Right Steps & Poui Trees


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Last Sunrise, First Sunrise

On Sunday morning, I sat on my roof watching the last sunrise for 2017. My tea for that morning was tumeric and ginger, sweetened with Belcour honey, from hives my brother and sister-in-law have in the Blue Mountains. There was very little cloud cover, providing a rather minimalist early sunrise sky.P1250275Later the sun came up over the hills…P1250464…outlining them in differing shades of grey.P1250505The next day I was up on the roof again, to watch the first sunrise for 2018. Tea was peppermint…with Belcour honey. It was a very different morning, overcast, with heavy banks of grey clouds.P1250773But the sun came up. As it always does. With unremarkable regularity.P1250900

These divisions…such as the old year into the new year…are arbitrary but useful structures for us, reminding us of the passage of time and ordering our lives to some extent. I enjoy these formal endings and beginnings and some of the rituals associated with them. Not all, mind you. But what I am growing to love more and more are the rhythms of nature. As I view them from my roof…because I am not a great outdoor person, hiking or cycling or similar activities. I am the person who sits on her roof, observing the movement of the sun, moon and stars, the daily flight of birds through this space, the trees blossoming and other such things. It is amazing what I can see when I sit still for a while….

On the 4th day of 2018, it’s not too late to wish you a Happy New Year!

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Took Time On National Heroes’ Day To #BigUpJamaica

There is a whole lot about our country that needs radical change and we know it. And still we love this place. Fi Wi Jamaica, the University of Technology’s “national social intervention project which seeks to bring awareness to and, ideally, protection for targeted socially oppressed groups and individuals in Jamaica”, sponsored a Twitter event today, National Heroes’ Day. BigUpJamaica - Fi Wi Jamaica

Many individuals and organizations joined in:BigUpJamaica - PMI - 16-10-17

BigUpJamaica - EqualityJA

BigUpJamaica - Damien Williams

BigUpJamaica - Flagstaff Tours 16-10-17

I joined in with a series of tweets of my own:BigUpJamaica - SG 1

BigUpJamaica - SG 2

BigUpJamaica - SG 3

BigUpJamaica - SG 4

BigUpJamaica - SG 5

BigUpJamaica 6

If you want to learn more about the Fi Wi Jamaica project, take a look at their page on Facebook or read a recent press release of theirs, which blogger Emma Lewis shared in a post: Fi Wi Jamaica: Past, Present and Future

 


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350 Words or Less: In Which I Rant Briefly About Banks

The Present

Today I learned that my bank branch will close its drive through facility at the end of April! In the grand scheme of things, this is no disaster. Actually, in no scheme of things is it a disaster, but I am annoyed. I like drive through banking.

The Past

From the days when it made it easier to get banking done with my children in tow, to the present when my knees react badly to standing in lines, I have really liked drive through banking. I have preferred to sit in the car, eating a patty, drinking some coconut water, while listening to a talk show or reading a book, rather than waiting in a line in a banking hall. I avoid banking halls like the plague. I associate them with long lines, long waits and increasingly short fuses!

The Future

When I asked the drive through teller where the nearest drive through facility would be after April, she told me of a branch halfway across town. So that’s out. I asked her what my other options would be and they were:

a) online banking (which I already do as much as possible)

b) the automatic tellers (which often involve standing in long lines and sometimes do not provide as much privacy as I would like)

c) the (dreaded) banking hall.

Thoughtful Concluding Analysis

Maybe it’s a cost-cutting measure. Maybe it’s increased efficiency for the bank, if not for me. Maybe it’s because there’s a gremlin on some committee in the bank whose sole purpose is finding ways and means to irritate and annoy customers. (Can’t let them get too comfortable, you know! Always keep them wondering what’s next! Hehehe!) Yes…that third possibility….


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Alone At Sunset: Weekly Photo Challenge – Solitude

“This week, show us what being alone means to you.”

Solitude is air and water and sunlight to me. That is hyperbole, yes, but I say it anyway. Without daily periods of solitude, I wilt. Alone with a book or with my camera, inside my home or somewhere outside. I relish the time I spend on my own.

And sometimes I see solitude reflected back at me. This American kestrel on a lamp post at sunset, for example.kestrel-on-lamp-post

Weekly Photo Challenge – Solitude


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350 Words Or Less: The New Year Begins

It is an artificial designation…that one day the old year ends and the next day the new year begins. But it serves a useful purpose in the calendar, Gregorian or otherwise. It provides a moment for reflection on the year past and contemplation of the year to come.p1060663

Where I was for the last sunrise of 2016, the sky was almost cloudless, and the sun came up over the hills with a bright golden glow. I greeted it with Lorna Goodison’s “The Chant of Light” from her poem “Ceremony for the Banishment of the King of Swords” in the collection “Heartease”, part of which reads:

We have light.

Only who gave it

can put it out

We have light

diffusing dark

cancelling doubt…

We have light

You see

We have light.

Sunrise on the first day of 2017 was very different. There was heavy cloud in the sky, and I couldn’t see the sun itself as it rose above the hills, only its light reflected on the clouds.p1060738p1060826

The New Year designation reminds that we have a chance to begin again. Not from scratch. Not with a slate wiped clean. But that we can renew efforts, that we can make different choices, that we can review and set new intentions. (I still remember the voice of the first GPS system I experienced in a car, almost 10 years ago. When you veered from the set route, the GPS voice took a moment to set the new route, all the time saying “Recalibrating….Recalibrating.”) While appreciating the New Year’s opportunity for recalibrating, however, it’s good to remember that this opportunity exists at every point in the year. One of my favourite affirmative statements is: The point of power is always in the present moment.

Happy New Year!


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Always Heading Home: Weekly Photo Challenge – Path

“For this photo challenge, show us what path means to you.”

In the end, the path always leads me home. A physical walkway leading to my front door, such as this one. Or an emotional path leading to the safe harbour that family is for me. Or the inward and expansive path of spiritual journeying. In the end, the path always leads me home.p1060260

Weekly Photo Challenge – Path


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Sometimes The Journey Can Seem Long: Weekly Photo Challenge – New Horizon

Sometimes the journey up the rock/mountain/current challenge can seem long and all-consuming.p1020036You may be tempted to turn back.p1020037But you keep going till you reach the top.p1020039And suddenly a whole new world, with new horizons, comes into view!p1020025

Weekly Photo Challenge – New Horizon