The Wednesday Outing or A Six-Hour holiday

This is a busy time of year for most people.

It has been a little wild for me too, for several reasons, so it can be challenging to carve out time for a break. Yet that is exactly what I have done for the past two Wednesdays.  It has been amazing and I heartily recommend that you give it a try. Here’s the secret to taking a six hour mini holiday in the middle of the week.

Do it for someone else. Someone you think the world of, who you believe could use a change of pace. And then make a standing date.

All of a sudden you get to have that break which previously seemed impossible. It is such a simple formula. It’s in your calendar and you aren’t about to let your friend down, come hell or high water, as my Grandmother used to say.

So this Wednesday we went to the nearby town of Almonte and began with a visit to the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. Turns out that the textile industry played a significant role in that valley and Almonte was Canada’s capital of the woolen industry. There was also a lot of pain and suffering attached to that honour, and we can look back with amazement and dismay on our past. Coincidentally, there was a special exhibit called Spirit Seeds, which is a celebration of historic Indigenous beadwork, as well as how contemporary artists continue to contribute to that legacy. So many things I didn’t know about in my own backyard, discovered in a tiny and welcoming museum.

It was a delight to then wander around this quaint and charming town, situated on the banks of a  river, waterfalls and all. Charm galore, with trendy restaurants,  shops and gorgeous architecture. It was a little wonderland only 40 minutes from home. And here’s the thing. We both enjoyed every part of the outing and came back refreshed.  We didn’t even have to drive to Quebec city. Here was refreshment 40 minutes a way. Ottawa, like many cities is surrounded by several small towns within an hour’s drive. I now want to visit them all.

Dr. Itami, of Meaningful Life therapy fame,

used outings and travel as part of his comprehensive treatment plan for his cancer patients, along with chemo. Like Dr. Shoma Morita, before him, he considered travel to be part of cultivating curiosity, awareness and attention to the world around us , which could provide a healthy way to gain temporary mental relief from our cares and also have fun. I can vouch for it, after two Wednesdays.

Even with a packed slate, it is important to take that break and do something that you don’t ordinarily do. Explore a different part of town. Try a new restaurant. Attend a concert where the music is unfamiliar. Do these things with a good friend. Say Yes, when the opportunity arises. Make a date. Do not let all other obligations stand in your way of exploring, and enjoying your neighbouring towns,  close to home.

A 40 minute drive to a small town in eastern Ontario, with a friend, became a six-hour holiday with no line-ups, security or packing. We explored, laughed, ate a great lunch and shared a dessert. And then we meandered around and drove home.

And this is how it works. Thanks to my friend, who is letting me do something for her, I get to benefit the most. So, now we are doing something for each other. Taking the time to see new things, or even seeing old things with new eyes.


Note 1:) “Oh for the wonder that bubbles into my soul,” D.H.  Lawrence

Note 2:) Thanks to my daughter who helped me keep my date today.

Note 3:) I highly recommend that you do some variation on this theme, especially when you think it is impossible. Close to home and a budget holiday that offers extraordinary value for our spirits. Thank you all for hanging in with me, here on the page. And thanks for your kind notes. I hope you have a good week. warmly, Trudy


“Now, You Must Promise Me to Start Using It Right Away.”

This week I was going through an old blog looking for an article I wrote 11 years ago. Although I didn’t find the article, I found this post that I wrote almost exactly ten years ago. To my dismay/surprise I realized that I could re-publish this post right now because nothing has changed.

It went like this:

“Today I was going through a cupboard of drawers, sorting cards, pens, note paper, stamps, receipts etc. when I came upon some beautiful journal’s I received this year and haven’t used. Later on in the evening when I returned to this re-organization, I also found a wonderful reminder of what to do with these books, from my friend Patricia, who wrote the book Improv Wisdom an all-time favourite of mine.

This note had accompanied a beautiful journal she gave me on one of my  Birthday’s and I had kept it tucked away in a safe place and happily rediscovered it tonight. This is what she wrote:

“Now, you must promise me to start using it right away.

Don’t wait for something ‘special‘ to put in it. That way it will sit on a shelf forever. (I know, I have a half dozen blank books unfilled). Keep it as a ‘nothing special‘ book…jot down recipes, to-do lists, poetry; clip stuff and paste it in. Don’t make it a precious book. Use it by the telephone to write down notes or addresses. Find some way it gets USED! Promise it won’t be kept for some high purpose. Make it a lowly thing that gets used a lot.”

Her note continues with an assumption: “Good! Use it. I’m delighted you’ve started. Now keep on using it. Don’t stop to answer: ‘Is this worthy of the book?‘ Nonsense, if it strikes your fancy, add it. My friend Dalla has kept an ‘everything book‘ going at all times. She pastes and writes and scribbles…putting phone numbers, recipes, quotes, diary entries, poetry snippets…whatever is passing through her life at that moment. She keeps them by year or date. It is a great way to use such a book. Please do use it for everyday things. They are important.”

I continue:

Good grief! This is  the reminder I need. Tomorrow I will paste on the front page of Patricia’s beautiful book this advice, and follow-up with the stack of little paper treasures sorted on the guest bed. I wonder if you have beautiful untouched journals stashed away.  If so, what on earth are we saving them for?

Thank-you Patricia for this timely advice. I can hardly wait to get started on using my wonderful books.”


Present Day – Here’s the rub:

I just now opened a treasure box of things I brought with me to Ottawa and there it is, this lovely book. Safe and sound and barely used. I did paste the note onto the front page and place a few beautiful items, loosely, inside. I also scribbled a few commonplace things onto three pages, but I must have got cold feet, as it all came to a grinding halt.

Deciding is not doing. How many times did you decide to do something, and not do it? Of course, not everyone is like that. My daughter being one of the latter.

So, I brought the book out. It is sitting on my desk now, beside this computer, with a glue stick and a pen at the ready. By using the book every day, I honour my friend’s gift. There is no shortage of poems,  quotation’s, images or fleeting glimpses of insight that pass through my day. I will write them down at day’s end.

It can be my commonplace book until it is filled, and then I will start on other slightly used books in that same chest.

This isn’t a chore but rather a joy. A fun thing to do. A chance to write down serendipitous moments that can be memories for later years.

I bet we all have lovely things that are tucked away. Time to bring them out and put them to their rightful use.

What are you not using?  Your watercolour brush, guitar, a half-finished poem, family photos, samples of your pottery class that you loved but didn’t get back to.

Perhaps the time has come to re-discover the treasures tucked away in your own cupboards and bring them out to see the light of day. You may find treasures to pass on to someone else who would love those watercolour brushes, if you are not ever going to use them again. Many possibilities.

It could be fun giving new life to old things.


Note:1) I had such a good day with a friend visiting the National Art Gallery, and seeing an amazing exhibit called Abadakone: Continuous Fire. This is a series of presentations of compelling contemporary international Indigenous art, from 40 Indigenous Nations and 16 countries.

Note 2:) Do not grasp at the stars (alone), but do life’s plain common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life.” Lord Houghton

Note 3:) The photo today is a gift from the same friend Patricia. It is a Japanese folkart called Etegami.

Note 4:) Today is the last Wed in November. Hard to imagine. I can only continue to say thanks to you for opening the Wed email and clicking on “read more.” A deep bow of appreciation to you all. I wonder how you are all doing dear readers. Best wishes and warm greetings, Trudy




A Few Good Words

“Instead of trying to discipline your mind with ill will, fault finding, guilt, punishment, and fear, use something more powerful: the beautiful kindness, gentleness, and forgiveness of making peace with life. “Ajahn Brahm

I read this quote this morning and this is now the third place I am posting it. It seems that the longer I live, the less energy I have for fault finding, including my own. More and more I want to live, like these words from the Irish poet John O’Donohue:

I would love to live life
like the river flows
Carried along by the surprise
of its own unfolding.


