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Cosmic Camelot

RAYS OF LIGHT poured through the trees. This minuscule moment in time had the mystique of mythical Camelot, I thought, as I walked through the morning dazzle of fall. Like a fragile fantasy made real, idyllic happiness was, and perhaps still is, ours for the taking after the billions of years it took for organic life to burst forth upon Earth.

For thousands of years it’s been a playground for humankind yet taking our only home for granted, wars and disagreements have brought us to an odd pivotal point. Did you hear about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report? Turns out that the knights in shining armour galloping to our rescue needs to be all of us.

Sandy Trail, Crescent Beach, Surrey, BC
We have a dozen years, scientists say, “… for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.”

They say there's no need to panic or to shy away from the uncomfortable truths in the report because keeping temperatures down to that level IS doable. The tricky part is that we would need to make unprecedented changes.

Carbon pollution would have to be cut by 45% by 2030. That’s overwhelming in societies where many see no problem at all. But if we dare to pay more now instead gamble with life later, we might be surprised at how well we rise to the call.

It's a chance to move forward with better habits reminiscent of earlier times, before households with three cars became common.

Less traffic, less consumption, more backyard gardens and nature-friendly activities from big and small business could extend the human story in this cosmic realm.

We know what to do but is there the will to add to the chapters of our fantastic tale.

Crescent Beach, Surrey, BC

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Still the kid I used to be

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So Much In Life Hangs On Which Way The Votes Go

TWISTS and turns of politics can be heart-wrenching and disturbing as evidenced by the picking of a justice to the highest court in the US land. Watching events unfold as a Canadian observer hit home how elections matter more than ever, the big and small.

I could hardly wait to cast my ballot for mayor and city councillors in my world. I voted early at a recreation centre that had an intriguing piece of art near the entrance. The work captured what I was feeling in an inexplicable way.

The artists Ruth Beer and Charlotte Wall endowed Ribbon with a whimsical outlook. They explained: “Our sculpture is imbued with a ribbon’s qualities of joyous movement and the potential to form beautiful shapes. Whether by the flick of a wrist or randomly caught in the wind, it can be appreciated by people of all ages and cultures.”

Indeed, the work appeared to float off the ground happily as shadow and light played. Yet, after listening to the US news, I didn't see its motion as entirely carefree, realizing that until justice for women, for all assaulted people, is no longer placated and ignored, every pretty ribbon is a twist away from being tied into painful knots. So much depends on which way the wind blows and how each of our votes go.


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A Stone's Throw From Chilliwack River

The good news is that we found an auto recycling place in Chilliwack that had a hubcap cover to match the one we lost and presumed had been stolen off our car a while back. The bad news is that on our drive home a big dump truck full of rocks sped by and spat out one of those rocks, chipping our windshield. Existence seems rigged so that we get a taste of both the good and bad things in life ... sometimes simultaneously.

I liked how the recycling place made lemons out of lemonade by planting flowers in broken-down vehicles and giving discarded hockey sticks a second chance as art.

Chilliwack is about 65 miles southeast of Vancouver. Before the rock hit our windshield, we spied something really wonderful from the road so we had to stop.

Behind the trees, berries and bushes ...

a lovely fluid blue shimmered below.

We could hear the rush of the Chilliwack River (known as Vedder at some locations) bubbling, churning and gurgling upon the beaten rocky floor.

It looked peaceful and picturesque despite chaotic movement. I could see why some parts of the waterway attract river rafters.

There was a bare patch on a surrounding hill, probably due to tree cutting.

Someone was hoping to catch a salmon. There's a hatchery nearby making this a great fishing destination. Over-fishing, however, could be a resulting unwanted issue at certain times of the year.

It would have been easy to stay longer and sink into the view along the squishy shore. Instead, we headed home just in time to meet our destiny with the flying stone.


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Spotting The Hedgehog

I spotted a hedgehog planted amid stones at the bottom of a fence the other day. There’s confusing bits of unreliable information about ancient Romans using hedgehogs to predict the weather and the coming of spring, similarly to how we, in North America, enlist groundhog shadows to predict. The prickly creatures with their knobby adorable pointy noses are in Europe, Asia and Africa but they're not native where I am.

I recall seeing only one hedgehog "in person" as a pet. With relaxed quills, it fit like a ball in the hand of its caretaker. Mostly, however, in my part of the world, hedgehogs are chocolates, decorative doorstops and paperweights similar to the one I have. Do you have a hedgehog of any kind at home? See one live and in action HERE.

As for forecasting weather, it doesn't take a burrowing animal to see that climate patterns are more extreme. Buildup of human-caused greenhouse gasses plays an unsustainable role in our atmosphere, aiding in global warming and upheavals. While storms and floods brew in the Philippines and the Carolinas, it's raining moderately in my world after a tinder-dry summer. Can you spot the drops? Nourishing moderate rain is manna from heaven and one day could be as rare as wild hedgehogs in BC.


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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Watching The River Flow

Elgin Heritage Park is a sweet spot to unwind and watch the placid face of the Nicomekl River, controlled by sea dams and tidal whims that spill in and out of Boundary Bay.

Thinking back on my recent visit, the slow pace of the river seemed at odds with the fast moving Bob Dylan tune called Watching the River Flow, although Dylan's 1971 lyrics (played by Love Minus Zero & Friends HERE) are no less current.

Passers by the berries, bulrushes, boats and railway track surrounding the muddy river bank likely don't know how the song goes so here's a few words:

"People disagreeing on all just about everything, yeah ... Makes you stop and all wonder why ... Oh, this ol’ river keeps on rollin’, though

"No matter what gets in the way and which way the wind does blow ... And as long as it does I’ll just sit here ... And watch the river flow"



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