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Cat Stevens, Leadership, and Cisco the Donkey

Cat Stevens, Leadership, and Cisco the Donkey

Good Morning!

And a beautiful one at that!

Great news, Island strawberries are finally coming to the table. We are about two weeks behind with the start of the season or so it seems.

There are no berries like Prince Edward Island strawberries! 

I mean heck, it was my love for Island strawberries that was instrumental in starting me on the path of “jam” making.

At sunrise this morning I heard the call of Cisco our newest resident in the Gardens of Hope.  

A handsome miniature donkey is protector of Veronica, the red mare, Pearl the black mare, Lakeland, the red foal, and Midnight the black colt.

Hope you can visit us and meet the newest members of our family. If today is the day, you might take advantage of the free admission day to the National Parks on Prince Edward Island, as well.

Heading down to the barn this morning to allow the menagerie out into the field, I was awestruck by the simple and gracious beauty laid out in front of my eyes. The river was a mirror reflection of the sky and trees shuffled, yet in unison along the shoreline.

How fortunate to be reminded that none of this beauty should be taken for granted and life begins when I do.  

Recently, I read a little poem by Mary Anne Radmacher

Live with Intention
Walk to the Edge
Listen Hard. Laugh. Play with abandon.
Practice wellness.
Continue to learn. 
Choose with no regret. 
Appreciate your friends.
Lead or follow a leader. 
Do what you love. 
Live as if this is all there is.

And I love this quote by John Keats.

“Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced. Even a proverb is no proverb until your life has illustrated it.” 

Shirley and I have been enjoying roasted potato sourdough bread from Angel McKann and her partner Hans Wendt at the Charlottetown Farmers Market for a few years now. I was so happy to hear of the recent sale of three of his watercolour paintings to the National Art Gallery of Canada. Congratulations, Hans! Read about it here.  

This summer we have almost 90 staff helping us do what we do. It can be challenging to try and keep everyone on the same page, moving in the same direction and serving customers well. We appreciate the opportunity to serve together. 

Shirley and I have heard so many times how great the staff are this summer and is great to hear this as we feel that they are the treasure of our place.

Sometimes as a leader, I fail. But the discipline is to get back up and do what needs to be done. In most cases, what is imagined as being a huge and painful problem, can be a situation reduced to nothing with just a conversation,

Sometimes a hard one but two ears and one mouth kind of conversation goes a long way to minimizing the imaginary minefield you have built in your head.

“Procrastination is attitude’s natural assassin. There’s nothing so fatiguing as an uncompleted task” ~ William James

What are you putting off today?

70 years ago today, Cat Stevens was born. And in honour of his birthday, I share a video of one of my favourite Cat Stevens songs, Morning has Broken.


Have a great weekend, be kind to yourself and others. 

With love from Prince Edward Island. 



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Betty Plucinski - July 23, 2018

Once again an awesome inspiring message. Thank you.

Linda Hiltz - July 22, 2018

I very much enjoy reading your blog each week. Thanks very much for sharing the Cat Stevens video. He was one of my favourites and I have a few of his albums. He has a beautiful voice and it is so nice to be able to understand the words. Hope you have a wonderful week. Sending love from Nova Scotia.

Penny Wright - July 22, 2018

I look forward to reading your blog every week and love the tease of the “headings”…

Denise - July 22, 2018

Must go see your newest members of the family, love your raspberry pie, always a must when we visit PEI from New Brunswick…thanks for sharing your beautiful gardens.

Bill and Jane Martin - July 21, 2018

Thought provoking blog Bruce. We’ll be thrilled to be back on the Island in September, & visit you for about the 23rd time since 1984. Long way from those beginnings in that little ol’ shop on the edge of Ch’town! Long may you be there, giving everyone a slice of your uplifting spirit, & friendliness & generosity.

Cindy McAllister - July 21, 2018

Loved your blog today. You always seem to write something I need to read !
I love anything by Cat Stevens, and this is a favourite.
I borrowed Mary Anne Radmacher’s poem and put it on Facebook. It was meant for me to read today, as was the quote from William James.
Thanks so much.

Bonnie Line - July 21, 2018

Very inspiring today Bruce.
Funny, just before I read this, my Granddaughter and I were talking about what she had been putting off.

Xandra van der Geer - July 21, 2018

Hi Bruce,

Your blog is so uplifting. Always great to read. Thank you for the Cat Steven song “Morning has Broken”! It’s one of my favourite songs and I sing it on a regular basis.
Have a Blessed summer!


Beth - July 21, 2018

Thank you so much for that Cat Stevens song!
My morning prayer recently has come from Stephen Mitchell’s “A Book of Psalms”:
“God acts within every moment
and creates the world with each breath.
God speaks from the center of he universe,
in the silence beyond all thought.
Mightier than the crash of a thunderstorm,
mightier than the roar of the sea,
is God’s voice silently speaking
in the depths of the listening heart.”
Keep hope ALIVE!

joy - July 21, 2018

Love this song – also one of my favourites.

Thanks Bruce. Not long now before we are on the Island…..

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