Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Mary Oliver, a well-loved poet, talks about paying attention and noticing what’s in front of you, of being fully aware, of staying in the present moment and writing poems about where you feel awe and wonder at the world. Her poem “The Swan” helped me see a swan with more wonder and curiosity and gratitude…

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Listening to What Matters

I have been reading again this charming and deep-felt book by Emma Hooper: Etta and Otto and Russell and James. A book that makes me want to get up from my chair, put down my laptop, grab my backpack and a few clothes and beloved things, and start my walk east towards the ocean. To…

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Maple & Ruby: Falling into Something Natural

Ruby: an imagined name for a daughter and then a name for a new creative business, which started here in London, Ontario. Maple, a beautiful name from a children’s book about a sweet girl involved in nature and play. Together these names have shaped an up-and-coming business started last year by Krista Rathwell: Maple & Ruby,…

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Weather Or Not

They say the first game of darts was imagined during the rain. A group of archers gathered indoors in a pub while waiting out the rain, and started aiming their short arrows at a point on the wall. Someone told me once I am a pluviophile: a lover of rain; someone who finds peace of…

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Spring Came Early Tonight

Sometimes you cannot guess how your evening will go, especially when you live in a community house. For our Monday family meal, we made pizzas together for dinner, then afterwards planted parsley, chives, and sweet basil into small pots to grow from seed on our kitchen windowsill. The feeling of earth on my fingers while…

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At the Table

I live near the city’s downtown, where many of our socially vulnerable and street-involved friends live. Some I know through community involvement and work, others through community house living, and others through my church which focuses primarily on loving the poor and excluded. Some are homeless, some are struggling with isolation, others with depression, addiction,…

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Knitting Love

Community is beautiful. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. We began in January at the Byron Library. Our three piles of colourful patterns of knitted squares have grown to about 4 feet. Knit stitch, seed stitch, moss stitch, basket weave, colour blocking–all so beautiful. We began with an idea to start some knitted squares and…

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Smelling the Flowers

The Scottish gardens and the flowers made it hard not to stop every two minutes and smell them. You can be quite a long time on a walk at that rate. They are colourful, cheerful, and as “scottish” as you would picture them to be. The garden that touched me the most was the Queen…

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Three Day Highland Tour & New Friends from Hong Kong

Ben Nevis right there! One of my favourite memories was my 3-day-bus tour of the Highlands in Scotland. An amazing experience of so many beautiful spots in Scotland. We started out having lunch in Inverness and then Clava Cairns, continuing to Cairngorm National Park and then Culloden Battlefield, at sunset, where the golden sun in…

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Following the Castle Trail

Castles are everywhere in Scotland–some restored, some rebuilt and some in ruins in the hills. While there wasn’t enough time to follow the entire castle trail, I’ve explored five castles–all of them charming, beautiful, and full of stories and history: Stirling, Edinburgh, Eilean Donan, Urquhart, and Inverlochy Castles. The weather, landscape, and stories gave each a unique feel and distinct…

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