Heather Conn Blogs

spoutin’ about by the sea

Fear and worry on The Way: All part of mindfulness?

A sign and I low-res 1019

Only 50 kilometres left to go . . .

Before starting the Camino, I was worried that my ankles and knees wouldn’t be able to sustain me for the duration of the 800-kilometre walk. I had had arthroscopic surgery in my right knee, along with torn ligaments in my right ankle, which I had also sprained. Would I be willing to accept “failure” if I was unable to complete the walk? What if I injured myself irreparably?

For the first few days on the Camino path, walking in rain and mud, my right knee made a clicking sound that I had never heard before. Uh oh, that’s not good, I thought. If my body is already reacting this way so early in the journey, how on earth will I complete the pilgrimage? Luckily, the noise in my knee soon stopped. My body must have adjusted to its load. I was carrying only 15 to 20 pounds in my backpack; in earlier decades, on hiking and trekking trips, I had carried at least double that. But how would my middle-aged physique stand up to this?

scene low-res 736

Like many people on the Camino, I wore a knee stabilizer on my right knee. At times, that knee and lower leg felt numb or half-asleep. At first, I worried that if I wore the stabilizer for too many consecutive hours, it might cut off my circulation and cause a blood clot. But I ended up wearing it all day, every day, on the Camino, without a problem.

For the first two days on the pilgrimage, my quadriceps ached and my feet felt as if I had walked barefoot for hours on small stones. But these symptoms disappeared.

Many times, during that first week of walking, I thought of one-legged Sarah Doherty of Roberts Creek, who completed the Camino using crutches. When sliding through mud on steep terrain, I asked myself: How did she do it? A trained athlete, she undoubtedly had enough strength, endurance and optimism to continue.

stone wall low-res 202

Each day, as I walked the route, I realized that none of the things that I had feared or worried about had come true. On June 5, my ninth day on the Camino, in response to my own question “What have I learned in this first week?” I wrote: “My knee is stronger than I think”; “I can rely on my body to get me where I need to go”; “I can still walk the El Camino when I have blisters and heat rash.”

Yet my mind seemed to seek out new worries: Would I be able to make it for several days on the plains of the Meseta, with little shade, under relentless sun? For this portion of the pilgrimage, to ease the challenges, should I pay to have my pack transported ahead? In the end, a cool breeze accompanied the heat as I walked that region, and there were more shade trees than I had expected. On one day, it was overcast. I carried my backpack the entire time.

When consulting my quick-reference map, I remember how daunting all of the unwalked days ahead looked. My guidebook had divided the journey into 31 panels of mini-maps, three per vertical column. Each map panel represented a day’s walk, from the shortest distance at 18.6 kilometres, from Mansilla to León, to the longest, at 31.2 kilometres, from Mazarife to Astorga. When I folded out the map panels and looked at them all as one unit— eight panels of 24 days on one side, and nine remaining days on the flip side—I remember thinking: “There’s no way I’m going to be able to do this.”  

Yet, as the pilgrimage progressed, I realized that I was conquering all of those squares of unknown terrain. Flipping over the pullout map page to the final nine-day section felt like triumph. I was overcoming the distance and my own fears.

My worrying and “what ifs” were, and are, part of what Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh might call “busy mind” or “monkey mind.” My focus on the future, worrying about what might lie ahead, prevented me from truly being present in the moment. If I chose to view the Camino as a struggle and attached to that thought, that’s what it would become.

man on wall art low-res 174

To produce true presence in the here and now, Thich Nhat Hanh recommends returning to the mind and body through mindful breathing and walking. As I’ve learned in hatha yoga, it is common to use shallow breaths, ones that barely engage our body from the belly. When breathing deeply, from our belly, we fill more of ourselves with air — we take in more life, as it were.

While walking the Camino, I did focus on my breathing at times, especially when going uphill. Sometimes I seemed to shift to belly breathing without even realizing it, which gave me extra oomph, like a turbo-drive motor, on steep ascents. But too often, I was more caught up in what lay ahead and when on earth I was going to make it to the next town to eat, drink or rest. My perceived survival needs trumped my spiritual ones.

When I tried to walk as a form of contemplative meditation, I found this easier to do when no other people were around. Mindful walking meant that I gave full sensory attention to my surroundings, breathing in the smell of sage, listening to a cuckoo, staying present with how my feet and boots touched the earth, and admiring flowers, birds, and landscapes.