Note:1) I am loving November. I understand that we started winter early but it is such a nice one. Cold but not bitter. No rain. Rays of sunshine and beautiful sunsets and clouds.

Note:2) It cannot be said enough, how important it is to have your people, on whom you can rely. Come what may, when you have that you have everything you need.

Note:3) Thank you for showing up here week after week. Warm regards, Trudy


Taking it One Day at a Time

One day at a time

is really the best way I have found to deal with the intractable difficulties of life. Dr. Itami’s, Meaningful Life Therapy, which my work is based on is “present centered.” What can I do today?

I recently came across this 7 minute video from Alain de Botton. Many of you will know him already. He is a Swiss-born British Philosopher and author,  and according to his bio , “He is a writer of essayistic books that have been described as a ‘philosophy of everyday life.’ He’s written on love, travel, architecture and literature. His books have been bestsellers in 30 countries.

Alain also started and helps to run a school in London called The School of Life, dedicated to a new vision of education.”

For a change of scene I suggest that you take 7 minutes and watch this video. The School of Life does a fine job with their graphics to illustrate the spoken commentary. I have enjoyed several of the topics over the years but this one is new to me. I think you will enjoy it and relate to this fundamental truth of taking our life, one day a time.


Note 1:) Welcome Winter. (I am going to take it one day at a time this year rather than fearing five months of cold and ice) Yesterday evening, crisp and clear, the night sky was dominated by an exquisite full moon. It accompanied  the kids and me all the way home from math class, a 40 minute drive. This morning I looked up info on this “full frost moon,” also known as the “snow moon.”

Nasa refers to it as the “beaver moon” and they added the words “spectacular,” to describe the 2019 display. They have traced the name back to the 1930’s and one interpretation is that the Algonquin named this moon because mid-fall was the time to set the beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.”

I find it interesting that each full moon has a story. What I do know is that the brilliant display  of this November moon was a gift of our brand new frosty winter.

Note 2:) A shout out to my Mother at 99 and one half years old, who has been recovering from a setback this past few months. Her mantra is “do what you can to help yourself.” She has been researching how to regain strength and is focusing on some extra protein, vitamin C and walking.  “I want to do my part to be as healthy as I can for as long as I am alive.”

Note 3:) I had notes from several people last week that you enjoyed the video on the Japanese Bowl. Thank you. Scribbling away, day by day is part of my Ikigai – a reason to get up in the morning. The fact that anyone reads what I write is an extra special gift. With a heart full of appreciation, Trudy

A Japanese Bowl


or “golden joinery” dates back to the 15th century and  is a method of mending or patching broken ceramics that makes them even more beautiful and valuable than in their original state. I also like to think that it can be a metaphor for our own cracks. Our perfectly imperfect humanness.

These different ways of “seeing” in the Japanese culture touch a deep well of joy in my heart.

Here is a lovely western/eastern blend of the art of kintsugi, featuring Peter Mayer and sent to me by a friend, about this time five years ago.

(Instructions for viewing: when you click on this Utube link it opens the video. When it ends, there is an x on the upper rt hand corner just outside of the video screen. Click that and you are right here.)

Japanese Bowl by Peter Mayer


Note 1:) For anyone struggling with illness who is interested in the online program I am facilitating for the ToDo Institute, look here for furthur information. It begins this Friday and is a four week program.  They accept late registrations.

Note 2:) I have a full plate this November so I am using it to see that I become more skilful with getting enough sleep; my hour walk in nature; and time to have a conversation with a friend. My teaching, writing and grandchildren always rise to the top but I can neglect other important things. So far this month I give myself a C. I aim higher for next week. Not because I should do those things but because I want to. I find it fascinating that out of 24 hours it can be challenging to consistently have a one hour walk.

Note 3:) I was lucky to have had beautiful weather for the last two weeks between Ottawa, Calgary, Gabriola Island and back again. The most beautiful fall I have ever experienced. Thank you for reading this blog and recommending it to others. It is always exciting when I receive notice of a new subscriber. I love your company here. Your kind words are always appreciated. I wish you a beautiful week and hope you do better than me at getting your one hour walk in nature everyday.


Vancouver Island Whale Watch - Humpback

Momentous Moments – they can happen everyday

Photo of Humpback from Vancouver Island Whale Watch

Gabriola, a small island in between Vancouver and Vancouver Island was my home for 15 years. It is known for its gorgeous sunsets, blackberry bushes, artisans, and orcas swimming by the north end of the Island.

Today, I arrived on the Island and during a pre dinner walk along the magic mile*, the most extraordinary event transpired before my very eyes. It was sunset and as I gazed in wonder, the water broke and a black, sleek, giant of the sea emerged. Nothing less than a humpback whale. I have seen dozens of orcas that leave me breathless every single time, but, never in my 45 years of living and visiting on the westcoast have I spotted a humpback.

To see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat at sunset with the coastal mountains as backdrop is nothing less than spectacular.

Research from a brain scientist:

What intrigues although doesn’t surprise me is the research coming forward from Dr. Murali Doraiswamy, a physician and brain scientist at Duke University. She emphasizes  the importance of taking these walks in nature. “Hands down, the best place to reset your brain is in nature. When you take a walk in nature, you’re combining the trance-like state that walking puts you in, with the sense of tranquility nature provides. This contemplative time activates the brain’s default mode network. This is the part of the brain that allows you to unlock solutions to deep problems, and inspires a sense of collective well-being in people. You just need to give it free time to do its job.”


We are busy people, and often worn out by illness and care giving. I will now make a wild proposition for us all, including me. For our good health we need to take ourselves outdoors for one hour every single day.  One hour out of 24.

According to research at the U of Minnesota We can expect these benefits from a daily dose of nature:

Nature heals: it contributes to your physical well-being, reduces blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones.

Nature soothes: it helps us cope with pain as we become absorbed in the trees, plants, water and other elements. We are genetically programmed to respond to nature and we can be distracted from our discomfort.

Nature restores: Our general well-being is impacted by nature, including meaningfulness and vitality.

A walk in a park, a forest, by a river or an ocean. Moodle along to savour what you notice. Slow down for 1/24 hours each day. Refresh yourself with the beauty of nature.

Some people are not in a position to walk an hour but it might be possible to drive to a bench by a river or in a park where you can walk for a little bit, followed by sitting quietly on that bench listening, looking, and smelling the crisp air. Savouring your life and the beauty around you.

I wonder what tomorrow’s walk will reveal? This week may be just the start of a new daily habit and one not confined to an hour on the weekend. I hope it becomes one for you too.


Note 1:) * The magic mile is otherwise known as Berry Point Road, a seaside road on the north end of Gabriola Island, overlooking Georgia Strait and the mainland of BC and the stunning coastal mountains.

Note 2:) I wonder why it is so hard for many people to take one hour a day. I know we are busy and there are a myriad of reasons including illness. Consequently, I am interested in an experiment where we make that daily hour sacrosanct and observe what happens.

Note 3:) I was unable to get my own photo, of the whale, with my trusty iphone tonight. Not enough light and a little too far out. Sadly I didn’t bring my camera this trip. Thank you dear readers for continuing to show up here. I am deeply honoured to have your company once a week. Warm regards, Trudy

“Go ahead – you first”

Recently I posted a piece on Facebook (a rare event for me) about a poet and an academic at Keele University in England, who opened a Poetry Pharmacy “to dispense first aid in order to bring the therepeutic benefits of poetry to the local community and to support mental health.” In addition, I have encountered a spate of articles on medicine and poetry. Prescriptions for a poem along with traditional medicine from Stanford to Columbia.

As one who has always found solace and healing in this literary form, I am not surprised. Poems, carefully selected, are a constant in all of my workshops. And even the skeptics seem to like them.

