God knows. So how does one navigate this life one is given.

Recently a friend shared that his next door neighbour, who he has lived beside for thirteen years, has now found out she has 4th stage cancer, given about two month left here on earth. What do you do with that? She will be leaving behind her two sons who are right now in a state of disbelief. How does one take that? I mean really how does one get up each day knowing that in a few weeks or even sooner that the time has come to say goodbye.

My heart breaks a little bit more each time you hear those kind of stories. You just want to wrap them up and hold them, give them relief and hope, in the midst of whatever time they have left. I remember my cat Marble in her last few days of her life. Boy I choke up thinking back two years ago March. I did not realize how bad she was until she could not lift her little head off from the carpet. Not Marble. She was fierce, not friendly mind you (LOL) and only was kind when she was hungry. Or yes on those rare occasions she needed a quick cuddle or petting. Then no more. Little Miss was certainly a pain in my side….and a biter if she wanted to be. But boy she was a part of my life. I picked her up on that last day, covered her in a little blanket, laid her down beside me on the couch and held her tiny paw. The vet and I decided the day before that there were too many things that were breaking down quickly within her. We decided together it was best to put her down the following day and thus that morning, I was up really early. When I came downstairs she did not even lift her head up. It hurt. I remember my heart beating to a different drum that day to see her like that. She took her last breath with me. She did not die alone. Thank the Lord for small mercies.

Yep, You may be gone but still an imp. LOL.

I think about this time in our life with the pandemic but also reminding myself of the other losses and tragedies around the community, local/ nationally/ internationally. It is the sadness that comes with the loss and grieving of loved ones. The experiences of leaving behind and moving on, trying to make sense of something that does not. It does not even have to be a death as it could be the loss that comes from a divorce, separation, moving away and leaving ones precious home, friendship, breakups, debilitating illness or disease, loss of a job, loss of a pet…. the unknown. Unexpected or expected of an inevitable suffering or loss of something…life as you know it….well it begs a different way of looking at things. Doing things. And as Merton’s prayer quotes (s)he cannot know for certain where it will end.

We do not know what is in store for us. All we can do for ourselves is try to get up each day and take one step then another. My grandfather in his dry wit had once said to me that it is a good day when a man can feel his feet hitting the floor after waking up. Yeah. The day before you….well, it can take the very breath right out of you. So what do you do when you live in a shoe…. move to a boot and get laced. I do not think a person can ever be prepared truly for saying goodbye to someone or something that has played such a significant role or taken up such a space in one’s life. When gone, what then?

Loss and goodbyes are part of life. Not one that is accepted easily but exists nevertheless. So do you stay in the spot and feel the overwhelming sense of loss or is it possible to catch a glimpse of something, a light in the darkness. It might take a while to get there but oh to feel just a faint heart beating without the painful reminder of days long ago when things were….what? Happier, joyful, merry, holy, beautiful, celebratory, simpler. Maybe it is giving oneself permission to be okay even when you may think you should not. To be okay to feel a spurt or burst of the happy. Not be in survival mode but thriving, embracing, living. To be awaken. It is okay.

Life has a funny way of continuing to burst in to song even while turmoil and strife come knocking. It is a surreal feeling to be standing amidst the chaos within while all around you the ordinary day continues to unfold. Not a missed step. Have you ever heard someone say “life goes on” or “this too shall pass” or “time heals”. Yes to all of them. And the triteness in the words, are they easy to hear or accept….nope not today or tomorrow for that matter. I think screaming, a temper tantrum, a jumping up and down, a squeezing of dog….oops just kidding. No seriously you kind of have a bottled up sense of injustice bestowed upon the heart that cries….ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Are. You. Kidding. Me. But sadly and regretfully ‘no’, a big NO.

So the goodbye. Well, hold it gently and kindly, offer it even when it is not welcomed even if it is one of the hardest moments in one’s life. For goodbyes come in all different sizes, packages, and all impossibly sore to bear. Some even leave scratches. Here today, gone tomorrow. But not to say goodbye…well it might not be good for that old heart. Blessings today.

Moments of Grief

Why didn’t I learn to treat everything like it was the last time?  Jonathan Safran Foer

No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear.” C.S Lewis

That moment you need someone, but they’re in heaven…and so you cry instead.”

“For the rest of my life I will search for moments full of you.” Saves The Day

What your reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived. And that is a great gift.” Elizabeth Edwards

“It is kind of shocking when your world falls to pieces and everything and everyone around you carries on with life. How can the birds continue to sing?How can people carry on loving life? Zoey Clark

“I will never forget the moment your heart stopped and mine kept beating.” Angela Miller

Time for….

Let us pray for those whom are in need of our prayers and for losses in our life. May we find strength in the farewell.

Holey or Holy

Just a beautiful holy day out.

What a beautiful and most breathtaking morning! Holy and sacred. You just want to wrap your arms around the sun to say thank you. Thank you for making the morning so bright and cheery. To stand still and just take it all in. Perfect day for a walk early early this morning and so I just got up and out the door. Well not literally for goodness sake. I really tried to get down to the water early to watch the lobster boats go out from the bay for their days catch. Kind of like being in a traffic jam but on the water. Very polite the way they just kind of fall into place, one after another. I like the way the captains navigate their boats’ path, going close to the lit buoys. Some have their lights on while others seem to just know the way. Could be a manly thing. LOL. Yesterday and today have been so pleasant; not really warm, but enough to feel the hint of warmer times ahead and yet still have a pinch of cool in the breeze. Great for breaking a sweat. And it is a breeze today, gentle and kind to my face. Love love love it.

Because frankly I thought the rain and drizzle would not stop this past week. I mean come on…I sang Mr. Sun song umpteen dozen times or so. Well mainly because the little one, my granddaughter, loves the outdoors. And I would be doing what she wants. Which. I. Did. Yep. Puddle jumping 101. I need to move quicker. It seems my granddaughter knows how to jump as a 21 month old. A bit slow at first moving in the puddles as I do not think she was used to so many puddles before her. But that soon stopped. She had her little meow meow stuffy, cute ragged little grey stuffed kitty, and took it out with her. Well it seems the kitty needed to go into the puddle too. Oh my…priceless to see the expression on her wee little face. I chuckled (behind my shirt thank you very much) as she gasped at the mud spattered paws as she stood up. When she stared down at the paws…..well it broke my heart as her little blue eyes she stared at her kitty. She looked at me as if to say, “Rara!! Wwwhhhaaattt?” Yeah life is rough child.

Going down to the water Maggie May and I always pass this grove of trees and today, suddenly a huge owl sweeps out above our head, followed quickly by a bunch of big crows. How the birds find the holes of spaces through the thick forested area, they dove into the woods. But the owl was beautiful. I have not seen one that close in a long time and looking at its sweeping wing span, listening to the whipping whirring of wings, it was flying fast. Is it a good thing to see an owl? My younger sister who LOVES owls says it is so. We shall see. But the birds, not just crows, but smaller ones also followed the owl. Boy the sound coming out of the forested area….did not sound too promising. A cacophony of natter and chatter. I do not like that feeling of the gathering of large quantity of any kind of birds….I still get shivers from that horrible movie by Alfred Hitchcock The Birds. It may seem tame to my daughters….not to me. But witnessing the owl over head, it really made my day. Another holy moment.

And speaking of holy, I think holey is a better term. I am coming back from my walk and looking down at my feet, in particular my shoes. Holey moley, holes!!! My goodness I may have to put my shoes to rest. I did not realize how much wear and tear they have gone through. I have just got them worn in. Are you kidding me? It takes me back to last year when all things were closed for the most part. And shoe stores included. I had thrown out my old treasured ones in November 2019 as….snow cold winter came to play. Not thinking anything of it I would just get a pair in spring. But much to my and everyone else’s in the world surprise….no go. I ordered on line. Shoes. And they are going to fit??? That is the kind of thing you try on. I am kind of fussy about my runners. But I am not sure if companies were taking advantage of the situation but my usual go to Saucony or Asics were a bit, nope a lot, steep. So I get a brand with a number name (worn out on shoe) and actually loved them. These holey shoes have been good to me.

But I can see the writing on the wall….I take a step and the holes will gather together as I jump rocks or climb the cliff and voila….no duck tape to hold them around my bared sock to get me home. Rip from the strain of my acrobatic jumps or slips on rock. Nope. These babies are for home use only, state of the art yard and garden wear. Unlike my dad who my sister just took a picture of him dressed up in his latest outdoor garb, perfect. The problem is that he gets something in his mind and goes and does it. Why would that be a problem one might ask. Well he usually is wearing his nicer clothes because he does not THINK. Poor mom and what she had to put up with over the years. Dad what are thinking. Old clothes. Geez. And you lectured me on whatever. Sometimes you just want to shake your head.

But today is the day for making holes. No little one around so I am going to plant my sunflowers. Have been talking about it but not doing it. Frost. But now I feel warmth that is a gift. How to plant without her seeing. A little subterfuge. I want to see sunflowers grow, sorry little one. So today will be the day I put little holes in the garden and voila….sunflowers?? My grandson says how about other kinds? What do I say….yes. Okay what goes good with sunflowers. Too many decisions. I think I will go for the wild look because it does not matter what is in there, my grandkids will be satisfied.

So I forgot one precious moment this morning. Lately there has been a pile of drift wood strewn all across the beach area and up on the rocky shoreline where I walk in the morning. Well the sunrise was perfect and the tide is sort of in and the waves are gentle today. So cutting down the dune path to the beach I see an array of drift wood in a line. Kind of odd. But as I got closer a big smile came across my face. Despite the challenging times we are facing, it is fairly business as usual on the island including traditions. And so what did my wandering eyes but appear to see…..PROM? spelled out in driftwood formation. No footprints around it but my own. Someone is going to be smiling( or not). I hope yes is in the cards and wish you all the best. Cute whoever you are. You got this.

Well off to do the deeds of the day. Shovel in hand…hide the seeds. Quick. LOL. Laundry on the line….smells of freshness on my clothes including…wait a minute holey work socks. No wonder I felt more of breeze on my toes this morning on my walk. Hmmmmm. Oh my goodness, look at that. My sister is pulling in the laneway. I guess my sunflowers are going to wait for a bit. Best day ever…see a friendly face, know I am going to have a good chat, and who knows what the day will bring now. But I will say this much. As days go it has been a holey holy day given and blessed.

Let us pray for all those whom are in need of our prayers and see the holey or holy as gifts.

Joys of Mothers Day

Mothers Day today from family. Love you all. Thank you.

Oh to hear that name called out…mom. I had to laugh at my daughter’s message to me the other day because obviously I do not know my daughters names. She could be one of three. She sent me this blog from a Mental Fitness site posted by a woman who was saying “when your mom mistakenly calls you by your siblings name, its because she loves you.” That is the title. I smiled when I read it. And I will go with that. Good thing I only have three daughters but somehow other names could crop in like my two sisters and my two granddaughters too. Well, for goodness sake they are on my mind. I have not quite put in a male name as yet. But who knows.

In the blog, it is written from the perspective of the person whose name cannot be remembered. LOL. And said person is having a bad day and momma could not remember ‘your own’ name when sharing whatever. Really, mom, forget. Wow!!! Can you not get the names straight? And I am in agreement with the point of view as all of my children are on my mind. All are cared for and loved. I just have to get to the right name and I’m good to go. Give a mom a break here. Anyway, I cannot wait until it happens to y’all.

Moms. Mothers. Mums. Mommy. Mama. Ma. Mamoooskula. Momma. Madre. Maw. I think I have been called by them all, in all kinds of tones and ‘tudes too. Could be other names but this is a PG affair!! Oh to be a mother!! Yes, I signed up for it and not for a moment (or maybe a couple or hundred) did I say, “what in the world”? Yes, those beautiful times when your child has a mind of their own and you think to yourself “I said yes.” WwwwHhhhhAaaaaTtttt was I thinking??? Yep, sure did.

One day is not enough to put aside for a mother. It is HARD work. And for dads. Sorry this is day is not about you. Heehee. No one, I mean no one, in my humble opinion, could know the ins and outs of what being a mother would all entail until you have the most precious bundle of joy before you and begin the trek of motherhood. For it is a trek, long and arduous, full of wonder and splendour, pain and sorrow and all those oopsie and tender moments in between. And for the record, it DOES NOT STOP after 18 or 19 yrs old when they can technically leave the roost mothers, despite what the ‘books’ may say. What books? That is right. What books? Some never leave. No “there’s the door, don’t let it kick you on the way out” way of thinking. Aaaahhhh. LOL.

Can you imagine the latest joyful news this week? A mom delivers, how many babies!?! No way. No comprendez. I am thinking of the unbelievable crazy blessing of a Malian woman who just gave birth to 9 babies, nonuplets (is that a new entry into the dictionary)….oh my Lord!!! Not even going to begin to envisage that journey. Breathe.

I made a slide deck this week for my mom. (FYI: A fancy term for a collection of slides with some kind of content per slide for a specific topic created in presentation format using computer software such as PowerPoint.) Gee my teaching background comes in handy sometimes. Woohoo. Which reminds me. When I had my old Canon camera I would often have the film put into slide format; still got the old slide projector with a box of slides from days of old. I may get that out today. Hmmm.

Well I wanted to reach out to my mom in some way. Being in a nursing home and not seeing her family to touch them or hug them or kiss them or love them face to face, I asked the activity coordinator if I could send a slide show to my mom of her family. Bless her heart, so generous and grateful, yes I can. So, I made this collection of slides which has on each slide, people mom loves. A little bit of text to say hi and wishes with a montage of pics per family. Did not realize the many, mom!! I pray she is given a smile today. Maybe even her chuckle.

Don’t you just love things about your mom (or not). Yes I am thinking my daughters would say quite a few things….”well that’s my mom for you”. What does that even mean, girls? LOL. I know….momma nag. Annoying. Nose wiper. Pushes and pulls. This is all for your own good kind of mom. Yep. But you love me anyway…to the moon and back as I do you. But my mom has this laugh. She got mad at me the other day on our Skype date with my sister and I because I was using my phone to record her laugh. My phone kind of blocked our image on screen when recording so her face went unhappy and stern….mom look, You know that mom look. But hearing her voice and laugh know its the best feeling to hear her. It is like a wrap of love, one I want to keep remembering. I love laughter and to laugh but mom’s laugh just gets me all the way down to my toes.

Right now as I am blogging, my daughters are all on facetime with me. Oh my Lord. Happy dance. To have them all talking to one another and me listening to them This is the best Mother’s Day gift….to see them all, held in a perfect rectangle of beauty. The banter, the love, the sharing their life tidbits of bits of their life. Cannot express my gratitude girls. Thank you.

So being a mother. Thats it. Just celebrating my children. And their children too. Thinking of all the women in the lives of my and your children, touching them in some way, whether they are given a name of surrogate, adopted, aunt, extension, step, friend…whatever and however you phrase the mother of love role….it is a day to honour most graciously and most humbly mothers. And I for one take that role very seriously.

So hats off to all mothers today. You are the adult in the relationship (sometimes), first to listen (vaguely), first to forgive (do I have to), first to understand (not really), first to back down (well if I must), first to respond to help (not again), first to show patience (hahaha), first to love unconditionally….ALWAYS. Put your Superwoman suit away for the day. Know you are a good mother and even greater because you love your teenager(s). Just joking. Blessings today. Happy Mothers Day.

As you put your feet up and relax….

To mom, sorry for ruining your body. Thanks for the womb and board though.

Mom I love you. Even though I will never accept your Friend Request.

Hey mom, we have hired a few people while you relax on Mothers Day….

No one told me I would be coming home in diapers too.

Mom, although I cant fold a fitted sheet, I still turned out right…right?

Hey mom, Im sorry about all the dumb little things I have done, just be thankful you only know half of them.

Mom whats it like to have the greatest daughter in the world…I don’t know, you will have to ask your grandma.

Its not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it. (Dorothy, Golden Girls)

 ALWAYS SAY IF YOU AREN’T YELLING AT YOUR KIDS, YOU’RE NOT SPENDING ENOUGH TIME WITH THEM.” – REESE WITHERSPOON

I WANT MY CHILDREN TO HAVE ALL THE THINGS I COULDN’T AFFORD. THEN I WANT TO MOVE IN WITH THEM.” – Phyllis Diler

SILENCE IS GOLDEN. UNLESS YOU HAVE KIDS. THEN SILENCE IS JUST SUSPICIOUS.”

“IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY DOING IT THE WAY YOUR MOM TOLD YOU TO DO IT FROM THE START.”

When people tell me I’m turning into my mother I actually take it as a compliment.

Let us pray for those who are in need of prayers and for all the mothers, may they know what special gifts they are.

Spring has Sprung

Garden…hopefully

Well one cannot help look around and see….spring. Woo to the hoo. Woohoo! It’s about gosh darn time. Oops. But so glad. The grass is greening and I see the crocuses coming out. And little buds are popping up so much more. Yippee kick up my heels day! I just had my lane scrapped, taking away the deepened ruts from the tire tracks. I did not too badly this year, trying to be lazy and walking in from the road as the spring thaw was hard on the earth this year. Probably every year but my goodness looking at the side roads near me…swerve and slow and jerk the wheel. Your eyes have to be peeled because the pavement has really come on hard times in some places, deep holes. Anyway I said to the man who comes to do my lane in winter and kindly drag it for smoother laneway now….told me with a smile,
don’t be coming back any time soon.” Hahaha

So spring has sprung. Yes it did begin back in March but honestly Mother Nature has really had a sense of humour. I mean right up until this past week, big swirly snowflakes and even left a blanket of puffy white snow one evening….not funny anymore. But April certainly is living up to its calling…April showers bring May flowers. I better get cracking. I so want to have sunflowers this year. I even dug out a section yesterday which felt good. Digging deep into the red dirt soil. I love the colour of the island’s character of red dirt. No I do not play in it but maybe will with my granddaughter. We shall see. But creating a garden, mixing top soil with the red dirt, looks rich and fluffy. Dirt and fluffy, does that even make sense? But hey if it grows sunflowers, I’m in.

Going for my walk the freshly laden tracks from the tractor really caught my eye. I had a smile on my face as that meant the ground is finally hardening enough…thaw done. It is such a contrast, like a quilt, as the farmer leaves one section fallow, the other dug and turned. Rich dark reddish brown in colour ready for the planting, the smell of the newly churned dirt gives an earthy clean smell. No cow dung treat to the nostrils so far. LOL. There are certain smells that can curl your toes at times, don’t you find. I think back to my childhood and at the end of our street was the Cold Spring, turkey farm. Yeah not my favourite smell. But after awhile it just becomes part of the daily. Thunder Bay did that too with its pulp mills….strong, keel you over, kind of odour. Whew. But then I think of cold cellars, like my grandparents had back home in New Brunswick. Dank musty earthy and cold but the combination of the dank and musty did it for me….I like the smell. Nostalgia, maybe. Or it just turns my crank. Funny, huh!!

Spring has sprung. It is like the feet take on a life of their own, an re-awakening to the fallen trapped slug of the boots and heavy garb now discarded. I feel there is great things just awaiting for me just below the surface. Not sure what but the anticipation of spring like activities and happenings abound. Does that make sense? It is the ‘new’; the new of rebirth, of new life, of new blooms, of a new hop in the step, an invitation to the new in you. Yes. It is a reawakening feeling, something coming alive. No. Not like “duh duh duh duh duh duh” scary out of your mind Stephen Kingish sense of aliveness but that cool clear waterfall rush and wave washing over you, surrounding every cell of your being. Maybe more so like that polar bear dip but without the turning blue shivering from head to toe feeling. LOL.

Get in tune with spring in you as you grow yourself. Not only the beauty and activity abounding all around of colour and smells and beautiful things experienced, spring comes a knocking too in you. Isn’t it funny that feeling? You almost want to burst in song. No. I’ll save that for the little ones ears. But I think it reminds us of the yearning for a restart, reset, rematch. I know I have talked about self-care, so maybe this is a self-care spring has sprung. Hmmmmm. I need to dwell on that a bit more.

It reminds me a bit of a wonderful retreat experience, Courage work, I had many moons ago, still stays close to my heart. It was led by two wondrous and spiritually nourishing individuals who complimented one another in touching deep to the heart and mind of those who gathered in a circle. Based on Parker Palmer’s work of Courage to Teach, it took on a Canadian flavour as they took it cross border and let it take root and grow in our neck of the woods. And one of the aspects of the retreat that made it so unbelievably fulfilling was the thematic metaphorical approach of the seasons; seasons within us. What season are you in? Is it time to do a bit of cleaning for spring in you too? Eyes turn to wonder. Look at all of Creation and how the earth takes on a new hue and glow, perking up the drab and worn, and gives a burst of flavour. Whew. Almost too much when it first hits. LOL. And yet, the refined invitation sits, awaiting, a cusp of the season of renewal. Hmmmm.

So much has been going on to keep us possibly in the winter moments, the tougher times we had or still have. Somewhere is it possible to find a new umph, a courage to renew even in the midst of the yucky. Spring invites. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers especially those who are suffering the sick, the weary, the lonely.

Off to a great start

April 2020,,,love you guys

No, maybe not off to a great start but it must have been a great beginning because here my folks are 64 years later celebrating a milestone. Celebration. I think every year is a milestone of celebration…making a commitment to the person in your life that you said “yes” to way back when. Still together. I chuckle when I hear newly weds say that it feels like they have been married forever. Just you wait. Oh to the celebration, mom and dad. Even though it will be the first time in all of your years of marriage that you will not be holding hands, giving a peck or two (hiding eyes here) and warm hugs of love and affection (big smile now) for one another… you love each other. (Thanks for the interference pandemic – not going to talk about you today).

Wow. It is humbling to have known someone for that long…and still talk to each other!! Hahaha. Kidding folks. It is kind of unbelievable really when you look in the section of the local newspaper with births, celebrations, and yes deaths and read about who is who. You see life unfolding before you and the wonderful testimonies of the celebrations. Yes, even in death, the life lived for however long…a celebration of; to be remembered or to remember. And then you look at the length of time different couples have been married. Holy lightening and everything that is holy….50, 60, 70, 80 +++. That must be some good cooking is all I can say.

So I take this journey today thinking of two special people in my life, giving witness to dedication and commitment to one another. Love. How does one do it? I guess I am going to refer to the pandemic situation. Because the turmoil that it has caused on families in particular marriages…how to weather the storms, is breaking my heart. You hear story upon story. Not good. I have a very sad feeling in my heart that the repercussions in the wake of this pandemic will change the face of many a couple; it has already started. How does one work through the hills and valleys of relationships, riding them out, and know that love still holds firm in the hearts of one’s heart, life partner, friend, lover, companion…however you want to capture the person who has been with you for….well forever?

I look at my folks and wonder how did they meet. I recall mom telling me that they met at a dance. And mom asking how tall my dad was…and dad being dad he replied, “Tall enough.” Can you imagine? Wow dad way to romance mom. I love the movies when two people for some reason cross path and then perchance they meet. Do they click right away? Well of course it is the movies. But then like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail you just never know. But it is the crazy way of meeting where out of hundreds of thousands multiplied by however many more, you meet the ‘one’. Then again it could be the boy/girl next door or childhood crush in school which grew into…you are it for me. You just never know when or where. And you do not know what is in store for you.

So what makes a relationship last or lasting. If I take mom and dad for instance, they are kind of opposite in many ways. Yet they worked. Mom quiet and reserved but boy don’t let her get that line across her mouth; dad the talker..oh boy. Still does. I mean it is not like I remember them or think about them being a couple over the years in a meaningful and heartfelt way. They were just mom and dad, same old same old. Oops sorry. LOL. But seriously they were always there – at the table, in the yard, knocking at bedroom door (really I just wanted to play with my barbies or read – no cell phones back then. Hehe), in the kitchen, in livingroom, in the car. Always. There.

Easy for them?? I doubt it. Think about it. Any couple who come together, come from different life experiences. They are not a blank slate. On a spectrum with own values, beliefs, faith, cultures, families, traditions, friends, attitudes, personalities, preferences, temperament, other relationships…the list can go on. Two. Different. People. Then the universe calls out, luring the mystery of fate, and then buddaboom buddabing. They meet, feel attraction or maybe not a first (or a long time), but nevertheless eventually get the “zing” – you have to be watch Hotel Transylvannia 3 – or spark and voila they decide to stick together like super glue. Oh yes, nice analogy. But get the picture. The couple become one for and to each other. Happy dance. It might be the “I do” or the “moving in”, no vow or contract, but stay they do….the togetherness. And that right there is AMAZING!!

What makes the yes come a knocking. I think of my own daughters. Having children, you decided that which means “yes”. I wanted children, blessed to have children, and all that comes with it. So for two meetings of the heart and mind, after the “zing” does its thing, somewhere along the way “yes” begins to come into the eyes by word and gesture for each other. It is the “yes” that is unbelievable!! Someone wanted someone and with all the hope in yes. Simple three letter word but packed with so much. Of course, right behind that is “no”, you know that word when things are not as ticktyboo as one would like. Yep, the hills and dales…maybe more like Grand Canyon dips. Just saying. But to get out of the dip and the valley, climbing up with that hand still there….albeit wrinkled, worn, much used, and a little bit shaky but oh still so steadfast solid.

Love. There is an old romance series from Jannette Oaks with one of the movie titles Love Comes Softly. I like to think that. It reminds me of a love that builds over time. Maybe the crossed paths, struck a light and ignited fast, even crazy fast, well other kind comes in more slowly. KInd of like a waterfall from a babbling brook, oh so gently falls to the rocks, and then off it goes meandering down the stream. Merrily merrily. Sometimes you look at a couple and think how in the world are they together. Not even knowing them but just the presence of each. You just never know who is drawn to whom or why. Love just works. Which I think Saint Paul brings a boundless display of capturing love…”love is patient, love is kind. Love is envy, it does not boast…Love never fails.”1 Cor 13:4-8 Is that it? Love never fails.

Well today, I honour my mom and dad. Just them. Loving them for who they are. For providing a path to follow, regardless of life’s circumstance, it worked. You work. I know you are not going to be able to touch hands or hug or kiss one another (TMI) but you will look into each other’s eyes on the screen (thank the Lord for technology) and smile. Laugh. Giggle even (nah dad not you). And hear my mom, who does not talk as much now, sees my dad and say, “there’s my man.” She did that a week ago, as my sister shared with me. God bless love. Thank you for giving me, all of us, family and friends a guide post to loving beyond measure. You got this and we, got you, now and forever more.

Celebrating the gift of marriage, testimony to a life lived with another, allowing someone in and be part of one’s life. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers and to those beloved couples who hold each others hand.

Open to the Unexpected

Newly born found on backstep by Trudi.

Well I am sitting here thinking that my eyes are playing tricks on me. It is April 17. Right. Then why, oh why, are there great big fluffy snow flakes falling down, laying the ground with white stuff? Still. Are you kidding me Mother Nature?! I mean I just took down the snow fence for goodness sake. I do not need a reminder that you have a warped sense of humour. I do understand that it is hard to let go of your seasonal wardrobe but this is not funny…at all. This is so unexpected and not what I envisioned at all seeing for what I had planned doing today.

Yes the unexpectedness in life. Lately there has been a number of unexpected things happening, albeit good for the most part, but catches you off guard. You know what I mean. It could be a perchance meeting, one that you were not prepared for, because life has been extraordinarily ordinary of late. And voila, then ordinary becomes extraordinary. Or an idea plopped down in front of you and think…well maybe. Or an opportunity to respond in a loving way, maybe even helpful way. Or a feeling that goodness is coming. A kind of Easter season coming to life within, drawing out gifts of wonder and delight, taking you or giving you a wondrous hope, unexpected but oh so welcome. Does that make sense?

I think of my youngest daughter who just got a job despite the circumstances in Ontario. Coming into a field, not of her own choosing, but choosing her, her voice echoes in my ear with a confidence so welcomed. Woohoo. Go little one, go. Do your thing. To a video call from my oldest sharing her joy and delight of spending her time with her growing baby, now walking. What!! How is that possible? You were just born…oh yes last year (silly me) at this time. Or my just got off the phone call with middle one, having done a food drive. What more can you ask of all of then? The pride and love one has in own children, whatever and wherever they may be, it is with a deep sense of wonder how things work out. Each in their own way have made a path, just rightly for them, and nothing can make one feel more in awe than hearing the sweet voices of happiness. Thank you.

Soon, next week actually, my parents will celebrate their 64th anniversary. It is hard to believe but oh so grateful. The unexpectedness for me is that for the first time in their entire marriage, they will not be together to celebrate as mom is in the nursing home, dad at home, and Ontario extending a more determined effort to crush the wake of the pandemic. Love will be shared virtually. In that it hurts most graciously. But I do give thanks for technology and the generous hearts of family and friends as I gather their bounty of love to bring festive cheer to my parents through the weaving words of memories, wrapped in heartfelt love.

Lately, I have had some wonderful conversations with different people that have been most quite life giving. It is amazing the kindness one experiences when people are open to dialogue, extending an invitation to give a bit of time to chat. I keep going back to the many signs I have seen across the island, advertising the message of staying safe, be kind. When you read those messages, they have taken on a deeper hue of colour in our lives, one’s that we will not forget any time soon. Why? The unexpectedness of being placed in situations that cause change or in some settings, force change to happen. LOL. Human being by their very nature do not like to change unless absolutely necessary. Making someone do something, not of their own choosing, can present turmoil and chaos; both which are not easily redeemable. At first seeing the sign of ‘staying safe, be kind’ brought a smile to my face. We should be. What a lovely thought. Yet, now it comes with a seriousness in me….it is necessary. Who would have thought?

I think of my granddaughter right now as I have been spending a lot of time with her lately babysitting. How does a 20-month old teach a way older person life lessons…me for example? Every day. Every day. We have been really focusing on nature and getting to know our world together. She just makes me hoot with laughter….the belly kind…take no prisoners kind of chuckle. I have to hide behind my shirt collar at times because she does the wildest funny things and it is just her being her. Her big think now is waving and saying ‘bye’; queen wave. We go to wash our hands – she waves. We go for a walk in the woods – she waves. We hear the birds – she stops promptly lifts up her head and then she waves saying “bye birs”. She hears a big dump truck or farm machinery up the road – she runs over to me arms extended saying “up” and then as I hold her she turns to trucks passing and waves. Is there not a book by Robert Fulghum All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten. I think if I am really paying attention, it is well before. The unexpected lessons from a 20 month old on hospitality and welcome and kindness, I cannot match.

In all, being present, listening, being aware, seeing all that is before you. Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. Is that not what it means to have God in one’s life? Or if not God then something of the more, which provides a way to become more cognizant of and be open to the unexpected, allowing it to catch you….lift you up. What a graced moment!! My grandson was talking to me the other day, so excited about a new game that he got. I am trying to think of it but I am gapping. Oh yes, Crashbandicoot. Thanks daughter. Obviously I have to brush on the awareness of my 10 plus year old versus my 13 or 20 month old grandchildren. Yikes. Anyway he astounds me regularly by his unbelievable wicked vocabulary, his capacity to gather his thoughts so clearly, and to navigate the gaming world so I can at least pretend to get the gist. Have not got a clue. But he does. I sit in awe, not by the topic as much, but by his own enthusiasm, smiling eyes and joy he brings to whatever he does. Astonishing and happily received my boy. Thank you.

So while the snow is still coming down, I have a unplanned surprise in my truck that I got today. When I got in my truck I was just going to get a couple of groceries and tuck in, spoil myself today. I am not sure why I did what I did but I took a left turn instead of right and…. got soil. Yep. A mixed soil. Yeah the language of gardening….who would have thought!? And grass seed. And fertilizer. And yes mulch, red cedar variety. Whew. Wouldn’t you know it that the first brave move of me as gardener and it is snowing. It was cold putting the bags in the back of my truck. I have decided and hopefully my family does not laugh at me too much…to garden. Yes to take the ordinary thumbs of mine and make things happen. Ta da. More like uh oh. I mean I do have this slight problem of not attending to keeping plants alive. If you tell me to take care of other people’s, no problemo; but my own (as family and friends have given me some), it just does not seem to compute. This sudden decision, surprising even me, is like taking the bandaid off….just do it for landsake because the sunflower packages that I grabbed the other day will not take root on the counter.

So for the unexpected delights in life. Blessings.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of prayers and to the fruits of unexpectedness in theirs.

Airing out my…

At the wharf, traps pile high

Hahaha. I love it this morning. I am hanging out my laundry on the clothes line. Woohoo. Best dryer ever!! Chuckling to myself as I think of that old lecture learned over many years from my parents (not specifically those words but close to it)..do not air out your dirty laundry. Well lots to air out here today…pants, tops, underthings (oops), towels…but certainly not dirty. Oh my I really hope the sun is not so intense that it makes the towels stiff. LOL

But peaking over the laundry as I pin them up on the line, I see the sun coming up over the trees, clear blue sky and a jet plane flying overhead leaving its puffy white exhaust in its wake. It feels like a normal typical spring day. Honestly I have not seen a plane in the air for a while. Is there a bit of calm and activity returning? For sure down by the dock, there are stacks of lobster traps piled high next to the moored lobster boats ready and waiting. You can feel the anticipation in the movement on the wharf. Very soon they will be launching.

Well the week has been filled with all kinds of goings on. I have been singing the children’s song Mr Sun , Sun, Mr Golden Sun Please come out and play with my granddaughter. She is learning so many words….it is wonderful. The weather has been cool, cloudy, overcast, and foggy. Damp kind of days. I know it is April but does it have to live up to its reputation. Here my youngest daughter sits outside as we video chat sharing great weather with me back in Ontario. She says do you want to know what the temperature is? NO. No I do not want to know thank you very much. So today I am embracing the sun, cool still…but woohoo. I like the sun. Not a sun worshipper but I like the cheeriness of it.

Maybe that is why sunflowers have been on my mind lately. I think I am going to pretend I know what I am doing and going to grow sunflowers (and other fun flowers). Not a green thumber, more like a brown thumber, but that is not going to stop me. And thankfully my grandkids are my cheerleaders. However, first of all I need to make a garden; that would be a good start. Hahaha. I just learned somewhere on the island is a large farm that grows fields of sunflowers. Need to find it and maybe stand in it. Is that weird? In the mean time, I am watching my yard, looking at where the sun shines as I understand that the sunflower needs direct sunlight. I find it fascinating how the sunflower moves its face towards the sun. Reminds me of my grandchildren’s smiling faces. Beautiful.

Surprisingly I am getting into this growing of things. Or at least making an effort. Like my lawn for instance. Raking the leaves this week between rain drops and fog, it felt good to give it a clean and shine. Then, yesterday, I got it rolled! Holy lightning. Boy does it look different. I guess it needed it. For goodness sake, now maybe I won’t trip over my feet while playing badminton. That dip or two in the ground trips me every time. Thought it was my clumsy feet. Well it was but maybe now I won’t feel I’ll take a nose dive if reaching for the birdie. Watch out now my grandson. Hahaha.

This whole spring season is just wonderful. I feel like a live wire, full of energy, coming through me. Maybe it is the snow gone or the red dirt fields ready for planting or tractors hogging the roads as they go from one field to another (patience is a virtue) or the horrible permafrost ruined sections of the roads across the island, but it is spring. Yippee. I’ll take them all. I just took down the 100′ snow barrier my brother in law put up in late fall. It felt sooooo good. Done like dinner.

Babysitting my second oldest grandchild, she wants to be outside all the time now. And what did I notice….there are buds on some of the bushes. How do I know that? Well little one does not realize that I do not bend like she does nor am I short? So whack and whop as the bared branches take a swipe at me as we go through the bush. She does not go around but right through heavy brush because her mind is made up. Yeah me. So while I navigate the face plants of whipped branches, I see miracles before my eyes, literally. Mother Nature are you serious! Don’t tease. It has not been the greatest of weather, but well life grows and pushes through despite all the barriers coming through. So there is a budding on the tips of many bushes and trees. Lovely. Spring has sprung.

But really just enjoying life today. There is so much to be happy about even if I saw a mouse wrapped in a tarp in the outdoor play chest as I was digging out toys for outside use. Thought I imagined it but no. I picked up the tarp, shook it out, and the little fat furry rodent, made a bee line out into the bush. Ewww. It is not my favourite. Don’t say cute. Please. Anyway I am enjoying walking on the grass and wearing shoes. Yes shoes. And I even enjoy washing Maggie Mays dirty paws that she is getting from our long walks. Of course she knows which path to go on….mud. Yep. Can’t walk like me, on the tufts of grass, jumping between patches of mud and grass. Nope. But hey cannot have it all.

So spring, airing out me….my cobwebs and wobbly knees. Letting me flap and flop as I begin once again to experience the longer walks, brisk and lighter. Letting the delight of the rain and sun, blue skies and wind, rocky shores and crazy waves, red dirt and broken roads, hope of new life coming in. But for goodness sake, please remind me to put kleenex in my pockets….not a friend of nose dripping when walking. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers and for those who are in lockdown once again.

Oh Easter Morn

Easter comes in whatever way

I woke up to the dawn of the morn and was greeted with snow blanketing the world around me, deck and land. There was not a warm fuzzy feeling coming out of me right now. Joy was not quite the expected response in the stirring of my heart nor the wondrous Alleluia!! that usually comes on this day. Sorry, Lord, I’ll do better. Got it off my chest….you know confession and all. Well, Easter you have come in, memorable as ever. to welcome us to a new day beginning a new year of rebirth, renewal, rejuvenation. Not quite feeling it but I know joyful life is there. It might be hidden to be found just like the little ones discover on their own Easter hunt for they are the proof that all can be found.

It is such a dichotomy Easter in its timely tradition of faith and its polar tradition of the joyful Easter egg hunt. Two totally different worlds meet, lamb and bunny, but still with the gift of joyful delight. Uplifting the heart and minds of those who participate as in the faithful who have overcome to see the light or the pitter and patter in discovering the cracking open of the Easter egg. Neither to be taken lightly nor wrongly, just different paths giving the human heart a promise of spring, light and love. It reminds me that Easter is really a good time to feel comfortable putting all of one’s eggs in one basket. Safe and cared for. Afresh. Just like the kids. Although I am sure there might be a tussle or two with the little ones but not for the faithful….open and allow all of self to be present, lay bare, in the rising of the Lord in us. Eternally of hope.

But regardless of what kind of day it is outside, it is the inside that counts. The inside of each of us, standing maybe at the foot of the cross or empty tomb or standing right beside a hidden treasure just waiting to be found. I think of the many Easter mornings with my own girls, the delight and crazy as they began their hunt (way before church too of course). They were full of the unknown knowing all would be found in the early light….turning over- looking under- climbing – crawling – kneeling – stopping – running….the elusive Easter eggs. The carefully painted eggs that we blew out the yolk which later on in years became the many colourful plastic eggs filled with surprises. Miss those days. But I remember the little hints and clues, getting hot or cold or luke warm LOL, whatever the wording, to help them get closer to the few elusive eggs not yet found. Boy was that fun. However, the challenge was to get up early enough to help Easter bunny with the hiding. And to top it off, having to write down where hidden. Hahaha. Yeah not so fun.

Oh to go back to the golden old days. Nah the gold and old days are here. The tradition and wondrous experiences are the now. Certainly I can hold my own resurrection of memories from years gone by, even in technicolour, but really they are ever present. They have to be because it is part of us, in our faith and/or in with our own cultural customs. I am in awe that my own daughters as they continue the mark of wonder and glee in preparing their own path of traditions and observances. The detail and planning behind these days, shared with me, most humbly for me, recreating the aged and storied goodness.

It is odd not to be going to church. Over the last year since the pandemic began, I have chosen to stay away. Initially I had no choice but eventually as the doors opened, I found myself inclined to stay with the pastor’s effort of the live streamed Mass on Facebook and the daily Gospel reflections. I also found a Newfoundland channel of Sunday Mass that is accessible. Nourishing my faith in God’s house is a beautiful gift but not at expense of gatherings. Yes there are the protocols in place but I have realized that God stays with me wherever I am and so being with my grandkids and family….that is my need. Having experienced the loss of seeing family, my mom in particular, and then the restrictions to even visit openly within and between provinces, I realized that the sacramentality of life is so much more, seeing God in all things, graced moments, which I have come to appreciate more and more. Life is precious including having the digital age that fosters a communal awareness, connections and fostering relational goodness as in this day in age, no other choice. Being and seeing my mom, my daughters, my dad, my granddaughter, my siblings across the miles live virtually…just to see and be seen. Yep. Today is a reminder that Easter gives an invigorating hope, of a new life within.

But not to ignore the other side, there is Easter of a more secular nature; no less important as it is traditional and well-intentioned customs of many. Easter bunny and the Easter egg hunt for real beautifully painted hollow eggs, colourfully sweet filled plastic eggs or the big chocolate Easter bunnies (hollow and solid) discovered at the end of hunt. I do not know when the change came, going from the traditional hollow chocolate eggs and bunnies only to a more flash-in-the-pan, popular modern day chocolate character variety fare. But give me those delicious Cadbury creamy filled eggs. Yumyumyum. Do you wonder about the wee tiny oval eggs that you get? Seem like the shape of bunny droppings? Ewww. I don’t know but still…yum in the tum. Too much information. Sorry. Yet, it is so unbelievable the Easter fare out there. How does the Easter bunny choose?

Well needless to say I saw the images of my grandchildren doing their Easter hunt; nothing has changed. Basket, hunt, eggs…filled. And smiles, big smiles even on my two youngest of grandchildren. Yes my youngest just over 1 year is walking or one-handed trailing the walls and such. Good thing Easter bunny knows how to hide the eggs along the walls or fridge or low cupboards or corners. Hahaha. Oh Easter what have you done!! Given joy to the little hearts and minds whether understood or not. And maybe just maybe the story of Easter from the Christian perspective, giving an account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ may come to pass. But whether heard or read about, bible or other story told, makes the connection or not, signs of new life and spring may be the place of awareness. And chocolate fix. I wonder if the Easter bunny knows of the palette of the older children (you know the adults in the hunt)? Just wondering.

So as you and I enjoy this Easter weekend, hopefully sharing in a meal with loved ones, if not near but from afar (technology rocks), let us take a moment to remember….

If you see a rabbit laying little brown eggs, don’t eat them they are not chocolate.

Two things I learned from the Easter bunny; everyone is entitled to a bad hair day and some body parts should be floppy.

You might want to think about what colour you paint your eggs when eggs are found on the ground; maybe avoid yellow.

Where else can you bite someone’s head off and not get yelled at.

Lent was invented so Catholics could get another shot at New Years Resolution.

No thanks, chocolate Easter bunny, I have more than enough men in my life that are hollow and full of disappointment. (not nice really)

Go on an Easter hunt; I can’t even find my car keys.

Easter is the only time where it is safe to put all your eggs in one basket.

Be patient….sometimes blessings need a little bit more time before they hatch.

Earth’s saddest day and gladdest day were only three days apart.

When life gives you more than you can stand….kneel.

Have a happy Easter for peeps’ sake.

Rejoice and enjoy this day and the days to come, somebunny loves you. Blessings.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of our prayers today and let their hearts be filled with gladness.

Mind needing attention…. aaahhh

Look beyond the trees.

Lately, I have been doing different kinds of mind activities, you know the kind – brain draining logic kinds of games. Stretch the brain till it hurts. Ones that frustrate you to no end. But you do them anyway. LOL. So I have got into the habit of ‘cheating’….alleviating the sense of how can I be so not smart. Sorry Lord, but I have and I know it is Lent!! But almost to the finish line. I did not give up ‘cheating’. But I’ll think of not giving up so easily. Okay?? It’s just that, well, I mean they put the answers in the back of the booklet for goodness sakes and my fingers do the walking. Quite frankly I am glad they do. Because honestly having checked my wee small brain with the one who made up these particular ‘good for the mind’ games, my eyes go crossed eyed. I even went to a thesaurus when doing a crossword puzzle to check to see if the clue and crossword word matched. Unfortunately yes. Yet, it is dp funny how your brain wanders to one place and the word can mean something entirely different, almost too much of a stretch at times.

Speaking of Lent, hopefully it has been a generous amount of time over the past few weeks for reflection, walking in the desert so to speak, removing or staying things that have been a distraction of sorts in the long stretches of your life. Yes there is also the part of giving up something or taking on something, a discipline of sorts, for forty days. I did not give up or take on but settled into what I already have. Which is more than enough to dwell upon. And well, I love fish on Fridays for sure (not the fishy kind mind you. Not even for Lent will I take on fishy fish. Sorry.). Searching for the calm in the deep pits and crevices we struggle through, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Maybe it has to do with the timing of Lent and spring…new birth, rebirth, fresh feel to the day. Excitement even with the masks. The journey of self-discovery of the pause in one’s life and seeking deeper meaning to what life is all about I think happens wondrously. Reflecting has got to be one of the most powerful gifts to give oneself, decluttering the heart and soul within. I am so grateful right now because my walks have moved or returned to the shores and cliffs nearby. Feel so much closer to God, me, and my wandering thoughts.

