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 […]

20 June

Midsummer 2019: Fire and Flower

Fire is the marker of summer. Fire and flower. All over Europe, people still light bonfires on the eve of Summer Solstice or the eve of St. John the Baptist’s feast: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Estonia, Ukraine, Croatia, Austria, Spain, Portugal and even here in Canada, in Quebec. St. John, Jean Baptiste, Jonsmessa (Jons mass), […]

19 March

Spring Equinox 2019: Mud, Water and Light

Every creation story I know starts with water and mud, spring no different. Slippery footing, sudden ponds, dirt in snow banks, grit in the street and a warm wind. The night freezes and the day thaws. For a couple of months it’s a see-saw, wild ride, back and forth, up and down the thermometer. It’s […]

20 December

The Breath of Winter: Solstice Eve 2018

Many years ago now, around this time of year, I came down with a bad case of bronchitis. My lungs were not the same afterwards. I was diagnosed with asthma. About 10 years ago, I started having more and more reactions to the medications. In 2009 I went for acupuncture. More than a year into […]

22 September

Fall Equinox 2018: The Stillpoint

I walk to work every day, zig-zagging, cross-stepping as-the-crow-flies, in a beeline from my place in Boyle Street, on through downtown Edmonton. This year some of the route has changed as my own life has changed. Work has moved and my role with it; I have to walk a little farther than I used to. […]

20 June

Summer Solstice 2018: Consider the Lilies

One rainy day a couple of weeks ago, I was standing at the corner of 100th Street and 102nd Avenue with the usual students, professionals (me included) and “people without place” waiting for the light to change. I had my big umbrella with me, the one I like to use for heavy rain because it […]

19 March

Spring Equinox 2018: Here for good

Recently someone new to Alberta asked me, “When does the snow stop?” really meaning to ask, “When does spring come?” “It comes and it goes,” I replied. “And then suddenly it’s here for good.” My mom left a message on my phone a couple of weeks ago: “It’s running out there! You can hear the […]

20 December

Winter Solstice 2017: Darkness and Light

The last few years I’ve gotten into the habit of putting out photographs in my living room of those near me who have died during the year. Their faces greet me each day as I go about my morning yoga; they smile at me every evening on my return from work. I leave them out […]

21 September

Fall Equinox 2017: Music and Prophecies

I have an image of my child self that I often call to mind. I am probably 10 or 11 years old; it is the 1960s. I am sitting between our family kitchen and living room, my back against the door jamb, my knees pulled up in front of me, listening to the radio that […]