Stillness (after the frenzy)

Gathered with family yesterday evening to celebrate the Season; many hours of good conversation, cooking together, and eating. Spent the entire time counting blessings, and losing count over and over.

It was a culmination of sorts: a time to put aside the busy-ness of the last many weeks for all of us, to stop for a bit and share some laughter, catch up with one another, and leave the frenzied part of this Season on the other side of the door.

So very welcome, that.

And today, I was blessed with a truly quiet and peaceful day.

Took a walk with my best friend and partner late in the afternoon, and brought our cameras along to see what we found …

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SO quiet. Almost no traffic, even on the busy streets; almost no one (save us) out walking.

Fingers wound up fighting with the cold and working our camera controls after a short time, so found a place for coffee – and found it surprisingly busy, but even so, people seemed still – reading, journalling, talking with friends.

As we walked home and the last of the day’s light faded, I was able to catch a few shots that seemed to sum it all up rather well:

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It is my sincere hope for everyone that you might all find some time to

-stop-

today, or over the next little while, and have the opportunity to enjoy a little peace and silence in your day.

May all of us find the world we share a little bit kinder, a little bit gentler, a little more compassionate than it was this past year.

May we all be part of making it a better place to live (in however small a way) each day, and carry that spark with us, and let it infuse our actions with the best that humanity can offer to each other and to the planet.

All the very best to you all.

~sydney

 

Wanted: A Voice of Reason

I woke up this morning to a text from my daughter.

Her place of work was in lockdown because someone had spotted a man in black combats, with an earpiece, carrying what appeared to be a rifle wrapped in black fabric.

This, on the heels of what are being described as two other ‘terrorist’ attacks in various places in my country in the past couple of days.

These events are frightening and terrible – as is the loss of life, regardless of whose life is lost in these events.

What I want is a voice of reason. Not violence, not retribution, not hatred and fear matching hatred and fear.

So, this morning, I offer the words of Elizabeth May … One of the few voices of reason I am hearing out I the world right now:

… we must ensure that this appalling act of violence is not used to justify a disproportionate response. We must not resort to hyperbolic rhetoric. We need to determine if these actions are coordinated to any larger group or are the actions of one or two deranged individuals. If it is the latter we must develop tools and a systematic approach to dissuade our youth from being attracted to violent extremist groups of any kind. We need to protect our rights and liberties in a democracy.

I have no answers – but I do know that responding to violence with inflammatory rhetoric and more violence will lead to no good for anyone. There are no winners in a world filled with hatred and fear and violence. None.

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I am immensely thankful that things turned out fine – she is safe, and no one was harmed.  But I am also immensely concerned that histrionic, nationalistic responses to events like these will only make matters worse, and ultimately place many more people at significant risk.

There has to be a better way.