Reflections on Resilience

have you tried pipe cleaners?

“You look like you’re on a mission”. Out of breath and not really in the mood to chat, I reluctantly slowed down, stopping about 10 feet away from the person who called out to me. I replied that I was walking at a good pace to burn off some nervous energy on a brisk January day after spending the morning unsuccessfully trying to avoid the weight of world news that left me with a buzzing mind and a clenched body. “Have you tried pipe cleaners?” I had to admit that I hadn’t. “Pipe cleaners?” I asked. Apparently pipe cleaners can ...
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letting go

  The first clear memory I have of the concept of "letting go" was the first time I ever went water skiing.  I was young and not very physically active so it didn’t take long before I was down.   With the water rushing loudly passed my ears, I couldn’t hear the screams from those on the boat telling me to let go of the tow rope.  Instead, I remained like a fish on a hook being dragged in against its will and ultimate fate.    I surprisingly don’t have a lot of residual humiliation about this event since I it ...
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sheltering in place

“Barn’s burnt down - Now I can see the moon” (Mizuta Masahide)     As I sit here cocooning in my favourite wrap, on the cusp of another probable lockdown, I am contemplating the coming winter and feeling in need of a sheltering plan.  The impact of being more housebound than usual with still limited or distanced contact with extended family and with friends is weightier than winters that have come before.        In preparation for the darker, colder days, we put our gardens to bed. We put shorts and T-shirts in storage and make sure scarves, mittens ...
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pomegranate perspectives

  My partner is almost a whole foot taller than I am.  This significant height gap means, among other things, that I am addressed frequently with Tolkien-inspired nicknames.    It also comes with bouts of teasing about how it can possibly be that someone as short as I am can have so many opinions.   I like to think of it as doing the best I can with what I was given!   The difference in our height also literally impacts what we see and the way we each see it.  This is never clearer than in the midst of ...
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a modest harvest

  If you looked at our backyard in Google Earth, you would mostly see a canopy of green and very little else.  The abundance of shade, the variety of textures and colours and the role the trees play in balancing out the oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are just some of the benefits of our tiny forest.   We also enjoy how many critters frequent our urban wild space and that makes for quite a bit of natural entertainment.   But there is a downside to this canopied space. Our attempts at growing food have been nothing short of ...
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come to your senses

Baby Ways As newborns, we explored the world and learned primarily through our senses. With no ability to communicate through conversation, we grasped the outreached fingers of our caregivers and clung to colourful toys. We drooled as we gummed on teething rings or our fingers and toes. We rolled our bodies on soft blankets on the floor and dabbled in a variety of vocal experiments.   Toddling On Then, as toddlers, we left no stone unturned to crawl all over our environment, climbed on furniture and repurposed ordinary cardboard boxes for creative play. While using words became more common as ...
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soothing manoeuvers – introduction to video series

  The School of Life has an absolutely lovely post titled “How We Crave to Be Soothed”.  The simple act of reading it was a refreshing as an afternoon nap.   Or having an unexpected day off.   Within the lines of this gem is where the phrase “soothing manoeuvers” tugged me by the ear to come closer, lean in and listen to the poetry of calm.    I enjoy reading the School of Life essays and not just because I'm a fan of British-speak like "having a small lie down" for resting or eating something as "taking a tray".  I ...
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feel helpless, be a helper

  If I Only Knew Then When I decided to take early retirement last October from my role as a high school counsellor/ teacher, I couldn’t have predicted the pandemic or its impact on the education system.  Especially the untenable situation my longtime colleagues, friends and close family members who are educators, students and parents are facing today. Many are experiencing an enormous amount of fear, anxiety and overwhelming stress in light of unsafe re-entry plans that could burst every bubble that has helped flatten the COVID curve to this point. I know of teachers who are: Updating their wills ...
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oh, how you shine!

As the fuss and fluster of the end of school season settles, a calmness that comes from being back in the quiet space of my own making moves through me, like a welcome summer breeze. The rare treat of a second, unhurried cup of morning coffee is accompanied by reading a work of fiction while snugly wrapped in a cotton blanket.  The blanket was recently gifted to me by my sister because she thought it looked like a blanket that belongs to a writer. Warmed by the coffee and my new blanket, I also spend time engaging in backwards and ...
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walking wounded

  They sling uninformed arrows from empty quivers. They find fault in everyone else but themselves. They sting others quickly to prevent themselves from being stung. They tend to see themselves repeatedly as the victim of someone else’s crime. They fail to see kindness, compassion or joy. Or if they do see something even lightly tinged with grace, it is quickly taken over by a heavy grievance against someone or something.   So they walk and they wound. They tend to endlessly pick at and pester others, they control, complain, argue and hurt those around them.   Hurt people hurt ...
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