Sunday, March 30, 2014

March Shower

The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun's kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.
Julian Grenfell, British soldier and poet of World War I (1888–1915)

Last night's snow glistened brightly on a gloriously sunny and warm day as we gathered in a centuries-old church, transformed into a community hall, to celebrate upcoming nuptials. A splendid day that gives one hope for the future.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Feeding the Blues

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.
Elsa Schiaparelli, Italian fashion designer (1890–1973)

I'd be lost without a cookbook or access to so wouldn't call myself a good cook, but I do appreciate the serenity that good food brings to the soul. So when the local grocery store advertised a deal on lobster tails I decided that this (now inexpensive) treat would be just the antidote to beat the winter blues.

So with blind faith in recipes found online, a rather top-drawer and delicious dinner of guacamole, artichoke and lobster made the day, and me, feel quite special. Butter beats the blues every time! ;-)

Sunday, March 16, 2014


The only people who see the whole picture,' he murmured, 'are the ones who step out of the frame.
Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist and essayist in The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999)

Thirteen years ago a friend invited me to join her on a visit to a jewelry shop that was somewhat hidden away in a residential area of Cairo's chic Zamalek island. With no intention of buying anything I went along just for the adventure of seeing someplace new. Entering the shop, the man with the umbrella captured my attention immediately.

Surrounded by busy people all in motion, he stands still and stares out of the picture. He is strong and seems to challenge those looking at him. He is the calm centre of a whirling vortex of life.

As my friend and I walked around the shop peering at all the beautiful creations in the glass cases, my eyes kept coming back to the man and the Cairo streetscape that seemed so familiar. I was captivated. And so the man came home with me and has been with me ever since.

He holds the distinction of being the first artwork to be hung in my little abode having been finally framed after all this time. I feel like I could walk into the painting and be back in Cairo again, and equally I feel like he could easily step out of the picture and over the frame and join me for tea in my living room. He's most welcome.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Home Safe

The person whose problems are all behind them is probably a school bus driver.

On Monday it felt like Spring was in the air; today we are knee deep in winter. What else should I expect of March?

With the blizzard obliterating the view out my office window with a veil of white, I left work early and arrived home, safe, four hours later. Looking out the bus, subway and train windows, I was very thankful that I was not driving. So thank you to all the bus drivers, subway conductors and train engineers out there who deal with thousands of stressed, tired, and self-centered commuters everyday and then give the extra dedication to get us all home safely in the face of nasty weather conditions.

Monday, March 10, 2014

DST's Blue Skies

Blue skies smiling at me.
Nothing but blue skies do I see.
Irving Berlin, American composer and lyricist (1888-1989) in "Blue Skies"(1926)

Do I see blue sky? Can it be? I haven't seen the phenomenon on my commute home in a very long time. . . or so it seems. Having a bright sky overhead certainly caused my gait to have almost a skip as I walked from the station to home. I was praising Daylight Savings Time the whole way. And I just learned that my hometown was one of only six Canadian cities that instituted Daylight Saving Time before 1918; otherwise much of the country didn't come on board until the 1960s. DST may cause havoc with travel and meetings but I was certainly thankful for it this evening.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Let There Be Light

Let there be light, let there be understanding,
let all the nations gather, let them be face to face;
open our lips, open our minds to ponder,
open the door of concord opening into grace;
perish the sword, perish the angry judgment,
perish the bombs and hunger, perish the fight for gain;
hallow our love, hallow the deaths of martyrs,
hallow their holy freedom, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your spirit turn to language,
your people speak together, your spirit never fade;
let there be light, open our hearts to wonder,
perish the way of terror, hallow the world God made.

Francis Wheeler Davis, “Let There Be Light” (1968)

Today is the World Day of Prayer. Women in Canada and the US instituted its observance in 1922 and it is now celebrated in more than 170 countries. Each year a country is selected to host the unity and this year's service was written by Coptic women in Egypt. Also, it happened that this year my church hosted five others for the ecumenical gathering. I was honoured to be asked to present the reflection (aka sermon). On the one hand, it was simple to write because it was from the heart; on the other hand, it was difficult to write because it was from the heart. The words of the Egyptian women, the hymns and the prayers created a meaningful and deeply moving experience and I am grateful to have been a part of it and to have had this devotional connection to my beloved Egypt.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Care Package

Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr., American author of Life's Little Instruction Book

A day going wrong can be set right with a little gesture of caring. My day began with my morning coffee spilled across wall, floor, carpet and chair. Not a good start. But finding a 'care package' of Sicilian cannoli treated my body and soul with the sweetness of the caring gesture. Thanks Dad!