Reflections on Resilience

when hibernation ends

  I’ve grown accustomed to this semi-reclusive pandemic life. With my wild woman hair, dubious hygiene routine and the sweet, sweet pace of slow solitude. Alas, this deepening appreciation for the road less rushed is happening just as things are set to open up in my area. The return of the real world is coming whether I’m ready or not.   There’s a kernel of resistance to the impending re-entry deep in my gut. It may be a concern that the change may bring back to the unhealthy parts of the status quo.     Can I hold onto the ...
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Ground and Notice

  When you read this, your imagination may go into hyperdrive. You may imagine a mystical being floating through my gardens at dawn like a backyard Gandalf who converses telekinetically with the maples and the marigolds. Or you may see a more grounded, earthly being like Wendell Berry, a poet deeply connected to the land by working on it and writing from that deep connection.   Either way, you’d be dead wrong.   Instead, imagine the real me. With the most spectacular bedhead. Eyes still crusty with sleep. Dressed in last night’s wrinkled clothes pulled from the chair beside the ...
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quiet – good when you can find it

  It was a noisy weekend.  It featured a chainsaw for a backyard tree-pruning session, the use of an electric planer that rivals a dentist's drill for shrillness, and four days and nights of random neighbourhood fireworks.  In need of quiet, I was thoroughly enjoying our early morning bike ride where the loudest sounds were the slight breeze, the honking of the park geese, and the bells of a midtown church calling worshippers to wakefulness.   On this day, part of the multi-use path was blocked off for repairs.  The strollers, cyclists and the glassy-eyed Sunday morning wanderers wearing Saturday’s ...
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Yes, broken!

  Q: Hey, how are you? A: Okay. Q: Just okay? A: Yes.     Have you had this conversation or one similar to this with anyone in the past year?  Maybe you’ve felt broken and said so out loud.  And maybe in response, someone has said something like:   “You’re not broken. With hard work, a positive attitude and setting an intention to become whole, you can transform your cracks and fractures into something beautiful.”   Can we stop making it sound as if brokenness is a tiny puddle one can easily step over in order to start on the ...
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puzzling

  I love puzzles.  Crossword Jigsaw Lateral thinking Crime dramas (especially something from BBC) that can be on the darker side but with a minimal amount of gore and gratuitous violence Noticing my behaviour and the behaviour of others to solve the puzzle of ‘why"   Because I've been told that I leave no stone unturned in my attempt to solve life’s puzzles, it seems to suggest that my puzzling borders on obsession and less on casual interest.   Recently, while watching the surprisingly diverse wildlife embracing spring in our city backyard, my partner made an observation.  He noticed that ...
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grit and bear it

  On the first day of Grade 8, the homeroom teacher, Mr. Couch asked us to write a letter to ourselves that would be sealed in an envelope and returned to us on the last day of school.    The social and sensory overwhelm of school often took its toll on me so I was thrilled at the prospect of such a solitary and thoughtful task.  I loved the time given for silent reflection and the earnestness I had, that was not so popular in grade school, was free to be expressed in those moments with pen, paper and a ...
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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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