Sunday, December 31, 2006

Good Riddance, but Now What?

Come, children, gather round my knee;
Something is about to be.

Tonight's December Thirty-First,
Something is about to burst.

The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.

Hark! It's midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year.

Ogden Nash, "Good Riddance, but Now What?"

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

From A Fairy To A Child

Lady, dear, if Fairies may
For a moment lay aside
Cunning tricks and elfish play,
'Tis at happy Christmas-tide.

We have heard the children say -
Gentle children, whom we love -
Long ago on Christmas Day,
Came a message from above,

Still, as Christmas-tide comes round,
They remember it again -
Echo still the joyful sound
"Peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Yet the hearts must childlike be
Where such heavenly guests abide;
Unto children, in their glee,
All the year is Christmas-tide!

Thus, forgetting tricks and play
For a moment, Lady dear,
We would wish you, if we may,
Merry Christmas, Glad New Year!
Lewis Carroll

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

Finally the night before Christmas has arrived and I have just finished playing Santa for my Aunt, my elderly friend, and two of my neighbors. As I make my rounds today I am grateful that I am able to give a little something to so many people. I feel abundantly wealthy even though, by today's standards, we have little. No house, no car no Maui vacations for me this year or next or probably ever, but as I look around at our old rented house and the jalopy in the driveway and the presents under the tree I am mindful of the fact that I have much more than a lot of people and much more than I have had in years in the past. For me Christmas is not about what I can get it is about what I can give. As I went about dispensing my little bit of Christmas joy I wondered what I would do if the day again comes when I cannot buy a box of chocolates for someone or give my neighbors children a little surprise gift. Pondering this I began to realize that while these little gifts are fun and tangible in the moment they are not the lasting gifts and I began to think of all the lasting gifts I would like to give to everyone.

My wish is that every person in the world would always have enough to eat every day of their lives.
My wish is that every person have a roof over their heads and clothes on their backs.
My wish is that every child be cherished for the unique little person that they are.
My wish is for an end to wars, freedom from corrupt governments and peace all around the world.
My biggest wish is that everyone everywhere would feel loved deeply and unconditionally.
Can you imagine what a difference these few wishes would make in the world if they were to become a reality. A world with out homelessness and hunger. A world with out corruption and war. A world where everyone felt unique and valued and loved unconditionally. Yes - that would be a lasting Christmas gift and maybe if all of us wished for these things all year.... maybe just maybe we would begin to see a world we could all be proud of.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Has Only Begun

When the Baby is gone from the manger
And the shepherds are back on the hill,
When the hosts have returned to the heavens
And the grand hallelujahs are still,
And the Wise Men gone back to the Orient,
When the Star of midnight is gone,
And when Bethlehem's streets are all silent,
Christmas has only begun.

The News must be told from the housetops,
The Gospel of Christ must be spread,
The blind and the lame must be lifted,
the poor and the hungry be fed;
The power of Death must be broken,
The will of the Father be done.
When Bethlehem's streets are all silent,
Christmas has only begun.

O follow the Lord from the manger
To Galilee's beautiful shore;
Climb with Him the mountain of glory
In wonder to kneel and adore;
For Christmas is just a beginning
Of a joy that awaits those who come.
For when Bethlehem's streets are all silent,
Christmas has only begun.

Margaret Penner Toews

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Four Days till Christmas Eve!

Four days till Christmas eve and I feel absolutely overwhelmed. Everyday there seems to be more and more to do and less and less time. The decorating is done... at least all I plan to do of it. I finally got all the shopping done except for one gift and at least half of the gifts are wrapped. I have not hardly begun to do any grocery shopping and the living room is covered in wrapping paper and bows and bits and pieces of everything making it look more like Christmas threw up on it than that Christmas is going to be celebrated. I have company over the weekend and next week. We are facing more high winds and possible power outages and I am beginning to feel completely out of control.

So... at times like that I like to try and look for the gems that I am missing. One of those gems is the birds that are along the freeway I travel to work. Yesterday I saw three eagles one doing a very beautiful soar through the air and two more sitting in their usual tree looking like a loving couple. I saw two hawks and two of my favorites - blue herons. The herons always seem to be just loligaging on the side of the road and they move so slowly.
When I took Lucy for a walk by the Fraser River there was another eagle sitting on a snag fishing the river. These moments are true gifts of winter. They shine like sparkling gems through the wind, snow and ever present rain making the winter go a little more lightly and a little more quickly!

