Summertime – let’s not miss it


I like to step back and look at my life according to the seasons because it helps me to be mindful of how precious each of these seasons is. Furthurmore, I don’t want them to simply fade away in the background. My purpose is not to miss this summer. Rather, I want it to be the front and centre of my life.

Come December, and I will look back and ask myself about the summer of 2023 – what did I do? How many gelatos did I get to enjoy, bike rides, swims in a lake and so on?

Tomorrow, I am taking my grandson,  granddaughter and two of her favourite friends to a small town 15 KM away for gelato. You could say it’s a waste of gas and that the gelato is too expensive, which is true, but I see it differently. Even more important than the objections is the experience. It’s about packing my car with five of us and taking a short road trip to Cassis – this lovely gelato shop, in a different province. They will remember what they played on the car stereo, and the flavour of their gelato, and it will be all about laughter and friendship.

We can create memories by doing something a little unusual. I will invite them to get what they want, and we will sit on the benches outdoors and ooh and ahh over who chose the “best flavours.”

We don’t have to wait for joyful moments; rather, we can go right ahead and create them.

                        A Poem — S.C. Lourie of Butterflies and Pebbles

Go into this week
with the attitude that
your peace,
your health of mind,
and your heart
mean more than
getting everything else done.
That your smile matters,
That feeling rested matters.
That holding the hand
of your loved ones matter.
So pause lots,
function at a pace
that doesn’t pull you apart.
Honour the things that
make you feel good inside,
the things that make you feel alive.
Give time to those things this week.
Make time the gift it is,
by giving it to what really matters to you.

 I find the summer season short and beautiful with a certain carefreeness that I don’t experience at any other time. Let’s not miss it and only notice summer after it is gone. I invite you to notice something beautiful each day of this summer season. You might jot it down. Your summer treasures of 2023.

None of us know –

How many more summers do we have? So, let’s relish this summer in the best way we can. Don’t turn it into a project. Rather, take the matter of summer seriously and gently. Maybe have a morning where you take yourself outside and contemplate the clouds or notice the birds and flowers. Be open for surprise and drift a little. Deliberate drifting outside on a warm summer day isn’t laziness. It’s living. Enjoy!


1:) “We have two lives; the second begins when you realize you only have one.” –From a beautiful poem by Mario de Andrade (San Paolo 1893-1945)

2:) Photos are once again from Gabriola Island and Vancouver

3:) I wish safe travels to all of you who are exploring the world. May you meet wonderful people and have amazing moments.

4:)Such a big thank you, to you, for reading my musings. I love Wednesdays because I get to show up here and have a virtual visit with wonderful people all over the globe. Warmest wishes, Trudy

PS For those of you who saw the post with the hummingbird nest, here are the babies in the early stages of flight. From what I understand, their wing rotations are at a slower pace than the adults.


June 21 2023 – National Indigenous Day – International Day of Yoga – Summer Solstice

Today –

was a special day. Events of all kinds were happening across the country.  In Canada, celebrations for National Indigenous Day were going strong in every province, so I chose one from CBC to put into the notes with a link –  a 45-minute video highlighting “Indigenous creativity, culture, brilliance and community.”

Here in my little corner, I was invited to celebrate the day with my teacher/friend, who was in town for a special yoga event. It was an unexpected gift and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. A highlight, besides seeing and listening to my friend, was being exposed to a young expert in Indian Classical Dance. And to have it explained story style before the performance? I had no idea how much I would enjoy this.

I was also introduced to a previously unknown Indian restaurant, which catered the meal, and it was d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. The entire day and evening were one of the most significant summer solstices that I have experienced. And the weather was perfect. As I drove home later, I looked up and saw the beautiful moon sliver and one planet against the darkening sky. I don’t think it could have been better.

How Great to Be Alive

And I reflected on how great it is to be alive, share stories, help each other, be helped, learn new things and stay open to surprises.

As many of you know, I treasure the small things. And I am convinced that the sum of these small things adds up to a meaningful life. As I sit here thinking – late at night –  because I have been out galavanting for most of this day, I could spend the rest of my days just writing thank-you notes to all the wonderful humans that have crossed my path. Some only briefly; some I have never met in person; some I see every day, and some once or twice a year…The list is endless and only keeps growing.

It is not always the history or the amount of time we have spent but that mysterious X factor that can happen in a flash.  (and that can also happen on Zoom) I am unbelievably lucky for the people in my life.

And that is what is on my mind and heart as this summer solstice draws to a close—a heart filled with gratitude and wonder.


1:) Here is a link to a 45-minute video on CBC to celebrate Canada’s National Indigenous Day. ” COME TOWARD THE FIRE is an Indigenous-led celebration of creativity, brilliance, culture, and community. It showcases the voices of artists, speakers, and dance groups from Musqueam and Indigenous nations across Turtle Island.” This link will take you there.

2:) “When eating fruit, remember the one who planted the tree.” —Vietnamese Proverb

3:) Photos are from the west coast, thanks to Rob and Gottfried.

4:) With all my best wishes. I hope you had a special longest day in the northern hemisphere too.  Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Warmly, Trudy

Yutori and the Art of Spaciousness

I love, love, love the Japanese concept of Yutori.

I suspect because I have so longed to be more that way than I am. In fact, I think I embody this concept until I once again face the brutal fact that I am often behind the 8-ball. I picture myself taking the time to create spaciousness in my daily life, yet, as I climb into bed at night, I realize that once again, it didn’t happen – except for last night.

