19 June

Summer Solstice 2024: Land Acknowledgement

Friends and taxi drivers are always getting lost trying to find my address in Edmonton. In Boyle Street, the streets and avenues seem squished together; there are no straight lines. I used to blame it on the bend in the river. Turns out, it goes much deeper than that. As we approach this National Indigenous […]

18 March

Spring Equinox 2024: The Thing with Feathers

You know how Bell has those billboards every January that say “Let’s talk?” That’s what this blog might be titled. Only it’s not only about the mental health and grief of the individual I want to speak, but the collective. I’ve been thinking about the word “depression” lately, from my own experiences of grief and those […]

20 December

Winter Solstice 2023: Green Point

Winter Solstice 2023: Green Point

Green Point, Newfoundland and Labrador

22 September

Fall Equinox 2023: Walking the River

  Last weekend I walked part of the Edmonton Camino, a five-day walk through the city’s North Saskatchewan River valley, from Devon (where the trail is still unfinished) to Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. The Cree have a name for this river, Kisiskâciwanisîpiy or Swift Flowing River and the trails that accompany it, Amisko Wacîw Mêskanaw, meaning […]

20 June

Summer Solstice 2023: Wild Fire

In early May when the smoke was so heavy over Edmonton, the air quality at 10 or 10+ for days, I was weighted by the reality. I stayed inside, used the gym, kept my windows closed. Waited for respite. Rains came but so did high temperatures. And then when wildfires gradually spread across the country […]

19 March

Spring Equinox 2023: The Pull

I was out walking on Saturday on the way to the grocery store, lost in thought, when I came alongside a young man (who from the looks of it was homeless), stopped for a smoke. He was excited, watching something above him. “Look at this!” I heard it first, in the poplars. The magpies talking […]

20 December

Winter Solstice 2022: Imagine

Winter Solstice 2022: Imagine

Lately I feel a little like I’ve been walking through the streets of Charles Dickens’s London, with waifs on every corner and debtor prisons in the form of credit cards and food banks, or perhaps the byways and highways of John M Synge’s Ireland in the late 1800s and his accounts of tenant farmers turned […]

21 September

Fall Equinox 2022: Harvest Moon

Saturday, September 10th, just after 3 o’clock I got a call from my tailor, Kim. I’d left a couple of things for hemming. She was closing early. “We have a celebration tonight,” she told me. There had been some Chinatown festivities at the Farmer’s Market that day, with dragons and lions dancing in the streets, […]

20 June

Summer Solstice 2022: Bridging Time, Place and Being

Merriam Webster has two definitions for the word bridge. Bridge as structure and bridge as a time, place or way to connect or transition. Not here or there. Not now or then. In between. A co-worker told me she walks the High Level Bridge home every Friday from the office. It’s her way of marking […]

19 March

Spring Equinox 2022: Infectious and Muddy

Posted in Art, Nature

I have been thinking for weeks, How to speak of spring in the face of war, of death? How to speak of spring in the face of another migration, a mass migration of almost three million Ukrainians and counting. Where the birds themselves are likely changing course? I live in a neighbourhood in Edmonton that […]

20 December

Winter Solstice 2021: A Pot of Green Lentils

Posted in Books, Food, Nature, News

As I set out to write this midwinter reflection, I cook a pot of lentils. (This is our earth.) Cooking my way to clarity. Or as Montreal writing friend Kate Henderson said in her Christmas card to me the other day, “writing” these days “takes the form of thinking.” Thinking. Cooking. Reading. Listening. I’ve been […]

21 September

Autumn Equinox 2021: Living Tween

I have a friend who is living with a chronic and progressive illness. It is difficult to communicate at times, especially since the pandemic. The illness impairs speech and movement. The last time I phoned, I asked how he was doing. For a moment his words were surprisingly lucid: “It’s like I’m here, but I’m […]

19 June

Summer Solstice 2021: Waking Up

The 14th century German mystic Meister Eckhart said that spirituality is waking up. On the brink of this Summer Solstice and National Indigenous Peoples Day, the longest day, this day of light, I want to acknowledge the sorrow of the families of the 215 children whose graves were found in Kelowna in May, and the […]

19 March

Spring Equinox 2021: A doodle on the balance point

This week my yoga teacher said, Think about your relationship with time… and what occurred to me in these COVID times is to wonder at our relationship with place, how relationships need to meet in real place as much as real time, something the online meeting has yet to master, because as humans everything we […]

20 December

Winter Solstice 2020: A Deepening

Growing up I was afraid of the dark. I was afraid of going to bed at night. I was afraid of going down into the corners of the basement in the middle of the day, where I would often get sent to fetch things. Mostly I was afraid of the unknown. What I might find […]

21 September

Fall Equinox 2020: The Birds Are Sentinels

The last couple of days walking by the river, I’ve run across a flock of robins, country robins, judging from the way they spook on seeing me. Maybe they’ll be there tomorrow; maybe they’ll be gone. It’s one of their migration strategies, to stop and refuel every so often. Most migrating birds fly at night. […]

19 June

Summer Solstice 2020: The Fullness

COVID-19. One word with so many contradictions: death, innovation, anger, selflessness, anxiety, adaptation, depression, creativity. The fullness of life! To date, at least 8,457,305 infections; 453,882 deaths. We hear the counts every night like reports from a war zone. We know it is not gone. The financial fall-out we haven’t begun to comprehend. The isolation […]

18 March

Spring Equinox 2020: Pregnant with Possibility

I did not go to Spain this spring. It wasn’t easy to make the decision; I left it till the 11th hour. The Canadian Government (as with most governments) was still giving a Level 1 travel advisory for most of Europe: “Travel and take precautions.” It wasn’t until the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the […]

20 December

Winter Solstice 2019: Death and Life

There are always thresholds to cross. And there are always choices to make. Every season opens a door. I don’t think it’s a contradiction that people mark midwinter as a major anniversary of loss as well as a time of gratitude. Winter solstice holds both death and life for us. When I was in Malta […]

22 September

Autumn 2019: The Mysteries of Human Love

As I harvest my year this autumn, the experience that stands out for me most is my visit to the Valle dei Templi at Agrigento in Sicily in the spring. Agrigento is an ancient pilgrimage site, at more than 2000 acres (3+ sections of land) probably the largest outside of Athens in Greek antiquity. A […]