Peace, Love and Understanding

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?

~ Nick Lowe

Sunday Snap: Giving Thanks

I know 2020 has been a year like no other, but still . . .

I’m thankful for my health.
I’m grateful for my home and who I share it with.
I’m thankful for a world of diverse cultures, colours, and wonders.
I’m grateful for the people who fill my life—and have filled my life—with love, sunshine, and warmth.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson

“The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” – Mary Davis

♥ ♥ ♥

 Happy Thanksgiving,
Canada. 

Orange Shirt Day

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

Up Close and Personal*

Happy Sunday, everyone!

For today’s photo challenge, here are a few close-ups from my media files. The theme I have chosen is nature.

“Look deep into nature,
and then you will understand everything better.”
~ Albert Einstein

Baby Spider Nest

Baby Spider Nest (2)

One of 55 Species of Butterfly in NL

Hermit Crab

Wild Rosebud

Young Girl with Starfish Sea Star
“Sea star on Poppy’s beach!”

“Snail in my backyard!”

 Perry’s Point Partridge Berries

Ice Storm Aftermath

“Study nature, love nature,
stay close to nature.
It will never fail you.”
~ Frank Lloyd Wright

*This is my contribution to A Photo a Week Challenge: Up Close and Personal by Nancy Merrill Photography

Further Reading: Guest Post: How to Use Nature to Connect with Your Grandkids

Interested in sharing one of your original articles as a guest? Feel free to submit your ideas to jennifer@jenniferkellandperry.com. Preference is given to topics relevant to my blog, such as books, writing, nature, photography, travel, children and pets. – JKP

Sunday Snaps: Buoys of Summer

In a fishing village like Newtown, you will often see brightly-painted buoys adorning fences, rails and walls, particularly in summer.

While buoys of all types are still used for fishing. . .

. . . many are adapted solely for decoration.

As fall approaches, most of the buoys will be put away until next summer, but some embellish the landscape all year round.

buoysWhen creating the title for this post, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Don Henley song, The Boys of Summer.

“I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
after the boys of summer have gone.”

Of course, if you are from anywhere besides the U.S., my play on words makes sense.
All other English-speaking countries pronounce buoy like “boy”, whereas most Americans pronounce it “boo-ee”. I wonder why.

And if that’s the case, how do Americans pronounce “buoyant” and “buoyancy”?

How do you pronounce buoy?
Do tell!

(And can you tell I’m not
ready for summer to end?)

Sunday Snaps: Skipper Alex

Alexander Perry

Alexander Perry, or Skipper Alex (aka Alec) as he was called by many, was my husband’s grandfather. For those that don’t already know, our home on Perry’s Point for the past ten years is the same home in which Alexander and his wife Mary Jane lived and raised their large family.

Alexander worked as a skipper  on a number of fishing schooners. He made many trips to Labrador to fish for cod, which he brought back to Newtown to be cured before it was carried by ship from St. John’s to England and sometimes Jamaica.

Although I never met the man, I’ve heard many good things about him.  Skipper Alex was widely admired for his seafaring abilities, his pleasant disposition and gentle spirit, and his flair for storytelling. Locals loved to visit with him—or he with them—to be regaled with colourful tales of his experiences. Of course, having a love of stories myself, I wish I could have known him back in the day.

Below is a letter from Pompano Beach, Florida that Paul found in a box in the attic when we renovated our house. It was written by John Maxwell Barbour, known as Max, the eldest son of Captain Alphaeus Barbour. I imagine the letter meant something to Alex for him to hold onto it like that. He would have been 81 when he received it, and Max, 69. I typed the letter out for easier reading.

Jan. 22, 1969

Dear Skipper Alex,

This carries to you and to your good wife my warm congratulations on your 56th wedding anniversary.

Seeing your excellent picture brought back many memories of my boyhood days in Newtown and of our many contacts, all of which were pleasant and helpful in shaping me for the years ahead. To put it quite plainly, during that period you were one of my favourite adults and without question your personality made a good impression on me.

To my mind’s ear the sound of the guns fired at your wedding still comes thru. I recall the happy occasion well altho I was not old enough then to be a guest.

My wife joins me in sending you and your wife best wishes for continued health and happiness.

Very sincerely,
Max Barbour.

Many thanks to Lester Barbour for giving me some background on Max.
Photo credits: James Maine

“Granda” Perry on the Point – b. 1888 – d. 1977

Sunday Snap: Focus

Pic and a Word Challenge: Depth of Field

While my latest book is on submission, I’ve recently shifted my focus to photography (see what I did there? 😉 ). I’m starting an online course this week to study what my Canon camera can actually do beyond my usual point and click.

What is Depth of Field?
“Depth of field is the distance between the closest and farthest objects in a photo that appears acceptably sharp. Now your camera can only focus sharply at one point. But the transition from sharp to un-sharp is gradual, and the term ‘acceptably sharp’ is a loose one! Without getting too technical, how you will be viewing the image, and at what size you will be looking at it are factors that contribute to how acceptably sharp an image is.”  ~ photographylife.com

My humble contribution: I captured the above photo when my daughter and her family came to visit. My grandson took a shine to this gorgeous little caterpillar we found near Cape Freels beach.

Speaking of online courses, I’ve also signed up for a certificate course through the University of Alberta called Indigenous Canada, which includes 12 lessons that explore Indigenous histories and contemporary issues from an Indigenous perspective. The course is also accessible outside of Canada. For more info, click here.

Never curb your lifelong desire to learn, my friends. Focus on something new, to you! 🙂

Evergreen Post: Summer Lovin’

I’ve been taking a blogging break while away from home these past couple of weeks, so today I’ll share a photography post from a beautiful July day six years ago.
Remember 2014, when life was simpler?  ~*sigh*~

I plan to return to regular blogging with a new Sunday Snap, on—you guessed it—Sunday!

***

Summer in my province of Newfoundland and Labrador, compared to most of North America, is short but ever so sweet. What makes it so cherished, to my mind?

The following photos were all taken in Lead Cove, the little community where I raised my children.

I love my home for its natural beauty,
its refreshing, rugged and
unspoiled charm,
for its clear and wide blue skies
without a whisper of smog.

245

I love the clean, sparkling water
and the glistening rocks adorning the coastline
that beg to be traced
and trod upon by eager footsteps.

241

I love summer in Newfoundland
for its breathtaking views
of seascapes and landscapes
when I embark on a hike.

242

Whether I traverse
its beaches of sand or
climb its rocky windswept hills,
I know my camera will find its aim.

I embrace it because
the bushes and shrubs,
green and lush,
are heavy with fragrance
and of wild roses in bloom…

183

…while in the gardens,
the planted perennials are brilliant with colour,
delighted at last
to spread their bright petals to the sun.

181

182

I love the hardy trees of Newfoundland
in summer…

178

…as they stretch
their ripe foliage to the sky.

184Shot through with rays of sunlight,
a shimmering haze settles over the treetops
like a warm summer veil.

323

After a long winter and dismal spring
of cold, naked branches,
they, as I do,
breathe a sigh of gratitude
at the return of this warm and golden season.

234

Are you filled with summer lovin’ where you live, or is the pandemic interfering?

Originally published here on July 29/14

Summer Evening

Close of hot June day—
soft sea breeze, high crescent moon,
cool waves kiss the shore.

We’ve enjoyed a bit of a heat wave this past week, an unusually early occurrence here in the easternmost province of Canada.

I call it a bonus because our summers are notoriously short, and after a long winter and spring, warm sun-filled days are more than welcome. I’m also grateful for the coastal breezes that keep things temperate.

This is my contribution to A Photo a Week Challenge: Dusk – nancy merrill photography

Smile