Rosemary Ganley The Peterborough Examiner August 4, 2022
Poets and mystics tell us life is paradoxical. We do well to strengthen our double-mindedness.
Summer in the Kawarthas offers a lot for one to enjoy, in this quest to keep balance between dark and light, hope and despair, activity and apathy.
Troubling news everywhere envelops us: climate harm, violence and hate, stupidity among people who should know better, suffering inflicted on the innocent in Ukraine and Palestine and Yemen and elsewhere, homelessness and online hate. So the search for peace of mind is daily and relentless.
But supports are also all around: locally, personally and via the media. This column attempts to specify a few.
Professional live music is in the air downtown Wednesdays and Saturdays; there is the feeling of actually owning a cottage that comes when sitting with a friend at Silver Bean Café; the Blue Jays accomplish 28 runs in one game at Fenway Park; steady sunshine and welcome rain have arrived; there is access to water, outdoors at Beavermead Park and Lakefield Beach and indoors at the YMCA; we can gain bike trails that criss-cross both town and county; the Prime Minister has a new crewcut; Little Lake Cemetery opened after a cleanup of the downed trees caused by the May 21 “derecho”; we have the sound of silence when lawn mowers stop, and I experience the kindness of bank staff at the Credit Union on Brock Street and at Scotiabank (Diana and Heather and Courtney) as I negotiate my way through new systems. Without blowing them up.
It’s a good thing Charles Darwin told us in 1859 that change is, and will be, constant.
And to notice more. There is the cool of the library and the time to read; the sense of satisfaction in cleaning out a spice drawer and trying a new recipe; the enthusiasm of staff at Habitat for Humanity when I donate a Jamaican blue mahoe buffet; High Tea returns to Traill College where the Jalyn Bennett Theatre is going up; and there are the ongoing zoom classes of knowledgeable fitness teacher Neli Lozej.
Don’t forget the launch of a new chip truck at Curve Lake. Or the grateful farewell to the world’s best pharmacist, Hani Fam, and the welcome to his successor, Anand Shah.
There is my granddaughter going to volunteer in Nicaragua. There is Carlotta James seeking a seat on city council from Northcrest. Coach Carol Love has led her Canadian heavy women’s eight rowing team to a silver in Europe, and she will be with these Amazons until the Olympics in Paris in 2024. Of course, there is always the risk that Romania or Australia will arrive with Amazons too.
I follow the cheerful posts of our remarkable ambassador to the United Nations, Bob Rae. If Bob, from his perch, can stay positive, then why can’t I?
Joy can abound. I imagine you have your own summer pick-me-ups. While I don’t have a deck, or a barbecue, many do. The smells alone are a tonic. Pets are a blessing for many.
I read poetry: Parker Palmer and Mary Oliver and Anna Akhmatova and Richard Wagamese.
Philosophers, such as Rebecca Solnit (she of “Hope in the Dark”), and Anne Lamott, give wisdom. Meditation, both alone and in a group helps. There is something powerful in communal meditation; everyone silent at the same time for an hour or so. I praise my children: the one who has put in solar panels, and the one who has taken on the environmental club at his school, and the one who has just acquired a tennis racquet.
I celebrate with the Sisters of St. Joseph, 100 years of their ministries at the Villa Retreat House in Cobourg. I receive positive comments from four men, one from Amherst, N.S, on my critical column about Pierre Poilievre.
Pope Francis arrives safely and gives new visibility to people in wheelchairs. The James Webb telescope gives us dazzling pictures from deep outer space. That’s 30 pieces of good news. Take that, dark clouds!
"Gleanings" is Rosemary Ganley's new book. You can purchase directly from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or from >Amazon<