Today, I give you a poem. I discovered this poem in the summertime and I have passed it on to a few friends as well as a private Facebook group I moderate for people living with illness. Even if you don’t really like poetry I think you will relate to this one. As for me, I love it.


Small Kindnesses by Danusha Laméris

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.

And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.

We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead—you first,” “I like your hat.”

There you have it. In a nutshell. I bet every one of you, dear reader,  has encountered – both giving and receiving- similar occasions of small kindnesses. They can sometimes make our day.


Note 1:) Here is the link to the Poetry Pharmacy

Note 2:) For anyone living with an illness who may be interested in the private Facebook group mentioned above, here is the link. I should mention that I am not a big fan of FB, but for now, this was the best option I could find for people.

Note 3:) Thank you all for the emails and comments this week. With appreciation for clicking on this blog. There are lots of wonderful things readily available to read so I thank you for stopping by here. I will be at the wonderful Wellspring Calgary as of Thursday and going on to see my favourite Mother for a week. How lucky I am.

Looks Like I’m Walking Today

When I was going through my cancer treatment, I kept a blog called Joyful Wrecks.  I decided on the name to illustrate my experience that although I would be looking for joyful moments, and working to create them, I recognized that there would also be moments when I felt shipwrecked.

At that time my granddaughter, Sophie, was two years old, she had a book that we both loved called Grumpy Bird. (by Jeremy Tankard) The book began like this:

When Bird woke up, he was grumpy
He was too grumpy to eat.
He was too grumpy to play.
In fact he was too grumpy to fly.
“Looks like I’m walking today,” said Bird.

One morning when I was feeling down, I remembered the book and on a day when my spouse asked me how things were going. I answered,

Looks like I’m walking today”

What I loved about the metaphor, however, was that I could still walk (do something) just like Bird.

Part of being a joyful wreck was that there were, and still are, times when we all feel wrecked. I remember a time when my right arm was painful because of my “wrecked’ veins from multiple attempts to insert an IV. In fact, one of the chemo nurse’s looked at my veins and said, “I see we are doing what we do best around here, ruining veins.” And we both laughed.

It’s not always easy to co-exist with discomfort and still perceive that today is a precious gift, especially since we are conditioned to retreat from what we don’t like or fear. Yet it makes all the difference to the quality of our everyday life. Right now. In this minute.

There were times my arm hurt; I felt nauseated and I wished I felt differently. I wished I didn’t have cancer. Yet, I still woke up. How good was that! I got up on two wobbly legs. I sat down with my spouse and had a bowl of cereal with a sliced banana. The birch tree outside the dining room window was wearing a beautiful leafy green dress and the birds were singing. The air smelled sweet and had a quality of spring exuberance that was almost palpable. In that very moment life was perfect.

Dr. Morita told his patients, “When climbing a mountain you can give up a hundred times a day, but keep your feet pointed up hill.”

Living well with illness is not about consistently feeling great and simply overlooking the difficulties. It is about not falling in a hole, staying there and allowing your illness to define your life. It means not putting our lives on hold or wrapping ourselves in the cloak of victim mentality. That mentality says: “life is hopeless and I can do nothing.”

Living well with illness is about taking action, small steps, even when not in the mood. We keep our feet moving and pointed uphill.

In the midst of our illness, we’re finding funny stories, learning, resting, moving, creating, helping, questioning, weeping, smiling, loving, caring, showing up, saying yes, saying no, getting another opinion, getting things done, enjoying, appreciating, taking a nap, and finding meaning and purpose while we can. Come to think of it, this sounds like what everyone is doing, including those who don’t have a serious illness.

Why not live with outstretched arms? What do we have to lose? We’re all terminal — we are all going to die one day.

Why not use these living breathing moments to say YES to life! Discover your talents and cultivate them; remember your dreams and act on them; use your gifts to cheer one another on. We never know our impact on the lives of others. We do know that when we live fully, we are more alive.


Note 1:) This is a favourite article of mine because it reminds me to never give up.

