Under blue heavens we listen to the waves roll, sand between our toes
This year’s theme for Earth Day is Restore Our Earth. This includes goals and actions such as reforestation, regenerative agriculture and sustainable food, plastic cleanups, climate literacy, and citizen science.
Each and every one of us can play a part in healing and preserving our environment.
Last weekend, Paul and I took another work trip, this time to the town of Bonavista. Thankfully, it was a much shorter drive than the last one—3.5 hours to our destination, compared to nearly 8 hours to St. Barbe and Flower’s Cove on the Northern Peninsula‘s Viking Trail, and we only needed to stayed one night instead of two.
And Spring happened! The weather was much nicer on our trip to Discovery Trail, although there was still plenty of snow around. We arrived at our Airbnb accommodations early on Saturday so Paul could get a jump on his work at the school there. Check out the beach home where we stayed:
The house was exceptionally clean, warm, and charming. I loved its shiplap walls and beadboard ceilings. The ceilings were low, though. I’ve never felt so tall in my life!
The next morning while Paul worked, I took a stroll around the block to see some heritage saltbox and vacation homes. The day was crisp, cool and gorgeous, and it was hard not to take too many pics.
Of special note: a “Seaside Loafers” bench, a potential fixer-upper, a fence made of branches, a seawall, and a family of Labradors.
This was our second visit to Bonavista. I blogged about our fall trip here. If you liked what you saw above, you’ll love the photos in that post. Was it really eight years ago??
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” -Henry Miller
Last weekend I accompanied my husband on a work trip to the Great Northern Peninsula. Also known as the Viking Peninsula, it is a large rural area in western Newfoundland, located north of Gros Morne National Park and extending to L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, a former Viking settlement at its northern tip. The region is known for its Long Range Mountains, the most northern section of the Appalachians.
Both the park and the Viking settlement are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Having visited the region several times in summer, I was excited to travel to the west coast for my first opportunity to see the mountains covered in snow. Lucky timing too, as it’s been an odd winter. Most areas off the Avalon Peninsula didn’t get any amount of snow until late February and early March. Marble Mountain skiers didn’t hit the slopes until March 4th, due to lack of snow and the new Covid-19 variant. Strange times indeed!
Paul’s work will soon take us to the lovely town of Bonavista, another locale I look forward to seeing in the off-season for the first time. Stay tuned for more photos! Perhaps they’ll be more spring-like. 🙂
“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.” ~ Osho
But then, what of the following quote? Can a person who is low in spirit also be in love with life and create anything worthwhile?
“Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.” ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley
Many have theorized that there may be a correlation between sadness and creativity. Great talents such as Van Gogh and Virginia Woolf come to mind. The romantic poets described suffering as a precondition to writing anything of literary merit.
Angst has a creative upside! That said, I believe joy, heartache, or any strong emotion can stimulate creativity, just as one’s mindset can influence the mood of an artistic piece.
To look through the lens of a somber, troubled mind, one may imbue his or her own state of melancholy onto the subject. . .
. . . whereas, if the emotional perspective and attitude is lighthearted or happy, one might frame it in an entirely different light.
Sadness and happiness are simply two sides of the creative coin.
It isn’t a sad and lonely day, but one painted with the hues of a brilliant blue sky and a blanket of sunshine, the kind of day where the sun and snow merge to design graceful shadows in the hollows of the landscape.
Sun on the newly fallen and drifted snow creates a tapestry of shadowy forms,
from the palest baby blue to the deepest of indigo.
The slanting afternoon rays of sunlight hold little heat, but warm the heart of this nature-lover nonetheless.
The surface of the snow waves and crests,
while most of the bay lies still under a layer of slush and ice.
Dunes of scalloped white surround me…
…and the only hint of sound is the faint exhale of a frigid breeze.
Certain feathered creatures have already been here.
At the end of the Point I reach the icy blue coastline…
…where the water is still full of movement in spite of the sub-zero air.
Cold, but fluid…
…clear and beautiful.
Other shadows dapple a weather-worn barn…
…and sun-bleached fences.
