The other day, I came upon the first poem written by Christina Rossetti in 1842 when she was 11 years old. It was entitled simply, To My Mother. There is a sweet joy in the composition, a perfect thought for Mother’s Day.
To-day’s your natal day,
Sweet flowers I bring;
Mother, accept, I pray,
And may you happy live,
And long us bless;
Receiving as you give
Today, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, I want to thank the children who make our lives remarkable. As Carl Sandburg once said, “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”
“With this salt I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.”
Mohandas K. Gandhi
April is my month of transitions, an awakening to new possibilities. It is the month where winter relinquishes its hold and the world is transformed by spring’s gentle breath and soft rain. Yet, April holds historical events that have changed the course of history.
Today, in 1930, Mohandas K. Gandhi came to the end of the famous Salt March, a walk that began on March 12, 1930. With a hand-picked seventy-nine followers, Gandhi left his ashram and travelled almost two hundred and forty miles to the ocean. By the time they reached their destination, thousands rallied around his call to action.
On April 5th, Gandhi and his followers went to the ocean side to collect salt encrusted sand. Then, after a prayer, Gandhi did the unthinkable; he harvested the salt by boiling the sand. He implored his followers to make salt with him along the seashore or wherever it was convenient. It was an illegal act, based on a taxation standard set by the British Government that served to impoverish a people.
The Salt March was an exceptional success for it proved that non-violent action can be effective.
Choosing peace over violence occurs even in small, insignificant events. Boiling sand, a simple task, empowered a nation.
“I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil.”
Celebrate love by choosing to love.
“Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.”
Vincent Van Gogh
A gigantic thank you to all those who followed Clanmother in 2012! Your comments, visits, ideas, support and suggestions were invaluable. Thank you for creating amazing blogs that share the breadth and depth of our global world over what I have come to define as blogger miles. You have made me laugh, cry, think and do. Technology may have brought us together, yet is it our desire to forge valued connections that keeps the conversation alive and moving forward. We are writing the story of our generation.
When I first started to blog, I thought it was all about writing and commenting. Over the months, I have come understand that it is more about listening to the voices in the community. Listening is dynamic, not static. It is a powerful activity that can influence outcomes and institute radical change. Speaking and writing can only take us part of the way. Listening is the dimension where next steps are formulated.
I am listening. Each voice is extraordinary, but when combined in a choir, there is a symphony of elegant and beautiful possibilities.
“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”
A New Year! A fresh start!
That is what New Years has come to mean. Whether or not you believe in creating resolutions as you begin a new year, there is a fundamental understanding that we are entering a new time frame. Birthdays have a similar effect at the individual level. But New Years belongs to the entire world.
As we step over the threshold into 2013, let us remember we can make a difference. The destiny of our communities, local and global, is in our collective hand. This is our time and our generation. We have the strength, knowledge and experience to create life-affirming opportunities for all creatures living on this earth. May we have the courage and resilience to move forward, to be an influence for good…together.
Happy New Year to all my dear friends – you made 2012 a year to remember!
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Christmas Eve brings together all the magic of the holiday season. The last minute shopping completed, we ready our hearts for the special day anticipated since the beginning of December. All the plans have been made, the gifts wrapped and the baking completed.
And then the day comes… Continue reading
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
Harriet Tubman, African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War.
We are nearing the end of a remarkable year – 2012 – and are in the month that commemorates the giving spirit. It is a time of thanks and celebration.Thank you to the blogging community for your generous support and thoughtful consideration. With every post and every comment, I identified a unifying spirit that prevailed within our midst. We seek to be a positive force for good in our world. Continue reading
“I think tolerance and acceptance and love is something that feeds every community.”
We are a community, scattered throughout the interconnected global world that is fast paced and ever-changing. We are a community that celebrates diversity – customs, culture, languages, art and food. We are a community that shares our voices through poetry, music, dance, humour, art, and photography. We are a community that is strong, courageous and tolerant. We are a community that wants to be a positive force for transformation – together.
Blogger awards are a way to affirm our community spirit and purpose. It is also a means by which we can build our blogger connections. Whenever I read an “award” post, I know that I will be meeting a whole new group of bloggers. Continue reading
“A woman can’t be too rich or too thin.”
Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor
Recently, OPreach stopped by for a visit to share words of wisdom. For any of you who follow her amazing blog, you will know she has a gift for inspiring reflection. With one word, she gave me the topic of my next dialogue – benchmarks.
Over the years, I have developed a love/hate relationship with benchmarks. I use them when I need them; I feel abused by them when they seem to go against me. One thing I am quite certain about – benchmarks rule our lives, from the cradle to grave. An infant is measured against the height and weight standards, just as adults are placed in the recommended weight categories. Individual math and literacy scores in grade school are comparable to the annual university ratings that determine the finest school to attend. Cars, clothes, food and travel can not escape the benchmark trap. Continue reading
A few days ago, as I briskly walked the Vancouver Seawall, a young couple ran passed me with the elegance and confidence of two gazelles. A few steps behind me, a young mother held the hand of a toddler learning to walk alongside her. That’s when I thought, I am living the Riddle of the Sphinx. You know how it goes… Continue reading