What Can Canada Learn from King Midas and the Golden Touch?

{Kate Shrewsday loves nothing more than a piece of really juicy rhetoric, and dishes it out in spades. She is one of my favorite blogs that I love to stop and visit  after a busy week.  Her One Question is “What is the greatest fairytale; and why?”}

As a child there was one book that stood – out that I read over and over it was King Midas and the Golden Touch. I was fascinated with the King who could turn everything into gold with a simple touch.  I believe  we all desire to have that touch to create the financial freedom  enabling us to live the life we dreamed of without thinking of the cost.

As the economy propels forward with technological innovations and foreign investment into our natural resources.  David Suzuki points out:

We need to look at the way we create and introduce technology. Perhaps it’s time to ask, “Why do we need this? Does it improve our lives in a significant way?” And then we may ask, “What are the wider repercussions of this invention throughout nature and over time?” If we asked, with greater humility, “How does nature solve problems?” we might find solutions that would avert or minimize negative consequences

Each day we have to make the choices which affect the cost of our planet and our future’s well-being.  If we blindly move forward taking our chances with building the oil sands and burning through our fossil fuels. What resources will we have left for our future? If the government was to take a step back and begin investing in green technology wouldn’t that be the improvement into solving future problems?

King Midas’s life changed in a blink of an eye when he discovered his golden touch was a hazard that turned his beloved daughter Marygold into stone. She was the one thing he loved most in the world that he would never get back. Luckily, for him he was granted one last wish to reverse his unwise choice of having the golden touch and return to his precious life filled with a daughter’s love.

The one thing we can all learn from King Midas is to be careful what we wish for because in real life you don’t always get to reverse your past mistakes. Canada’s biggest jewel is its abundance of natural resources something which we should never taken for granted. We need to be cautious for what we wish for because it may take away the many things we love about this country.

Do you believe there is a cost to the choices you make in life?

The Circle of Life

As we wandered from thee meadow and into the marshland we walked off the trail to watch the ducks swim in the water. It was as I looked over my shoulder to the left I felt a cold shiver and excitement as I saw what laid only a few feet away.

I pointed to the kids, “Look!”

We walked over to examine the  Bison remains that laid before us. It was at that moment a thought crossed my mind that this was the first time I saw animal remains not within the confines of a museum but in the open wilderness.

It was there the remains laid untouched diminishing into the earth. My oldest wondered out loud, “What do you think happened to him?”

I replied, “I am not sure. Perhaps, he was sick or was attacked by another animal.”

The littlest stared in awe, “Do you think he suffered?”

“I don’t know. It looks as if he chose a quiet spot to move onward and rest in peace. “

It was with that we peered closer at the remains and noticed a small band of hair left around his horns. His peering eyes seemed to whisper that he had discovered a new open plain on his next journey.

We all began to feel as if  were lingering to long around the resting bison. It was then we moved back onto the winding trail.

As we moved forward we came across another meadow that was filled with life.

My oldest gazed out, “So that is the meaning of the circle of life.”

What does the circle of life mean to you?

Solitude

The beauty of nature is in the quiet solitude it offers as we look out into the changing landscape of the wilderness.

Where do you find your inner peace?

One Last Hurrah!

It was a weekend of tumbles and fun! We hit Marmot Basin for one last hurrah of winter! And called to mother nature for the warm vibes of spring. We tackled the fresh powder, enjoyed the views of Jasper and loved every minute of  our weekend.

The conditions were perfect  a morning full of flurries but it was with ease we skied the wide open spaces. Enjoying the freedom and happy that there  no large crowds of spring skiers  overtaking the mountain. It was the perfect Saturday.   The children would ski, tumble, brush themselves off, get back up and ski on their merry way!

The resilience kids have is unbelievable and it is amazing to watch their independence shine. They are confident to take the lead and I no longer feel the need to have them covered in bubble wrap. Perhaps, I’m learning to let go a little?

My family and I love to ski. It’s those moment together that we spend laughing, challenging each other, and talking on the chair on the way up the mountain. That makes it such a great family sport!