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Winter Guests

Somewhere in the neighborhood a new, but somewhat noisy family has come to spend the winter. It is a family of woodpeckers and they like to hammer on my roof on occasion causing the cats to leap to the window in hunting mode and the dog to jump up and bark! However one of their very favorite places is at the top of an old hydro pole at the back of my yard where daddy woodpecker appears to give lessons on bug hunting in dead logs to baby woodpecker. Today I finally managed to get to the back yard with my camera before the baby had flown off, but dad was already several trees away yelling indignantly little one to follow.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Ahh... a Morning to Myself!

Finally a morning to myself and Lucy of course. Today I was supposed to work work work till late tonight, but gratefully one of my clients canceled on me and I can't tell you how happy I am about that! I slept late. Too late for Lucy who decided to ring the bells to get me up at 8:30 am. I had a long hot bubble bath and I went for a long walk in the bog with Lucy.
Lucy and I have not been to the bog since we had the big snow! Wow - has mother nature ever shown her strength there! I counted at least 12 downed trees in just a few feet. Many thanks to the people who go down to the path along Davis creek and move them off the path otherwise we would not be able to walk down there this year. They tell me this is good for the bog... the trees rot and help keep the whole ecosystem going, but it is quite something to see all those trees down. I can't wait to venture farther into the bog and see what changes have occurred there.
The bog was a welcome stress reducer. The fresh air and musky smell of rotting wood and muddy water always help to put life in perspective for me. Some how it brings me back to nature, the earth and all the things that I find comforting. Sadly not much in the city holds an interest for me anymore. With Christmas and the new year almost upon me it is once again time to reassess my priorities. Of course, health, family (yes Lucy that includes you) and work top the list, however what else should I keep in my life next year and what should I lose?
Much to think about, but it will have to wait for a later time as work again calls me out the door. Sigh....

Monday, December 04, 2006

Homeless in British Columbia

"If everyone who wants to see an end to poverty, hunger and suffering speaks out, then the noise will be deafening. Politicians will have to listen."
- Archbishop Desmond TuTu

"I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals
a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, dignity,
equality and justice for their spirits. I believe what self-centered men
have torn down, other-centered men can build up."
- Martin Luther King Jr.
As you can see poverty and homelessness are on my mind tonight. I live in one of the most wealthy countries in one of the wealthiest provinces in that country and yet we have thousands of people homeless in this province alone and that does not take into count the number of people who are sleeping on friends and families couches. Yet we are told every day that the economy is booming, people are making money and that means taxes are being paid yet we cannot provide for the most needy in our midst. What does that say about us?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

If I Shout Will You Be Able To Hear Me?

"What this country needs is more people to inspire others with confidence, and fewer people to discourage any initiative in the right direction more to get into the thick of things, fewer to sit on the sidelines, merely finding fault more to point out what's right with the world, and fewer to keep harping on what's wrong with it and more who are interested in lighting candles, and fewer who blow them out." Father James Keller
Geez... I am dead tired. Spent all day yesterday at a political conference where we discussed everything, but what is really on people's minds. That being how do we take this party back to it's roots and the people who first had the vision? The vision is not out dated, nor is it an invalid vision, it is just that people have lost the vision. The vision of a community, a province, and a country of people of all races, beliefs and income levels can be assured of having food, clothing, housing and medical care for themselves and their loved ones. Somewhere along the way we have lost the way. I am not sure how to get back to the beginning myself, but I know that I am willing to fight for it. The only way to have a society that we can all be proud of is to be accountable to everyone in that society and to remember that EVERY ONE MATTERS! Some how we must get through the in fighting, through the power mongers, through the financial demands and back to the people. We have some good people who can do the job if they can just get out of the muck and mire of the bureaucracy and back stabbing and on to the streets with the ordinary guy.
Speaking of ordinary..... I spent the rest of the evening at the fundraiser that was attached to the conference. You know the one where the people who have it or think they have it all mingle to convince each other that they have it more than anyone else. I worked the bar, cleaned up the tables and spent the rest of my time noshing and shmoozing. I like to find out what is happening in each little corner of the lower mainland ridings and constituency offices. Except for a very few ridings I get the message that not much is happening yet I know from talking with my fellow workers at the conference that they have a good sense of the problems out there and have some suggests for correcting the problems. I also realize that if the people who were at the conference can't be heard by the head honchos of the party then how can the guy on the street that is really suffering.
It is an age old problem.... but today it seems much more relevant than ever before.