Mindful walking did not mean that my fears or worries disappeared, only that they just flitted through and I could let them go, rather than harbor them as nagging reminders. The process of walking the Camino became an extended, expanded version of my daily life: a mental dance between fear and trust.

December 2, 2013 at 10:35 am Comments (4)

A visit to Casa de los Dioses (House of the Gods): an oasis of love

tractor low-res 721

Earlier, when a tractor passed me, I gained a new perspective on relative speed. Back home, tractors were always too slow, the impediments at the side of the road that I needed to pass in my car. Here, they were the hare to my tortoise. Humbling indeed.

 

Walking solo past sprawling fields of wheat and corn, heading towards Astorga, I braced myself against the wind. Even with my windbreaker hood on, my jacket zipped up as high as it could go above my neck, gusts battered my face.

 

This was day 24, my third week on the Camino, when I was supposed to fall more deeply into myself, according to one seasoned pilgrim. “Week three is when you get in touch with your pain,” this retired European man had told me.

 

It never happened. “Still have had no profound insights or revelations, no new deep stuff from my past appear,” I wrote in my journal. But I was feeling increasingly content and peaceful.

 

And I needed a break. The arches of my feet ached. My blisters and the bottoms of my feet were sore. Since 7 a.m., I had covered almost 26 kilometres, surprised to have seen few people in my previous hours on this red dirt path.

 

In flat, open space and dry scrub, passing no town or village for almost seven kilometres, I felt delighted to see a building, a few trees, and some people ahead. Feeling dehydrated and wanting more water, I now truly understood the impact of the word “oasis.”

casa de los dioses low-res 724

Approaching the front of a long, crude brick building, which looked like a warehouse, I saw scattered backpacks and a few pilgrims seated under makeshift sheets of corrugated tin. A large mural of painted coloured circles, intersected around a star, was on the wall to the right. To the left stood a tiny, free-standing derelict wood stove with a kettle on top and a small fire pit in a circle of bricks on the dusty ground.

 

Beyond that, in the middle of the same wall, stood two tall rusty doors, which bore graffiti and large painted red hearts. In front of all of this hung the ultimate symbol of laid-back living: a hammock. (A long-time hammock lover and user, that sight alone warmed my heart.)

me in hammock low-res 728

I’m happy to lounge in a hammock

The dominant feature on the wall was a large blue tarp, which hung vertically across the entire left front of the building. Pilgrims from around the globe, current and past, had scrawled their name, the date, and/or a thoughtful saying in black marker, wherever they could find room on the fabric. “Love from Gibraltar.” The star of David. A white dove with a white heart above it. “Dios esta en los detalles” (God is in the details.) It was a tableau of temporary presence, a mingling of hearts. I loved it.

 

A woman named Elisa, whose smile and genuine warmth exuded love and kindness, gestured at me to help myself from a wooden cart decorated with a row of hearts. I joined a handful of pilgrims who were selecting from many cartons of juice; thermoses of coffee; a plate of cookies; crackers, peanut butter; oranges; and a jug of water. Everything on this Camino-style welcome wagon was available by donation.

food by donation low-res 726

As a handful of us stood around the cart, a beat-up old truck appeared from the west, pulling up next to the building. A handsome, tanned Spanish male, with his shirt off, jumped out, gave us a celebrity-bright grin, and said in English: “Welcome to paradise.”

 

His name wasn’t Adam, but David, the man who had created this slapdash stop for pilgrims in 2009. He called it Casa de los Dioses or “House of the Gods.” I asked him why he felt compelled to create such a place and gave it that name.

 

“I wanted to create somewhere where all gods, for all people, could come together,” he told me in broken English, “and where people could feel loved.”

David Casa de los dioses low-res 732

David and a friend

 

He explained that all religions wanted the same thing, love and peace. This humble pilgrim stopover was his attempt to create a loving sanctuary on the Camino. He and Elisa described, with passion in their voices, how they hoped to raise $30,000 to buy the surrounding land, owned by a friend of David’s, to establish Casa de los Dioses permanently.

 

Elisa, who had come from Italy to serve as a Casa host for two weeks like a hospitalera at an albergue (hostel), offered me a kind smile and hug. She exuded simple warmth and kindness. No smarmy niceness here.

 

This place is a church of the heart, I thought. To me, David’s sincere welcome and vision of oneness brought more love to my Camino experience than any church or cathedral I had entered so far along the way.

 

For the first time on The Way, I felt inspired to add my name and a sentiment to a collective pilgrim document. Grabbing a black marker, I wrote “One Heart, One Soul, One Spirit” with my name, the date, and Roberts Creek, BC on the bottom left-hand corner of the blue tarp. It felt good to be part of this cross-cultural, multilingual record.

One Heart One Soul low-res 731

This Casa—a feel-good haven with hippie ideals and a community-minded soul—reminded me of Roberts Creek, my home. In my journal, I called it “bohemian funk.” For a weary pilgrim seeking basic comfort, it was the sustenance I truly needed: validation that someone else, on a route defined around the world by Christianity, valued oneness beyond the separation of religion, culture, race or language.

heart table for stamp low-res 730

On a red, heart-shaped table, I eagerly stamped my credential (pilgrim passport) with the heart-shaped Casa “logo,” like a groupie getting a temporary tattoo. Continuing westward into the wind, I felt grateful to have visited this mini-oasis of love.

For more information about Casa de los Dioses, see their Facebook page.

, , , ,
August 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm Comments (4)

B.C. election results: Thank heavens for Weaver, Eby, and Nicholas Simons

Last week’s results of the recent B.C. provincial election  left me too distressed to want to write much on my blog. I still feel utter dismay that premier Christy Clark got re-elected and that the Liberals even gained seats. What a tremendous loss this means to our environment and to the movement to lower greenhouse gases. Clark supports increased use of liquid natural gas (LNG)  and expansion of these facilities across British Columbia. As the Valhalla Wilderness Society points out, studies have proven that the LNG process—blasting rock with water and chemicals to extract shale gas—results in more carbon emissions than coal. That’s truly disturbing.

 

As for our already decimated salmon runs along many B.C. rivers and seaways, how will these fish, vital to our economy and First Nations coastal culture, possibly survive if we suffer an oil spill as a result of increased tanker traffic? Clark has received considerable financial backing from oil and gas companies, and it’s unlikely that she will try and stop the Northern Gateway and Keystone pipeline expansion projects. All you have to do is watch the excellent but horrifying documentary Salmon Confidential to realize that a single massive oil spill will destroy our wild salmon. Even without the presence of oil in our waters, these fish are already struggling to survive against the  sea lice and three viruses that fish farming has introduced on our coast. And they’re getting no protection from our provincial or federal governments, which don’t want to threaten the economics of farmed salmon.

 

Yet some election results have definitely made me want to celebrate. I am hugely pleased  that Andrew Weaver, a climate change scientist from University of Victoria’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, has become B.C.’s first provincial Green Party representative . This MLA from Oak Bay-Gordon Head will serve as the environmental conscience for our provincial parliament and ensure that climate change remains an action priority.

 

I am also thrilled that David Eby, head of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, emerged victorious in Vancouver-Point Grey. It’s an admirable feat to snatch away the seat of the premier, as he did. He’ll serve as our moral and legal conscience in B.C. parliament. And of course, on our local scene, I am happy that Nicholas Simons of the NDP got re-elected to represent the Sunshine Coast. Nicholas has been responsive and proactive in many grassroots actions in our region and I am glad that he will be continuing his contributions in our legislature. We need more like him.

, , , , ,
May 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm Comment (1)

B.C. voters on May 14: Think of our planet & don’t choose a polluter

        I urge all B.C. voters to think of the environment—consider climate change—when casting your vote in our May 14 provincial election.

 

            The choice is easy: tankers and toxins, or conservation and care for the planet. If you vote for a Liberal or Progressive Conservative candidate, no matter where you live, you’ll support more liquid natural gas facilities, pipelines, fracking, and oil tankers on our beautiful coast. These practices not only exploit our limited resources and pollute our land and waterways, they add higher and higher levels of greenhouse gases to our atmosphere, helping to speed up our already disturbing rate of climate change and sea-level rise.

 

            I’m not going to tell you to vote NDP or Green. Just don’t vote for a Liberal or Conservative or you’ll prop up polluters and those who refuse to heed the peak-oil warnings. We’re going to run out of oil. We cannot continue on our current economic paths without destroying ourselves.

 

            In the Ecuadorean Amazon, logging and oil and gas companies continue to destroy the rainforest at twice the rate of all previous estimates. Every day, more species are going extinct. In British Columbia, where our rainforests have more species diversity per square kilometre than even in the Amazon, we do not want to become Ecuador of the north. We are home to the last intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world. Are we going to protect it or let industry make it disappear?