Yesterday was the last day of my grandson Rowan’s final exams, and after weeks of projects –  creating a children’s book; numerous research papers; essays; math competitions – you name it, he was done. And that meant so was I. He does the work, and I ask the questions in French. Rather like a study buddy. We actually have fun, and peals of laughter ring out. (oftentimes) I have been impressed by Rowan’s tenacity, and there were very few times either of us lost our cool.

We experimented with different ways to study. For instance, we found the time it took for his French dictee was cut in half when he started asking me to spell the words first, and determine the gender of each word. After a couple of rounds with me, he could zip through the words – likewise, with other subjects like Science and Social. I had him explain the lesson to me in English, so when I followed up, asking him to explain in French, it was easier. The truth is, it has been a busy time, and studying was just one thing on the table.


But last night was different. I finished a program around six o’clock – one that I love facilitating. Picked up Rowan and drove to our favourite Sushi restaurant just in time for our  6:30 reservation. We were celebrating the end of exams and the school year by taking all the time in the world to enjoy our special dinner. We had spaciousness—the beauty and stillness of the environment and the luxury of selecting our dinner and taking it all in. Almost two hours later, we had thoroughly soaked up the atmosphere while admiring the food with our eyes and delighting in the taste. When our shared dessert, a Japanese crepe with mango, so so good, was finished, we made a detour on our way home.

The garden.

The ornamental garden where I spent so much time with my grandkids and where we are always in awe, no matter the season. Last night we were lucky to catch the still beautiful end of the peonies, roses and irises. I was afraid we had missed them all. And so we moodled; admired; smelled; oohed and ahhed; took pictures, and exclaimed about all the awesomeness. No rush. It was a spectacular ending to a long school year.

Some of you will remember how I learned about Yutori and wrote about it two years ago.

On Being Project

There is a concept, the Japanese word Yutori, which I learned about from one of my favourite poets – Naomi Shihab Nye. She discussed it in an interview with Krista Tippet and the  On Being Project. (link in the notes) and tells how she encountered this word.

I just came back from Japan a month ago, and in every classroom, I would just write on the board, “You are living in a poem.” And then I would write other things just relating to whatever we were doing in that class. But I found the students very intrigued by discussing that. “What do you mean, we’re living in a poem?” Or, “When? All the time, or just when someone talks about poetry?” And I’d say, “No, when you think, when you’re in a very quiet place, when you’re remembering, when you’re savoring an image, when you’re allowing your mind calmly to leap from one thought to another, that’s a poem. That’s what a poem does.”

And they liked that. And a girl, in fact, wrote me a note in Yokohama on the day that I was leaving her school that has come to be the most significant note any student has written me in years. She said, “Well, here in Japan, we have a concept called yutori.” And it is spaciousness. It’s a kind of living with spaciousness. For example, it’s leaving early enough to get somewhere so that you know you’re going to arrive early, so when you get there, you have time to look around. Or — and then she gave all these different definitions of what yutori was to her. But one of them was… and after you read a poem just knowing you can hold it, you can be in that space of the poem. And it can hold you in its space. And you don’t have to explain it. You don’t have to paraphrase it. You just hold it, and it allows you to see differently. And I just love that. I mean, I think that’s what I’ve been trying to say all these years.

Naomi Shihab Nye is the author of numerous poetry books, including Famous (Wings Press, 2015). Excerpted from interview

Conscious Slowdown

Last night I got to experience the conscious slowdown that allowed us to savour the dinner and the garden. I resolved, once again, to make space this summer.  The refusal to rush. Taking time to admire the beauty and only talking about what’s in my field of vision.  Creating pockets of time to do so.  When we step into absorption with nature, as one example,  and with no agenda except to see – well,  spaciousness opens up.

I can imagine that all of you have had experiences of spaciousness. It is easy for me to imagine how it happens with a poem, music, forest bathing, looking at the starlit sky or the full moon and other meaningful moments. Yet this snippet from the interview hints at the many more opportunities we have to savour our everyday.

A Haiku by Basho (c.1644-94)

Violets, as I walk

this mountain road,

draw me to them somehow.


1:) These things- spaciousness and not rushing don’t happen on their own. We need to create time for them if it matters to us.

2:) I am reading a new book by Katherine Mannix called Listen. I just finished her first book, With The End in Mind, which I highly recommend. She is a brilliant Palliative Care Physician in the UK, who is also a gifted storyteller—recommended by Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal.

3:) The link to the interview with Rachel Naomi Nye and Krista Tippet

4:) A deep bow to you all who keep taking the time to read my musings. Warmest wishes, Trudy

A Gentle Hello

It has been a week of fullness, as in lots of meaningful and joyful things to do. And my modus operandi is to mostly respond to what needs doing. Now, the time has come when I can sit here and say hello to all of you. And the time has also come when my bodymind wants to call it a day. So what shall I do?

And just like that, I receive a beautiful gift from nature via Gottfried on Gabriola, and I know exactly what to do. I will post it here for you all to enjoy, just like I did.


The nest – about the size of an apricot , attached to a strand of the vine – amazing – magical, 2 baby hummingbirds 🙂




Nothing more needs to be said. Except to remind us to pay attention to nature’s gifts and as Mary Oliver writes, “go and tell about it.”

I extend warm greetings to you all, and I hope you see, touch, hear, smell and taste nature’s largesse and share the wealth.

I bid you good night and wish you an armload of significant moments as we wind up our first week of June. And I will see you next week. Take care of yourself as you care for others. That also is needed. Many thanks and an armload of good wishes. Hugs all around, Trudy

PS Thanks to Gottfried for providing these beautiful scenes tonight.