Posts tagged ‘Canada’

July 1, 2015

Happy Canada Day!

Ten reasons why I love Canada:

  1. Abundant and easy access to nature and green space.
  2. Friendly people.
  3. Geographical and cultural diversity.
  4. Big cities, tiny hamlets and everything in between = countless living and travel opportunities.
  5. Lakes, lakes, lakes! (And rivers and oceans, too!)
  6. Four seasons.
  7. First Nations’ history and culture.
  8. Environmental ethic.
  9. Diversity of wildlife (and an ethos to respect and protect it).
  10. Natural beauty, from coast to coast to coast.

Happy Canada Day!

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January 9, 2015

Observed on the street: Winter traffic signs in Canada

I encountered this barely visible stop sign in the parking lot of a grocery store in northern British Columbia.

20150109_WinterStopSign

February 18, 2014

Observed on the street: A sure sign of spring in Canada

Canada’s The Weather Network today posted the following informal “Question of the Day” on its website:

What is your sure sign of spring: Robins, tulips, melting snow, or other?

Several respondents opted for “other” and used the comment section to remark that their sure sign of spring was the return, around the middle of February, of the Tim Hortons Roll Up the Rim to Win contest.

Only in Canada! 😉

Photo of a losing Tim Hortons Roll Up the Rim to Win cup

February 3, 2014

Observed on the street: Winter in Canada

I know there’s a Jeep under there somewhere . . . .

Photo of a Jeep buried in snow.

And to think that here in Northern British Columbia, where this photo was taken, we’ve had a “low-snow” year!

January 6, 2014

If time is a circle, can you live on the edge?

We may not realize it, but the concept of linear time is very much a construct of Western civilization. The idea that a person can physically exist in only one temporal dimension — the present moment — without the ability to move between the past and the future worlds, does not hold sway in many other cultures, where time moves at a different pace or even on a different continuum.

Take, for example, the Haida First Nation living in Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands), a remote archipelago off the northwest coast of British Columbia. For the Haida, writes author John Vaillant in his 2005 book The Golden Spruce, “time operates more like a spiral, or like the rings of a tree.” Vaillant continues:

There is a saying among the peoples of the Northwest Coast: “The world is as sharp as the edge of a knife,” and Robertson Davidson, [a well-known Haida artist and carver], imagines this edge as a circle. “If you live on the edge of the circle,” he explained in a documentary film, “that is the present moment. What’s inside is knowledge, experience: the past. What’s outside has yet to be experienced. The knife’s edge is so fine that you can live either in the past or in the future. The real trick,” he says, “is to live on the edge.”

It’s an intriguing concept, this idea of time growing outwards like a tree. In this case, time is circular, but the plane is horizontal, not vertical, and the direction of movement is outwards in radial lines from the centre, not in loops around the circumference. Here, the countless “rings” of past life and experience accumulate in the centre of the circle, pushing the present — and the future — ever outwards, but remaining close at hand, consolidated and strong, in case of need. This circle, it seems, would collapse without the foundation of the past to keep it strong; yet the circle would also cease to expand and grow if not for the present moment always moving towards (and into) the future.

As novel as this concept may appear to a linear mind, the Haida perspective does share one thing in common with its Western counterpart — and that is the difficulty of staying in the present moment. The present moment is a knife-edge, says Robertson Davidson; it is easy for a person to slip off that edge into either the past or the future. Whether you slip off that edge in a physical sense or a mental one doesn’t really matter, I’d argue. In the end, the trick is the same:  to live on the edge — not in the sense of embracing risk or pushing boundaries, but in the sense of existing in that hair’s-width space of the present moment.

April 4, 2013

Why I love (northern) B.C. – A peculiar sign of spring

From a local newspaper in my northern B.C. community:

Spring is in the air.  One way to tell is the number of people you see shovelling snow from their lawns back onto their driveways.

Ha! 🙂

(For those of you who don’t know:  Snow melts faster when it’s spread out in a thin layer rather than piled in huge mounds.  Moving snow from the tall piles alongside your driveway — where you shovelled it during in the winter — back onto your clear driveway surface — where it will melt and evaporate during the day — means that you’ll see your lawn a heck of a lot sooner than you would otherwise!)