 

            Having recently seen Rob Stewart’s wonderful documentary Revolution, which addresses environmental degradation in 15 countries, I feel strangely optimistic about our future. Although his movie highlights the dangers of ocean acidification, and how our lack of eco-awareness is causing food and water shortages, he reveals many youth activists from around the world who are passionate about saving our planet and changing how we grow food, live, and fish.

           

            As long as enough people care about the earth, and are willing to take action to save it, we can have hope. As long as enough people vote tomorrow for those who want to preserve British Columbia’s land and waters rather than exploit them for profit, we can have hope. On May 14, vote to sustain the natural life of this province and our planet. You can’t separate the two.

 

May 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm Comments (0)

A neighbourhood grieves this week: two eagles lose their home and family

This has been a sad week for some of us on Lower Road in Roberts Creek. Some dear neighbours across the street, a bald eagle pair, lost their home and family due to Wednesday’s storm winds.

 

Their large stick nest, tucked between two vertical branches at the top of a 46-metre (150-foot) dead balsam fir, came crashing down April 10 close to the ocean, just east of Roberts Creek Road. The tree fell victim to northwest winds that gusted as high as 70 km/h; the same storm blew out power for many homes in Vancouver.

                                              — Jane Covernton photo

 The remains of the tree limbs    

Local news of the demise of the nest and its contents—my husband Frank and I had already started watching mamma eagle sit on her eggs—appeared quickly. After email and Facebook notifications came out, visitors and locals alike appeared on Lower Road to take pictures in front of where the nest used to be.

 

After the nest and tree limbs fell to the ground, the two eagles kept circling close to the site of their former home, alighting on a nearby branch. They stayed silent for hours. The following day, both sat next to each other on the same branch for almost the whole day. They were homeless, no longer parents.  

 

Everyone who knew the eagles and the nest was grieving the loss.

 

For more than a decade, I have watched these two eagles build or expand their nest each year and take turns sitting on eggs. Like anxious relatives, my husband and I have waited to see the new youngsters; through a monocular, we gauge their progress. First, their gawky heads poke above the top of the nest. Then they begin to flap their wings and more of them appears. Gradually, they grow big enough to squat on the top of the nest and hop from side to side, while still squawking for food.

 

Often, the eaglets—sometimes there’s only one—spend days or a week perched on the nest, staring down, as if trying to gain the nerve to try and fly. Finally, they lift off and for the first time, catch their own food. It’s exhilarating to witness the slow growth of such vulnerable creatures into self-sufficient, wild beings. From parental care, they’re nurtured into independent freedom.

 

And now the nest and eggs are gone.

 

We hope that the eagles choose to stay in our neighbourhood, where the ocean offers lots of salmon. Perhaps they’ll choose a nearby tree, one that still affords an unobstructed view of Roberts Creek Beach and beyond.

 

Thankfully, the limbs that landed in our neighbours’ yard damaged only part of their garden, not them, their home or car.

For past posts about these eagles, see “The fear of risk: Eagles wait to soar” or “Goo-goo ga-ga: Raptors make great neighbours.”

 

, , , ,
April 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm Comments (2)

Theresa Jeffries was a true treasure

     — Heather Conn photo

Theresa Jeffries with Sunshine Coast NDP MLA Nicholas Simons at last year’s Defend Our Coast rally in Davis Bay, BC.

 

I was deeply saddened by the recent death of sishalh elder Theresa Jeffries (sxixaxy) at age 81.  I had met her at events such as Defend Our Coast in Davis Bay and interviewed her for a documentary that I’ve written, produced, and directed called A New Way: An Organic Garden Changes Lives.

 

Theresa was indeed a special woman, full of grace and humour—her native name translates to “Laughing Princess.” Through public appearances and educational work, she shared her desire to ensure that as many people as possible, both First Nations and non-native, knew the destructive impact of residential schools and how much value one’s heritage holds. (The first sishalh to graduate from grade 12, Theresa entered residential school at age seven, remaining until grade seven.) She received the Queens Diamond Jubilee for her advocacy work and revitalized the sishalh language by helping to create a dictionary and curriculum development.

 

Sechelt chief Garry Feschuk reminded us at Theresa’s Celebration of Life ceremony on March 25: “Theresa lives in all of us. True love lasts forever.” He gestured to the crowd in the Sechelt band hall, filled to capacity with about three hundred of Theresa’s relatives and friends, plus elders, and people in two overflow tents outside, and said: “She was a very, very rich woman. These are her treasures.”

