Skip to content
Aspirations, Hopes and Dreams...need a surgeon?

Aspirations, Hopes and Dreams...need a surgeon?

Ahh. What a glorious start to the weekend in Prince Edward Island. The sun is shining, the air is fresh, the birds are singing, and life is good. I can hardly believe it's the last full week in June!

What an exciting week for children and teachers across the Island as Wednesday marks the last day of school before summer vacation. I remember how hard it was to sit and concentrate in school on a summer day, so the kids (and teachers) have my sympathy!

Today, I am working in the Gardens of Hope, with these two young men, who will head back to summer school in July to continue their Canadian education.

Isaka, Ameno, and Me. 

These days I am very mindful of the trials that some people have to go to be safe and to have hope for a better future.

Ameno and Isaka were born in refugee camps in Tanzania and moved here with their Mom, Dad and three siblings in the winter of 2015. Read about that winter here. They had no formal education while growing up in the camps.  

These two young men have aspirations. Since meeting Isaka and his family two years ago, this young man has impressed the heck out of me. Soon after meeting him I asked if he knew what he wanted to do when he was older, his response was, I am going to be a "brain surgeon." I was wonderfully surprised and mentioned that he would have to study very hard and excel in sciences. He knew that and fully understood. 

This morning, I asked him what he wanted to do when get got older, his response was, "no change," I want to be a brain surgeon. He speaks four languages, loves his family, and he is such a joy to be around. He is 19 years old. 

Ameno loves sports, and he desires to be a professional soccer player. No doubt he will pursue this will vim and vigour. 

Speaking with their Dad one day, he informed me about a dream that he had while in Tanzania.  In the dream, he saw that he and his family would be moving to an Island of green and red and here he is. 

Their journey reminds of living in one's heart versus one's head. 

Here is a simple story, simply told.

One day, a man walked into an antique shop and asked premised to look around. It was a rather exclusive shop frequented only by those who could afford to purchase articles made rare by their scarcity and age.

The visitor seemed strangely out of place because he was poorly dressed though clean: indeed it was clear from his appearance he was a labourer whose face had been etched by sun and rain and who hands were rough and worn. After more than a half hour, he left.

In about ten days he returned. This time he found a very beautiful piece of glass and asked if he could make a deposit on it. Each week he made a payment until at last the article was his.

With much curiosity, the owner of the shop engaged him in conversation to determine, if he could, the use to which such a man would put his new purchase.

“I bought it for my little room. It isn’t much, but I bring to it, from time to time, through the years, only the very best and beautiful things. You see, that is where I live.”

To bring to the place where you’ve only the best and most beautiful - what a plan for one life!

This is well within reach of everyone.

Think of using one’s memory in that way.

As one lives day-to-day, there are all sorts of experiences, good, bad, beautiful, ugly, that become part of one’s past. To develop the ability to screen ones’ memory so that only the excellent is retained for one’s own room. All kinds of ideas pass through one’s mind, about oneself, about the world, about people.

Which do you keep for your own room? Think it over now, which ideas do you keep for the place where you live?

It is well within the mark to say that the oft-quoted words of Jesus, about laying up yourself treasures in heaven, deal with this same basic idea. The place where you live is where your treasures are. Where your treasures are is where your heart is. Where your heart is, is where your God is.

From "Deep is the Hunger" a book by Howard Thurman (1899-1981) 

Earlier today, when I began this blog, I was listening to a new album by Joshua Bell...BRUCH Scottish Fantasy. Sample listen here

Wishing you a weekend of enjoyment and peace. 

With love from Prince Edward Island


Bruce MacNaughton


Previous article Happy News + Rewilding + Magicians Dilemma


STIRLING - July 7, 2018

We had a dream of one day visiting your beautiful Island, and maybe one day it will happen, then we would visit your gardens and have tea in the boutique. A beautiful dream to hang on to. S

Paulette Hooley - June 26, 2018

Hi Bruce,
Thank you for sharing the story of Asaka and Ameno.
Also the uplifting story of beauty …we are blessed and for your beautiful reminder
thank you.

Sherry - June 25, 2018

What a beautiful story! In less than a week my husband and I will be heading to our favourite place, Prince Edward Island. We love to make our annual stop at the Preserve Company for our anniversary (July 1st), we were married in the Gardens of Hope so it is a very special place in our hearts! Thank you for your blog, it’s very inspiring.

Margaret Gordon - June 24, 2018

What a lovely story in the midst of all that is going on in the United States and Europe. I wish those young men all the best for a wonderful future.

Jody - June 24, 2018

Beautiful, just beautiful.

Karen Aho - June 24, 2018

Even the poorest person can apreciate beauty. That beauty can brighten the soul.

Barbara h keltonic - June 24, 2018

Love that the father dreamed of an island of green and red. Gives me goosebumps.

Judith Inman - June 24, 2018

Love this post!

Brenda Macleod Raham - June 24, 2018

Such inspiring young men and you too Bruce

Joyce Simpson - June 24, 2018

Thanks so much for sharing the wonderful story of Isaka & Ameno.

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields