Tidal Life

Growing up on the East Coast, my family has always enjoyed the ocean. I have dozens, if not hundreds, of memories of family within feet of the tides. So when I was recently working on an article, perhaps it was natural for me to associate families and tides.

There are ups and downs, times of storms and times of calm, but always there is rhythm, a constant and continual pattern of high and low tides.

I like this image very much.

No matter what your family is like, it is part of who you are. Through the highs and lows and the diverse seasons of life and life, for better or for worse, your family is there. Let’s do the best we can to make our families thrive and be beautiful!

These children are sitting above the high tide line for the summer. See the seaweed near their feet? That’s how you can tell. In the spring or fall when tides are higher, the high tide lines may be well beyond where the children are. In this photo, the tide is coming in.

~Photo taken at The Bay of Fundy, NS

Mud-alicious!

I am an unusual parent. I like mud. Okay, I don’t like it on the kitchen floor, but I really do love the sight of the squishy, gooey stuff made by leftover puddles. Maybe it’s the latent biologist in me…

I love seeing children’s brightly coloured boots and chubby fingers exploring the wonderful texture. I love the earthy scent that reminds me that green things will soon be growing.

Mud speaks to me of movement, of change, of growth and of moving forward.

I grew up near the majestic Bay of Fundy. In places along the Minas Basin, there are vast mudflats which are exposed at low tide. In our teens, we would have great fun messing around and getting dirty in it. The mud would stick to everything. It would stain our clothes.

It wasn’t until much later, as an adult, that I learned Fundy’s mud is teeming with life. Species of life there can withstand the cold, deep, salty churning of high tide, and the dehydration, sunshine and exposure of  low tide. Every year more than 2,000,000 birds feed in the mud. The biological diversity is mind-boggling, precious, and fragile. (One web page to check out is: bayoffundy.com/articles/intertidal-zones/). Fundy mud deserves respect!

Mud, for all it’s negative connotations- who wants to have their name “drug through the mud”- is actually a sign of life. A sign of hope. A blessing in disguise. For the ingredients that make mud- earth, water, warmth- are the very things we need for life. I, for one, give thanks for mud!

Clam Dig in the Bay of Fundy. I am the little person in the photo. My dad is trying to keep my white pants clean, I think! Notice how the mud stretches to the horizon...

Christmas Writing 2

Today I am driving around to various elementary schools to pick up Christmas artwork from the students that will be submitted to the paper.

I love looking through these pages and seeing the colours and designs the kids came up with. Some are full of colour, light, and life, while some of the pages are mostly white with just a few details. Some of the drawings are only done in pencil.

I wonder what the children are thinking when they make these pictures. Are they drawing what they have remembered and experienced? Are they drawing what they have never experienced in a Christmas celebration? Or are they simply letting their imaginations flow and telling a story?

No matter what went on in the minds of these little people when they made their pictures, I am happy that our paper thinks it is important to showcase their work. In our area, the decline in the number of children in the population is concerning. Children are an indispensible part of a healthy society. So let’s celebrate with the children in our lives, who can create great art, and inspire adults to live life to the fullest.Christmas Artwork from Grade 5 Boy