November, where I live on the coast in BC, has brought much cooler temperatures, calling for a change to warmer clothing. This month also completes the recent updates to Innisfree's website with the continuous flow of Fireside's audio book and chapters separated by the sound of a crackling fireplace. This latter creative technical feat was the brainwave of the site's designer, Larry Moss, proving yet again the strength of collaboration.
Collaboration is working with another, or asking someone if they would be willing to support us. A couple of weeks ago, I did ask for support with an idea that had been simmering for quite a while. Acknowledging that I could be more vulnerable with living alone, I now have a regular contact system in place. As the Universe likes me to keep learning, and this venture included texting - a process I had avoided, telling myself I didn't need one more thing on my proverbial plate - it also threw in some technical glitches! Gratefully, the glitches were resolved and the process is now in place, along with greater peace of mind. I bow to those of you for whom speedy texting is a natural! Hopefully, my skills will pick up speed! Personally, please give me my computer and full keyboard! Does this bring to mind any of your stories, which perhaps needed you to push through your comfort zone, but now are glad you did?
Reaching out to another can support us in moving from being stuck to completing an intention. One such example, age 70, was while expanding my ministry licence with degree studies, I became overwhelmed with the immensity of the program and contemplated discontinuing. Listening to an inner voice that urged me to review the roster of Canadian graduates, I intuitively chose a person to contact. That call was made thirteen years ago, and the encouragement received resulted in carrying on, and a valuable friendship that remains today. May I also suggest the importance of having role models? Mine range from teenagers to nonagenarians! As John Donne wrote (1572-1631): no man is an island entire of itself.
Not being an island can be challenging, but here is what one gentleman did: Before getting close to the check-out at his local grocery store he would rejoin the end of the queue, doing this numerous times before leaving. The shop assistant learned he was just lonely and found the line-up a good place to chat to others in the same situation. (Source: November 14, 2022, The Friendship Book - A thought for each day. Published annually since 1939, originally by Francis Gay, pseudonym of Herbert Leslie Gee). While sad that this man was so lonely, let's be mindful that a friendly hello or the exchange of a few words in passing can lift another's spirits ... they certainly do mine! Some of my great connections have been fleeting encounters while on a bus, in the grocery line-up, and others at my local park or walking by the ocean in White Rock.
Linking to this month's theme, always good to ask, I share a joyful pet/pet-owner experience of last month ... if you and I have been journeying together for a time you may recall that, way back when, my companion was a lovable English bulldog named Paddy. On Thanksgiving Monday I was crossing the street down at the ocean and saw beside me an English bulldog, identical in colour to mine. Ecstatic, I started a conversation, shared some stories, and asked if I might take a photo. With the pet owner's permission, the result is this month's illustration. I hope this handsome pet's photo warms your heart, as it does mine, making me glad I not only asked but now have a visual image of the happy occasion.
Energy and communication have immeasurable reaches. We think of someone and they phone us. Wildlife and pets communicate. My 3-legged calico cat, Cadi, was an excellent communicator. Nature is never static and has so much to teach us. While watching a documentary on BC's Knowledge Network, filmed at actress Dame Judi Dench's home, I learned that trees not only communicate with, but send help to other trees through a fungal network. It is a riveting documentary which can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1606305749458704. Now, when I walk through my near-by park, with curiosity I look at the trees and wonder how they are communicating with one another. (Chapter 18 of By the Fireside ... links tiny red saplings with a tall cedar tree).
Until next time, to friends in the United States - may you have a beautiful Thanksgiving on November 24th ... perhaps with your own delightful surprise, such as I had on our Canadian Thanksgiving! And, as we move closer to the Winter Solstice and the return of the light, I leave you with this thought to ponder: when we ask, there is always the possibility of a happy solution!
Blessèd be to you ... Namasté!
Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada