Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The City of Calgary - BP BirthPlace Forest

The City of Calgary - BP BirthPlace Forest

The link above is to a City of Calgary webpage listing the locations of the  9 BirthPlace Forests planted in Calgary from 2001 - 2009 and accounts for the planting of  50,000 trees.

Also on that page are links to current City Tree Planting programs.

Today, I went for a short walk at the first BP Forest, in Elliston Park. It was lovely, with frost on the trees, and sun shining on the snow, making everything sparkle.  There were plenty of slippery spots, but for the most part it was an easy walk.   I will be back again.

So far, this year, I have visited 4 of the 9 forests, and intend to soon visit the rest of them.

Sparkly Wintery Blessings to all,

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Protection vs Honesty

Listening to the radio this morning as they spoke of this young girl and her final conversations with her parents over breakfast with my kids, I was struck with a thought.

As a parent we try to shelter our children from sadness and horrors, but kids are curious about everything, death included.

As a Druid parent I try very hard to answer their questions directly, but vaguely enough that they are able to make their own conclusions. If we force upon them our views, our expectations of the afterlife, we may not be comforting them or assuaging their natural fears but adding to them.

A major reason for my choice and decision to be pagan and train in Druidry was to understand death. I loved my grandmother dearly, yet as a young child she made me say the "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer before bed at her house thinking it would be a comforting to me. Though it came from a place of love and care, I remember laying awake exceptionally fearful of dying in the night and someone taking me away from my family.

While the agony I felt led me to the spiritual path of Druidry, I shudder every time I have to answer these questions from my own children.

Just last night my five year old asked if he grew up would I be dead?

An answer would be "yes. You'll likely be grown up when I die. But we don't know that." But I think the actual question he was asking, what he was fearful about and only somewhat able to convey, was that his growing up would cause my death.

Allowing them to take the lead and question will let us determine the best way to answer.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014


So many find winter empty, and bare, and lonely. They forget that the trees which provide shade in Summer also provide something to look at, to focus on, in Winter.

Find a tree, any tree. Perhaps a tree in your yard, or in a public park, perhaps a wild tree in the mountains.

But a tree that has caught your attention and draws your eye, one you wonder about.

What is this tree?
By what names is it known?
Why is it growing right here?
What will the leaves look like in summer?
Will it have flowers?
What are its seeds and how are they dispersed?

Through the Winter, through the time of reflection and darkness when we cannot be outside all the time, it's a good moment to research. Answer those questions. Get to know that tree.

And then, when Spring and Summer do come you will recognize the tree when it's clothed in leaves and also when naked in winter.