 

Garry told us that three days before she died, Theresa had appeared to him in a dream, surrounded by a herd of bighorn sheep. In honour of the memory of “our auntie,” as many referred to her during the ceremony, a procession of First Nations drummers carried a bentwood box to the front of the hall. It was made from a 750-year-old cedar from her home community.

 

I hope to receive Garry’s permission to dedicate the documentary A New Way to the memory of Theresa. She appears in the video, wearing her button blanket and ceremonial headdress, with Aaron Joe, CEO of Salish Soils. She expresses her pride and satisfaction in seeing the success of Aaron’s composting company and his long-term vision for the demonstration garden on Sechelt band land. She describes the negative impact of residential schools and how her people used to grow their own food and fruit.

 

Both Ivy Miller, who shot and edited the footage for A New Way, and I felt honoured to have met Theresa and experience her influence in the community and beyond. She was a treasure, indeed, and we will carry her in our hearts.

Read “A remarkable woman,” a tribute to Theresa Jeffries in The Coast Reporter.

Watch for upcoming information regarding the public release and screening of A New Day.

 

 

, , , , , , ,
April 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm Comments (0)

I’m in a new anthology: Seraphim Books’ “Emails from India” slated for fall 2013 release

I’m thrilled to learn that Seraphim Books of Woodstock, Ont.—my mom’s home town—has accepted the anthology Emails from India: Women Write Home for publication. I’m one of the book’s 30 or so contributors.

“Seraphim Editions fell in love with the book,” editor Janis Harper wrote yesterday in an email to the book’s writers. The small publisher has decided to fast-track it for release this fall and has already come up with a mock-up for the cover, shown above.

My piece in the book is about a visit to a bird sanctuary in Bharatpur. It’s a revised excerpt from the memoir that I’ve almost completed, No Letter in Your Pocket: Twenty Years Healing a Family Secret. This memoir of creative nonfiction features tales of my India travels, interwoven with family experiences and childhood memories.

I look forward to the release of Emails from India and discovering the writing of more than two dozen females. Group readings are planned in both Vancouver and Toronto. It will be fun to share this with audiences.

 


 

, , ,
March 17, 2013 at 6:57 pm Comments (0)

Fiestiness and fun: International Women’s Day comes to the Creek

The Suffragettes

Thanks to The Suffragettes, an all-women performance group on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, I’ll never hear the song “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly” the same way again.

 

The four nimble dancers, clad in suffragette-style period costume, shared a hilarious, feminist parody of the children’s song on March 8 as part of an International Women’s Day celebration. To the applause of 150 people at Roberts Creek Hall, they related the tale, to the same tune, of a lady who swallowed a lie, rather than a fly.

 

The lady in this song version, whose lyrics are attributed to Meredith Tam, swallowed the rule “Live to serve others!” along with lipstick and fluff and a ring: “looked like a princess but felt like a thing.” One day she awoke: “She went to her sisters/ it wasn’t too late/To be liberated, to regurgitate.” She threw up the lie and unlike the woman in the original song, she will not die.

Nicholas Simons

This playful song was part of an excellent line-up of local talent—singers, musicians, and poignant speakers—at a pot luck supper sponsored by the Sunshine Coast Labour Council. Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons welcomed the crowd, which sat at tables adorned with arrangements of deep pink roses.

 

Emcee Alice Lutes, a Sechelt councillor, and some audience members teared up when shishalh elder Barb Higgins (Xwu’p’a’lich) recited a poem she’d written, Walking on a Mountainwhich evoked “warriors of the heart.”

 Barb Higgins ((Xwu’p’a’lich)

Barb’s daughter Holly later sang several songs, her solo voice resonating clear and loud across the hall. She recited her own poem, which included the line “Thank you for this blood that runs through my veins.” She invited everyone in the hall to join hands with the people beside them, look into their eyes, and say: “Be strong.” The mostly female crowd—at least a dozen men were present and welcomed—eagerly complied.

Dionne Paul

Shishalh band member Dionne Paul, a local Idle No More activist, shared a moving story about her birth. As part of what she called The Sixties Scoop, when Canada’s federal government was taking First Nations children away from their homes, she was to be adopted by a non-native couple in West Vancouver. Her mother, in an abusive relationship, was unable to care for her. At the hospital, only minutes before she was to be handed over to the pair, her aunt and uncle rushed in and said that they would raise her. As a result, she grew up surrounded by her true heritage, enjoying the cultural blessings of her First Nations lineage.