Skiing is a valuable life lesson for children. It’s not only fun but it teaches our children as they ski in a powder bowl of heaven that the great outdoors has so much to offer to us. It is a world full of endless adventure, possibilities and freedom from the constraints of everyday life.

What is your favorite family sport?

Trash Talk Tuesday

Did you ever have one of those weekends where you feel invigorated? Inspired for change?  As I enjoyed a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend in Banff with my family soaking up the scenery, hiking the trails, and cooking the turkey.  I jotted this quickly down in my journal:

 It was one of those moments where I felt truly content with my life.  But it was also one of those turning points in my life when I realized that I have taken granted one of the most beautiful gifts man has and that is nature.

I avoid the topic of environmentalism like a child. I hear Suzuki on the radio and I turn him off. I’m like a child who doesn’t want to hear the truth. I stomp my feet and plug my ears. Pretending I can’t hear or see what is going on with our environment.

So, today is the day, I take the first step to pledge to do something different, each week, I will make a small change to my family’s lifestyle, which will improve our carbon footprint. I would love to change everything over night. But I’m not that brave.

So, first on the agenda, I vow as of today, that I will recycle, and separate my trash like a Type A at Christmas!

But I also want help from my few readers! That means you! I need tips and tricks!  So, each week I will add something new, to improving my green lifestyle!  I want to stay honest with myself and to be held accountable for staying green. I will also post the nitty, gritty, dirty truth, about my green habits, what works, and what work doesn’t work;  for a slacker such as, myself.

A Lesson from Mother Nature

 I had ambitious plans this weekend which included completing my retaining wall, planting my garden, and enjoying a nice Sunday at Elk Island National Park. However, Mother Nature had other plans for me.

 I woke up Saturday morning ready to face the day but as I looked out my window. Gasped at the snow and rain. I felt a strong sense of defeat. I began to curse Mother Nature and the Sun gods, wondering only why? I realized no awkward sun dance, or rare offering of pistachio nuts would appease the gods to grant us sun.

After, I ranted, complained, and stomped my feet. I played three solid hours of board games from Monopoly to Clue and subjected myself to watching Little Hercules with the kids. After my Saturday afternoon of non -stop fun was complete. I came to the astonishing conclusion that if I can’t win over Mother Nature and her crew of Sun gods I may as well work with them.

It was on Sunday I put this theory to the test. I woke-up and it was still raining with a mixture of snow.

 My husband had a relieved smirk on his face, “I guess we are not doing that 10km death march today?”

I gave him the stink eye.”What are you afraid we are going to melt?”

He looked slightly panicked, “We’re not going out in that for a 10km hike with the kids!”

“Fine, Let’s compromise – We can do a short 3km hike, and drive the bison loop.”

“It’s raining.”

“So!”

My husband looked sceptical and was prepared for the worse as we hopped in the car, setting out on our Merry Way to Elk Island National Park.  The children were also not the most enthused bunch and wondered why we couldn’t do this on a sunny day.

My only pep talk was, “What are you wimps! Scared of a little weather! Chickens!”

My oldest responded with an eye roll and a “Whatever! You are, so, mature Mom.”

I ignored his passive complaint, and offered up a variety of Tim bits. They happily noshed as we drove on. Once we arrived, we hit up the Bison Loop.  We drove around the corner and were immediately greeted by a herd of bison.

The kids eyes lit up and they went wild with excitement!  They were thrilled to see the Bison so close to our car. However, petrified at the same time, my husband and I debated, how close is too close to these woolly creatures. Needless, to say they grazed, lumbered, and ignored us for the most part. We were just another group of humans passing through for the bison show.

After our encounter with supper, we decided on a short 3 km walk on the Amisk Wuche Trail. It was still pouring rain and my husband saw his last chance to convince me to opt out.

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

I sighed, “It is just rain!”Suck it up!”

We hopped on the snow cover trail, wandering across the boardwalks of kettle lakes, and beaver ponds.  The kids delighted in snowball fights, the family of chipmunks, and the loons on the lake. We were raucous and loud being the only people on the trail.

