Living Starts with a gift

My gift is reading. Not much of a gift, but it is the one I am offering as a my first step in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. I’m reading the literature of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit writers. What I am reading is opening doors to a world I […]

Living Starts with the uncertain first steps of a beginner

I’ve just been reading an article by Kathleen Gallagher, Distinguished Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She addresses the important responsibility we Canadians face of “making good on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action”. She acknowledges she is a beginner. She is uncertain about her preparedness, and uncomfortable with it.  […]

Living Starts in the middle of “Too Much”

Today, as I was slicing windfall apples from my neighbour’s tree, I had a flashback. I’d taken the fruit outside and was sitting at the table in front of what used to be the summer kitchen of our old house. Wasps began to swarm around the apples and I batted them away, determined not to […]

Living Starts with belonging

Where do we belong? The question is following me across Canada as my husband and I travel to BC. We’re taking a meandering route. The first week we ventured north of the 54th parallel, driving from southern Ontario to The Pas, Manitoba through hectares and hectares of boreal forest. Our clean air, water, and food […]

Living Starts with noticing

Lovely summer. Yesterday, a puddle of sunshine flooded my patio. I took my coffee outside. The dog came with me and settled down at my feet. We sat there quietly for a little while. Then a bug whizzed past and smacked into the window, ricocheted off and landed on its back. Its feet flailed in the […]

Living Starts with a compost heap and a little magic

Gorgeous abundant spring is here, and galloping toward summer. My tulips and irises are blooming, dandelions have spread their seed, and the grass has been mowed twice.  I have been working in my compost heap, setting it to rights. It has reminded me of when I owned horses and how we yard workers each took turns […]

Living Starts when something breaks

My lovely poet friend Claudia came for poetry and lunch. As we caught up with each other, we shared parts of our writing life. I told her that sometimes I just can’t write. Birds outside my window are just birds. Snow when it falls, is just cold. I’ve given myself permission to write nothing, if the writing isn’t alive. I […]

Living Starts with a pushmi-pullyu

“This, Doctor,” said Chee-Chee, “is the pushmi-pullyu – the rarest animal of the African jungles, the only two-headed beast in the world!” I recently re-read The Story of Doctor Dolittle, by Hugh Lofting. The book I have is a childhood copy, dating from 1923, the first Canadian edition. I’m not sure which child coloured in […]

Living Starts with a little bit of light

This is the time of year when Christians recollect the story of a child being born. This human story is not romantic. The child was born in a stable.  I’ve worked in a horse stable. The smell of urine would have been strong. The wind would have whipped through the boards. The mum laboured alone, giving birth to her first child. The step-dad […]