Seeds of Hope
November 9, 2016
It has been a long time since I have updated this blog. However, with the state of the world being what it is I feel like it is time that I planted some hope.
Give me some time to do so, though – today I am going to have to dig really deep to find it.
Today is a dark, dark day. Powers of hate and division seem to be winning around the world.
I have children. I will not lie – I fear for their futures.
What kind of world will this be in a year? In two? Five? Ten? Will there be a world waiting for them when it is their turn to try to make things better?
When I woke up this morning to the “new world order”, I realize that all of this time I have been a terrified observer waiting for the world to stop being such a scary place. I have been avoiding self-care until the election results were in, hoping that once Trump went away I could move forward with a world that once again made sense.
The surprising results of last night’s election have robbed me of that easy answer.
Maybe that isn’t entirely a bad thing.
I have been lost in the media. Ignoring my family and my health instead to watch what has ultimately been a slow-motion train wreck of historical proportions.
The world is not over. Yet I feel lost and without purpose because I had so much riding on things being a way that they simply are not. I am not the only one who feels this way today. There are millions – maybe billions – of people in the world filled with a variety of emotions from dread to frustration to outrage to despair. This is not what we wanted. But this is what we have.
I have woken up from what feels like months in a terrible dream and I realize that all my obsessing has done nothing to make this very real nightmare different or easier.
Instead I realize that I have sacrificed time with my loved ones to read news articles about statistics and political processes that I am not even a part of. I have stopped doing yoga because all my energy has been channelled into worrying. I have avoided meditating because I feel like there isn’t a point until the world becomes safe and understandable.
Reading Huffington Post and FiveThirtyEight for eight hours a day will not change the world. I may feel better “informed”, but I am not a better person.
I am an anxious mess. And nothing is going to make that better except me.
Let’s face it. The world isn’t going to get safer or easier to understand. We are in a time of turmoil and even in the most calm and orderly of historic periods tragedy can strike into individual lives. None of us know what is going to happen. Basing today’s actions on potential future events is not healthy or productive.
I need to turn inward. 2016 may be have been a terrible year in the world, but it has actually been a pretty amazing one for me. I am very blessed. I have a beautiful life.
I am tired of spending all of my energy and focus being afraid for my future when my present is such a gift.
So I have decided to take today’s news as a personal call to action. Instead of investing all of my precious time in worrying about the future, I am instead going to focus on enjoying the present. I am going to focus on the things that matter. That way, even if the end of the world is upon us, I can say without regret that I spent my time wisely.
In the end that is really all that matters.
In life our greatest gift is time. None of us knows how much time we have left. Every moment we waste worrying about what is going to happen robs us of our most precious commodity.
My plan is to tune-out and ignore the media, at least for a while. I have proven to myself that being heavily invested in their noise does not help when the s*** hits the fan. At least by avoiding the daily messages of doom and gloom I can focus on my life and the things that matter.
Things I want to focus on – mindfulness and compassionate acts.
Mindfulness is powerful. It allows you a more authentic life. It creates an environment of peace around you.
Compassionate acts in your daily life are a political act – never think that they are not. We have the power to do small things with great love. Those actions can change the world. If nothing else, they can make the immediate world a better place for the people you love.
I really do believe that the world will get through this. I believe that we will look back at this in years to come as a sad and defining moment, but we will look back at it. Nothing gives me more hope than our children. Despite the path that the world is on now, in just a couple of decades we will be handing over the reins to a generation of global citizens. Our children are our beckoning light. We just have to make it through this very dismal tunnel first.
It has been awhile since I have updated this blog! Life is busy, with a full time job, school, a family, a home, and my lame attempt to have some semblance of a life outside of all of that!
I’m (mostly) joking about that – I love my life. I think it is, for the most part, fun and fulfilling. There are some things I would like to see change but I am also seeing glimmers that change is on the horizon. That is both exciting and terrifying; life has been pretty constant for me for a couple years now, so big change is going to feel a little awkward.
Basically I am just writing to say that I was seriously thinking of giving up this site entirely. However, I have put a lot of myself into Sweet Detachment. I’ve been working on this project for five years and it seems silly to give up on it entirely. That being said, I certainly don’t have the energy to be updating the site on a weekly or even monthly basis. It is going to be relatively stagnant for awhile but I am okay with that. I am going to make it my goal to update it at least once a season. When I do update I will try to make a significant impact to the content of the page (pictures, tutorials, blog entries, etc) so that the lack of quantity will be made up for by quality!
Thanks to those that have continued to visit my page despite my absence. I have put a lot of who I am into this tiny piece of the internet and I really appreciate when people take the time to see what Sweet Detachment is all about.
I am going to be planting some seeds this weekend, and I intend to share some of my gardening anecdotes as the season progresses. Also, I will be sewing a beautiful Christmas advent calendar my talented sister put together for me, so look for a quickie tutorial about that! And probably some pictures from this incredible early spring we are experiencing. Cherry blossoms and crocuses for Valentine’s Day – 2015 is already a pretty memorable year!
The solstice has come and gone, school is out, and vacations are upon us!
Summer is officially here.
I am excited for a couple months without school and a few weeks off from work. Despite a disappointing garden this year (shade growing is not easy!) I still intend on spending a lot of time outside nurturing my green babies.
Already this year we've had some good times at the lake, the pool, the park, the patio, and other such summer-y places. I am including a few (unedited) shots from my new toy for your enjoyment.
The first two pictures are of flowers I am growing, and the bottom three are from our recent trip to the Okanagan. Lots of naked running around (that was mostly the kids!) and opportunities to try out my new Nikon D3100!
My youngest and I had a lovely time at the Van Dusen Cherry Blossom Festival in Vancouver this past weekend.