Hidden in shade, a bird house waits for spring, and a new tenant…
…while our neighbour’s fishing boat awaits a new summer.
Ben Perry’s shed is called a “store” around these parts.
Still more shadows hide in furrows of snow and last summer’s grasses. I wade in.
My toes are like ice cubes inside my boots at this point. I hop over the fence to home.
Time to put the kettle on…
…and thaw myself out with a cup of tea.
And my world changes from blue to green.
How is your January going?
What is the colour of your winter?
*ThrowbackThursday – This is a reblog from January 2015.
Last week on December 7th, Paul and I celebrated our tenth anniversary of living here on Perry’s Point in Newtown. We had left the city behind in 2010 for the rural life and a new adventure.
Our house, which was newly built for Paul’s grandfather Perry in 1923, was in dire need of restoration and renovation before we could move in. The work that went into these first stages is clearly illustrated in these photos.
In 2023, this old house will be one hundred years old, which coincides with our 25th wedding anniversary. Sounds like a great excuse for a party!
Remembrance Day is observed on November 11th in Canada.
I’d like to highlight a song that means something to me and conveys my abiding wish for peaceful, nonviolent alternatives to the costs and devastation of war and strife worldwide.
That said, I mean no disrespect to the memories of all the brave soldiers who fought, stood on guard, and died for us. I honour them just as you do.
UPDATE 2020: I love this new social-distanced version for the times we live in. I hope you have a listen.
As I walk through This wicked world Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity. I ask myself Is all hope lost? Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?
And each time I feel like this inside, There’s one thing I wanna know: What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?
And as I walked on Through troubled times My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes So where are the strong And who are the trusted? And where is the harmony? Sweet harmony.
Cause each time I feel it slippin’ away, just makes me wanna cry. What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?
So where are the strong? And who are the trusted? And where is the harmony? Sweet harmony.
Cause each time I feel it slippin’ away, just makes me wanna cry. What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?
September 30th is Orange Shirt Day in Canada, a day set aside to remember the experiences and loss of the thousands of children who were stolen from their families and placed in Indian Residential Schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind.
Why orange shirts? Orange Shirt Day grew out of Phyllis Webstad’s story of having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. You can read Phyllis’ story at orangeshirtday.org
Why September 30th? The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools, and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.
From Shana Dion, Assistant Dean, First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Students of the University of Alberta:
“Autumn can be the saddest time for so many survivors because the changing of the leaves means that they were not going to see their families for a very long time (a full school year), or sadly never see their families again. Most of us now can hardly leave our little ones in daycare or school for a day, never mind a whole year of wondering ‘how they are doing?’, ‘are they happy?’, ‘are they having a good day?’, ‘has anyone hurt them?’, or ‘are they sick or in pain?’. For the most part there was little to no communication between children sent to Indian Residential School and their families; can you imagine?
“Imagine being taken away from your parents at the age of five. Being given a number instead of a name. Being punished for speaking the only language you know. Being cut off from your family. Imagine being a parent, and being threatened with jail if you didn’t give up your children. Imagine being cut off from your children for ten years! What would it do to your family?
“I wear my orange shirt to honour inter-generational survivors. I honour their pain and peace. I honour their love and sorrow. I honour their brokenness and resilience. I honour their grit and grace. I honour their shame and pride. I honour their loneliness and lovability. I honour their sadness and humor. We are the sum of many parts all to be honored equally.”
I shared this today to raise awareness on a topic I knew little about until I immersed myself in the ongoing Indigenous Canada course offered by the University of Alberta. As a non-indigenous person, it isn’t enough to empathize with the Indigenous or to acknowledge my country’s shameful colonial past in this area. It isn’t enough to understand the intergenerational trauma that the residential school system has caused, with all its ramifications, or to say I’m not a racist. Rather, I am an ally and an anti-racist, which involves action. This is one small step in that direction. – JKP
Sources: University of Alberta Native Studies; orangeshirtday.org
Interested in sharing one of your original articles as a guest? Feel free to submit your ideas to email@example.com. Preference is given to topics relevant to my blog, such as books, writing, nature, photography, travel, children and pets. – JKP