Just passing through......

Musings of a lowly pilgrim
Nature | Photography | Stewards of our planet | Travel

Knowledge is fine, wisdom is better……

November 16, 2018

How blessed we are, those of us who have sight. On the mornings that I drive to work, I get to absorb our spectacular sunrises and, once again, upon my return, there before me is a dramatic sunset.  I can’t get enough of our Alberta skies!

Fiery sunset in Calgary

I am now knee-deep into my studies. My brain is getting a terrific workout, contorting herself in ways I wish my body could. I can see her expanding and bulging out. This is the kind of challenge I know I can take on.

I had to visit my daughter, Hope, for help on my first assignment, though it wasn’t anything to do with the content. I am new to having to submit articles according to the American Psychological Association (APA) format. Man alive, it took me twice as long to try to format the assignment correctly than it did for me to gather the content. And, even with Hope’s help, I still didn’t get it right. But. you know, I’m learning, and I will do a better job the next time. I’m still happy with my mark of 92%.

Lowering evening skies

As I suspected, someone in the family thought the name “Shiloh” was too girly, so I reconsidered. As my poor boy had been assigned the name “Sherlock” at the city pound, which I’m sure he never knew was his name, I thought I could make a small adjustment to the name without any damage being done. This I did when I named him “Shiloh”. Now I have made another small adjustment. He is now “Shalom”. Does that sound more manly? It is a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquillity and can be used to mean both hello and goodbye. So that’s final. No more name changes. He doesn’t answer to any of those names, but hopefully, the more I reinforce it, he will come to realize who he is. One thing is certain, he is delighted with Nerah and the feeling is mutual.

Best friends

My youngest asked me a few weeks ago when I was planning to visit her in Victoria, B.C. I had initially thought I might go out in the spring, but then I checked my AIRMILES balance and thought, “why not?” This is typical me, tossing sense out the window and jumping into something I may or may not regret later on. But, there will be no regrets on this trip. I’m only going for the weekend, and it didn’t break the bank. I will be spending time with two of my daughters, Bethany and Hannah, and their partners.

Downy woodpecker

Calgary has been enjoying a bit of warmish weather, around 10ºC so I have been taking advantage of that. Keaton, my little fellow, and  I took a stroll through Inglewood Bird Sanctuary this week. It is hard to believe that it is smack dab in the centre of the city. We watched a muskrat sitting on a rock in the middle of the Bow River, grooming himself, spotted a downy woodpecker and came upon a young mule deer buck. The chickadees were having a party, gleefully flitting from branch to branch, chickadee…dee…deeing all the way.

Young mule deer
Isn’t he handsome?
Muskrat on a rock in the Bow River!

Winter is a dismal time of year, with the absence of life in the trees and shrubs, but even in that light, it is stark and beautiful. The skeletons of the past year are exposed, with gnarled arms reaching every which way, as if clutching at little spirits floating thinly through the air. Trees, more than any other perennial, seem to possess the wisdom of the ages. What they have borne witness to holds me captive. Such strength and beauty I see, despite the unadorned branches. If we could look inside the hearts of the trees, what would we see? I imagine they whisper to one another under the moonlight, things we are too limited to grasp.

Winter afternoon in Fish Creek Park

If I were a tree, I would like to be planted amongst the giant redwoods of northern California. What insights would these majestic beasts impart to me? They have lived through the centuries, seen the ages change and evolve. How sad they must be now, as time draws to a close and we continue to hurt and destroy the gifts given to us so freely, the land, the creatures, the oceans. What would they say?

Giant Redwood in Northern California


  1. Must send you some photos of the garden I have just become custodian of (together with a small house). Despite the frost I still look out at a bright orange marigold, some flowering miniature roses and lilac somethings. Nearly all the plants, shrubs and trees are evergreens – the previous owners created a wonderful garden – the best Christmas present I could wish for. Just bought a second-hand guide to amateur gardening so I have no excuses for not maintaining it as I found it.
    No giant redwoods, but I’m hoping my green surroundings will help delay the senile dementia onset!

  2. I’m so glad to hear that school is going well. Right on!
    I love trees too. Especially big old ones that seem to just ooze wisdom…….banyan trees come to mind; they are my favourite!

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