Now with the change in daylight, the warmth in the air, the smells (yes even cow dung), the delightful patches of colour, and low and behold the time for dying and rebirth as Holy Week closes to open Easter season invigorating our hopes. Marking a holy moment of gratitude with one lit candle touched by another to bring light to a new path, new beginning. Oh yes Lent, you have done your due diligence for me these past weeks…getting my mind to pay attention. Hence mind games to fine tune an instrument that needs a bit of a stir. I know I know, logic head games or scrabble (yes me and myself playing against each other. Guess who wins?) are not quite a Lenten practice but hey I am a work in progress.

I feel this keen stirring within me to get the fire lit, a burning desire to grab life by the horns and run with it. It could be the excitement I feel as the physical presence of barrenness and worn blanket of winter white sheds its layering to hints of delight. There is a lightness in my step that almost makes me want to burst free but of course, I will probably fall on my face. Yes. These old legs have been a walkin’, not a runnin’. Hahaha. Have you ever tried that. Face plant is not my thing. Thankfully I have two grandchildren who are under two. So I have to build up to the run. The only catch is my grandson who is 10 1/2…I’ll have to practice discretely. Yeah me. But really there is such a desire to get to work on the whole enchilada….me.

So working on the mind, body and spirit….with mostly the mind lately. I think the spiritual part is always being fine tuned in gratitude and love that I receive gratefully and with promise from those that I love and come into my life giving me a bit of themselves to me. Now the burst of energy seeping through my bones is getting to be livelier. My feet were really moving today even though it was overcast and fog coming in over the water off the northshore, I was stepping in time. LOL, I am thinking of Dick Van Dykes song from Mary Poppins’ Step In Time. How my mind works I will never know? Hey there is another thing helping my mind. Texting. I have to say thank you to the people who set up the ability on phones, computers, tablets etc with programs or apps to allow you to ‘chat’. Although I have not mastered the two digit texting on phone or tablet like my daughters. I am really good at one finger. Oh my, my old typing teacher would have a fit…tap my fingers when I stray off and look at typewriter. Those were the good old days. I remember that rule – “two hands, two feet, if not no beat”. Beat? What do the feet have to do with the hands? Oh yes, sit up straight. Beat. Rhythm. Oh yes. How one forgets!! Hahaha.

The gift of sharing and chatting with others in whatever form or whatever way, gets the mind active. Sometimes I cannot express my thoughts fast enough as I connect to one thing and they are already going off on another. That reminds me of Messenger and Google Hangout – timing of conversation does not fit the comment they just sent. Even on cell phone. I guess when you have so much to say to one another…well let’s just say slow down. There is Lent all over again. Pause and breathe. Sometimes I think people in general are not comfortable with the quiet. Need to fill in the space.

Why the mind lately? I have once again been thinking of my mom and even my dad. We say we have senior moments. Everyone, young or old can have them. But with my mom walking with dementia that is a whole other kettle of fish. Dad gets mad at himself because he cannot remember. He says it began when he had to carry a little note pad and paper when he worked the floor at the plant. It went down hill from then in memory? I do not think so dad. You had way too much to remember for goodness sake. Is there a connection between an active mind, staying active and dementia. I do not know. Certainly music is a big thing that brings the heart to the mind, generously and wondrously moving. But I also discovered that when you talk about her passions, remember them, her eyes light up. Might not be many words but something is jogging and best thing….most beautiful mom smile.

So spring, I am giving and praising you for the kick start to my days lately. I sat outside on my deck (just pulled the Muskoka chairs out from the shed) and enjoyed my crosswords. Not going to bring scrabble out because it is too windy and hey, the birds may think these little wooden things are to munch on. No thanks. But also to thank you for opening up the woods for my granddaughter and me; she is a hoofing her. Now that she can walk in her new rubber boots, we are going places. The woods is her oyster. Her mind is in full gear, grabbing on to words as she repeats what I talk about in what we are doing….love it. She stops all of a sudden because she hears the birds….not that horrible movie The Birds….no the big crows that yak and caw constantly. Her head goes up when she hears their sounds, spots them and starts to imitate their call. I teared up as she raised her arms up to talk with them. Precious. Yesterday we got out of the truck when I picked her up as I have to park at top near the road due to soft clay dirt and permafrost; she sees overhead a gaggle of geese flying above us. Oh my what a sight! She waves at them as they fly by in their perfect vee. Wow!

Paired with her abundance of being a sponge and taking it all in, she has a brother who just keeps me hoppin’ too. His mind is razor sharp and also filled with love for another human being. When he watches a movie, listens to a news story, or reads a piece from a book and tears up (no my grandson it is a beautiful heart you have) oh I want to scooch him forever. Amazing graced moment. He feels so strongly and does not miss a beat. Isn’t there a saying about little ears. Well his are fine tuning exponentially, thank you very much. He has this uncanny ability to take something and make it come alive. The way he articulates his thoughts, the way he finds words beyond his years, and uses them appropriately….nothing wrong with his mind. Well done parents.

I do realize that my mind like any other part of the body needs attention. Cannot neglect it as it is easy to do. You know when you put the milk in the cupboard (oops, hope not for long) or forgot to turn the stove off (not good, better not be far) or forgot your wallet (hope your not hungry) or forgot to close the window (flood insurance). You know things you do when you are in a hurry or busy. Just do not forget the kitty litter if you go on vacation. But the biggest one is a daily one, forgetting the names of people. I can remember a few times of a family member or a good friends, said their name a hundred times, do you think I could remember? Nah. Of course being in education there are so many students I taught and staff I worked with….after awhile you have to suck it up butter cup and just admit it. Honestly, we are human. Not great in a business deal mind you.

So food for thought if your mind is in a muddle, take up the piano or guitar, eat a strange or different foods, change your daily routine, do a puzzle or strategy game, read or write differently (not backwards but aloud or in poetry), do math for a gr. 5 (yeah that will get your heart pumping), learn a new language (pig latin or…), take a class (out of comfort zone), donate your time.

If a cluttered desk is a sign of cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Albert Einstein. Play scrabble. Blessings this day.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers and for a healthy and active mind.