Some days it feels like so much of my life, so many people and events, lie on the path behind me, how much more can be ahead?
days, it’s helpful to stumble upon trees like these growing together on my
friend’s property near Lake Huron.
A sprout of a completely different kind of tree is growing through the trunk of the sawed-off trunk of an old tree.
I searched from
all sides and from high and low angles, and I could not find the root system for
the younger twig. It is below ground, an integral part of the roots of the cedar.
The largest trunk on the original cedar was cut off—a loss that must have felt like the end. But no! Something unexpected was hiding there all along, intertwined with the roots, waiting to spring to life.
On this eve of July 4, I could write about how much I love America. What a beautiful, amazing country it is—and how I’m worried about it.
In the past, when I travelled internationally the first question people asked when they heard my accent was: Are you American? Now, it is: Are you Canadian? Best not to lead with “America,” I’m told, because people who aren’t American get too offended.
Internationally, things are not great, America. Just sayin’. But I’m pulling for ya!
Or, I could write about how my son graduated from university and how proud of him I am. And how convocation ceremonies are the most joyful, mind-numbing experiences we humans have ever come up with. At my son’s convocation we celebrated when he kneeled to be hooded, and when we reached the final name in the looooooooooooooong list. Zimmerman! Yay!
I could also write about how I’ve finished a first draft of a novel after writing for a really, really, really (really) long time. I had started to wonder if I would ever finish. I have. Good for me.
But that’s really all I have to say about all of those things. But because I’ve been finishing my first draft, travelling to my son’s grad, and celebrating Canada Day, I haven’t had any time to weed my garden.
Weeding . . . that’s a good topic. I recommend you read about it on Tuesdays with Laurie: Gardening.
An invitation to ponder the people, places, things, events, and opportunities in your life that are not positive, uplifting, constructive, or healing, or that don’t support the best version of you. I’ll do that while I’m in my garden pulling out actual weeds.
In honour of my aunt’s 80th birthday, I’m re-posting a piece from a few years ago. Blessings to her again!
My Aunt Erma celebrates a birthday today. She is a strong woman in a family of strong women. I’m proud to say that when the women in our family have an idea or a purpose, stand back.
From her I learned:
How to be authentic – You might not agree with my Aunt Erma’s opinions on any given matter, but you can be certain to know what they are. She never puts on airs or hides her true feelings behind a façade of false politeness. I admire her forthright approach to life and the authentic soul I see because of it.
How to tell a tale – My aunt has had many stories published in the local paper, and her writing group—The Henscratchers—published a book. I appreciate her ability to capture life in a story or a poem.
How to weather a storm – She has had more than her share of uncommon heartbreaking events in her life—the kind that knock you off your feet for more than a few days. I respect her strength and resilience in bouncing back, picking herself up and carrying on.
How to entertain a whole room – Give my Aunt Erma a guitar and some elbow room, and she’ll happily provide the songs for the night. She and her sisters (including my mother) have sung together at community events. I envy her enthusiastic ability to sing out without inhibition.
How to teach with calm assurance – My aunt was the kind of teacher who kept order in the classroom and expected the best from her students. She’s petite, so her authority came from her manner, not her stature.
There’s a whole lot of power packed into a diminutive woman in my Aunt Erma. I would say that she’s like her mother in that regard (my grandmother), but I’m not sure she’d like that. .
Like all strong women, she might have ruffled some feathers over the years. More than one person might have shaken their head and said, “Oh, that Erma . . .”
If I can live authentically, inspire with calm assurance, weather life’s storms with strength, live to tell the tale and entertain a whole room with songs, then I will be happy to ruffle a few feathers along my own way.