Although I have enjoyed watching the cherry trees blossom each spring since I moved to the coast in 2007, this was the first year I had the opportunity to attend the celebratory festival. The Van Dusen gardens portion of the festival only lasts one weekend, but the cherry blossom festival continues throughout the month of April. For more information on the events that are still ongoing, check out their website: http://www.vcbf.ca/
A couple words of advice - arrive early and arrive hungry! The food is reasonably priced but the vendors get busy and the wait gets long as the crowds arrive. If you can get to the doors for the 10 am opening and go immediately to the food vendors you will get your first choice of ramen, gyoza, and the very popular takoyaki balls. Deep fried Japanese food makes for a great brunch.
There aren't many tables to sit at but there are lots of places to stretch out on a blanket. The festival area near the food vendors and stage are very crowded but, despite the large line up to get in and the beautiful weather, we found that it wasn't too chaotic in the areas of the garden away from the main events.
The gardens are gorgeous this time of year. Not only are there cherry blossoms, but the magnolias and rhododendrons are also in bloom. If you are like me, however, and have seasonal allergies I highly recommend taking some antihistamines before venturing to Van Dusen!
Below are some pictures from the day. Enjoy!
Cherry blossoms at the festival.
Some images of the day.
Finally! A decent dump of snow here on the Wet Coast. It feels like it has been years since I've seen this much snow fall from the sky.
It has been snowing for nearly three days without much of a break. Despite the nasty driving conditions, I for one am thoroughly enjoying the winter wonderland.
I've been out for lovely walks in the white stuff (see photographic evidence below). My youngest boy isn't quite sure what to make of it but my stepson is enjoying it to the fullest.
Our new home feels like a cozy ski lodge in this weather. It might be time to get that wood fireplace going!
Here are some quick snapshots of the snow around here:
Front of the complex:
Out on a walk:
My blog has been awfully wordy lately, so I thought I would post some pictures from this beautiful winter season to liven it up.
Below are some random images from my life from the winter of 2013 - 2014
Christmas at the Drover House
At Bright Lights in Stanley Park
Stanley Park, on the Christmas Train
2013 is drawing to a close, and what a year it has been!
We bought a home and our wee little baby became a toddler. I left the Port Royal Community Garden (a community that I very dearly miss) and I am still struggling to find a way to garden in our new abode. I am dealing with a lack of both light and time.
I had many personal triumphs this year as well. I finished my maternity leave and began a new role at work, with new responsibilities and a flexible, balanced work schedule. I started school and have two courses complete for my OH&S certification through BCIT. I learned to scuba dive, something that both taught me to control my fears and introduced me to an amazing new world. To top it all off, I travelled to Mexico and Las Vegas.
So much has happened. And here, on the eve of a new year, I realize that for the first time in a long time no major life events are looming before me!
The last eight years have been extremely eventful in my life. From ending a long term relationship and moving to Vancouver, to meeting my husband, getting engaged, then married, and having a baby; to buying a home and picking a career path; my life has been in constant (positive) upheaval since 2007.
2014, for the first time in a long time, will be a year where I have no major plans for change.
I feel a little ominous writing that down.
But hopefully that means I will have the chance to develop a real rhythm in my life. I want 2014 to be a big year for personal development and growth.
Happy Holidays! I look forward to sharing more with you all in the coming year.
I have decided to change the direction of this blog.
I am still going to blog about my love affair with plants but, since that part of my life is not as significant as it once was (and sadly that is a reality that may be the case for some time to come), I am going to refocus this blog on my personal experiences as a gardener/crafter/mother/nature lover on the west coast.
I am also going to change the name simply to "The Blog" and have it as a component of the entire Sweet Detachment site (rather than its own little entity). Since that is typically the name I use on Facebook, Twitter, etc it makes more sense to just call my blog that as well.
I'm going to keep all my old blog entries on the site as an archive, but going forward I won't just be writing about plants. I'll be writing about whatever project happens to be occupying my time. I hope this means that I'll be just a little more prolific than I have been!
My foodie blog will stay as is. I probably won't update it a whole bunch but I like having it as a record of all my favourite recipes.
Life has become busy. VERY busy. I barely have time to maintain my plants, yet alone seek out new gardening experiences and then write about them!
I don't want to abandon this blog. I have been working on it for four years and I feel like I have made some headway in creating a little creative corner for myself on the internet. However, I know myself well enough to know that I'm not going to have time to update a gardening blog for awhile - probably until the spring when school is over.
SO...what to do? Do I just put this on hiatus entirely? Do I shift gears and write about something else, maybe the journey of balancing life as a mother/wife/professional/student/artist? Or do I commit myself to monthly updates, rather than "regular" blog entries and try to stay true to my original vision?
At this point I am still undecided, although I must admit that changing the scope of this blog to encompass more of my life does appeal to me.
Feedback would be appreciated!
I will do more pondering in the days to come and will hopefully come to a decision soon...
Here are some pictures of my new space! Pardon the quality, they are from my camera phone.
The small patch of grass currently occupied with a Japanese maple tree will become my herb garden and strawberry patch. My mother-in-law is kindly finding the tree a new home. This is much appreciated as this is a spot where I will be able to grow anything that requires much sun. I also have the front balcony (you can see it slightly peeking into the picture) where I intend to grow tomatoes, peppers, and flowers.
Above are some pictures of my new "backyard". I will be continuing on the tradition of container gardening and I hope to replace those cedar bushes with more ornamental plants and berry bushes in the next couple of years.
Below you can see a couple angles of my garden bed. I don't get a lot of sun but I should get enough for some veggies - I am thinking cucumbers on the lattice and lettuces in the bed. The other half of the bed (the half in shadow) doesn't really get direct light and will probably remain as shade loving plants like hostas.