Falling upon kindness

6am. We’re pulling into the gas station at the southernmost edge of Squamish, when we realize that my partner has forgotten his wallet and ID. We’ve been up since 3am, our plane is leaving in two hours, and we’re 100 km and 80 minutes from the living room where the black backpack containing crucial ID…

Remembrance Day

99 years ago, on November 11, the “war to end all wars” ended. The poppies at our local stores have attracted my 4 year old’s attention. “What’s that?” “They’re poppies.” “What are they for?” Oh man. How do I explain this? “They’re to remember the wars. And all the kids who went to fight in…

The Last Times: my slightly morbid twist on a gratitude practice

We cross into Oregon after 10 hours of driving – a welcome sign, seriously numb bums and the speed limit drop announce that we have officially left California, the desert, and it’s endless sun, behind. The iPhone plugged into the car stereo is playing a cached playlist from our favourite internet radio station. Dave managed…

Switching to Airplane Mode: what I got out of a 20 day digital detox

We’re in the Redwood Forest. “Did they name it after the song?” my four year old asks. We’d borrowed a remix of Woody Guthrie music from the library once and This Land is Your Land evidently made an impression. I come from a country where the indigenous people believe the world was sung into being….

Amateur is not a dirty word

Epiphanies come when I’m feeding out slack. Don’t tell my climbing partner. Because when he’s leading his way up a strenuous pitch of rock, he likes to know that I am watching with rapt attention, feeding out the rope in perfect increments, absolutely focused on his every micro-move, so that, should he fall, I will…

Future-proofing the world, one packet of loaner seeds at a time

On Wednesday, the first day of summer, I borrowed a packet of shelling peas from the library. I sifted through a box of seeds, picked out the peas, signed my name to the register and pledged to return my loan in, oh, about 5 months time – once I’ve planted and eaten its harvest, and…

Sorry to break this to you, introverts, but we need to get out more.

It’s the economy, relationships, stupid My spousally acquired health benefits expire when the ski season ends, so in April, I decided to make a last minute, literally down to the wire, effort at addressing a chronically neglected issue and its mysterious new sidekick, by booking a visit to a physiotherapist. Cue several lightbulb moments: this…

Brave Face

Her name was Kellie Daanen. We were seven, eight years old. She was one of my best friends. We sat together at lunch every day. One day, she said, “I’m an Aborigine.” “No, you’re not,” I told her. “How could you be? You have blue eyes.” She had incredible blue eyes, as arresting as the…