Note 2:) So often, I have learned, when I have a tough day, a call comes. Or maybe it’s an email or a word from a stranger or loved one that suddenly turns things around. I am so grateful for those moments and I hope that I can be that person for someone else.

Note 3:) Ottawa is breathtakingly magnificent with all the shades of reds, oranges and yellow. I find myself staring in wonder, not wanting to miss the day to day changes all around me now. Thank you all, dear readers, for brightening my life, from near and far. I feel so fortunate to scribble away on my computer and through the miracle of the internet these posts arrive in your inbox and then so many of you read them. Thank you. See you next week, Trudy



The Risks of the Reality Check

Playing it Safe May Not Always be the Best Option

Ten years ago I asked myself this question: What would I most regret not having done if I only had two years left to live? The answer flashed across my mind immediately.

I would most regret not getting to know my two youngest Grandchildren who lived 3500 km away from me.

The context for this question is that I had finished 18 months of treatment for cancer and I had returned to the work I loved. For the record, Wellspring Calgary was my dream job, and where I had planned to remain until my 80’s if they would have me.

Cancer changed that dream. As a consequence, I would need to make modifications – maybe 80 instead of 85. ha ha.  And yet, when I asked that question, what rose to the top were my Grandchildren. I recognized that this life changing moment would require a total transformation of how I lived.

Realistically, it was a bad idea from many perspectives including financial, medical, personal and professional relationships. I wasn’t in a position to move my life across the country. I could only move myself. It was a decision filled with risk and letting go of proximity to family, older grandchildren, other people I loved and things I loved. Some people called it courageous. Some people thought I was crazy. Others said nothing. As for me, I knew in the depths of my being it was the thing I was meant to do. And I did it.

Best decision

How I did it is a story in itself, and filled with generosity from others. However, let me say this. For any losses, lack of security, and the pain of missing loved ones there has not been one moment of regret. On the contrary, if I were to die tomorrow, those who know me would tell you that the wild and unrealistic decision I made ten years ago was the finest of my life.

Since that time I have made other unrealistic decisions (for me) such as cycling the Cabot Trail at 65 and taking on the building and launching of my website and course development (see note) in my 70’s, for people living with illness. I did my first camping and hiking adventure in the Rockies this summer. And now I have a plan for 75, two years from now, to spend one month walking a pilgrim trail in Japan.

I now do more unrealistic things than I used to. I have more hope that things will work out. I say yes whenever possible, including to myself. Realistically, if my life was audited by the world, from the beginning to this present moment,  I should have more worries, fears and insecurity. But I don’t.


Instead, I am filled to overflowing with gratitude. In all the things that count my life is rich. Family, friends, resilience, wholeheartedness and beauty.

For instance, before I walked my Grandson to school this morning the sun was streaming into the living room window and the two of us stretched out on the couch and let the warmth and brightness of that sun fall on our faces.We were there for five minutes and decided that it was a mini vacation.

Walking to school, the trees on Fourth Avenue were blazing with colour and sunshine. Blue sky and leaves in hues of reds, oranges and golds. Warmth. Beauty. A curious and delightful child by my side. Aware of my good fortune and knowing that I get to come home and write this blog, something I love doing.  How lucky is that.

Also, anticipating the arrival later today of my son-in-law’s parents. The co-grandparents from the westcoast, whom also live large in the lives of our shared grandkids. We are all thrilled to welcome them.

Ordinary moments filled with meaning.

Sticking Our Necks Out

The way I see it, is that life is not about burying our heads in denial. No. No.No. We see what we need to do. But still, every now and then let’s stick our necks out, and say “I ‘m going for more.” More time.  More love. More  adventures. Different treatment.

There are those given a life sentence of six months who are still here ten years later. There are those who everyone thought was crazy and that crazy idea saved lives. There are those who against all odds achieved, succeeded, lived, created and made their world and the world of others better.

