A Quiet Strength

(internet photo – Ricke)

The past several day I’ve had the pleasure of seeing owls when I am out for my walk. Standing in the space of their presence brings me a sense of joy and calm – a moment to forget everything that is happening in the world around me.

A Quiet Strength

Hope is a great-horned owl.
It is yellow eyes 
that harness strength.
It is open eyes 
that face shadows.

Hope allows you to soar
on winds of change
to leave some old habits
and bring something new 
into your life.

Hope settles 
on a tree limb,
listens, looks
for subtle signs,
sees what usually goes
below your radar.

Hope uses the beauty
of night
to inspire creativity.
Little can stop
an owl once it has set
its sights
on "the prize"

Some Fun Facts About Owls

Owls have specialized feathers with fringes of varying softness that help muffle sound when they fly. Their broad wings and light bodies also make them nearly silent fliers; which helps them stalk prey more easily.

An owl has three eyelids; one for blinking, one for sleeping, and one for keeping the eye clean and healthy.

This Is My City #23

“Those who came before planted the trees so that future generations can enjoy the shade.”
This is an art installation in Sien Lok Park.
The Chinese first landed on Canada’s West Coast (Nootka Sound) in 1788, as carpenters and craftsmen of a trading vessel. It was not until 1858 that thousands of Chinese immigrants came to Canada with hopes and dreams of a better life.

This Is My City #22

Sien Lok Park
The name means “happiness comes through good works.” The Sien Lok Society of Calgary was formed in 1968. In cooperation with the community they preserved and developed Chinatown’s only green space. The park reflects the vision of all Canadian Chinese and their ancestral heritage.

Hiking in the Dolomites

We started our via Ferrara tour in Valli del Pasubio. It was a gentle introduction to Ferrata but with temperatures continuing to be in the 30’s C we felt like we were hiking in a sauna. This Valley, as in many areas of the Dolomites, is full of reminders of the fighting that occurred between the Italians and Austrians during World War One. Each spring when the snow melts and the talus shifts, bones rise to the surface of the slopes. An Ossuary has been built to honour the remains of these unknown soldiers.

La Spezia and Cinque Terre

La Spezia is a lovely port city we used as a base to explore the historic Cinque Terre villages. We have been experiencing temperatures in the 30’s C so we chose to visit the villages by water rather than hiking. We literally got a “taste” of each as we motored from one to the next and had a beer, then gelato, then lunch, etc. Great fun😄

Montserrat Monastery

P1010346Montserrat is a Benedictine monastery near Barcelona. It houses a Black Madonna statue that dates to the 12th century. The figure is above the altar in the basilica of the monastery. In her honour Gregorian chants are sung daily at noon. Many tourists travel here only to see the statue. The Black Madonna is the patron saint of Catalonia.