Friday, 28 February 2014

If I Stepped Out Of My Body

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota, 
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass. 
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies 
Darken with kindness. 
They have come gladly out of the willows 
To welcome my friend and me. 
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture 
Where they have been grazing all day, alone. 
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness 
That we have come. 
They bow shyly as wet swans.
They love each other. 
There is no loneliness like theirs. 
At home once more, 
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness. 
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms, 
For she has walked over to me 
And nuzzled my left hand. 
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead, 
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear 
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize 
That if I stepped out of my body 
I would break
Into blossom.

                                        - James Wright: A Blessing

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Not Your Regular Hockey Hero

The Olympic hockey games were played with a high level of sportsmanship. Unfortunately it stands out because of  myriad  instances of discreditable behaviour. On a smaller stage last week a twelve year old stood up to his coach and team mates and did the right thing.

After a questionable goal in overtime the losing team were pulled off the ice by their angry coach without the customary handshake with the other team. After they left one boy stood alone. Despite haranguing from his coach he skated to the blue line ready to congratulate the other team. Those boys,  gathered around him protectively and, in the way of twelve year old boys, showed their respect by patting him on the head and shoulders.

Who knows what the fallout will be? He comes from a small town where hockey is king. How will the community react? How will the team react?  One thing is known, the coach will not be there, he has been suspended for thirty days.

The days ahead may to be tough for Matthew Marotta but he has the grit to stand his ground. Good for you kid!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Friday Thought

Some people do this better than others.

Being Your Self Quotes

On the whole, I think people are good about checking on their neighbours. In the miserable weather many of us are enduring it is more important than ever.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A Covenant for Honouring Children

We find these joys to be self-evident:

That all children are created whole, endowed with innate intelligence, with dignity and wonder, worthy of respect.

The embodiment of life, liberty and happiness, children are original blessings, here to learn their own song. 

Every girl and boy is entitled to love, to dream, and to belong to a loving "village." And to pursue a life of purpose.

We affirm our duty to nourish and nurture the young, to honour their caring ideals as the heart of being human.

To recognize the early years as the foundation of life, and to cherish the contribution of young children to human evolution.

We commit ourselves to peaceful ways and vow to keep from harm or neglect these, our most vulnerable citizens.

As guardians of their prosperity we honour the bountiful Earth whose diversity sustains us.

Thus we pledge our love for generations to come.

These words were written by Raffi Cavoukian, better known to most of us simply as Raffi. He created the song used in my previous cloud lift post. His Centre for Child Honouring bases its work on the declaration and is guided by the nine principles which support it. Read them here
'The Centre for Child Honouring is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing Child Honouring as a universal ethic, an organizing principle for societal transformation. By putting the universal needs of children first, strategies can be developed to meet our most pressing needs – building community, restoring the planet’s health, peace-making, and creating sustainable economies devoted to the wellbeing of children and families.' CFCH

Sign the Plea – add your name to the list of people around the world calling for an end to all forms of violence against children

Monday, 17 February 2014

Cloud Lift 2

Enjoy this beloved favourite, Baby Beluga by Raffi. The pop up ads are a nuisance but click them off and you can have an uninterrupted view. Did you sing and dance to this years ago?

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Winners And More Good News

My Grow Your Blog party give away winners are:

Another Deep Day
Little House On The Dairy
Butterfly Tales: Metamorphosis from the Cocoon 
More good news. Another give away is coming very soon thanks to the generosity, kindness and goodwill of a reader.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Love Letters 2 Strangers

Today, write a love letter to a stranger.  

Ashley Green the founder of Love Letters 2 Strangers was raised in a loving home and blessed with a mother given to writing loving notes.

Knowing how wonderful it felt to receive a note, Ashley began leaving them for people she met. The bus driver, coffee server, bank teller, people who looked sad and people who looked happy. Read on to find out how you can too.


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Every Child Is My Child

This is a long post but please take time to read to the end. 

In the province of Alberta 145 children have died while in the care of the government over the last 14 years. Only 56 deaths were revealed in annual government reports. A further 287 died in the care of their parents while being monitored by a government agency. It took seven years of legal action, by the Edmonton Journal, to force the government to release the information. Recently another 189 deaths were admitted to by the government but they were unable to provide details as no records had been kept. How can you not know what happened to 189 dead children? Some deaths were unavoidable such as prematurity or terminal illness but this accounted for less than 20%.

In Florida Pam Graham, a social work professor at Florida State University reported 432 as the number of children who died in that state from abuse and neglect in 2012, 40% were already involved with the Department of Children and Families.

In England, a national review in 2013 revealed in its first annual report into children's social care that 20 of England's 152 local authorities – one in seven – were "inadequate", with an "unacceptably poor" standard of child protection. Only one in four local authorities was good at safeguarding children, the report found.

Here is the point I want to make. These agencies and departments and political offices are all funded by our tax dollars to act on our behalf.  I realize I made a mistake when I handed over my taxes, I didn't make it clear that I expect the government to provide services that MEET MY STANDARDS. Yes, I'm shouting, because every child is my child in one way or another. Morally we all have a collective responsibility for the well being of the next generation. Many of us, like me, take our responsibilities more personally. I figure if we know what it is to love a child then we should let no child go unloved.

I'm asking you to do the research in your location. Contact your public servants and political representatives at all levels of government. Ask questions. If you don't like the answers make it clear you expect more. I will be writing  letters requesting services carried out in my name meet my standards. Isn't that something we should all be able to rely on, especially our children?

Monday, 10 February 2014

Cloud Lift

I guess this picture comes under the category of celebrating the small things. It tells me to revel in the joy of unexpected pleasure. Throw back your arms and let it in.

It is a work of street art by David Zinn. It makes me think he has an enviable lightness of spirit. Do you know someone like that, are you one? Is it something you are born with or is there a trace of whimsy in all of us just waiting to be developed?

Read more about David here

P.S. a cloud lift is seen most often in Arts and Crafts/American Bungalow design. A portion of a horizontal line is lifted up, I hope you are too. Cloud lifts will be my gift to you on a Monday morning.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Plant Flowers

KL at Beautiful Boonton let me use this image from her blog. I thought it was a good follow up to my hives for humanity post. We can all plant flowers somewhere. A pot by an open window is all it takes. Casa Mariposa reminded me to say organic please. Chemicals are part of the problem.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Hives For Humanity

“I thought the people down there were completely unpredictable, frightening to me, unappealing to look at. The place is dirty, overrun by rats, with the constant sound of ambulances and fire trucks. There is no peace.”
Every large city has a wrong side of the tracks. In Vancouver, British Columbia it is the Downtown Eastside. This is the hangout for drug addicts, drug pushers, pimps, prostitutes, the homeless and mentally ill and some unexpected new neighbours. At the intersection of the two worst streets a small garden shelters a beehive. The bees fly in and out bringing pollen, at the end of summer the hive is full with two distinct honeys, one dark and aromatic, the other golden yellow.


The quote at the top of the page comes from Julia Commons who was persuaded to set up the beehive. Initially she was fearful for herself and the bees. Soon, however, the bees worked their magic. Residents were drawn to to the buzzing and peaceful routine of their small fuzzy neighbours.