Tag Archives: Canada

Early autumn walkabout

Have you noticed? The autumn colours are peeking through, perhaps due to the extremely dry conditions, but also the season. I love to walk in the early autumn. The days are warm and the nights are cool enough to open the bedroom windows and turn off the air conditioning at last. The sun still has the strength to warm the soul.

The last of the hot air balloons flew through the other morning. Like birds migrating south, they are leaving the area seeking warmer locations for the winter season.

Every tree has at least a few leaves that are turning the brilliant colours we associate with autumn. It’s just the beginning.

Even the cheery Black-Eyed Susans have passed their peak and are beginning to wilt.

The last white rose on the bush is clinging on, making passers-by smile; a reminder that they’ll be back in profusion next spring.

As flower wilt and shrivel up bees hover near sucking up whatever nectar they can find to sustain them through the coming cold months. But for now, early autumn is a very pleasant time.

The remaining choke cherries are beginning to shrivel but they still make a tasty snack for birds fattening up for the migration south, or in preparation for sitting out the winter with the rest of us.

Wee blossoms in the ditch are fading, but still golden in the sunlight.

And high in a tree, the crab  apples are ready for raccoons and deer to snack upon.

Yes, early autumn IS the perfect time for a walkabout. The mugginess of summer has abated and the air is becoming crisp and clear. We are fortunate here in eastern Canada to enjoy four distinct seasons and the coming fall is, without doubt, my favourite.

For most people, January 1st signals the start of a new year. But for me it’s fall. Perhaps it’s because a new school year begins in September. Or perhaps it’s just because it’s invigorating after the sultry days of summer.


Posted in appreciation, Autumn, BLOG, Fall Foliage, New Brunswick, photography, seasons Also tagged , |

Justin Trudeau came to town…

Justin Trudeau was the featured speaker at the Grace Foundation inaugural fund raising event held at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John, NB, June 27, 2012

Justin Trudeau came to town as the featured speaker for the inaugural fund raising event of the Grace Foundation. The purpose of the evening was to launch a capital campaign to raise funds for much-needed renovations and updates at the Church of St. John & St. Stephen Home that provides tender care for its 80 elderly residents.

Like any older facility, it needs updates and renovations to look after the residents’ needs and provide them comfort and a good quality of life. The ‘Evening with Justin Trudeau’ was the Foundation’s first fund raising event in its multi-year capital campaign to fund major refurbishments at the home including updated decor, new furnishings for residents’ rooms,and improved entertainment and activity facilities for the residents.

The Board of Grace Foundation aims to make every event that it backs dual-purpose: fund raising and meaningful in some way. Hence its decision to sponsor Trudeau to speak to a Saint John audience with his message about education and empowerment of youth for a better society.

Justin Trudeau walked confidently onto the stage in the Imperial Theatre and addressed the audience eloquently and passionately for almost an hour, completely without notes. He was relaxed and casual, sharing frequent touches of humour and connecting with everyone in the hall, from the few teenagers who had come to find out what a young man might have to say to the greater number of older folk who probably had the same idea.

This morning the local media reported on Trudeau’s presence in our area – choosing to speak only about his possible political ambitions and completely ignoring both the reason for his visit to Saint John and his messages about the environment, education and youth.

Trudeau challenged everyone in the audience to consider his or her individual impact on the world at large and to realize that each of us is “making a difference in the world every time we do anything”. With the proliferation of media, electronic and social media communications we truly are a global community, he said. Canada, and western civilization as we know it in general, “draws from every corner of the planet for our needs. We (humanity) have managed to fill up the planet with our footprint.”

He went on to exhort us to be aware that no society, country or individual exists in isolation. It is everyone’s role to broaden our perspectives and to understand the impact of our choices and behaviours, not just for today but for the future and our children and their children. He strongly urged us to empower our young people to challenge the status quo and to teach them the value of being a good citizen of the world.

“Young people want to feel like their actions matter. We all need to matter. We need to be relevant to others and to be valuable to them.”

Justin Trudeau relaxed and chatting with the audience

“Altruism can also be selfish,” he said, “because it makes you feel so good. We as Canadians have the opportunity to model for the world what it means to be ‘a good citizen’ in all respects.”

His message was met with an enthusiastic response from the audience who gave him a standing ovation – and then settled down for a question and answer period. Some of the younger members of the audience asked him to elaborate on his message of youth empowerment while older members focused more on his political genealogy and whether or not he was considering a run at the leadership of the Liberal party formerly headed-up by his well known father. He deftly sidestepped the latter by saying it was a family decision to be considered over the summer months.

Trudeau was billed as a charismatic speaker and he lived up to his billing.  Now we will have to wait and see what decisions he makes about his personal and political future. And, should he choose to pursue a more prominent role in politics – will he, or even, can he, remain true to the ideals he spoke of last night? We’ll have to wait and see.

Posted in accomplishments, belonging, BLOG, Canada Also tagged , , , |