 

She said: “My dad was the very first feminist I ever met. He told me I could be whatever I wanted. I got my fire, strength and drive from my dad.”

 

Fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, mothers, and Gaia—all were honoured at this free neighbourhood event. From “Bread and Roses” and other labour songs to the traditional European songs performed by the seven-member group Sokole, the evening reinforced a flavor of gratitude and solidarity among women and all humanists, regardless of gender, who seek a world of respect and equality. As local school board rep Betty Baxter told the audience: “Our movement accepts people for who they are.”

Jill Conway, Karen Stein, and Daniela Dutto

Popular local groups such as the Knotty Dotters and Definitely Diva rounded out the delightful evening. An a cappella trio of Karen Stein, Jill Conway, and Daniela Dutto sang a women’s liberation song from Tanzania and a beautiful rendition of Gaia Chant: Another World is Possible by Ann Mortifee and Chloe Goodchild. Another world is possible, a new day is here/we can work together now, to go beyond the fears. . . Oh Gaia . . .             

The hope, clear spirit, and irreverence expressed throughout the entire event–not to mention an ardent refusal to adopt Stephen Harper’s vision for Canada–reminded me yet again why I feel so grateful to live in such a fabulous activist community.

, , , , , , , , , , , ,
March 10, 2013 at 4:40 pm Comments (3)

When illness hits, gratitude can follow

After more than a week of suffering through a cold and the norovirus—from nausea, vomiting, and coughs to headaches and extreme fatigue—I am slowly regaining strength. It feels like waking up from an operation, raw and vulnerable, with my senses trying to operate under layers of cotton balls.

 

Ahhhhhh. Such illness, which left me feeling too weak to stand for a few days, is certainly a great reminder of the daily tasks that I normally take for granted. Simple things, like easy breathing and having energy to think clearly, read, and multi-task, seemed beyond possibility. How did I ever find the energy to do all that I normally do?

 

Thankfully, this illness is only temporary. Lying on my back, feeling barely able to move, I thought of all of the people who face debilitating illness every day, whether it’s a recovering cancer patient or someone with a terminal disease.

 

I thought of how weak my dad must have felt when he was dying of multiple melanoma. I asked him once, after he’d moved into a hospice, if he’d like to do a crossword puzzle with me. He replied: “You’re asking too much of me.” He didn’t have the energy.

 

Yesterday, I spoke with my 60-year-old friend Michael in Ontario, a fit, healthy man who recently had a stroke out of the blue. He fell about 20 metres from a stepladder, then managed to crawl upstairs to bed, not realizing what had happened to him. After 48 days of intensive neuro- and physiotherapy, he now walks with a cane. Otherwise, he’s fine.

 

Now Michael says that he’s “restructuring.” His brain has found new neural pathways. He’s no longer locked into his old ways of seeing and interpreting things. Friends say that he seems happier. He smiles more. I tease him that he’s enjoying the benefits of decades of zen Buddhism without having to meditate.

 

He appreciates that he’s lucky to be alive. I agree. I’m sure glad that he’s still around.

 

There’s nothing like the loss of our familiar self, the life that we can fall into without much thought, to make us realize how special every day truly is. I’m grateful that at middle age, peering back into wellness, I am grateful for what I see—and can do and be.

 

 

 

, , ,
January 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm Comments (0)

Eco-friendly Christmas decor: Langdale crew at BC Ferries made trash beautiful

I was truly impressed by the eco-friendly ornaments on the real Christmas tree at Langdale Ferry Terminal on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast.

The Langdale shore crew used items from their onsite recycling bin and upcycled them to create at least a dozen tree decorations. Among their artistry, they created plastic strips to make white garlands, transformed drink containers into snowmen, and displayed paper birds’ nests, formed from shredded paper.

As the imaginative workers wrote on a sign beside the tree, 90 percent or more of the items on the tree were recycled. The only exceptions were two dozen small plastic baubles retrieved from an attic, which otherwise would have ended up in the landfill.

I applaud such an environmentally aware approach to seasonal decorating. Thank you for taking the initiative to promote fun, “green” activities and for sharing your creations with the public. I hope that this will inspire others to do the same next year. You’ve made trash beautiful.

, , , , ,
December 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm Comments (0)

« Older Posts