One size doesn’t fit all. There is no prefect formula for living and dying. Consider living with outstretched arms, against the odds and the naysayers. Pay attention. Listen and look. Stay curious. Lend a hand. Trust yourself and live bold with this “one wild and precious life.”

As we arrive this weekend at my favourite holiday – Canadian Thanksgiving -I can only bow to life and to all the people whom I am lucky enough to have crossed paths with during my lifetime. I feel like the luckiest person on earth, and especially to have my beloved Mother, kids, sister, grandkids, cousins, extended family and my forever friends.

Make time for beauty and doing the things that only you can do.


Note 1:) Even though I don’t have my self-directed course complete, I am offering a four week online course, beginning Nov 6th, through the ToDo Institute in Vermont. I am looking forward to finally launching my first fully online program for those impacted by illness. I will post details when they are ready to accept registrations.

Note 2:) I want to acknowledge this thanksgiving weekend all those people whom I don’t know that help make my life easier. Like the people who deliver my packages; pick up the trash; harvest the coffee beans; drivers who stay on their side of the yellow line; aircraft mechanics who keep the planes in good working order; those who made the components of my phone;  the folks who stock the shelves at the grocery store, and the farmers who plant and harvest so much of my food.

Note 3:) And please, dear reader, accept my great thanks and gratitude for reading these blogs and sending words of encouragement. You provide me with many, many meaningful moments. And a special thank you to Dr. Jinroh Itami, thanks to whom I have something to offer and to live by. Always to Wellspring Calgary. With love and appreciation, Trudy





One Hole in the Net and You Slipped Through

Last evening I had a close call. It could happen to anyone.

As an example, while making a left hand turn, a driver doesn’t notice you and travels too fast. This happened to me. There is also the possibility that I was a little bit off my timing. Left hand turns can be tricky. Nevertheless, we came close to a crash, less than a half km from home – not more than 6 inches apart by the time we ground to a halt. We looked at each other through our windows and for a moment time stopped. She backed up so I could carry on through the intersection. We all knew how close we had come.

But the “hole in the net” was there and we slipped through. Nothing happened.

How often does nothing happen to you? Everyday there are people getting the dreaded phone calls, the accidents, the firings, the rejections.  But maybe, not you, at this moment.

Remember during 9/11 when we heard all the stories of people who were saved because: their bus was late; an appointment got cancelled; the car broke down or someone got the flu. It is not unusual in our day to day lives, to experience near misses that save our lives or get the early diagnosis that improves our health outcomes or perhaps the chance encounters that change things for the better.

When I attended an International Morita Therapy Conference at UBC, in Vancouver, I was struck by the advice one of the Morita Psychiatrists gave in his presentation. He suggested that we take a few minutes everyday to take stock of “what didn’t happen.” I wasn’t in an accident; I caught the pot before it boiled dry; I remembered my passport while I was still in the driveway. How fortunate are those near misses – the ones when nothing happens.

A Poem

Could Have (an excerpt)

It could have happened.
It had to happen.
It happened earlier. Later.
Nearer. Farther off.

It happened, but not to you.
You were saved because you were the first.
You were saved because you were the last.
Alone. With others.
On the right. The left.

Because it was raining. Because of the shade.
Because the day was sunny.
You were in luck — there was a forest.
You were in luck — there were no trees.
You were in luck — a rake, a hook, a beam, a brake,
A jamb, a turn, a quarter-inch, an instant . .

So you are here? Still dizzy from
another dodge, close shave, reprieve?
One hole in the net and you slipped through?
I couldn’t be more shocked or

 Written by Nobel Laureate Wislawa Symborska, trans. Stanislaw
Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1996)


Note 1:) October has arrived and I hope to make the most of it. By that, I mean, notice the changing colour of the leaves. It seems simple to say but it is much harder to do. I don’t want to “miss” a single day this autumn. Taking time to notice.

Note 2:) Please don’t hesitate to be in touch, if you have questions or suggestions.

Note 3:) Thank you for coming by every Wednesday. With appreciation, Trudy

Photo by michael podger on Unsplash Thank you.