Volume 23 Issue 2 — July/August 2017
by Melva Armstrong
September… one of my favourite months. No more ticks, no mosquitos, and those stunningly gorgeous autumn leaves have arrived. It is fun to hear the crunch of them under my feet and listen to them rustling in the trees. There’s a pleasure in the coolness of the air as it brushes my cheeks. I love my walks and especially so during the fall season.
I found the spring and summer delightful and loved being outdoors and soaking up the glorious sunshine. The warmth of the sun feels like it is healing and nurturing my body, soul, and spirit. In my mind, Mother Nature is the ultimate healer, therefore I enjoy getting out in her as much as possible. In late August, I was walking the land near some ponds that have reeds all around them. Just as I was admiring the stillness and beauty of the scene, a mother moose and her baby suddenly stood up in the reeds right in front of me. They looked over at me momentarily and then she and her baby headed off into the water, swam across to an island in the middle, and then swam further to the land on the other side. It was truly an awesome sight to see such magnificent animals in the wild. I feel blessed that they made their presence known to me.
Our world has become a very interesting place with lots of changes happening rapidly, and it is often hard to keep up with the pace of change. I am certainly finding it challenging, and yet I see everything as an opportunity for growth and expansion. We are here to learn and evolve, and that’s what life’s lessons are all about. It’s not a time to be timid and shy. It’s a time to be brave and bold. These are exciting times, and I hope you are making the best of the lessons that are coming your way.
Once again, I have enjoyed working with everyone on this new issue. During these unusual and uncertain times, I feel it is especially important to provide you, the readers, with topics and information that will help to keep you positive, healthy, happy, and prosperous as you go forward.
One subject that has become more prominent lately throughout the world is the drum. Joanne Crofford of Regina has been working with the drum for a number of years and has discovered its many valuable uses. She took on the project of interviewing a number of individuals in the province who work with various aspects of the drum and she put together an article titled, The Drum…Sacred Object, Community Gathering, Musical Instrument, Therapeutic Tool, and Used for Healing (p.12). The title alone indicates the many unique uses and healing benefits of this ancient object. I trust you will read and enjoy the research material she presents.
Another topic that has become more noticeably discussed in our society these days is that of death and all the aspects associated with it. Karla Combres of Saskatoon has been hosting the Death Café for a number of years, and she brings to this issue her article called Facing the Elephant in the Room: Planning for the End of Life (p. 16). This is a subject that many of us avoid due to a sense of fear and discomfort, but it is a seriously important subject. As Karla will likely attest to, talking about it can not only reduce and even eliminate that fear and discomfort, but it can also lead to you becoming involved in preparing your own plan for your final days.
Two other articles that deal with dying and grief are included. Coming to Saskatoon for a workshop in November is Stephen Jenkinson, a teacher and author of Die Wise, A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul. Patti Lindgren Gera, of Saskatoon Community Healing Initiative (CHI), has put together an article on page 14 that introduces us to this sought-after leader, speaker, and consultant to palliative care and hospice organizations. Stephen emphasizes that, “Dying well is not a matter of enlightened self-interest or personal preference. Dying well must become an obligation that living people and dying people owe to each other and to those to come.” He teaches the skills of dying by learning to live deeply and well.
Joan Tessier’s Actively Grieving article (p. 23) describes how she was able to work through her own personal experiences with grief. She includes a wide variety of activities she discovered that can help people move gently through the difficult feelings created by losses of any kind.
May you enjoy the sweet days of autumn, knowing that every day is a gift to be cherished.
(The spirit in me honours the spirit in you)