Dishabille
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Dishabille

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons (the others are winter, spring and summer). In autumn one can harvest potatoes, carrots, late cabbages, painted corn, hemp, beets, winter squash and more. Summer is a fading memory for me. And autumn has its times of glory, to be sure: when the aspen leaves resemble gold coins….

Roses over the wall

Roses over the wall

This is a good month for roses in my neighbourhood. On our walks, we seem to be continually surprised by the masses of heavy velvet heads framing doorways and gateways, and the lush greenery reaching high against brick walls. The breeze shifts and the fragrance reaches us, sweet, almost nostalgic but fresh and alive, too,…

Drab beauty
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Drab beauty

If you have never lived with bluebirds, you don’t know what you’re missing. Bluebird restoration projects – mostly involving the creation of nesting boxes – are very popular, and for good reason. The bluebird – eastern, western and mountain species – are the hobbits of the songbird nation. When my father “got” a pair of…

‘Efficient’ Eden?
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‘Efficient’ Eden?

It’s tempting to follow the utilitarian ideal – “designed to be useful or practical rather than attractive” – when thinking about the population of this world. We need, say some, to use every square inch of space to feed a rapidly increasing population. Combine this concern with mechanization and extensive agriculture, and all sorts of…

Edenic landscapes II
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Edenic landscapes II

Many of us have been influenced by classical ideals when it comes to our ideas about landscapes and gardens. This can be shown in two ways. First, through ideas about reason, order, and even God. For people as far back as at least the 5th century B.C.E. – Plato’s time, roughly – the mind was…

Edenic Landscapes I
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Edenic Landscapes I

Genesis gives us remarkably few details about the garden of Eden: two naked people, a serpent, two notable trees. So what do you imagine when you hear the word garden? You may think Beyoncé is lush, but last year’s gardens in Quick, B.C. define the word. With a rain forest weather pattern this summer things…

Give Me a Break
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Give Me a Break

What does Sabbath mean when we can’t worship together physically because of the dangers to physical health? Do we take a break, essentially “fasting” from celebrating the Sabbath? Are we in “a time of eucharistic fasting, in which we join with the whole communion of saints in longing for the bread of new life and the wine of the age to come,” as the Anglican Church of Canada’s website suggests?