Candles

November 28th, 2014

 

 

High Park Hawk

November 25th, 2014
 

 

 

Scaling The Wall

November 18th, 2014

 

 
 
 

 

Casa Loma

Hunting Books

November 14th, 2014

The Lillian Smith Library on College has the coolest entranceway of all the libraries in the city in my opinion.

 

 
A pot of tea with my mug and a spooky book from the library.
 
 
 
 
Some "jokers" decided the above titles belonged in the Sci-Fi  and Fantasy shelves of the local used book shop.
 
 
 
 
 
Some of my UFO books. Some better than others and some that would be more suited to a Sci-Fi shelf
 
 
 
U of T bookshop at the St George campus.
 
 
 
 
Lots of books here.
 
 
This one caught my eye.

 

Pedal Faster

November 12th, 2014

Hunting For A Glass Hero

November 7th, 2014

Our Cenotaph at Old City Hall in Toronto, and the stained glass is located in Trinity College.

 
 


Dona Nobis Pacem 2014

November 4th, 2014
 

I believe this is now the eighth year that I have participated in the Blog4Peace movement first with two other blogs that have since been retired, and now this one.

This online peace movement, Blog Blast 4 Peace was founded by Mimi Lenox and now includes bloggers from every Continent! I am always humbled and honoured to be a voice among so many of you, all of us with one mind, and one wish. This year Mimi has asked us to share a story from our heart, a heart story, and I have thought about this in the days leading up to November 4th.

In recent weeks my country's news has been filled with talk of violence and war. Currently our air force has been committed to a combat role in Iraq and Syria, and two of our soldiers have lost their lives here at home due to the violent and extreme actions of trouble people who were inspired by destructive forces in the Middle East. And while I fully support the men and women of our armed forces I cannot help but be disturbed by these events. I remember a time when we were Peace Keepers and not Peace Makers and hope that one day we will be able to fulfill that role again.

My heart story today (and I know how very fortunate I am to have many) belongs to my Mother. She came to this country, Canada, because of the kindness of strangers in Sherbrooke Quebec who sponsored her, and gave her a home and a job until she was able to settle in as a young immigrant.
 

 
She was a child of war, born in Ukraine to Lennist parents in the era of Stalin. She barely knew her Father, my Grandfather who was murdered and is buried somewhere in a mass grave when she was two years old. Many of my relatives from this side of the family I cannot trace because they either ended up in a Gulag or simply vanished. Before coming here my Mother lived with her Mama, brothers and sister in a DP "displaced person" camp which was set up for refugees as a result of WWII.

I could tell you many terrible and shocking things that were related to me over the years by my family, but amidst the horror during and in the aftermath of war there were many acts of kindness, and generosity too, particularly through organizations like the Red Cross. And somehow it was those things, the humane, and decent things that my Mother chose to remember the most and impart on my Sister and myself. I have found through my own life that it is those who have suffered the most who usually have the greatest capacity to open their hearts and forgive. And they humble me.

When I was a teenager and I was studying this time period in school I took a particular interest in hearing my family's stories. I quickly realised when they spoke of hiding in bomb shelters, and the destruction created by those falling bombs,  they were bombs from "our" side. Us. The good guys. And I asked her, "Did you hate them Mom? " And she would, reply " No." And I was relieved because as someone born here I felt I was part of the "good guys."

When I learned about what happened in Ukraine, and how my Grandfather was taken in the middle of the night in front of his children by the NKVD, and was never seen again, I would ask her, "Mom do you hate them, do you fear these Soviets?" And no matter how many times I would pester her she would always say, "No." And then she would try to explain why holding grudges, fearing a group of people who for the most part were victims of their own circumstances, and hate is wrong.
 
And to be honest, as a kid I never really got it. I could not understand how easy it was for her to turn the other cheek. It took some sorting in my head, but I eventually got there. Years later as a young adult speaking with my Mother and my Uncle about the experiences that shaped them I finally did understand. 
 
Because they had experienced such horror and such violence first hand they never wanted any other person to have to go through what they had, and with that mindset they chose to let go, and to forgive, and live life the best they could with what they had been given. They did not forget the bad, but they did learn from it. This is why my Mom focused on the good memories, and yes there were some, even growing up as a refugee in a war torn country, experiencing things and living through things that no child should ever have to. And in later years when she could be on the helping side of things, she always would.

My Mom carried goodness with her throughout her life, never being able to kill a spider, she would take them outside on a piece of paper, telling us never to put old medicine in the toilet as this harms the water and the fish, and so on. She genuinely loved most everyone, opened her home, and heart to people of all different stripes, and was very giving, and compassionate.

She chose to live her life with forgiveness and embrace peace despite the circumstances of her childhood, and she is certainly not alone. She is my heart story today, and I guess as my role model underpins all of the other heart stories I have within myself.

Today and every day I remember my Mama, her goodness, and her stories of the goodness to be found in others, and I wish for peace.
 
I choose peace.

Dona Nobis Pacem - Grant Us Peace.
 
Sue
xoxoxo


Since July I had taken a wee break from blogging, and regular readers of this blog will note that I have completely revamped and renamed it. I am happy to debut these changes, and begin blogging again with my peace globe for 2014.

 

Wet Modern Architecture

July 25th, 2014
 
The above photo was taken by my niece Samantha