As we hopped back in the car, muddy and drenched from the rain, my oldest son looked at me and said, “This maybe one of the best days ever.”

So, thank you Mother Nature for teaching me to go with the flow, and to work with the weather.  I know without the rain-it wouldn’t have been nearly such a fun day. However, I’m ready for a little sun. Please!

Apologies for the poor quality of pictures. My camera fizzled this weekend and I had no choice but to use the blackberry.

My Prayer to the Sun Gods

After my imaginary rant with Mother Nature on Sunday morning; I began to wonder if the heavens had their own bureaucracy. Maybe I could go above Mother Nature’s head to summon the warm weather. It was clear that channelling my energy through Mother Nature was no use to me and my garden. I mulled these thoughts over a stiff lime margarita and had my eureka moment!

 My husband saw the light in my eye and knew he was about to question my sanity. He disappeared to the basement to do laundry.  It was at that moment – I hopped off my chair, and ran upstairs to the bedroom.

I put on the UB40, began to apply gobbly gook to my legs for that refreshing orange tan, and put on my best bikini. I awkwardly danced to the beat of the music and prayed to the gods for sun.

It was at this moment a light appeared  and said, “Please stop!”

“What do you mean stop? I’m doing this for the benefit of the garden. Please bring the sun back!”

“Only if you stop dancing!”

“What’s wrong with my dancing?”

“It’s just your dance moves are all wrong. And in that bikini! Well we are just beginning to feel sorry for you!”

“Oh! I see! So does that mean if I stop – you will grant me sun?”

The light began to dim, “We’ll see what we can do!”

The next morning I awoke to the warm sun shining in my room. I thought to myself – Wow! I just  mortified the Sun gods with my poor taste in swim wear and dance moves.  It was at that moment I discovered the key to having warm weather all year long.  This could be trouble!

Mother Nature has Ruined My Sunny Disposition

It has been almost two years since my husband and  I were lured from the east coast to the economic prosperity of the west.  We  were warned Edmonton the largest Northern City in the world was cold. We laughed and wondered really? How cold could it get? After our second winter of -40 weather and snow at the end of May. I am  beginning to understand why  people refer to Edmonton as COLD!

I am an adaptable creature.  But my patience with Mother Nature has waned. She is  (excuses my language) A COCK TEASE! First she flirts with us giving us a week of scorching hot temperatures,   and then has the audacity to torture us  with cold wind and sleet on this lovely long weekend.  

In my imaginary world my conversation would go as such with Mother Nature.

Mother Nature would come down from the heavens looking serene, holding her magic wand, ready to cast another torturous blast of cold snow. I would look at her and exclaim, “Who do you think you are?”

She would ask, “You can see me?”

“Yes! I can see you! What’s with this weather?”

“My wand is out of whack and it’s not working.”

“What do you mean your wand is whack? Not working? For God sakes you’re Mother Nature! I thought you controlled the weather?”

“Well! I had a fight with Hera, you know how jealous she gets over Zeus, and well she broke the tip of my wand.”

“You are telling me two grown goddesses got in a fight over an old man! And she broke your wand! Are you serious?”

“Yes!”

“But my garden! My retaining wall! Do you know the havoc you are causing my life?”

“Ummm! It’s not havoc darling.  It’s just weather. Suck it up!”

“Those are wise words from a goddess who broke her wand!”

It was at that moment she looked at me with rage, pointed her wand, and presto  more snow appeared around my lovely garden of tulips.  She then vanished into thin air. It is because of this imaginary conversation  my sunny disposition has faded.  I have turned into a bitter bitty! I look at the dark skies, cursing her, and waiting for the return of the sun.

Don’t get me wrong! I think Edmonton is a great city – wonderful little art scene, delish restaurants, and extremely family –oriented. But for me I ‘m beginning to think I miss my beaches, the predictable weather, and an early gardening season. It’s the little things in life that I enjoy. So to overcome my foul mood, I will pretend its warm, and admire a picture from Kouchiboquac National Park just to get me through this day.  Oh! And Maybe a nice umbrella drink! Any suggestions?

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